What We Can Expect With The COVID-19 Vaccine

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With the first round to COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed and administered across the country, it warrants some questions that need to be answered. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an expert group that makes official vaccine recommendations to the federal government, has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine who should get priority access to a vaccine. They have recommended healthcare personnel and residents of long-term-care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, be offered access first to a coronavirus vaccine. Estimates are that healthcare workers and people in long-term-care facilities could be vaccinated by mid-January. He said that by March, 100 million high-risk people could be vaccinated. People at the lowest risk could have access to the vaccine by June. However unexpected circumstances could delay or change the outline. Vaccines will be distributed at a wide variety of locations, including hospitals, long-term-care facilities, mobile and temporary clinics, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies, according to the CDC, depending if they are able to store the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine, for example, currently needs to be stored in extremely cold conditions to which many facilities are not equipped properly. The vaccine will be paid for by the CDC, meaning there will be no cost for you to get the vaccine. However some providers may choose to charge for administering. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, like most of the other vaccines that are in or have completed the last stage of trials before being submitted to the FDA for approval, require two doses—an initial shot and a booster, usually several weeks later. Generally with a two-dose vaccine, it takes about two weeks from the second dose for a vaccine’s protection to fully kick in, according to Natalie Dean, PhD, an assistant professor of biostatistics specializing in infectious disease and vaccine development at the University of Florida in Gainesville. So far, side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine is similar to effects from other vaccines, including fever, headaches, feeling run-down, and soreness in the arm. However, regulators will continue to monitor vaccine trial participants for two years to see how long immunity lasts and to monitor for any adverse events. The CDC is quick to reminder those taking the vaccine that you will still need to practice social distancing and wear a mask as it is possible for you to spread the coronavirus even if you've been vaccinated. Researchers hope that vaccination campaigns will be sufficient to end the pandemic, once there is sufficient vaccine supply and enough people get vaccinated. However, the whole world will need to have access and have them administered for the disease threat to be fully eliminated. If the disease is still spreading somewhere, it could always reemerge, especially if people’s immunity wanes.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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