We’ve been waiting and it won’t be long… the COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available. A few weeks ago Pfizer requested emergency use authorization, followed by Moderna. The Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine and distribution has begun.
There is a great deal of information on the vaccines available online, and rather than reprint that information, we will provide links at the end of this article and offer a general overview of what our research has gleaned.
Because the initial supply is limited, the Centers for Disease Control is directing the first doses to certain high-risk health care personnel, as well as residents and patients in long-term care facilities. This means, in keeping with CDC recommendations, it is not being offered to the general public as yet.
The list for first distribution is as follows: Healthcare personnel; Workers in essential and critical industries; People at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions; People 65 years and older.
AMS Fulfillment has not yet heard if our essential workers are included in the early distribution, but we did find the following information in the online documents:
“Workers in essential and critical industries are considered part of America’s critical infrastructure, as defined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. Current data show that many of these workers are at increased risk for getting COVID-19. Early vaccine access is critical not only to protect them but also to maintain the essential services they provide U.S. communities.”
We know that the vaccine is a new one (novel) and it is used to trigger an immune response. As a result, persons receiving the vaccine may have mild side effects. In Phase 3 clinical trials, the most common side effects reported were fatigue, headache, muscle pain and joint pain. These side effects occurred in under 10% of the test subjects and they have been reported to be short lived and happen within the first few days of receiving the vaccine.
Is there anyone who should avoid taking the vaccine? From what we have found, the current CDC recommendation is that if you ever had a severe allergic reaction to an injectable medical product, you shouldn’t get the vaccine. We have also read that there is no data on how the vaccine affects women who are pregnant or lactating, and as a result if you are pregnant or nursing an infant you are advised to wait and take the vaccine later.
We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they become eligible because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic. We recognize this is a personal decision, and that people have questions about the vaccine. The following links lead to extensive information from the FDA and CDC. Many questions are answered in these documents and we encourage readers to look through the information and find the answers from the experts.