On Wednesday December 2nd 2020, the U.K approved pharmaceutical Pfizer’s vaccine. They will begin distribution and vaccinating health care workers and high vulnerable people starting next week. Here in the U.S, both Pfizer and Moderna have submitted to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are expected to be greenlit in the next few weeks.
“The first coronavirus vaccines could reach the American public as early as next week, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated in 2021”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though the vaccine is just around the corner, it is going to take awhile for it to be distributed and for everyone to get it and even then it is expected that healthcare workers will be amongst the first people to get it before it is rolled out to the general population.
Both Vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna use messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology. Each strand of synthetic mRNA is designed to encode for a protein found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Those mRNA strands enter the body’s cells and instruct them to produce that protein. “mRNA vaccines are being held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards external icon as all other types of vaccines in the United States. The only COVID-19 vaccines the FDA will make available for use in the United States are those that meet these standards.” Says the CDC.
However, an area of concern for many people is if the vaccine is safe. A GALLUP poll from mid-November showed that 58% of people who took the survey would take an FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine if available. 42% of those polled said no. The many people who said no said that they feel as if the timeline of the development of the vaccine was rushed and are not sure what the long term side effects are and if it is effective.
In Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says that they will be ready to distribute a vaccine as soon as one is authorized. The plan is that people at most risk to healthcare workers will get the vaccine first. Patients in nursing and assisted living homes will be among the first people vaccinated. Kemp says that about 95% of Georgia’s nursing homes are enrolled in the vaccination program through CVS or Walgreens.