Covid Vaccine Update
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been working around the clock for months to get a COVID vaccine out. According to The New York Times, government officials have said they plan to ship the first 6.4 million doses within 24 hours after the FDA authorizes a vaccine. States will receive vaccines based on adult population. Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, will ship doses directly to locations determined by each state’s governor. These sites will likely be hospitals because the Pfizer vaccine requires certain storage temperatures. Pfizer and Moderna, the two companies closest to gaining approval for their vaccines, have estimated that they will have enough to vaccinate no more than 22.5 million Americans by January. Each state will have to decide which health care workers go first.
The states may choose to prioritize frontline healthcare workers, who are most likely to be exposed to the coronavirus. Or they may offer the vaccine to older health care workers first, or those working in nursing homes, who are at higher risk of contracting the virus. According to The New York Times, Kentucky’s governor will choose to give the first dose to workers in long-term care facilities.
The CDC committee recommended last week that essential workers should be the first in line for the second dose. These are people that work in manufacturing, emergency response, agriculture, etc. They are unable to work from home and are therefore more exposed to the virus.
After essential workers get the vaccine, the CDC recommends that adults that are not in good health be the next to get it. This includes seniors and other adults with medical conditions.
Many states have already prioritized groups of people for getting the vaccine. Arkansas has proposed including workers in its large poultry industry, while Colorado wants to include ski industry workers who live in congregate housing. It is the states decision on the order of the recipients.
The vaccines have not been studied enough in children, so they will not be able to receive the vaccine yet. Even after everyone is vaccinated it is important to know that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second shot after a few weeks.