Coronavirus vaccine coming soon! Can you get one?

December 17, 2020

Have you been waiting patiently for a vaccine to put an end to your coronavirus worries? Good news: your answer may be right around the corner! Well…maybe.

Federal government officials have announced that some coronavirus vaccines may be available before Christmas. The optimism is spreading as many states are preparing to start the vaccination process in December.

Unfortunately, everyone may not be eligible to receive vaccination as soon as it hits the market. It all depends on the availability and approval of vaccines, the speed at which it is produced and disseminated, and who is given access first.

Healthcare workers may be first in line to get immunized against the virus, but the general population may still have to wait a few months into 2021 before taking action – especially those healthy children and adults who are not a member of the elderly population.

What happens in December?

There’s a chance that those most vulnerable to the ill effects of the pandemic, healthcare workers and nursing home residents, may be eligible for vaccination in December.

The big day for these decisions is Tuesday, December 1. That’s when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices gathered to vote on who should get access to the vaccination first.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a meeting on the calendar for December 10 and December 17 to authorize a vaccine.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, an independent group of experts, plan to discuss emergency use authorization for the Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines.

The FDA will use these discussions and recommendations to guide their decision on the vaccines.

There’s another option on the table. The FDA could provide emergency use authorization as soon as the second week of December for Pfizer’s vaccine.

Then, the Operation Warp Speed partnership initiated by the government can come in and start delivering vaccinations within 24 hours after that. Moderna may potentially be next on the list if that happens.

Pfizer and Moderna could have 40 million doses available for the US market by the end of December, providing the potential to fully vaccinate 20 million people.

If all does not go as planned in December, you can expect the conversations to accelerate in January as more vaccines become available to a wider range of people.

What are the costs involved?

You need to know, there is no need to come out of pocket to foot the bill for a coronavirus vaccine. It may all be free thanks to the money the federal government has given to companies who have the ability to develop coronavirus vaccines.

Pfizer, Novavax, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are all pharmaceutical and biotech companies that received more than $7 billion to solve the problem.

Where can you get the vaccine?

Hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities are already setup to deliver vaccines. Workers and residents at these locations will have access to the vaccine through their workplaces.

If you’re the average person, you’ll be able to access the vaccine at places where flu shots are normally given. Check out your grocery store pharmacy and physician’s office for more details.

What should you know now?

As more details about vaccines start to unfold, you should be aware of the possibilities and limitations ahead. As of now, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be the popular choices because of their immunization innovation known as mRNA vaccine.

They are considered safe and provides 95 percent protection against symptomatic disease. But no one knows if the vaccinations will stop the spread of the disease to others and how long the protection will last.

Before getting vaccinated, be sure to look at the safety data and understand the genetic material that is being used.

While Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccination safety levels are based on the fact that they only use a piece of genetic material instead of a whole virus, AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses a replicate deficient virus to distribute a piece of genetic material from the coronavirus.

Safety information is not available for those vaccines to date.

While you wait on the coronavirus vaccination solution, make sure you do whatever it takes to build your immune system. This can impact the vaccination you receive and when you are able to receive it.

Use this time to strengthen your immune system with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and frequent exercise to put you in the best position going forward.

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