COVID-19 vaccine is here

Written by on December 3, 2020


We requested you to inform us your greatest questions in regards to the COVID-19 vaccines. Listed below are some solutions. USA TODAY

The Meals and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the first coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, and distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine was underway over the weekend.

Moderna has additionally utilized for emergency use authorization for its two-shot vaccine candidate, and extra corporations are anticipated to use within the coming months. In the meantime this week, Canada and the UK additionally authorized the widespread use of Pfizer’s vaccine.

As vaccines are being produced in report time, what can we learn about these pictures? What are the negative effects? Will you be immune? And can you must take the vaccine as soon as or yearly?

We all know you may have questions, and we’re right here to assist. Ask us your vaccine questions through this online form, and we’ll converse with public well being consultants to reply them beneath.

This is what we all know:

Is there a vaccine for the coronavirus?

There are more than 200 vaccine candidates beneath growth, with 52 in scientific trials, in response to the World Well being Group. As of late November, Section three scientific trials have been in progress or being deliberate for five vaccines in the U.S., in response to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

The U.S.United Kingdom and Canada have approved the use of a vaccine developed by drug corporations Pfizer and BioNTech. China and Russia started rolling out their very own vaccines earlier than finishing late-stage scientific trials.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine: Key committee endorsement paves way for clearance by FDA and vaccinations in US to begin

Is the vaccine protected?

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Tuesday launched a 53-page report summarizing information from Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 candidate vaccine trial. The information helps earlier findings that the vaccine is protected and can stop 95% of individuals from turning into sick with COVID-19. Read more.

If you happen to already had COVID-19, do you have to nonetheless get vaccinated?

Individuals who have had COVID-19 “could also be suggested” to get the vaccine, “as a result of extreme well being dangers related to COVID-19 and the truth that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible,” in response to the CDC.

If you happen to’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, you may have what’s known as pure immunity. Research have proven pure immunity to COVID-19 could final months to years. Immunity from a vaccine known as vaccine-induced immunity, and it is unclear how lengthy that will final.


The COVID-19 vaccine is utilizing new know-how that has by no means been used earlier than in conventional vaccines. This is how an mRNA vaccine works. USA TODAY

Will the vaccine be protected for kids and pregnant girls?

Traditionally, main vaccines haven’t been examined throughout being pregnant due to considerations that each the pregnant particular person and fetus can be in danger for issues. Pregnant and nursing folks weren’t included within the Pfizer/BioNTech examine, so there isn’t any information to recommend whether or not they need to keep away from vaccination.

Dr. Peter Marks, who directs the Middle for Biologics Analysis and Analysis on the FDA, stated Saturday that pregnant folks, youngsters and those that are immunocompromised ought to talk about vaccination with their suppliers and “might want to take into account on a person foundation.”

In a Dec. 1 meeting of a CDC group that determines how vaccines needs to be allotted, a number of professional members stated they anticipated the vaccine can be protected for moms who’re nursing as a result of the virus itself doesn’t appear to go by means of the mom’s milk.

The Pfizer trial information solely included youngsters ages 16 and up, although the examine has since been prolonged to age 12, and can embrace youthful youngsters as quickly as the corporate decides what dose it desires to check on this group. Read more.

Associated: No, the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t cause infertility in womenmen

What about 16- and 17-year-olds?

Though there’s not as a lot information for this age group as others, officers imagine they know sufficient to conclude the advantages of getting vaccinated outweigh the dangers, Marks stated.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds not often get severely in poor health with COVID-19, however they do transmit it simply, typically with out displaying signs. And a few in that age group work jobs wherein they work together with the general public, equivalent to check-out clerks.

What are the negative effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Individuals will seemingly expertise no less than one aspect impact from the COVID-19 vaccine, however doctors say that’s normal and you need to nonetheless get vaccinated. For the vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech, many trial individuals endured negative effects for a day or two after getting their pictures, significantly the second.

Essentially the most generally reported aspect impact amongst vaccine recipients beneath age 55 was a sore arm, adopted by fatigue (60% after the second shot); headache (52% after the second shot); different muscle aches (37%); and chills (35%). About 28% took ache remedy after the primary shot and 45% after the second shot. Read more.

Are you able to get one dose from one vaccine and the second from one other?

The Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines each require two doses, given 21 and 28 days aside, respectively. Because the vaccines differ in composition, storage and time between the 2 doses, consultants say folks should take the identical vaccine for each doses. 

What’s the stage of immunity after one shot?

The vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech was 52% efficient after the primary dose, in response to a latest FDA report. Nevertheless, as a result of everybody acquired a second dose three weeks after the primary, there’s no proof of safety lasting longer than a couple of weeks after the primary dose. Read more.

How lengthy will a COVID-19 vaccine be protecting?

There isn’t any information on how lengthy a vaccine will probably be protecting. FDA officers have been anticipated to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine within the midst of the pandemic as a result of it is protected and no less than transiently efficient, moderately than withholding it for 2 years to await the standard long-term outcomes required for a full approval. Vaccine corporations intend to observe trial individuals for 2 years and submit a full utility once they have that information. Read more.

When you get vaccinated, can you continue to get sick or unfold the virus?

Sure, it is potential. The potential vaccines are usually not 100% efficient, so there’s a small likelihood you can encounter the virus and nonetheless get sick. It additionally usually takes “a couple of weeks” for the physique to construct immunity after vaccination, which means an individual may very well be contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 simply earlier than or simply after vaccination and get sick, in response to the CDC.

Even after vaccination, it isn’t clear whether or not somebody might catch the virus that causes COVID-19 and go it on to another person, even with out turning into in poor health. The research designed to check the candidate vaccines solely examined symptomatic infections, not whether or not vaccinated folks might nonetheless be contagious. Because of this people who find themselves vaccinated could be fairly certain that they gained’t develop COVID-19 themselves, however they may nonetheless go it on to others with out realizing they’re contaminated. Future research will discover this. Read more.

May the vaccine make subsequent infections worse?

There was concern that getting vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus would possibly trigger a subsequent COVID-19 an infection, as some dengue vaccines have been proven to do for that illness.

The FDA concluded that use of the vaccine has not been widespread sufficient to know for sure, however that “obtainable information don’t point out a danger of vaccine-enhanced illness, and conversely recommend effectiveness in opposition to extreme illness throughout the obtainable follow-up interval.” The danger does stay over time as immunity in opposition to the illness wanes, the FDA stated, and “must be evaluated additional in ongoing scientific trials.” Read more.

Which vaccines will probably be just one shot?

Johnson & Johnson is creating a single-dose vaccine. The corporate’s chief scientist stated final month that the corporate expects to have all the information it wants to file for authorization by February or sooner.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine ‘substances?’

Consultants say the substances within the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech seems fairly customary for a vaccine. They are often organized into 4 primary classes: the energetic ingredient (messenger RNA, on this case), fat, sugars and salt. Read more on ingredients.

Not one of the vaccines in growth within the U.S. use the “dwell” virus that causes COVID-19, in response to the CDC. A lot of the vaccines beneath growth introduce the “spike” protein discovered on the floor of the virus. They practice the immune system to acknowledge this protein and assault in case of an infection. However each the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines depend upon a know-how by no means earlier than utilized in a business vaccine: mRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid. Read more on mRNA.

What if I’ve had an allergic response prior to now?

About 1.6% of the inhabitants has had a extreme allergic response to meals or one thing within the setting, however they’re eligible to obtain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Marks stated. Solely individuals who have had a extreme allergic response to a earlier dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or certainly one of its elements shouldn’t obtain the vaccine. Websites the place the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are administered will have the ability to deal with allergic reactions, Marks stated.

Two British folks with extreme allergic reactions apparently had reactions to Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine this week. Allergic reactions weren’t a big drawback within the U.S. trial, wherein greater than 20,000 folks acquired two doses of the vaccine. The U.S. trials saved out topics who’ve had extreme allergic reactions.

The place are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines made?

Pfizer has two plants making its COVID-19 vaccine, one in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and one in Puurs, Belgium. The corporate has a distribution website in Nice Prairie, Wisconsin, the place its vaccine is being saved.

Moderna has started producing vaccine at its plant in Norwood, Massachusetts, and it’ll ramp up manufacturing within the subsequent month with assist from contract producer Lonza Biologics, which has a facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

How will the vaccine be shipped?

Cargo of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine includes Pfizer personnel taking five-dose glass vials of vaccine out of subzero freezers and packing them into specifically designed delivery containers, Wes Wheeler, president of World Healthcare at UPS, advised USA TODAY.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is being shipped in insulated containers that maintain between 195 and 975 five-dose vials and are in regards to the dimension of a carry-on suitcase. The vials are saved in flat, pizza box-sized compartments, every of which holds 195 vials. A totally loaded thermal container, which is reusable, accommodates 5 of those and weighs about 70 kilos.

Pfizer will ship its vaccine utilizing UPS and FedEx as its foremost distributors. Moderna’s vaccine distribution is being coordinated by McKesson, the nation’s largest medical provide distributor. Every carton may have a GPS tracker permitting it to be situated in real-time anyplace on the earth, in addition to a Bluetooth tracker that may find it inside 10 toes inside a UPS facility, stated Wheeler. Read more.

How a lot vaccine is there?

Roughly 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will probably be distributed throughout the 50 states within the subsequent few days, Gen. Gustave Perna, co-leader of Operation Warp Pace accountable for logistics, stated Saturday. One other 2.9 doses are being held again to distribute later for the second shot, plus reserves.

Extra vaccine will probably be rolled out within the weeks and months to come back, with Pfizer and Moderna anticipated to ship a mixed 300 million doses of their vaccines by the center of subsequent yr, sufficient to vaccinate practically half the inhabitants of the U.S.  

What’s the vaccine supply schedule?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will probably be despatched to to 636 hospitals, clinics and public well being techniques nationwide this week, with 145 websites receiving doses Monday, 425 on Tuesday and the ultimate 66 on Wednesday, Perna stated.

As soon as the preliminary doses have shipped, the system will start common deliveries. Every Thursday, Operation Warp Pace, the White Home’s coronavirus vaccine initiative, will ask vaccine producers how a lot vaccine they’ve made throughout the week, Paul Ostrowski, who leads provide, manufacturing and distribution for the federal authorities’s Operation Warp Pace, who walked USA TODAY by means of the method. On Friday, employees will meet and determine what number of doses could be allotted. States will put of their orders on Saturday and deliveries will occur on Monday morning, he stated.

UPS, FedEx and McKesson all have 24-hour hotlines websites can name if there are supply troubles. As well as, Operation Warp Pace officers stated they may have employees obtainable at two operations facilities, one in Washington and one in Atlanta, each with 24-hour hotlines. Read more.

How does Operation Warp Pace observe doses?

Operation Warp Pace created a software program system known as Tiberius that enables states and native jurisdictions to order and observe vaccine. It data all allocations of COVID-19 vaccines to states, territories, cities and federal entities, stated Col. Deacon Maddox, OWS Chief of Plans, Operations and Evaluation. It really works together with the CDC’s Vaccine Monitoring System, referred to as VTrckS, which has been distributing vaccine for kids for a decade. Read more.

How a lot does the vaccine value?

Moderna has agreed to offer the U.S. with 200 million doses and Pfizer no less than 100 million by the center of subsequent yr, have agreed to offer the U.S. with 100 million doses apiece, already funded by means of federal help of producing and distribution. Vaccine doses bought with U.S. taxpayer {dollars} will probably be given to the American folks for gratis, in response to the CDC.

“Nevertheless, vaccine suppliers will have the ability to cost administration charges for giving or administering the shot to somebody. Vaccine suppliers can get this payment reimbursed by the affected person’s public or personal insurance coverage firm or, for uninsured sufferers, by the Well being Sources and Companies Administration’s Supplier Reduction Fund,” the CDC says on its web site.


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