What We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine So Far
As the United States gears up to deliver the first COVID-19 vaccine, Americans are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are just not sure how long that tunnel is.
Obviously, there will not be enough vaccines for everyone immediately, but recommendations are being made for who should receive the first wave. Healthcare professionals and the elderly would most likely be among the first people to be eligible.
The United States is the fourth country to move forward with Pfizer's vaccine. Canada approved the vaccine recently and the United Kingdom began administering the shots this week. Our government is currently working with five different companies now developing a vaccine. Pfizer is the first company to release a vaccine. It must be stored at sub-zero temperatures and it requires two injections a few weeks apart.
Early results of the injection used in the United Kingdom resulted in two people having an allergic reaction. They were treated immediately and did not suffer any severe complications. However, this may result in vaccine restrictions for people who have severe allergies.
Data so far indicate that the vaccine is safe and 95 percent effective across a variety of age and racial groups and ethnicities when given in two doses, about three weeks apart.
The unusual speed of vaccine development is seen as a positive step toward combating the pandemic, but it comes as the number of people who dying of Covid-19 is increasing alarmingly. Just this past week, there were more than 3,000 deaths in a single day. This is equivalent to the number of deaths from the 911 attacks.
There is still much that is unknown about how the vaccine process will work but the CDC has been working closely with the government to stay up to date. For more information on what we know so far about the coronavirus vaccine, visit the CDC website.