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  • Health Awareness Series: January 2021 - COVID-19 Vaccine - FAQs

    Date: 1/4/2021 05:45:34 PM

    As the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccinations are distributed in New York and around the country, there are questions about these new vaccines  ̶  and the question of when will we be able to get the vaccine is a popular one.

    Dr. Breidbart, Affinity’s Chief Medical Officer, urges everyone to be patient and continue following safety protocols while vaccine distribution is rolled out.  “We are indeed fortunate that vaccines were developed so quickly,” said Dr. Breidbart. “While we have to wait for the vaccine, after front-line medical and essential workers who must get priority, our turn will come.”

    Recently, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released information and resources on the vaccines, covering everything from the different types of vaccines to their safety and benefits. Below is a summary of questions and answers recently posted by the CDC.  For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html for frequent updates. 

    How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

    The COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies create immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Who gets vaccinated first?

    The CDC recommends that the initial supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine be given to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents in order to:

    • Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible
    • Preserve the functioning of society
    • Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities

    What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

    • It can help keep you from getting COVID-19
    • It’s a safer way to help build one’s defenses
    • It’s an important tool to help stop the pandemic

    What are the different COVID-19 vaccines?

    Currently, two vaccines are authorized through emergency use approval and recommended to prevent COVID-19. These are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. There are currently two large scale clinical trials in progress for two other vaccines in the United States.

    How many doses are needed?

    Two. A second shot three weeks after the first for the Pfizer vaccine; a second shot four weeks after the first for the Moderna vaccine.

    Are there any side effects?

    The side effects may feel like having the flu and could potentially affect daily activities, but should dissipate in a few days.

    Since this is a new vaccine, how do we know it’s safe?

    Clinical trials evaluating thousands of participants gathered data which the FDA used to determine safety and effectiveness. After approval for use, many safety monitoring systems were put in place to track for possible side effects.

    When will I be able to get the vaccine?

    Currently, there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.

    Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccine?

    The vaccine is paid through government programs at no cost to the public.

    CDC-Center for Disease Control and Prevention-COVID 19 Vaccines- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html, December 18, 2020.

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