The second wave of COVID-19 continues to cause devastation in the United States and around the world. In the US, coronavirus cases have skyrocketed to more than 250,000 daily and death toll more than 2500 daily for the past one week as of December 14, 2020. Due to enormous suffering and long wait, arrival of COVID-19 vaccine has created great excitement in large population. The process of approval, distribution and administration is moving forward rapidly. First dose of the vaccine has already been administered in the United Kingdom and Russia. There are many people who are skeptical about getting the vaccine. How do you convince those to get the vaccine?.
First COVID-19 vaccine available made by Pfizer and BioNtech is a messenger RNA-based vaccine which is 95% effective. It just received approval for emergency use authorization for use in the US starting December 14,2020. In final phase 3 clinical trial there were 43,000 participants from 150 clinical sites in many different countries. This vaccine is considered safe and effective with only minor side effects like fatigue, headache and body aches. There were two patients with allergic reaction in England. Therefore, it is suggested that people with significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive this vaccine.
The second major vaccine to be approved soon has been developed by Moderna. It is also a messenger RNA-based vaccine which is 94.5% effective with minor side effect. In phase 3 trial they had 30,000 participants. The vaccine was found to be effective against severe COVID-19 cases in 100 percent of cases. The second dose will be given 21 days after the first.
According to Pew Research Center, Americans who intend to receive the vaccine varies depending on their race and ethnic origin. In general 60 percent of people surveyed said they would get it while 39 percent would not. It seems to be a case of fear of the unknown. After drug companies have both worked tirelessly day and night at warp speed to develop these vaccine in record time, people are reluctant to take it. It is found to be safe, effective and will save lives. These vaccines have gone through very thorough review and vigorous trial before approval.The benefit vastly outweighs any side effects that patient might encounter.
We need everyone to get involved in promoting these vaccines which are safe effective and will save lives. These efforts should include public health campaign , hospital facilities, primary care providers as well as a healthcare workers to spread the word about safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. The vaccine administration priority will be decided by the CDC with healthcare worker and nursing home residents going first.
Let us all get vaccinated. Side effects are minimal including mild fatigue, headache and body ache. The only way to eradicate this menace is mass vaccination. The protection from the vaccine is supposed to last for at least 3-months. MercyOne is awaiting Moderna vaccine to be available before administration process can begin. More announcement will follow soon. There may not be enough vaccine to give it to general public until at least january 2021.
Even after vaccination basic rules will still apply including wearing a mask outside of homes, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding social gathering.