Nine months have passed since the nation began taking precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Over those nine months, scientists have worked around the clock to create a vaccine.
The FDA has approved Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine for distribution and vaccinations are being given as of December 14, 2020. However, the demand for the vaccine will surpass the supply by a fair amount. The CDC stated that it will become widely available in the latter half of 2021. Until then, only certain groups of people will have access to the vaccine.
According to the FDA, the first groups of people that will receive the vaccine are health care workers, as they are exposed to the virus on a day-to-day basis. As time progresses, so will our understanding of the virus. “The first wave of vaccines approved by the FDA use mRNA of the virus. It’ll be interesting to see if this causes a mutation or resistance in COVID. There is much to learn, as to how different individuals’ immune systems react,” Lisandra Navarro, a biology teacher, said.
Testing results from phase three of the trials have concluded that the vaccine has a 95% success rate in preventing infection. To be clear, this is not a cure. Those who have already come down with COVID will have to rely on other means to alleviate their symptoms. The Pfizer Vaccine is simply a preventive to help eliminate the spread.
There is a lot of fear-mongering surrounding the vaccine with many stating that they would like to wait to see more results before taking it themselves.
“I wouldn’t take the vaccine, because I don’t trust it being safe right now,” Sarah Pards, a junior, said. That is a fair way to look at the expedient development of this vaccine before some cases took a decade for a vaccine to be developed; this makes the Pfizer vaccine one of the fastest developed vaccines in current history.
The FDA has stated some of the most common side effects of the vaccine are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and overall fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain. However, it has been deemed safe for distribution through the multiple rounds of testing conducted. An important piece of information though is that all testing has been done on adults.
Young children, pregnant women, and others deemed unknown to the vaccine’s side effects are unlikely to be able to get the vaccine until more rounds of testing are conducted.
As many drugs have a price tag, people are worried that the vaccine will also come with one. “The vaccine should most definitely be free. It’s not fair to charge people for their safety in life, especially because many people are struggling to put food on the table. If they started charging for it, I would just be embarrassed to be living in a country like that,” Kevin Galvez, a senior, said. Luckily, the CDC has stated that the vaccine itself will be paid for with taxpayer dollars, however, those administering the vaccine may ask for a fee which is a case-by-case matter.