The COVID-19 vaccination has been taking over the news lately. There’s a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the vaccines and a lot of information to take in. We’ve worked to put together some important information on what we know so far. As a Homethrive member, your Care Guide can help keep you informed and up to date as well as help you register in your state once you’re eligible.
Due to the U.S. supply of COVID-19 vaccines being limited, the CDC has provided recommendations on who should get vaccinated first. Their recommendation was made with three goals in mind:
- Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible
- Preserve functioning of society
- Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities
However, even with the recommendations, each state has its own plan for who gets vaccinated first and how the vaccines will be distributed. Contact your local health department to find more information on COVID-19 vaccination in your area.
As of now, phase 1 includes:
- Frontline essential workers
- Includes fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, USPS workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers.)
- People aged 75 years and older
- People aged 65 - 74 years
- People aged 16 - 64 years with underlying medical conditions
- For a comprehensive list of medical conditions, click here.
- Other essential workers
- Includes people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.
Every state is at different phases so make sure you check local news and announcements for when you or your loved ones are eligible to receive the vaccine. Some states let you register in advance and ask you qualifying questions which allows them to contact you when they’re ready for your group. It’s safe to say we are all anxious to get back to our normal lives and with a little bit of patience and cooperation hopefully we’ll get there soon!
- The safety of the COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority, and they continue to be closely monitored.
- COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. As of now, two doses are needed.
- CDC is making recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccines first when supplies are limited. This will help guide decisions about how to distribute limited initial supplies.
- There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.
- After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.
- Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The first COVID-19 vaccines are being used under Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested.
- COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.
Having a vaccine and receiving the vaccine does not mean we should stop using the other tools available to us to help stop this pandemic. We are still learning as we go so make sure you are wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose, maintain 6ft of distance from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.
Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
Understandably so, some people may have reservations or concerns about getting vaccinated and the timeline in which it was developed. However, routine processes and procedures have remained in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use.
The CDC highlights the following as benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on their current knowledge:
- COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19. All vaccines currently available have been and continue to be carefully evaluated in clinical trials and have shown to be highly effective. Even if you do get COVID-19, the vaccine can prevent you from getting seriously ill. Importantly, getting vaccinated protects people around you.
- COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection. Per the CDC, “Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.”
- COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Existing measures such as wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed or spreading it to others, but they are not enough. Vaccines help your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
“Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.” -CDC
Let’s remember we’re all in this together and we must come together as a country to end this pandemic as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated will be a big part of that. If you’re still feeling unsure, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional so you feel as educated as possible when you’re getting your COVID-19 vaccine.