The Truth About The COVID Vaccine

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The COVID-19 vaccine was developed faster than any other vaccine in history — This speed has made some people nervous to receive the vaccine.

COVID Vaccine Development Timeline

  • Vaccines typically take 10-15 years to develop
  • Previously the fastest vaccines to be developed were
  • Measles: 3 years
  • Mumps: 4 years
  • The H1N1 vaccine took just a few months to develop
  • Built on existing processes and safety data for seasonal flu vaccines

How Was The COVID-19 Vaccine Developed So Quickly?

  • Built on previous research into other coronaviruses
  • Scientist around the world collaborated and data sharing
  • mRNA vaccines are developed with readily available materials
  • Governments fast-tracked clinical trials and vaccine approvals

Fast-Tracked Vaccines Are Safe

  • COVID-19 vaccines were put through standard clinical trials
  • Including laboratory trials and 3 phases of clinical trials to determine safety and effectiveness
  • Only 7% of vaccines in preclinical studies succeed
  • Clinical trials have a success rate of 20%
  • Fast-tracked elements will not affect the accuracy of trial results
  • Enrollment and follow-up with patients in clinical trials
  • Submission process and review of application by FDA
  • Data analysis and funding for vaccine research

Despite the facts, misinformation about the COVID vaccine continues to be a problem — 3 in 4 Americans believe misinformation is the biggest obstacle we face today

The Effects Of COVID Vaccines On Your Health

From September to December 2020, hesitancy toward receiving the COVID-19 vaccine fell by 5%.

  • Fact vs Fiction
    • Vaccines 
      • DO NOT
        • Cause autism or damage children or babies
        • Weaken the immune system
      • DO
        • Protect you against infection with COVID-19
        • Protect others by helping build herd immunity
    • COVID Vaccines . . .
      • . . . are mandated
        • There is currently no requirement anywhere in the US
      • . . . aren’t needed if you’ve already been sick
        • You should be vaccinated to prevent reinfection
      • . . . can give you COVID
        • The COVID vaccine doesn’t contain any viral material
      • . . . will end masks and social distancing immediately
        • Full protection may not develop until weeks after the second shots
        • Vaccinated people may still be able to act as asymptomatic spreader

“There is absolutely no way you can get COVID-19 from the vaccine. It is not possible. None of the vaccines being developed use the live virus. There is nothing in the vaccine that could cause COVID-19.”

Dean Blumberg, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Why Are There Multiple Vaccines?

In the U.S., there are 2 currently authorized COVID vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna

Another 3 vaccines are in the final phase of clinical trials:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Janssen
  • Novavax

Researching multiple vaccines at once helped find a solution quickly. Vaccine trials will continue to try find even better solutions.

If approved, additional vaccines would offer unique benefits:

  • AstraZeneca: Can be stored in a refrigerator
  • Janssen: Is administered in a single dose
  • Novavax: May produce a stronger immune response

“Vaccine hesitancy is normal and understandable. Our brains are naturally hesitant to accept change and mistrustful of most paths towards change, even when it’s change we want! The same hesitancy – leading to anger, refusal and even conspiracy theories – occurred when auto manufacturers started installing seatbelts in cars. When adults experience these automatic reactions, they often mistake that feeling for “proof” that this is a wrong change or dangerous situation. Look for facts to interrogate your distrust, and positive behaviors to help you manage your discomfort. Don’t let that chemical hesitancy keep you and your loved ones from getting the protection that will save your lives.”

Deborah Gilboa, MD, Resilience Expert & Clinical Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine

How To Get A COVID Vaccine

Who Gets The Vaccine First?

The CDC recommends:

  • 1A: Healthcare workers & long-term care residents
  • 1B: Frontline essential workers & people 75+
  • 1C: Younger people & rest of essential worker population

Individual states can adjust these guidelines as they see fit.

Vaccines will be distributed through:

  • Commercial pharmacies
  • Large chain grocery stores
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Schools Nursing homes & long term care
  • Community centers
  • Local health departments

How Do You Know When You Are Eligible?

Strategies for notifying eligible patients vary across the U.S. — Here’s how to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity.

  • Follow your local health department on social media
  • Watch your state’s coronavirus press conferences
  • Check your state’s Dept of Health & Human Resources website
  • Ask your doctor how they plan to alert you when you’re eligible
  • Ask nearby pharmacies if they have a stand-by list to prevent wasting vaccines
  • Sign up for alerts on behalf of less tech-savvy relatives

How does the vaccine get administered?

  • You will need two doses:
    • Pfizer-BioNTech: 21 days between 1st and 2nd dose
    • Moderna: 28 days between the first and second dose
  • Important to track which vaccine you received to prove eligibility for the 2nd dose.
  • Intramuscular Injections.
  • Vaccine brands should not be mixed and matched.
  • You will not have to pay for the vaccine with or without insurance.
  • Talk to your doctor about complications before receiving the vaccine.

Fight misinformation. Spread just the facts about the COVID vaccine.