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Drew: What to know about the COVID – 19 vaccines

By Samuetta Hill Drew

After nearly a year of a surprise attack by a global pandemic invasion named COVID-19, relief seems to be on the way with the two newly created vaccines.
Currently, two vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine which appear to be the world’s answer to fighting this dreaded pandemic.
Both vaccines have now received federal authorization. Limited vaccine distribution has begun to the states. Both vaccines are being used in other parts of the globe, as well.
A month-long safety series will be devoted to information about the two vaccines and their planned public distribution. A majority of the information will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Note the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations for which groups should be vaccinated first. Supplies are scheduled to increase over time. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available.
Operation Warp Speed, a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense, has been working since the pandemic started. The CDC has not had any role in the development of the vaccines, but they do work with other federal departments and Operation Warp Speed to discuss the vaccines’ distribution along with other important factors.
Operation Warp Speed is under our current administration and is subject to change after the inauguration of our newly elected president who has stated the pandemic will be his highest priority. Therefore, these articles will focus on current vaccines known facts as well as any pertinent updates.
It is important to know that vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to Americans at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company, or for uninsured patients by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
While waiting for the vaccine roll out, everyone should continue to practice proven COVID-19 safety measures. These safety measures include wearing your masks when around others. Your mask should cover your mouth and nose. You should continue to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others and wash your hands frequently. If washing your hands is not possible, then use hand sanitizer with the recommended alcohol content. Also avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid crowds.
Many first responders have already taken the first of the two required vaccination shots. This effort is the first step in Keeping an COVID-19 Eye on Safety across America.