Two vaccines have been given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA recently. There is enough data on their use to show they each have 95% efficacy in preventing symptomatic illness from the novel virus SARS-CoV-2, known commonly as COVID 19.
They are the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Each have a similar mechanism in stimulating immunity. The protein on the surface of the COVID virus capsule is what interacts with our cells to allow entry of the virus into our cells and thus cause illness. A copy of that protein is what makes the vaccine work. It “teaches” our immune system to recognize the virus and builds up our immunity against it.
The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County has contacted outpatient doctor’s offices and is in the process of enrollment to obtain vaccine for the public. The Moderna vaccine is easier to store as it does not require super cooling and thereby improves its’ use in, and for, the general public. There are other types of vaccines being developed at this time but they have not yet completed their study trials. The current available vaccines have shown that the benefit of taking them greatly exceeds what risk is involved, thus protecting us from this vigorous virus.
The State of Florida and the Governor are in charge of distributing the vaccines, and should be doing so as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ACIP guidelines. They are stratified to first go out to healthcare personnel, first responders, residents of skilled nursing facilities and their staffs.
This Press Release from the Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report of December 20, 2020 reviews the framework for distribution https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm695152e2-H.pdf
What We Don’t Know
When exactly, they will be available. The Department of Health is in the process of analyzing the demographics of the community for healthy distribution of the vaccine. This will determine who, gets what, and how many. The current timeline is not known as it is a massive undertaking, but the fact that it is moving as it is, is a positive sign. Everyone knows that time is of the essence.
What We Are Doing
The office is keeping abreast of the latest notices of the entire process. We receive daily updates from the hospitals, the Public Health Department and medical organizations and are planning doctor and staff vaccination. More information will follow as it becomes available and as we develop a safe plan for administration of the vaccine.
In the meantime, IT IS IMPERATIVE to not let your guard down now, at the most critical point.
LIMIT large gatherings. Use a MASK. Maintain your DISTANCE. WASH your hands.
It is actually little to do for the benefit of avoiding the risk of the illness.
Feel free to call me if you have specific questions. This is GOOD NEWS.
Getting vaccinated against this scourge will improve our tomorrows.
Have a safe holiday in order to prepare for the holidays to come.