COVID vaccine: Who is eligible and when does protection begin?

The majority of public health officials are confident that 2021 will turn the tide in their struggle to suppress the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Much of this confidence owes itself to recent vaccine candidates, namely Pfizer’s (developed jointly with BioNtech), Oxford-AstraZeneca’s, Covaxin’s, and Moderna’s.

In order to be protected from COVID-19, patients will need to receive two shots at varying intervals. It is estimated that vaccination may not protect a recipient until a week or two after their second shot.

Although all of the manufacturers listed above have produced extremely high efficacy rates, inoculation has been complicated by a new coronavirus mutation that appears to be more transmissive than previously reported variants. The new strain, labeled VUI – 202012/01 by the World Health Organization, has made its way to 30 countries including the US.

This new development has inspired a row among medical professionals with some saying follow-up shots should be delayed so that more demographics can be deemed eligible to receive a prime one.

You may be counted among one of these in the coming months, so here’s what you need to know.

“Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, you may have questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. These tips will help you know what to expect when you get vaccinated, what information your provider will give you, and resources you can use to monitor your health after you are vaccinated,” new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC0 reports.

“Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work. Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. When you get the vaccine, you and your healthcare worker will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines. Learn more about protecting yourself during visits to the doctor or a pharmacy.”

According to the literature, once you’ve received the first of two shots, a health care professional will provide you with a printout containing data on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and the location at which you received it.

“You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine,” the authors continued.

Ask your healthcare provider about getting started with v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one.”

In the US, vaccine reservation websites have been crashing so frequently, elderly communities have begun camping out overnight to wait in line. Data indicates that this confluence has surged coronavirus cases in some regions.

The following populations are currently deemed priorities with respect to inoculation:

  • People 70 years old and older.
  • Patients on dialysis and staff at dialysis facilities.
  • Home health care patients and workers.
  • Workers at outpatient health care facilities, such as doctor’s offices, clinics, outpatient surgery centers, diagnostic testing facilities, dental offices and behavioral health clinics.
  • Students, residents and staff at schools focused on health care, such as respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, physicians’ assistant and more.

Some countries are looking to expand this list, against the behest of Pfizer and BioNtech.

“The safety and efficacy of the vaccine have not been evaluated on different dosing schedules as the majority of trial participants received the second dose within the window specified in the study design,” the companies explained.“There is no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.”

State officials have generally allowed the honor system to determine who is eligible for vaccine shots this method will soon be enhanced with a comprehensive app called PhaseFinder.

“This tool will help with all the questions we’re getting from people about which phase I’m in, where can I get the vaccine? explained Mary Huynh, a deputy director at the state Department of Health during a meeting of the state’s vaccine advisory committee last Thursday. “It’s all self-reported. It’s all trust-based. We really wanted to relieve the burden of the vaccination site to have to assess phase eligibility. It’s just an awkward conversation. The hospitals have been pretty clear that they don’t want to be the vaccine police.”