Effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and the biggest vaccination campaign in history has begun. An end to the pandemic is in sight. Here's what you need to know about the safety, efficacy, and distribution of the vaccine, and what this means for next steps.
How effective are the available COVID-19 vaccines?
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both about 95% effective after two doses. It is unclear, however, if vaccination prevents transmission of the virus, so it is important to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Are the vaccines safe?
Both vaccines have passed rigorous safety reviews by the FDA. Side effects of general discomfort, pain at the injection site, and fevers are common and are evidence of the desired immune response. Serious adverse effects are quite rare, and the risk of these effects is far outweighed by the risk of COVID-19 infection.
When will I be able to get vaccinated?
This depends on a number of factors, including your age, disease risk factors, and employment. It is left to individual states to determine how to most effectively prioritize vaccinations. Check out this Vaccine Allocation Planner Tool to get an idea of how many people may be vaccinated before you in your area.
How will I know when it's my turn?
Healthcare providers as well as local and state governments should find ways to notify you and members of your family when they're eligible for vaccination.
If I've already had COVID-19 infection, do I need to get vaccinated?
There is no official recommendation from the CDC regarding vaccination for those who have recovered from COVID-19 infection. Evidence so far suggests that natural immunity may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.
Call 2-1-1 to be connected to these and other essential health and human resources