The phrase — “we have a COVID-19 vaccine” are words most Americans have been patiently waiting to hear since March 12, 2020. Well, we have good news for you. The FDA has now approved two vaccines for emergency use to halt the spread of COVID-19. There are so many sources of information in today’s world, McGohan Brabender wanted to put together an informational blog post with the most up-to-date news. It’s important to keep in mind that this situation is constantly evolving, and new information is being released continuously. Here is what we know so far.
On December 12, 2020, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization in the United States. The next day, companies such as FedEx and UPS put together a heroic effort to distribute these vaccines across the country. It is expected that Ohio will be granted 100,000 doses of the vaccine the week of December 14th. Among the hospitals near the Dayton, Ohio region that will receive the vaccine are Mercy Health-Springfield Regional Medical Center, as well as the UC Medical Center. It is expected that the state of Ohio will be granted 200,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 22nd. 1,800 of those doses being shipped to Kettering Health Network. In addition to the shipment being provided to Kettering Health, Premier Health Network is expected to receive anywhere from 5,000-6,000 doses, as well.
The Ohio Department of Health has put together a 4-phase plan to vaccinate those in Ohio that want the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Starting the week of December 14th, Ohio began phase 1 of the vaccination process. The individuals included in this phase of the vaccination process include health care providers, personnel routinely involved with handling COVID-19 patients, residents and staff at nursing home and assisted living facilities, residents and staff of Ohio’s Veterans Homes, patients and staff at psychiatric hospitals, people with intellectual disabilities, and EMS responders. The goal of the phased vaccination program is to vaccinate those most susceptible or widely exposed to the virus daily.
There are meticulous practices that must be followed by administrators of the vaccine to ensure that it is effective. The Pfizer vaccine is a two-shot vaccine that must be administered at two different times. After you receive the first vaccination, you will then return to the doctor 21 days later to receive the second shot. The Moderna vaccine is also a two-shot vaccine that must be administered one month apart from one another.
The Pfizer vaccine must be kept at incredibly low temperatures to ensure the vaccine is effective. To transport these vaccines across the country they have to be stored in ultra-low temperature freezers, or containers filled with dry ice. The vaccines must be kept anywhere between -130 degrees Fahrenheit and -76 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes time for the vaccine to be administered, the vaccine has to be thawed out. There are two options for thawing the vaccine. First, you can thaw the vaccine in a refrigerator kept at 35 degrees Fahrenheit, or you can thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. If the vaccine is thawed using a refrigerator it can be used up to five days later, whereas if you thaw the vaccine at room temperature the vaccine must be used within 2 hours.
The Moderna vaccine is easier to transport because it doesn’t need to be stored at an ultra-cold temperature. The Moderna vaccine must be kept anywhere from -13 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. After the vaccine is thawed, it can be stored in a refrigerator between 36- and 46-degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days.
The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for anyone over the age of 16, with one key caveat. Those who have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines or are allergic to the substances used in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine should wait to receive the vaccine until further studies are conducted. The Moderna vaccine is recommended to anyone over the age of 18, with the same caveat as the Pfizer vaccine. It is important to note that if you receive the Moderna vaccine for your first shot, you must receive the Moderna vaccine for your second shot. The same rule is applied to the Pfizer vaccine.
For those who are still concerned about the vaccine and its method of development, the FDA has put forth substantial resources for those concerned about the validity of the vaccine. If you are interested in reading resources about Pfizer’s vaccine, they can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3oSWlnn. If you are interested in reading resources about Moderna’s vaccine, they can be accessed at https://bit.ly/2LQU6mm. Also, the Ohio Department of Health has put together a list of resources for those interested in learning more about the vaccine. These resources can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3nlT1Rn.
We at McGohan Brabender hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
Stay Positive, Test Negative.