Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
|Photo: The Conversation|
Below are answers to most frequently asked questions. Regular updates will be made as needed:
When will a vaccine be available?
Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 will be available when they are demonstrated to be safe and efficacious in a large phase 3 clinical trials, have been approved by regulatory authorities (the Food and Drug Administration in the United States), and have been manufactured and distributed to places where people can be vaccinated.
To demonstrate efficacy, sufficient differences in disease must be observed between those who received the viral vaccine and those who received the placebo or comparison vaccine in phase 3 clinical trial. This depends on the likelihood of infection in places where the studies are conducted but can take from several months to years. Once sufficient data are available to be confident that the vaccine is efficacious, and no evidence of serious adverse events is identified, a rigorous and transparent approval process should take place.
According to University of Medicine Johns Hopkins, manufacturing capacity has already been developed for some vaccines and vaccine distribution systems are being put in place. However, because of limited quantities of vaccine, some groups of people will be offered the vaccine first.
Who will be the first to receive the vaccine once it is available?
The first groups of people to be vaccinated will include the following:
1. Nursing home residents and residents of homes for people with intellectual disabilities, the staff of these homes and the residents’ caregivers
2. People aged 60 and above with certain medical conditions (starting with the oldest age groups)
3. People aged 60 and above with no specific medical conditions (starting with the oldest age groups)
4. People aged below 60 with certain medical conditions
5. Health and care professionals who work with the above groups
6. Health and care professionals who have direct contact with COVID‑19 patients.
|Photo: The Conversation|
The more vaccines there are on the market, the more people can be vaccinated, as cited by government.nl.
How much will it cost to get vaccinated?
According to DHEC, the federal government will cover the cost of the vaccine. It is possible that health care providers may charge an office visit fee, or a fee to administer the vaccine. Health insurance most likely will cover these fees.
DHEC will work with other state agencies to understand and address insurance-related barriers, and how to make the vaccine accessible at no cost to people without health insurance.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects. These are typically minor, such as a sore arm or low-grade fever, and go away within a few days. As with all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines will not be approved until clinical trials have taken place that shows they are both safe and effective. Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people show they worked as intended with no serious side effects.
How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed and do I need to wear a mask after vaccination?
All but one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States need two shots to be effective. The other COVID-19 vaccine uses one shot.
According to CDC, it is recommended that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask.
Should children get the vaccine?
Children will not be a priority group for a vaccine early in vaccine deployment but will likely be eligible as vaccine availability improves. The major vaccine clinical trials are currently focused on enrolling adults, and as they expand, the inclusion of children in vaccine clinical trials will produce data on safety and efficacy that can be applied to children.
While children are less likely to develop severe disease and die from Covid-19, there are several reasons for ensuring that eventually there is a vaccine that is safe for children.
|Photo: NBC News|
If I already had Covid-19, should I still get a vaccine?
When people recover from some viral infections, such as measles or mumps, they are protected against reinfection and would not need to be vaccinated. However, for other diseases, such as pneumococcal pneumonia or influenza, it is important to be vaccinated (or revaccinated) despite having the disease because the vaccine protects against several strains or types of the pathogen and thus can still be valuable.
In the case of COVID-19, there is no official answer, if protection only lasts for several months, vaccination could be of benefit.
*For more information about COVID-19, please check out our KnowInsider!
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