Author: Sara Habibipour
Within the past few days, there have been MAJOR COVID-19 vaccine updates.
Here's what you need to know:
After recent FDA approval, the Pfizer vaccine is ready to be rolled out in the United States.
Just yesterday, the FDA approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, making the US the sixth country (after Britain, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Mexico) to issue the vaccine. Other countries within the European Union are expected to authorize the vaccine within the next few days as well.
Pfizer has a deal with the US to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine by next March (The New York Times). Under this contract, the vaccine will be made free to the public (it is possible that clinics can still charge "administration fees," though).
The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are reserved for healthcare workers. We can expect to see these first vaccinations occur within the next 24 hours. The CDC also voted recently to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for people age 16 and older after these first vaccinations to healthcare workers (CNN).
The UK started the execution of its mass vaccination program this week
Margaret Keenan, soon to turn 91, was the first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine as a part of the UK's mass vaccination program. "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year, after being on my own for most of the year," says Keenan (BBC).
Two of the first people to be vaccinated in the UK had an allergic reaction following the injection, prompting new guidance warning those with a history of significant allergic reactions (particularly anaphylaxis) to avoid the Pfizer vaccine. A second dose should not be given to anyone who has experienced anaphylaxis.
If you haven't experienced anaphylaxis and/or don't have serious allergies to foods/medicines, then it is still highly recommended by experts to get the vaccine.“Anaphylaxis is a known, although very rare, side effect with any vaccine. Most people will not get anaphylaxis and the benefits in protecting people against Covid-19 outweigh the risks,” said June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency) (BBC).
Dr. Fauci hopes to instill public confidence by getting publicly vaccinated
As a way to build public confidence in the federal government’s vaccine program, Dr. Fauci told The New York Times on Friday that he intends to “get vaccinated publicly, in the public space, so that people can see me getting vaccinated,” as soon as “the vaccine becomes available to me.”
Trump's Administration to Buy another 100 million doses of the Moderna Vaccine
Trump's administration announced on Friday that they are buying another 100 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered between April and June, which will boost the number of people who can be vaccinated by 50 percent, to 150 million Americans (The New York Times). Although amazing news, we still don't know how the other 180 million Americans will get the vaccine.
No vaccine supply had been secured for the second quarter of 2021. Officials had recently asked Pfizer to sell the US another 100 million doses, but Pfizer had said it could not meet that demand until about June. This new deal, however, indicates that Moderna is able to cover at least some of the gap.