There are currently two vaccines — the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine — which have been approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) for healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. With distribution of the vaccines underway, you may have questions regarding the safety and timeline surrounding delivery of these specific vaccines. Below we have highlighted helpful information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Are mRNA Vaccines?
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, several vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. However, mRNA vaccines are different as they teach our cells how to make a protein, or piece of protein, that triggers an immune response in our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the virus does enter our bodies.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines.
Are the Vaccines Safe?
Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades, which can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means the process can be standardized and scaled up, making vaccine development faster than traditional methods.
mRNA vaccines have been held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards as all other previously approved types of vaccines in the United States. The only COVID-19 vaccines the Food and Drug Administration will make available for use in the United States (by approval or emergency use authorization) are those that meet these standards.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have both been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as they both meet these standards. It is important to note that according to the CDC, you cannot contract the virus because mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution & Administration Timeline
Ultimately, the goal is that everyone who is able and wishes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 receives two doses of one of the two authorized vaccines. Due to the limited quantities of the vaccines, distribution is based on priority and eligibility criteria determined by the Federal Government, State Governments, and local jurisdictions. With that said, it will likely still require months before distribution will reach the general public.
As additional vaccines are developed and reviewed for approval, trust the Creative Benefits, Inc. team to provide pertinent updates. In the meantime, we encourage you to review the CDC’s guidelines for who should receive vaccination priority and continue to follow their recommendations to keep yourself and those around you safe.
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