Updates on the Vaccine


Torsten Simon

Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine are ready to be distributed.

After months of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine is finally here and is being distributed nationwide. The FDA has approved emergency use of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. They are being produced at an extremely quick rate, with Moderna increasing their production. The federal government is working to secure as many of these as they can. The vaccine currently has a 95% effectiveness rate.

Both vaccines come in two doses, with a waiting period between each dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires a 21 day gap in between the first and second doses. The Moderna vaccine requires a 28 day interval between the first and second doses. Many people around the country have been worried about potential side effects of the vaccines, but the CDC assures that all side effects are perfectly normal. They say to expect swelling and pain at the site of injection, as well as fever, chills, tiredness, or a headache. The CDC states that this is just the body building up immunity to the virus and is nothing to be concerned about. However, they also stated that the first dose is not adequate protection against the virus; one must get both doses for the vaccine to be effective.

The distribution of the vaccines has been going pretty smoothly. In Utah, the vaccines are now available for healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, Utahns over 70 years of age, and K-12 teachers and school staff. To get the vaccine in Utah, one must schedule an appointment at any of the locations it is being given. The next step for distribution is getting the vaccine to other age groups, people with underlying health conditions, and those who live in congregate settings and are at higher risk for getting the virus.

The rollout of the vaccines by the US government has been under scrutiny. Former president Donald Trump promised that there would be at least 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020, but in actuality there were less than 3 million people who received the vaccine. As of January 20th, about 16.5 million vaccines have been distributed. Current president Joe Biden promises to improve the distribution, and has been working to launch a new plan regarding the coronavirus altogether.