COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

A Timeline of Recent News Surrounding Vaccinations

By Melina Guth

News Editor

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic and the spread of the virus. Not only will the COVID-19 vaccination help keep you from getting COVID-19, it will be a safer way to help build protection according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

As of November 24th, there are five large-scale clinical trials in progress or being planned for AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer vaccines. The following is a timeline accommodating some of the latest news surrounding the pandemic and vaccination efforts.

Saturday, November 28th

With COVID-19 vaccine distribution underway— as well as their demanding transportation and storage requirements, American Airlines has started to conduct trial flights to put its process of shipping vaccines to the test. These trial flights will also be testing the carrying of the thermal packaging that is vital to the successful shipment of these vaccines.

United Airlines has also agreed to take part in this distribution effort.

Monday, November 30th

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses. Pfizer’s booster shot will be given three weeks after the first one and for Moderna’s, four weeks apart. These vaccines use brand new messenger RNA technology as approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the first time. 

Contrary to traditional vaccines, these vaccines will use a snippet of the virus’s genetic code to get cells to build the spike protein on the surface of the Coronavirus, teaching the immune system to recognize the virus.

Tuesday, December 1st

Meanwhile, hospitals prepare to take on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention panel plans to vote Tuesday on the specific groups that should receive the vaccines first. Public health officials and medical experts have said that health-care workers and high-risk populations should be on that priority list.

As different and effective vaccination methods are ruled out, such as drive-thru’s and appointment only vaccine injections, CVS and Walgreens prepare to be amongst the first pharmacies to administer COVID-19 shots if emergency use is authorized by the FDA. However, these vaccinations would take place in long-term care facilities rather than retail stores according to CVS and Walgreens.

Wednesday, December 2nd

Many recipients of the COVID-19 vaccination have described it as something similar to the flu vaccine only, these new vaccines such as the Moderna and Pfizer require two doses. After the second dose, recipients have reported side effects such as fever, fatigue, and chills.

Thursday, December 3rd

With a large number of Americans expressing concerns about getting vaccinated and the effects of the fairly new vaccinations, former presidents Obama, Clinton, and Bush announced that they’d receive the shots in order to help prove their safety. 

The U.S. experiences the highest number of daily deaths due to coronavirus. Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. has set the records of the highest number of daily deaths, new infections, and hospitalization.

Saturday, December 5th

Currently, it is unclear whether or not vaccination will be mandated, but health officials have said that it is unlikely that this will occur. If someone is to refuse the vaccine, they cannot be forced into being vaccinated.

Tuesday, December 8th

The U.S exceeds 15 million cases Tuesday, more than anywhere else in the world by a large margin. Additionally, the U.S. has declined to buy more Pfizer vaccines. It is believed that this is because the government wanted to diversify the number of companies it agreed to purchase option agreements with.

President Trump has signed an executive order that attempts to give Americans priority for Covid-19 vaccines.

Wednesday, December 9th

Governor Larry Hogan has announced that he and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will be receiving COVID-19 vaccinations publicly as soon as they are available to them. Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary for public health with the Maryland Department of Health said that the first priority group to receive the vaccine will include health care workers, long-term facility care staff and first responders.

This is only for phase 1A in Maryland’s vaccination plans. Phase 1B of these plans will accommodate people with higher risk and/or underlying conditions and adults in congregate settings.

Hogan and his team say they hope to have 155,000 people fully immunized by early January. 

Thursday, December 10th

The U.S. hits a record high 3,140 COVID-19 related deaths in one day and on Wednesday, a record 106,000 Americans are hospitalized as intensive care units run out of beds. 

Sunday, December 13th

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved by the FDA and can now be administered as vaccines are prepared to be shipped to all 50 states. 

Monday, December 14th

Amongst the first people to receive vaccination for COVID-19 is an ICU nurse from New York, Sandra Lindsay. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar upon witnessing a few of the first doctors and nurses receive vaccination at George Washington University Hospital has said, “We do not have herd immunity. The strategy for herd immunity in the United States is vaccine-induced herd immunity.”

Tuesday, December 15th

The FDA finds the Moderna vaccine ‘highly effective’ with a 94.1% effectivity rate. The Moderna vaccine may be the first of several others expected to accommodate U.S. vaccine supplies after the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccines are distributed to the public this week.

A review of the Moderna vaccine by the FDA found that there are “no specific safety concerns.”

Friday, December 17th

A second vaccine moves closer to U.S. authorization as virus deaths and cases set records. Congress members and Supreme Court justices will get early vaccinations.

Interested in seeing where you stand in the vaccine line? Check out this quick survey by The New York Times, here. Your place in line will depend on your job, age, and health.

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