With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas fast approaching, many health officials are sounding the alarm. In Rhode Island, officials prepared to use field hospitals after telling residents their systems were already at capacity.
Many people traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, hospitals, already reporting high numbers of cases, are expecting to see a continued surge in COVID-19 cases. As of December 2, 2020, the United States has confirmed more than 13.6 million cases since the pandemic began, with over 270,000 recorded deaths.
With this surge, many states are considering or have implemented new restrictions and have issued updated stay-at-home advisories.
While the next few months will be difficult for many, there is hope and light at the end of this tunnel.
Many pharmaceutical companies have released positive results for a COVID vaccine, and some are now in the hands of the FDA awaiting approval for public use. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working with these companies to make vaccines available, quickly, and safely.
COVID-19 Vaccines – What you need to know
Since the vaccines have been developed and almost ready for distribution and use, many people fear the vaccine was rushed and may not be safe. The CDC recently released information to keep people informed about the vaccine, and the planning protocols.
With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, here are 8 things you need to know about where those plans currently stand.
The information below is directly from the CDC website:
- The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others.
CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. CDC has been in contact with your state public health department to help with your state’s planning. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are critical to making sure vaccines are available to communities.
- At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization.
Learn more about Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.
- There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
- If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first.
Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.
- At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children.
In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future.
- Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone.
- COVID-19 vaccine planning is being updated as new information becomes available.
CDC will continue to update this website as plans develop.
We’re Here to Help
In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:
COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.
COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.
COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies
If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.