Is the Coronavirus Vaccine Safe? How Can I Get A Vaccine in Texas?
January 23, 2021
January 23, 2021
COVID-19 updates are changing rapidly, and we are working hard to provide accurate, timely information for our patients. This article’s information is current – effective January 18, 2021, with new developments posted in future articles.
The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is currently being rolled out, giving many people hope for the future after months of this pandemic. Illness and business shutdowns have an undeniable impact on society, which is why the vaccine production has been a priority so we can return to normal activities once again.
Several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the United States, which is a major milestone in the pandemic. The administration of this vaccine can provide protection, helping people avoid getting sick when coming in contact with the virus.
With the fast-tracked creation of a COVID-19 vaccine and misinformation online, it’s no surprise that people are asking questions about the safety and quality of this treatment.
Today we are sharing information about the vaccine’s safety, offering peace of mind to people who want to know about the development and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Safety is a Top Priority
Federal agencies have been working hand-in-hand with vaccine manufacturers, ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Since the vaccine is being distributed to millions of people in the United States, the development has been focused on the population’s safety.
Here is an overview of key safety practices that have been implemented through the development and authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Testing Procedures: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has outlined rigorous standards that must be met by all vaccine developers. Every vaccine must go through four phases of testing for safety and effectiveness before it is distributed.
- Emergency Use Authorization (EUA): Because of the severity of the pandemic, the vaccine can be made available for EUA – but only if the above FDA safety and effectiveness standards are met. This EUA is a temporary authorization for the use of medication or vaccines in emergency situations.
- Ongoing Monitoring: While the vaccines were widely tested among volunteers, it’s crucial to maintain diligence about continuous monitoring. Now that the vaccine is authorized, systems are in place to track side effects and potential problems that weren’t detected in the clinical trials. The CDC has expanded the vaccine monitoring system to identify and address any concerns.
Rest assured, knowing that the strictest measures are being followed to ensure the safety of everyone who receives the vaccine.
Potential Concerns from the COVID-19
The good news is that no serious safety concerns have emerged through the vaccine trials. Moderna and Pfizer are the first two authorized vaccines in the United States, and both of these manufacturers have independent boards to monitor safety.
Experts review this safety data in the industry, and the FDA oversees everything.
The risks and side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are minimal. Here are some of the potential things that might occur after the vaccine:
- Common Side Effects: As with other types of vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine might cause common side effects such as fever, muscle pain, discomfort at the shot administration site, headache, and fatigue. These symptoms are temporary and will go away after a few days.
- Allergies: People with severe allergies might have a response to the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have any type of allergies, talk to your doctor first. The CDC is not recommending people with severe allergies to receive this vaccine right now.
- Pregnancy and Children: Additional testing is needed before the vaccine is administered to children or pregnant women.
As with any vaccine or treatment, only look to trusted sources for information. Your doctor or the official CDC website are reliable sources with substantiated data about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Effective?
Both Pfizer and Moderna have authorized vaccines that are being used in the United States, with ongoing developments to ensure these vaccines are readily available going forward.
After thorough testing, these manufacturers report a high efficacy for the vaccines: the results report a 95% efficacy for preventing mild and severe COVID-19 symptoms.
So far, this vaccine’s efficacy appears to apply to people of all ages, sexes, and ethnic groups.
Years of Research for Fast Development
Even though the COVID-19 vaccine was developed in a relatively short time frame, this type of vaccine has been years in the making. Researchers have been working on vaccines for various Coronavirus strains for a long time. The manufacturing process was already in place and just needed adjustments to meet the unique requirements of the COVID-19 vaccine.
One of the reasons the vaccine development happened so quickly is open communication with top experts worldwide. The brightest minds have been working together using shared genetic information immediately when the virus was detected.
Even though the schedule was fast-tracked, manufacturers didn’t skip any steps in the testing process. Government funds provided resources for the vaccine developers, so money was available to complete multiple stages of the testing process simultaneously.
Additionally, the widespread nature of COVID-19 meant that many of the trial volunteers were exposed to the virus quickly after receiving the vaccine. So, the data could be gathered faster than usual because so many exposures were happening.
It takes time to get authorization. Because of the emergency situation, vaccine manufacturers ramped up production before approval, ensuring supplies would be available when the authorization was signed.
How to Get a Vaccine in Texas?
Vaccines are limited right now, but the healthcare industry is working hard to offer vaccines as soon as they are available.
Because of the limited supply, vaccines are currently being administered in phases to the people who are at the highest risk:
- Frontline healthcare workers
- People over the age of 65+
- Anyone over the age of 16+ with a health condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 complications
As more doses become available, then the expansion of the vaccine program will be available to the general population in the coming months.
What to Know When You Get a Vaccine
For the foreseeable future, the CDC is asking everyone to maintain safety precautions – regardless of vaccination. Ongoing studies are needed to determine if the vaccine effectively prevents people from passing the virus to other people.
After you have received the vaccine, health officials ask that you continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing to avoid spreading COVID-19 to the estimated 5 – 10% of the population who don’t receive the effectiveness of this vaccine.
Changing Pandemic Circumstances
Throughout the pandemic, it’s been essential to stay current with the news reports and health department announcements about the newest changes. Things are moving fast, and your doctor can help you stay current with availability.
For example, the Texas Department of State Health Services shares Twitter updates about how residents can sign-up for a COVID-19 vaccine. When you are in an eligible group for vaccination, you must work through an approved vaccine provider to get the shot.
Ongoing Health Support Through the Pandemic
At Rapid Med Urgent Care, we are proactive about staying current through the pandemic. If you have questions about vaccinations or medical care, then contact us at any time. We offer walk-in appointments, or you can schedule an On-Demand appointment for telemedicine services from an experienced doctor.