Your vaccine questions, answered: I had COVID, ought to I nonetheless


We requested you to inform us your largest questions concerning the COVID-19 vaccines. Listed below are some solutions. USA TODAY

The Meals and Drug Administration on Friday licensed the primary coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, and distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine was underway over the weekend.

Moderna has additionally utilized for emergency use authorization for its two-shot vaccine candidate, and extra corporations are anticipated to use within the coming months. In the meantime this week, Canada and the UK additionally licensed the widespread use of Pfizer’s vaccine.

As vaccines are being produced in report time, what can we find out about these photographs? What are the unwanted effects? Will you be immune? And can it’s a must to take the vaccine as soon as or yearly?

We all know you could have questions, and we’re right here to assist. Ask us your vaccine questions by means of this on-line type, and we’ll communicate with public well being specialists to reply them under.

Here is what we all know:

Is there a vaccine for the coronavirus?

There are greater than 200 vaccine candidates underneath growth, with 52 in medical trials, in response to the World Well being Group. As of late November, Section 3 medical trials had been in progress or being deliberate for 5 vaccines within the U.S., in response to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

The U.S., United Kingdom and Canada have licensed the use of a vaccine developed by drug corporations Pfizer and BioNTech. China and Russia started rolling out their very own vaccines earlier than finishing late-stage medical trials.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine: Key committee endorsement paves approach for clearance by FDA and vaccinations in US to start

Is the vaccine protected?

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Tuesday launched a 53-page report summarizing knowledge from Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 candidate vaccine trial. The info helps earlier findings that the vaccine is protected and can stop 95% of individuals from changing into sick with COVID-19. .

In case you already had COVID-19, do you have to nonetheless get vaccinated?

Individuals who have had COVID-19 “could also be suggested” to get the vaccine, “as a result of extreme well being dangers related to COVID-19 and the truth that re-infection with COVID-19 is feasible,” in response to the CDC.

In case you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, you could have what’s referred to as pure immunity. Research have proven pure immunity to COVID-19 could final months to years. Immunity from a vaccine is named vaccine-induced immunity, and it is unclear how lengthy which will final.


The COVID-19 vaccine is utilizing new expertise that has by no means been used earlier than in conventional vaccines. Here is how an mRNA vaccine works. USA TODAY

Will the vaccine be protected for youngsters and pregnant ladies?

Traditionally, main vaccines haven’t been examined throughout being pregnant due to considerations that each the pregnant individual and fetus could be in danger for problems. Pregnant and nursing folks weren’t included within the Pfizer/BioNTech research, so there isn’t any knowledge to recommend whether or not they need to keep away from vaccination.

Dr. Peter Marks, who directs the Middle for Biologics Analysis and Analysis on the FDA, stated Saturday that pregnant folks, youngsters and people who are immunocompromised ought to talk about vaccination with their suppliers and “might want to think about on a person foundation.”

In a Dec. 1 assembly of a CDC group that determines how vaccines must be allotted, a number of knowledgeable members stated they anticipated the vaccine could be protected for moms who’re nursing as a result of the virus itself doesn’t appear to cross by means of the mom’s milk.

The Pfizer trial knowledge solely included youngsters ages 16 and up, although the research has since been prolonged to age 12, and can embrace youthful youngsters as quickly as the corporate decides what dose it needs to check on this group. .

Associated: No, the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t trigger infertility in womenmen

What about 16- and 17-year-olds?

Though there’s not as a lot knowledge for this age group as others, officers consider they know sufficient to conclude the advantages of getting vaccinated outweigh the dangers, Marks stated.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds not often get severely unwell with COVID-19, however they do transmit it simply, usually with out displaying signs. And a few in that age group work jobs during which they work together with the general public, comparable to check-out clerks.

What are the unwanted effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Individuals will possible expertise not less than one aspect impact from the COVID-19 vaccine, however medical doctors say that’s regular and you must nonetheless get vaccinated. For the vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech, many trial members endured unwanted effects for a day or two after getting their photographs, significantly the second.

Probably the most generally reported aspect impact amongst vaccine recipients underneath age 55 was a sore arm, adopted by fatigue (60% after the second shot); headache (52% after the second shot); different muscle aches (37%); and chills (35%). About 28% took ache treatment after the primary shot and 45% after the second shot. .

Are you able to get one dose from one vaccine and the second from one other?

The Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines each require two doses, given 21 and 28 days aside, respectively. Because the vaccines differ in composition, storage and time between the 2 doses, specialists say folks should take the identical vaccine for each doses. 

What’s the stage of immunity after one shot?

The vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech was 52% efficient after the primary dose, in response to a latest FDA report. Nevertheless, as a result of everybody obtained a second dose three weeks after the primary, there’s no proof of safety lasting longer than a number of weeks after the primary dose. .

How lengthy will a COVID-19 vaccine be protecting?

There isn’t any knowledge on how lengthy a vaccine shall be protecting. FDA officers had been anticipated to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine within the midst of the pandemic as a result of it is protected and not less than transiently efficient, slightly than withholding it for 2 years to await the standard long-term outcomes required for a full approval. Vaccine corporations intend to observe trial members for 2 years and submit a full software once they have that knowledge. .

When you get vaccinated, can you continue to get sick or unfold the virus?

Sure, it is attainable. The potential vaccines are usually not 100% efficient, so there’s a small likelihood you possibly can encounter the virus and nonetheless get sick. It additionally usually takes “a number of weeks” for the physique to construct immunity after vaccination, which means an individual might be contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 simply earlier than or simply after vaccination and get sick, in response to the CDC.

Even after vaccination, it isn’t clear whether or not somebody may catch the virus that causes COVID-19 and cross it on to another person, even with out changing into unwell. The research designed to check the candidate vaccines solely examined symptomatic infections, not whether or not vaccinated folks may nonetheless be contagious. Which means that people who find themselves vaccinated could be fairly positive that they gained’t develop COVID-19 themselves, however they might nonetheless cross it on to others with out realizing they’re contaminated. Future research will discover this. .

May the vaccine make subsequent infections worse?

There was concern that getting vaccinated towards the coronavirus would possibly trigger a subsequent COVID-19 an infection, as some dengue vaccines have been proven to do for that illness.

The FDA concluded that use of the vaccine has not been widespread sufficient to know for sure, however that “out there knowledge don’t point out a danger of vaccine-enhanced illness, and conversely recommend effectiveness towards extreme illness inside the out there follow-up interval.” The danger does stay over time as immunity towards the illness wanes, the FDA stated, and “must be evaluated additional in ongoing medical trials.” .

Which vaccines shall be just one shot?

Johnson & Johnson is creating a single-dose vaccine. The corporate’s chief scientist stated final month that the corporate expects to have all the info it must file for authorization by February or sooner.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine ‘components?’

Consultants say the components within the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech seems to be fairly normal for a vaccine. They are often organized into 4 primary classes: the lively ingredient (messenger RNA, on this case), fat, sugars and salt. Learn extra on components.

Not one of the vaccines in growth within the U.S. use the “reside” virus that causes COVID-19, in response to the CDC. A lot of the vaccines underneath growth introduce the “spike” protein discovered on the floor of the virus. They practice the immune system to acknowledge this protein and assault in case of an infection. However each the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rely on a expertise by no means earlier than utilized in a business vaccine: mRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid. Learn extra on mRNA.

What if I’ve had an allergic response prior to now?

About 1.6% of the inhabitants has had a extreme allergic response to meals or one thing within the atmosphere, however they’re eligible to obtain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Marks stated. Solely individuals who have had a extreme allergic response to a earlier dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or one in all its parts mustn’t obtain the vaccine. Websites the place the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are administered will have the ability to deal with allergic reactions, Marks stated.

Two British folks with extreme allergy symptoms apparently had reactions to Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine this week. Allergic reactions weren’t a major drawback within the U.S. trial, during which greater than 20,000 folks obtained two doses of the vaccine. The U.S. trials stored out topics who’ve had extreme allergic reactions.

The place are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines made?

Pfizer has two vegetation making its COVID-19 vaccine, one in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and one in Puurs, Belgium. The corporate has a distribution web site in Nice Prairie, Wisconsin, the place its vaccine is being saved.

Moderna has began producing vaccine at its plant in Norwood, Massachusetts, and it’ll ramp up manufacturing within the subsequent month with assist from contract producer Lonza Biologics, which has a facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

How will the vaccine be shipped?

Cargo of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine includes Pfizer personnel taking five-dose glass vials of vaccine out of subzero freezers and packing them into specifically designed delivery containers, Wes Wheeler, president of International Healthcare at UPS, informed USA TODAY.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is being shipped in insulated containers that maintain between 195 and 975 five-dose vials and are concerning the measurement of a carry-on suitcase. The vials are saved in flat, pizza box-sized compartments, every of which holds 195 vials. A totally loaded thermal container, which is reusable, accommodates 5 of those and weighs about 70 kilos.

Pfizer will ship its vaccine utilizing UPS and FedEx as its predominant distributors. Moderna’s vaccine distribution is being coordinated by McKesson, the nation’s largest medical provide distributor. Every carton may have a GPS tracker permitting it to be situated in real-time wherever on the planet, in addition to a Bluetooth tracker that may find it inside 10 toes inside a UPS facility, stated Wheeler. .

How a lot vaccine is there?

Roughly 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shall be distributed throughout the 50 states within the subsequent few days, Gen. Gustave Perna, co-leader of Operation Warp Velocity in control of logistics, stated Saturday. One other 2.9 doses are being held again to distribute later for the second shot, plus reserves.

Extra vaccine shall be rolled out within the weeks and months to return, with Pfizer and Moderna anticipated to ship a mixed 300 million doses of their vaccines by the center of subsequent 12 months, sufficient to vaccinate practically half the inhabitants of the U.S.  

What’s the vaccine supply schedule?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shall be despatched to to 636 hospitals, clinics and public well being techniques nationwide this week, with 145 websites receiving doses Monday, 425 on Tuesday and the ultimate 66 on Wednesday, Perna stated.

As soon as the preliminary doses have shipped, the system will start common deliveries. Every Thursday, Operation Warp Velocity, the White Home’s coronavirus vaccine initiative, will ask vaccine producers how a lot vaccine they’ve made throughout the week, Paul Ostrowski, who leads provide, manufacturing and distribution for the federal authorities’s Operation Warp Velocity, who walked USA TODAY by means of the method. On Friday, workers will meet and resolve what number of doses could be allotted. States will put of their orders on Saturday and deliveries will occur on Monday morning, he stated.

UPS, FedEx and McKesson all have 24-hour hotlines websites can name if there are supply troubles. As well as, Operation Warp Velocity officers stated they’ll have workers out there at two operations facilities, one in Washington and one in Atlanta, each with 24-hour hotlines. .

How does Operation Warp Velocity observe doses?

Operation Warp Velocity created a software program system referred to as Tiberius that enables states and native jurisdictions to order and observe vaccine. It information all allocations of COVID-19 vaccines to states, territories, cities and federal entities, stated Col. Deacon Maddox, OWS Chief of Plans, Operations and Evaluation. It really works together with the CDC’s Vaccine Monitoring System, generally known as VTrckS, which has been distributing vaccine for youngsters for a decade. .

How a lot does the vaccine price?

Moderna has agreed to supply the U.S. with 200 million doses and Pfizer not less than 100 million by the center of subsequent 12 months, have agreed to supply the U.S. with 100 million doses apiece, already funded by means of federal assist of producing and distribution. Vaccine doses bought with U.S. taxpayer {dollars} shall be given to the American folks for free of charge, in response to the CDC.

“Nevertheless, vaccine suppliers will have the ability to cost administration charges for giving or administering the shot to somebody. Vaccine suppliers can get this payment reimbursed by the affected person’s public or non-public insurance coverage firm or, for uninsured sufferers, by the Well being Sources and Providers Administration’s Supplier Reduction Fund,” the CDC says on its web site.


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