Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine? - Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc.
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Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Who Will Be the First to Receive the Covid-19 Vaccine?

As this is being written, the first round of British citizens has received a new COVID-19 vaccine by the Pfizer company. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the same vaccine could be shipped to the U.S. by mid-December 2020. Another vaccine by the Moderna company is also in line for approval. If all works out, both vaccines will be in use by January. The question is, who gets the first round of vaccines in the United States?

Two elderly people were the first to receive the vaccine in the UK (Britain). The US, however, plans to take a slightly different path with the first rollout of immunizations. Instead, US healthcare workers, who are considered at the highest risk for contracting covid-19, will receive the first round of vaccines along with residents of nursing homes and long-term healthcare facilities. Residents of these facilities have so far accounted for 39% of deaths caused by Covid-19 in the US. 

What We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines So Far

At this time, both Pfizer and Moderna have vaccines at the ready to be distributed upon authorization by the FDA. When approved, the first doses will be shipped out within 24 hours. Both vaccines will require a second dosage. Pfizer’s vaccine requires a boost three weeks after the first dose. Similarly those who receive the Moderna vaccine will need a second dose after four weeks. 

Who will Decide Who Gets the COVID-19 Vaccine First?

Choosing which healthcare workers will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a decision that will be left up to each state. Right now, each state has a designated group of experts deciding who is at the highest risk. Some states may elect to vaccinate critical care nurses and physicians along with respiratory therapists and other workers who risk the most exposure to the virus. Others could decide to vaccinate their oldest healthcare workers first along with those working the frontlines. At this time, Mississippi plans to issue the first round of vaccines to frontline healthcare workers. 

After frontline workers and long-term care residents have been vaccinated, essential workers will be the next to receive the vaccine. Essential workers include but are not limited to employees in law enforcement, emergency response, food and agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and education. Some states may prioritize certain industries that have been more affected. Arkansas, for example, intends to prioritize poultry workers, who have taken a hard hit during the pandemic. Each state will make these decisions based on its individual needs and demands. 

Adults with medical conditions that place them at a higher risk for serious illness as well as adults over 65 will be the next group to get immunized. Some states may elect to prioritize vaccinating elderly over 75 first. After that, the vaccine will be open to all healthy adults in the US by May or June if all goes accordingly. 

What You Can Do Now to Protect Yourself

By publication of this article, the first rollout of vaccines should be available in the US. However, it will still be months before all of those at risk of the virus can receive the vaccine. That means we must continue to wear masks and socially distance from one another until the vaccine is readily available to all. Continue to avoid large gatherings and be smart when you must go out in public. If you develop symptoms, quarantine yourself from others immediately, and contact your healthcare provider to schedule a testing appointment. 

Mantachie Rural Healthcare is available Monday through Friday. If you are sick and need an appointment with us, dial 662-282-4226. 

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