What to Keep in Mind as COVID-19 Vaccines Become Available to More Americans

Tags: Currents Coronavirus, Health, Health Care, vaccines

Currents News Staff

Health officials continue to say being vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick. But no vaccine works 100 percent of the time.

“I would strongly encourage that we move forward with giving states the opportunity to be more expansive in who they can give the vaccine to particularly as more supplies become available,” said Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

During trials, the current authorized vaccines were shown to be about 95 percent effective, which means some who are vaccinated became symptomatic.

Here’s why: It takes time to build immunity.

Both authorized vaccines require two doses, given several weeks apart to train the body’s immune system.

But people can be exposed to the coronavirus right before being vaccinated, or right after, which doesn’t give the body enough time to develop its defenses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says building immunity “typically takes a few weeks.”

Moderna measured its 95 percent vaccine efficacy starting 14 days after the second dose, while Pfizer started seven days after the second dose.

But let’s be clear: the current coronavirus vaccines cannot infect anyone with the virus.

They don’t contain the virus. But, the CDC says vaccinated people should still use all the tools available. Wear a mask; stay six feet away from others; and wash your hands.

Meanwhile, two different coronavirus vaccines continue to rollout across the U.S. But, as millions of Americans get their vaccinations over the coming months, it’s important to note that anyone who receives a vaccination could still end up getting sick.