Image of a seated woman receiving an injection.
Enlarge / NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 14: Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Lengthy Island Jewish Medical Heart, is inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester within the Queens borough of New York Metropolis.

Within the wake of optimistic outcomes from large-scale trials, many international locations are adopting the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Pfizer/BioNTech collaboration. That led to a few of the first vaccinations of the final inhabitants final week. Within the US, it took till Friday for the vaccine to obtain an Emergency Use Authorization from the Meals and Drug Company. After that call, shipments of the vaccine began virtually instantly, and stories are actually coming in of the primary vaccinations within the US.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine makes use of a expertise that, whereas not unusual in biology labs, hasn’t been utilized in vaccinations earlier than. The vaccine consists of RNA molecules with a fatty chemical coating. The coat will fuse with the floor of human cells, dumping the RNA inside them, the place it directs the manufacturing of the coronavirus’s Spike protein. As soon as an individual’s cells produce Spike, the immune system reacts to it and turns into primed to guard the particular person from an infection by the precise virus.

Sadly, this formulation requires that the vaccine be saved at very low temperatures throughout transport. Within the US, each FedEx and UPS are offering vehicles geared up to deal with these necessities; American and United Airways are additionally collaborating to get the vaccine to distribution facilities.

For a lot of months, nevertheless, the first limitation on vaccine availability will not be transport however relatively manufacturing capability. Whereas provides are constrained, vaccines shall be given out in accordance with a mix of want and danger. For now, the one ones who ought to be getting doses are well being care employees, who’re at excessive danger of publicity, and the aged, who expertise the worst outcomes from COVID-19.

On Sunday, phrase leaked that the White Home was planning to offer its employees early entry. Whereas the employees is at excessive danger of publicity as a result of administration’s incapability to observe public well being steering, lots of them are already immune resulting from earlier publicity, and others do not fall into an apparent high-risk class. Shortly after stories of the plan grew to become public, nevertheless, President Trump introduced that the plan could be placed on maintain.

In consequence, one of many earliest stories of an individual receiving the vaccine was somebody who ought to be getting it: a well being care employee in Queens, New York, named Sandra Lindsay. Talking afterward, Lindsay made it clear that she was conscious that the vaccine could be briefly provide for months and that the politicization of the pandemic made some hesitant about receiving it. So she used her time within the highlight to encourage vaccination and drive house the significance of following public well being recommendation till that is an possibility for everybody.

We’re in a pandemic, and so all of us have to do our half to place an finish to the pandemic and to not quit so quickly. There’s mild on the finish of the tunnel, however we nonetheless have to proceed to put on our masks, to social distance. I consider in science. As a nurse, my follow is guided by science, and so I belief that. What I do not belief is that if I contract COVID—I do not know the way it will influence me or those that I are available in contact with. So I encourage everybody to take the vaccine.

Given the present prevalence of the virus within the US, widespread vaccination won’t come shortly sufficient to alter the dynamics of the pandemic this winter. In consequence, the nation’s closing loss of life toll from the COVID-19 pandemic shall be closely influenced by our capability to observe public well being recommendation on masks use, social distancing, and different accountable behaviors for the following a number of months. We’re lucky to have Lindsay take her alternative to drive house this message.

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