COVID-19 Vaccine Basics

Vaccinations have always been a topic of debate. The newest COVID-19 vaccine is no different.

On Monday, Sara Lindsay became one of the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. “It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine…I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe,” Lindsay said to Time magazine. But despite the reassuring statement from medical professionals and vaccine recipients, many people are still skeptical of the vaccine. So in order to try and quell any worries, here’s everything to know about the COVID-19 vaccination.

The first COVID vaccine that has currently been approved in the United States is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination. It was approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. It is currently being used on healthcare workers and people living in long-term care facilities.

According to The Guardian, the Pfizer vaccine is what’s called an mRNA vaccine. It contains the instructions for a coronavirus protein called the “spike”. The body responds to the “spike” by activating the immune system and in turn, offering protection against the virus.

The injection is also on a two-dose regimen according to the CDC. The second injection is received three weeks after the first.

Vaccines can also come with some minor side effects. These side effects mirror flu symptoms, but are completely normal and should disappear within a few days. To ease any concerns people have about these side effects the CDC created a smartphone health checker called V-safe. V-safe is for recipients of the vaccine to report their wellbeing after their injections.

Due to the limited supply of the vaccine many Americans will not be able to receive the vaccine until 2021. BBC stated that only 150 hospitals have received the millions of doses, but Pfizer has agreed to a deal to supply the US with 100 million doses of the vaccine by March.

The COVID vaccine has been a massive point of controversy, but so far health professionals still stand by it 100 percent. 

US Health Secretary Alex Azar told NBC’s Today program “If you are recommended to get it, and it’s available to you – oh, please do get it,” he urged. “Protect yourself and protect those around you. But please, get the vaccine.” 


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