Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has been working diligently to help make coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available as soon as possible. While there are currently no approved vaccines available for COVID-19, it’s anticipated that there will be at least one approved vaccine available by the end of the year. Here’s what you should know about the vaccines.
Safety is a Priority: The United States vaccine safety system works to ensure that all vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are as safe as they can be. Clinical trials are currently being conducted with thousands of participants to determine the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Emergency Use: It’s expected that COVID-19 vaccines will be used under the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization initially.
Specific Groups May Get the Vaccine First: Initially, there will be a limited number of vaccines available. Experts are working on a plan to distribute the vaccines fairly and ethically. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make recommendations on who should receive the vaccine first with the input it receives from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Vaccines Will Become More Readily Available Over Time: Initially, there will be a limited number of vaccines available, but vaccine supply will steadily increase. The goal is to have enough vaccines available for every person as soon as possible. The government aims to have thousands of vaccine providers available, including doctors’ offices, hospitals, retail pharmacies, and federally-qualified health centers.
Vaccine Cost Will Not Be a Problem: Vaccine doses purchased with United States taxpayer money will be given to Americans free of charge. Vaccine providers will be allowed to charge an administration fee for providing the vaccine to someone, though. Providers will recover the cost of administration fees through an individual’s public or private insurance. Providers can receive reimbursement through Human Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund for those who are uninsured.
Many Vaccines Are Being Developed: The CDC is working with organizations at all levels on vaccination programs. It’s anticipated that some vaccines will be ready and available before others. The CDC is working with each state on vaccine planning.
Vaccines May Not Be Recommended for Children: COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for kids at first. That’s because early clinical trials only involved adults who were not pregnant. This recommendation may change in the future as clinical trials expand the type of participants they include.
COVID-19 Vaccine Planning is Continuously Evolving: As new information becomes available, vaccine planning will continue to evolve. The CDC will update its website as further information becomes available.