What are the vaccines currently available to prevent serious complications from the COVID-19 infection?
There are now three vaccines with FDA EUA approval:
RNA Vaccines-require TWO shots (Pfizer 3 weeks apart and Moderna 4 weeks apart)
DNA Vaccine-requiring ONE shot
Johnson & Johnson
How do they work?
The New York Times has done a great job explaining how the COVID-19 vaccines work:
Which vaccine is right for me?
We are so fortunate to have three vaccines in this country to combat COVID-19. Currently, due to problems with availability, most people will not have a choice of which vaccine they receive. All three have minor advantages and disadvantages. However, what is most important to understand is they all have data to support reducing the severity of disease and likely will decrease transmission of the virus to your friends, loved ones, colleagues, and the general community.
How do I get a vaccine?
Currently, only Group 1A is Eligible in Pennsylvania:
-Long-term care facility residents
-Health care personnel
-Persons ages 65 and older
-Persons aged 16-64 with high-risk conditions causing an increased risk for severe disease:
• Chronic kidney disease
• Down Syndrome
• Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
• Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
• Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
• Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
• Sickle cell disease
• Type 2 diabetes mellitus
If you are currently in the above group, have not yet received your immunization, and a patient of FSIM please let us know and we will add you to our list at Main Line Health and a local pharmacy we have a relationship with. Additionally, please continue to try to sign up at your local pharmacy, the big retail pharmacies (Rite Aid and CVS), your home or workplace's County Health Department, or in some state's (e.g. New Jersey) regional vaccination centers.
In Pennsylvania, a great resource of additional vaccine providers is the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution web page.
If you have specific questions about your individual circumstances, please call our office and schedule an appointment.
Dr. Staid and the FSIM team.