As members of the healthcare profession, we should ALL do our part to educate friends, family and coworkers on the safety of the vaccine and importance of being vaccinated and model trust by being vaccinated as soon as we are eligible! The technology behind the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine was developed by an African-American researcher, Kizzmekia Corbett.
It is not a live virus, only genetic information to trigger the body’s immune system, so the expected effects (site pain, fatigue, fever) are the body’s immune system waking up–and those are good signs. The genetic information does not interact with or change the body’s cells and so is safe for pregnant and lactating women. The vaccine is a two-dose regimen, and full efficacy (95%) is not achieved until about 2 weeks after the 2nd dose. The vaccine protects against symptomatic infection, but the virus can still enter the nose and mouth and be spread to others, so mask-wearing and social distancing are still required after vaccine administration.
There is a 4-phase rollout of vaccine availability, and Georgia is still in Phase 1a (high risk healthcare, law enforcement, care facilities, and age 65+). In February, Georgia will roll out a single-site registration process, consolidating existing registration through individual providers and public health departments. This is good news, since West Virginia has a single website to register for the vaccine and ranks 2nd in COVID vaccine administration, by contrast Georgia ranks 33rd among the 50 states tracked for COVID vaccine administration.