Spotlights

Learn more about additional health topics and resources!

 

COVID-19 VACCINE

MECHANISM OF ACTION 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first-ever approved ones that use RNA to generate an immune response! Here's how they work:

 

 1. Once injected, the vaccine carries copies of the mRNA to make the spike protein present in the COVID -19 virus. mRNA is like the biological blueprint/recipe that the COVID-19 virus would normally use to replicate. 

2. The mRNA is engulfed by our bodies' dendritic cells - a type of immune cell that processes foreign material. After engulfing the mRNA particle, they use it to create copies of the COVID-19 spike protein. 

3. Once the protein particles are created, the dendritic cell will present these foreign particles on their surface to another type of immune cell known as the T cell.

4. T cells can develop an immune response to the protein. If someone gets exposed to the COVID-19 virus, the immune system is prepared to fight the infection and prevents the virus from entering our bodies' cells. 

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TIMELINE OF DEVELOPMENT

The COVID-19 vaccine was developed fast, and it's understandable to have some concerns about the safety of a new vaccine. However, the steps taken to develop this vaccine quickly still ensure complete safety. 

Normal Timeline

PRECLINICAL & PHASE I TRIALS:       1-10 years

PHASE 2 CLINICAL TRIALS:                   2-3 years

PHASE 3 CLINICAL TRIALS:                   2-4 years

An additional few years are necessary to go through the regulatory approval process and scale-up manufacturing and distribution infrastructure

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COVID-19 Timeline

PRECLINICAL & PHASE I TRIALS:      2-3 months

PHASE 2 CLINICAL TRIALS:                 2-4 months

PHASE 3 CLINICAL TRIALS:                 6-9 months

Vaccines were proven to be safe in animals quickly, so human testing commenced rapidly. There are two main reasons that allowed the COVID-19 vaccine to be developed quickly:

 

1. Because of the high amount of infection due to the pandemic, finding individuals to participate in clinical studies was not time-consuming. 

 

2. Manufacturing, storage, and distribution mechanisms were built before a vaccine was found, taking away the time needed to create infrastructure. 

DISTRIBUTION OF VACCINE

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Domestic Distribution

The CDC recommends that states distribute the vaccine domestically in various phases:

Phase 1A: Healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents.

Phase 1BFrontline essential workers and people aged 75 years and older.

Phase 1C: People aged 65-74 and people aged 16-64 with underlying medical conditions.

Phase 2: People aged 16 and over who are not in phase 1 and are recommended for vaccination. 

International Distribution

The wealthiest countries have secured large quantities of vaccines whereas almost 90% of the world has almost no access to the vaccines. The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) coordinated by the World Health Organization aims at global equitable access to vaccines by distributing 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 to all participating countries. 

COMMON VACCINE MYTHS

Myth 1: The COVID-19 vaccine is not safe bc it was developed rapidly.

 

Fact: Pharmaceutical companies invested higher into COVID-19 vaccine development due to the severity of the disease, allowing for it to be developed faster. This does not mean companies bypassed safety protocols. 
 

Myth 2: I already had COVID-19 so I don't need the vaccine

 

Fact: There is not enough information available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from re-infection. People should not get vaccinated if in quarantine after exposure to or have symptoms of COVID-19. Those that had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until approximately 90 days from diagnosis.

Myth 3: COVID-19 vaccines have severe/permanent side effects

 

Fact: Side effects are short-term, mild, or moderate reactions that resolve without complication or injury. The side effects are indicators that your immune system is responding to the vaccine.

Myth 4: More people will die as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine than would die from the virus.

 

Fact: Circulating on social media is a myth that COVID-19's mortality rate is 1-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. A 1% mortality rate is 10x more lethal than the seasonal flu. Furthermore, you cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines.  

Myth 5: The COVID-19 vaccine injects microchip tracking tech into our brains.

 

Fact: There is NO vaccine microchip and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal info into a database. This myth was started after comments made by Bill Gates about a digital certificate of vaccine records. This technology was not a microchip and has not been implemented in any manner or tied to the development, testing, or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

NYC VACCINE INFORMATION

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