12/29/2010 – This document is a synopsis and is not meant to be a substitute for the full information available on KY.gov and CDC websites.
Scope of the pandemic (as of 12/27/20):
- 81 million cases worldwide
- 19.1 million cases in the U.S.
- 1.8 million deaths worldwide
- 333,000 deaths in the U.S.
- Case fatality rate is 2.2% worldwide and 1.7% in the U.S.
Importance of Vaccination
Given the catastrophic consequences of the COVID19 pandemic, widespread vaccination of the population is our best hope of controlling the disease. We need to vaccinate at least 70% of the population to limit the virus spread and reduce the number of cases. This will then limit the potential exposures we would have to the virus in our communities. This is the concept of herd immunity. Herd immunity cannot be achieved by continuing community spread. We all need to be vaccinated. Everyone should receive the vaccine regardless if they have previously been infected with the virus. Women who are pregnant may receive the vaccine if they are in a group for which the vaccine is recommended. The decision to be vaccinated should be individualized after discussion between the patient and her Ob-Gyn provider.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19
- Moderna COVID19
These vaccines have not been approved by the FDA but are available on a EUA (Emergency Use Authorization). This is not a full, standard approval but an emergency action due to the severity of the present pandemic. That does not imply that safety data was not reviewed or collected. It also does not imply that effectiveness has not been ascertained. The appropriate FDA and CDC committees reviewed and voted to approve this EUA. What we know:
- The 2 vaccines are safe for the general population.
- The 2 vaccines do not contain the SARS CoV2 virus (the virus that causes COVID19)
- You cannot contract COVID19 illness from being vaccinated.
- Both vaccines were developed with mRNA technology and the active ingredient (the mRNA) is rapidly degraded and destroyed after the vaccine is administered.
- In large trials (more than 15,000 participants) the vaccines provided similar 95% effectiveness in preventing COVID19 infection.
- The durability of the immunity is unknown. We do not know how long this effectiveness will last.
- 2 doses are required to achieve the stated effectiveness. (28d apart for the Moderna vaccine and 21d apart for the Pfizer vaccine)
- The vaccines are not interchangeable. Finish the one you start.
- The only contraindications to vaccination are allergic reactions to either of the vaccines or severe allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the vaccines.
- Mild reactions after administration are common but self-limited. These include soreness at the administration site, muscle aches and low-grade fever. It appears that reactions are more common with the second dose.
How the Vaccines work:
Messenger RNA or mRNA is the genetic material that provides the blueprint for proteins that are produced in our cells. Viruses carry RNA or DNA and “hijack” the protein production machinery within our cells to produce the proteins for the blueprints they are carrying. The mRNA in the presently authorized vaccines encode for (blueprints of) the spike protein that is on the surface of the SARS CoV2 virus. This is the protein that attaches to the cells in our body when we are infected by the virus. When the vaccine is given, the mRNA is used to manufacture the spike protein. The mRNA from the vaccine is rapidly degraded/destroyed after the protein production begins. Our immune system recognizes that the spike protein is foreign and develops a response against it. This response includes antibody production. After this immune response, if the SARS Cov2 virus enters the body it should be neutralized without causing COVID19. In studies to date this protection was effective in 95% of the participants that received the vaccine, meaning that they did not develop the COVID19 illness after receiving the vaccine.
- All vaccine is being allocated to individual states using a formula based on demographics.
- Kentucky will receive an allotment from each large batch that equals 1.4% of the vaccine available at the time.
- That vaccine will be provided in a tiered fashion to populations in the most need.
- Healthcare workers and nursing home residents first.
- People => 75 years old.
- Essential workers (includes school personnel)
- Initial vaccine doses will all go to hospitals, health departments and CVS or Walgreens.
- The CVS/Walgreens doses will be for nursing homes, schools etc.
- Community Health Centers, such as Sterling Health Care, will start receiving the vaccines once the first group have been vaccinated but an exact delivery date is not known.
- As Community Health Centers, we will be expected to provide vaccine to any community members in need of vaccination.
- The vaccine is provided free of charge.
After Vaccine Administration:
Social distancing, PPE use and community mask wearing remain vital tools to prevent disease spread in the meantime. There are no changes in these guidelines currently regardless of disease or vaccine status.