Well! Here we are in 2021! We were thankful for the end of 2020, and hopefulness appeared in the form of our rapid COVID-19 vaccine development.
There is a lot of concern and confusion regarding the safety, efficacy, distribution of the vaccines, and mutations of Covid-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide us with new technology in vaccine production. Researchers can create sequences in 3 weeks. So for future vaccine development, this technology can quickly create genetically sequenced vaccines.
Current vaccines have FDA approval for emergency use. Knowing that Covid mutation is occurring, and some of these may affect the vaccine efficiency, we must obtain herd immunity as quickly as possible. Meaning, at least 70% or possibly as high as 90% of the population needs to become immunized or become infected with this virus. Unfortunately, we have seen tragedy upon tragedy with high infection numbers and our healthcare system's toll. We still need to be diligent until we see vaccine response and can assess mutation variations.
Another concern is distribution. Which states receive doses, which companies, how can they be shipped and stored safely, etc. We must observe patients for any initial post-injection severe allergic reaction for 15-30 minutes after injection as this is a new vaccine. So space is needed to monitor patients- even in large scale distribution for these reactions.
Other thoughts to consider, this virus will become endemic or always present and prone to cause an outbreak, similar to the flu. Secondly, we may need boosters or possibly a combination of sufficient vaccine technologies to provide better immunity. Thirdly, our 2020-2021 flu season has been at all-time lows regarding the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. These low numbers may be related to the increased number of flu vaccines given, but most likely, it has been reduced to us wearing masks, socially distancing, and washing our hands. I wonder if the CDC will recommend these measures moving forward as the other infections begin to show diminishing numbers. And finally, there may be a good chance that indulgence in future travel, concerts, or social events, may require Covid Vaccination.
The office is still trying to gain further information on where we are in the Moderna vaccine's approval process via the state. As we have discovered, this process is slow. We will keep everyone updated as we get closer to obtaining our approval and information on how many we will receive. We also want to remind everyone that we will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for vaccine administration, which means that those 75 and up will be first in line, with those 65 and up with qualifying conditions following shortly behind. Once we can vaccinate everyone in those categories, we will then proceed to the next tier. We are still recommending that you obtain your vaccinations via Methodist, Hermann, or the county if you can.
For more information, please click on the highlighted link below, which will redirect you to the TX Department of Health Services Covid-19 page.
COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For more information regarding Ft. Bend County vaccinations, please follow the highlighted link below and click on their link to pre-register.
Ft. Bend Health and Human Services