Editor’s Note: With the Food and Drug Administration issuing authorization for the emergency use of a vaccine to limit the spread of the coronavirus, you may have questions about what this means to you. If you do, send them to The Conversation and we’ll find a doctor or researcher to answer them. Here, Dr. Jason McKnight, a primary care physician at Texas A&M University, answers five questions about ongoing implementation and deployment. I have heard that I may still have to wear a mask even after being vaccinated. Because?
It will likely be the continuing recommendation that everyone wear a mask when in public even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Although these vaccines appear to be highly effective in preventing infection from the disease, even with 95% effectiveness, this means that around 5% of people who receive the vaccination can still be infected. Wearing a face mask helps decrease virus transmission in those situations where the vaccine does not prevent disease.
Additionally, continuing to wear a mask can help prevent the spread of other respiratory diseases, which can help prevent the health system from being overwhelmed, as we are already seeing during the pandemic. Finally, it is possible that some individuals receiving the vaccine may have an asymptomatic infection and wearing a mask also helps prevent the spread of the disease in that situation.
If I receive the Pfizer vaccine for the first dose, how can I ensure that I receive the Pfizer vaccine for the second time?
Distribution of the Pfizer vaccine is designed to meet the need for the second dose. The clinic, hospital, or pharmacy where you are vaccinated will keep a record of the vaccine you have received, just as you will, to ensure that your second dose matches the first dose.
How will public health experts monitor the safety of the vaccine as it is distributed to larger groups of people?
Public health experts and vaccine manufacturers will continue to monitor the safety of the vaccine in a number of ways. First, people vaccinated in clinical trials will continue to be followed to ensure there are no long-term safety concerns.
Additionally, there is what is called a Phase IV post-marketing surveillance study, which will allow many vaccinated people to be followed up long-term to ensure safety complications do not arise and to ensure that the vaccine remains as effective as initially thought. .
How will I know when it is my turn to vaccinate?
To find out when it’s your turn to get vaccinated, contact your health department or doctor. They will receive updates and more information on who should be vaccinated and when. If you have any questions about the vaccine and timing of administration, contact your doctor.
Where will i get a vaccine?
Although the exact distribution of vaccines is not yet well established and depends on the state in which you reside, most vaccines will likely be sent to hospital systems, health professionals’ offices and some pharmacies. To find out the nearest place where you can get vaccinated, contact your local health department or doctor.
[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]
Jason R. McKnight, clinical assistant professor, primary care and population health, Texas A&M University
This article was republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.