January 19, 2021

US: Why you can’t choose your COVID-19 vaccine — yet

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By Lynn Allison From Newsmax

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Two COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology to combat COVID-19 and require two doses.

According to data from clinical trials, the side effects from the two drugs have been similar, with short-lived flu-like symptoms.

Many Americans may be wondering if they will have a choice of which vaccine to get, and experts say, the answer, for now, is no.

“Certainly, at this stage, each location that provides vaccines will have only one kind of vaccine,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University told Inverse. One of the factors that determines which vaccine is available is the storage. The Pfizer vaccine requires extremely cold storage facilities because it needs to be kept at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, Schaffner says that the Moderna drug, which does not require such exacting storage, will be more widely available.

According to Bustle, Dr. Francis Collins, M.D., head of the National Institutes of Health, added that choosing a vaccine isn’t possible right now because there are not enough doses available.

“People who are offered one should feel quite happy about that,” he said. Right now, healthcare workers are at the head of the line to receive their shot and experts say that the majority of the American population should be able to get inoculated starting the spring of 2021. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC News that vaccinating 1 million people per day is a “realistic goal.”

According to The New York Times, certain populations may have a choice in which vaccine they get as more doses become available. For example, in those over 65 years of age, the Moderna vaccine was shown to be only 86% effective in that population compared to a 94% efficacy rate for the Pfizer drug.

But if you are a young, healthy individual and are not an essential worker, you are at the bottom of the priority list, says Bustle. The good news is that the longer you must wait for your turn to be vaccinated the more choices may become available. Several pharmaceutical companies, including giants like Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Merck are already in Phase 3 trials, which could mean several million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines will become available.

So, according to Bustle, down the line we may be able to choose which vaccine we get but there are many pieces in the approval, manufacturing, and distribution puzzle that must fall in place before that becomes a reality.

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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