Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are ready to be distributed to the American public

Irene Carrascoza, Staff Writer

During Phase 1 of the COVID vaccines distribution, most vaccines have been given to healthcare workers and have started to be distributed to older adults. These vaccines are still being distributed throughout the United States. As vaccine availability increases, more people will be allowed to get it. 

Many vaccines have been made but are all not the same. Two authorized and recommended vaccines in the U.S. are the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna’s COVID vaccine. There are still three more vaccines going under clinical trial: AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novavax. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are mRNA vaccines that have shown 95% effectiveness in protecting adults from the disease. Pfizer-BioNTech is to be used by people aged 16 and older while Moderna is to be used by people 18 years old and older, according to the FDA. Two doses of the vaccine are needed in order for it to be effective against the virus. Depending on which vaccine is chosen, the second dose should be given three to four weeks after the first dose. It does take time for the body to build immunity against the virus, so vaccines that require two doses may not protect against COVID until a week or two after the second shot.

Some common side effects of the vaccines are pain and swelling of the arm where you got the shot. Fever, chills, tiredness and headaches are other side effects to look out for. One way to reduce pain or discomfort of the arm is to apply a cool, wet washcloth over the area. Arm exercises may also help with discomfort, and drinking plenty of fluids aids fever reduction. If there is any increase in redness, tenderness or swelling 24 hours after taking the shot, contact your doctor or healthcare provider. If any other side effects do not seem to go away after a few days, consult your doctor as well. While not all of the public is allowed to receive the vaccines just yet, make sure you are still doing your part to stay safe and healthy.