On Friday, January 8th, our residents, and staff will begin to receive their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. We are excited to have the opportunity to take this path and are hopeful that we will begin to settle back into a routine of normalcy during 2021.
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions, with answers provided by Pfizer, the FDA and the CDC.
What is in the vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine contains messenger RNA (mRNA) as the active ingredient. mRNA vaccines take advantage of the process that cells use to make proteins to trigger an immune response. While this technology is new, it has already been studied for more than a decade.
How long does it take for immunity to develop fully after the vaccination?
For the Pfizer vaccine to be effective, a two-dose series must be administered. The second dose is recommended to be administered three weeks after the first dose (17-21 days). According to the Pfizer vaccine studies, efficacy rose to 95% as soon as seven days after the second dose.
How effective is the vaccine?
Based on the clinical trial data, the Pfizer vaccine has been determined to be 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection. 95% efficacy rate can be interpreted as the proportionate reduction in disease among the vaccinated group.
How long will the vaccination last?
It is still too early to tell. It has been estimated that to last as few as six months, up several years. As more data is collected, the science community will be able to narrow this range.
Who should get vaccinated?
The vaccine has been recommended for people aged 16 years and older.
Who should not get vaccinated?
Persons who have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine. Anyone who has a reaction to the initial dose should not continue with the vaccination series.
MYTH: “The mRNA will change my DNA.” Rumors have been spreading about the ability for the vaccine to change one’s DNA profile. We are happy to confirm that this is false.
MYTH: “The vaccine will give me COVID-19.” The Pfizer vaccine does not contain a live virus. There is no risk of the recipient getting the disease due to vaccination.
MYTH: “I no longer need to wear a mask after my first dose.” Immunity does not take effect immediately. It is recommended to continue practicing social distancing, mask wearing, and good hand hygiene.
You can get a full list of facts and ingredients for the Pfizer vaccine here.