Fort Berthold Diabetes Program
Possible Covid-19 Vaccine
By Justice Rabbithead – Medical Support Assistant
Covid-19 has affected all of our lives since it first hit the United States back in the earlier months of this year. This is a virus that is going to continue to change the lives of many people forever and has sadly taken some lives. Like any new virus striking suddenly, we did not initially have a vaccine for this virus and as of today we still do not, but there is hope as a vaccine candidate has been announced to the public.
This vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech has been proven to be 90% effective in preventing the Covid-19 virus in participants who previously did not have the virus. Protection is achieved 28 days after the 2-dose vaccine has been administered. This vaccine is still in the study period and so far, there have not been any safety concerns that have arisen. Based on their current projections they believe that they will have 50 million vaccine doses available in 2020 and up to as much as 1.3 billion doses available in 2021.
The current projection on who will receive the vaccine first is known as phase 1A and that is all health care personnel. That is an estimated 17 to 20 million people working in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and the likes. Phase 1B is who would get it next and this group consists of non-health care essential workers who amount to roughly 40 to 60 million people in the US.
The next two groups have some overlapping as to who should be in this group, but they would consist of, for the main part, adults over the age of 65 and people with high-risk conditions.
Once the FDA approves this vaccine, they will send out the official information of how it will be distributed and to whom first. People with diabetes would fall into the high risk category. People with diabetes are more likely to have serious complications from Covid-19. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to have more severe symptoms and complications when infected with any virus. Your risk of getting very sick from Covid-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well managed.
Until this vaccine is confirmed and distributed you should still stick to precautions. Respect other’s space by maintaining 6 feet of distance between you and others, wear a mask, wash your hands thoroughly, and surely stay away from others if you feel like you are having symptoms. Also, make sure that you are cleaning and disinfecting your belongings and homes on a regular basis. This should include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks or anything that is high traffic for spreading the virus.
It is going to take all of us coming together as a collected effort to overcome this pandemic. I know everyone is getting anxious and tired of sitting at home, but everyone going back out into the public as if it is pre-Covid times is one of the reason the numbers keep spiking. Stay safe and stay healthy everyone.