Texas takes on vaccine distribution

After millions of deaths over nine unceasing months, two vaccines have been made to help fight the COVID-19 virus. Nonetheless, there has been much debate over these new vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Many individuals are skeptical, to say the least, about vaccines created in a short amount of time. Many say that there isn’t enough research to convince everyday constituents to receive them. However, the first round of doses has been sent out throughout the country in efforts to combat this pandemic.

Most of the vaccines have been given to frontline workers and nursing home residents, as they are more at risk of acquiring the virus. However, states have the final say on how to administer their doses. In Texas, for example, the top priority for the next round of vaccines will go to Texas residents of 65 and older as well as individuals with pre-medical conditions, following with frontline health workers.

“Teachers are expected to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by springtime,” Governor Greg Abbott said. “To ensure that teachers are in a safe, secure situation, vaccinated, and able to teach in a classroom without fear of getting COVID-19”

When getting the first dose, you are given a card with a reminder of your second dose, along with information on how to report side effects to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through an app called V-Safe.

Some of the side effects presented by individuals include pain where they got the shot, fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and joint and muscle pain. But these are all described as temporary. Others have noted on calling in for work, but feeling fine the next day. According to the FDA, “more people have experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose.”

“We call them ‘side’ effects, but it’s really just an effect,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a University of Pennsylvania vaccinologist who is a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel. “This is what your immune response does when it’s responding to an infection.”

Public health leaders have estimated that more than 200 million Americans will need to be vaccinated to effectively prevent the virus from spreading or herd immunity to occur. There is still a long to go, before everyone who wants to get a shot gets one. Consequently, we should continue wearing a mask and following the CDC guidelines to help decrease the spread of the virus.