The CDC gave the nation a thrilling Christmas present this past season: the release of the new COVID-19 vaccine! After passing through the vigorous testing stages, the vaccine everyone has been anxiously awaiting is almost ready to be distributed to the masses… but how will it be done?
Once the final stages of perfecting it are done, the CDC will give the federal government the OK to send a certain amount of the vaccine to each of the fifty states. The state governments will then begin immunization in whatever way they see is best for their state.
In Missouri, Governor Mike Parsons and other government officials have decided that those who will be receiving the vaccinations first are those administering the vaccines, essential medical personnel and social workers (for more details on those included in ‘social workers,’ go to sccmo.org under COVID-19 vaccine information) because of their frequent contact with other people and the limited supply. Those eligible in this first group can register to be notified when the vaccine is available to them so they can be vaccinated as soon as they are able to.
Once the first round of people have received immunization and more vaccines are distributed, the vaccine will be available to a wider group of people—including the elderly and those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. After these groups, vaccination will be available to anyone over the age of eighteen.
Once someone receives the vaccination, they are not instantly immune. There is still the possibility of exposure to the virus and becoming sick right after immunization. Therefore, the CDC recommends social distancing and masks regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not for everyone’s safety.
As more research is being done, more accurate and helpful information for the end of the pandemic is being discovered. It’s been a wild ride for everyone this past year, but the future’s looking bright. We’re all in this together, and it takes all of us to fight this, so remember to mask up and stay safe!