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  • So it's officialCOVID-19 vaccines are here! As of this recording, at least one vaccine

  • candidate has been approved by the UK, the US, Canada, Mexico, and may have even been approved

  • by others by the time you see this. But what does this mean for the average U.S. citizenWhen

  • will we be able to get it, which one will it beand what does all of this mean for

  • the pandemicLet's go over the frontrunners. The three

  • vaccines currently farthest along in their development and approval processes are all

  • using new technologies. That's Pfizer's mRNA vaccine, Moderna's mRNA vaccine, and AstraZeneca's

  • vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, which is what's called a recombinant vector

  • vaccine that uses DNARight now, Pfizer's mRNA vaccine is what's

  • being actively administered in countries like the UK, the US, and CanadaOn December 18th,

  • Moderna's mRNA vaccine was approved in the US as well.  

  • So who gets it first? After more than 300,000 coronavirus deaths in the US alone, the CDC

  • has recommended that healthcare workers get priority, as they're the ones risking their

  • lives every day treating those who need to be hospitalized

  • And although they're first up on the list for vaccination, this first shipment of vaccines

  • we're hearing about is not going to be enough for every healthcare worker in the country to be vaccinated at once,

  • so those on the front lines will be divided into risk categories based on where they work,

  • with those who work directly with COVID patients having first access to the vaccine

  • Also high on the priority list are the elderly, living in nursing homes and other long-term

  • care facilities, as they are the age demographic most at risk for serious diseaseThe vaccination

  • campaign for this population has also already begun

  • Now, the US federal government has given vaccines to each state based on total state population,

  • notably not by the number of people in that state who may fall into a high-risk group

  • Then every state gets to decide for itself how to divvy up its available vaccine doses

  • Individual states get to decide which of their hospitals receive the vaccine first

  • Some states are prioritizing care homes over hospitals or vice versa, and states will have

  • to decide how  they want to handle populations like teachers,

  • inmates, and other high risk groups

  • So to see how the vaccine will be distributed and to whom will depend entirely on your state's

  • decisionsBut for most of the US, vaccines will reach

  • the general public around spring of 2021 at the earliest

  • So the US is facing what will be one of the biggest rapid vaccination campaigns in its

  • historyEstablishing a reliable supply chain on this timeline is complicated enough

  • but an added difficulty is that the Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees celsius

  • for it to be stableThis makes transportation extra high stakes

  • to ensure that no shipments of vaccine are wasted because they spent too long at a certain

  • temperature. I don't know if you've tried to keep ice cream from melting in a hot carbut

  • if THAT's hard, I think this is gonna be a tricky oneespecially because it involves

  • everyone from public health organizations to airlines to shipping companies, all aiming

  • to work together as seamlessly as possibleNow the Moderna vaccine, also recently approved,

  • doesn't have to be kept at temperatures that are quite this lowIt only needs to

  • be at about -20 degrees celsius, which still sounds pretty cold but is actually about the temperature

  • of a regular freezer. So hopefully as Moderna's option becomes more widely available as wellit

  • can cover any supply chain gaps created by the Pfizer vaccine's extreme temperature

  • needsThe U.S., like many other wealthy countries, has pre-purchased hundreds of millions

  • of doses of at least 6 different vaccines. But as more vaccine types become available

  • in the future and more information comes in about each vaccine type and its efficacy,

  • doctors may be able to eventually start prescribing a certain vaccine for certain populations.

  • Let's talk about price, shall wePfizer's vaccine is $19.50 a dose, which

  • is around $39 per patient because each person will require two doses for the vaccine to

  • be effectiveModerna's vaccine is quite a bit more expensive at around $64-74 per course.

  • And again, that's two rounds of shotswhereas the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is

  • only $6-8 per course

  • The US government has announced that anyone on Medicare or Medicaid will be able to receive

  • the vaccine at no costSo in this next year it's unlikely that

  • we'll be able to choose which vaccine we get and how much it costs will depend on

  • your state, your insurance, and which vaccine is available to you, which in itself just

  • depends on supply chain logisticsThere's also the challenge of getting people

  • to take the vaccine at allIt's been historically difficult to get

  • people to trust vaccines, even ones that have gone through years of trials. And especially for

  • the COVID vaccines, there have been many questions brought up like; it came out so fast, how

  • do we really know it's safe? Are the side effects something to worry about

  • Minority groups have been especially hard hit by COVID, so how many people

  • from these groups has it been tested onWe're getting a lot of information and getting it really

  • quickly, and after the year we've had - it's understandibly overwhelmingBut, overall, our key takeaways

  • are this:   One: I know it seems fast, but the vaccine

  • did go through its safety trials and has been based on research that's been developing

  • for years.

  • Twomoney  is what has helped accelerate this vaccine process

  • The simple fact is that the pandemic has affected the whole world and that meant the vaccine

  • development had been prioritized over almost anything else, which rarely happensAnd

  • three: we've seen what happens without a vaccineThe last nine months have shown us what a virus like

  • this can doSo a vaccine can only make our COVID situation better.

  • Even with all of the challenges still facing us on a road to worldwide vaccination, it's

  • really exciting to see how science has come together to find a solution to one of our

  • world's most urgent issues, and as more information keeps coming out about all these

  • important questions we've talked about today, we here at Seeker will make sure we're keeping you updatedIt is

  • heartening and exciting news, but we also still have to remember that the shot won't be available to most of us

  • until later in 2021. So until then we need to make sure we're still doing everything

  • we can to keep ourselves and those around us healthy as possible.

  • If you're looking for more on the complicated relationship between COVID and race, check out

  • this video over here, and subscribe to Seeker to keep up with all you breaking pandemic news.

  • If you have another COVID question you want us to tackle next, leave it for us in the

  • comments. As always, thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you next time.

So it's officialCOVID-19 vaccines are here! As of this recording, at least one vaccine

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The COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here. So What Happens Next?

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    Summer posted on 2020/12/23
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