BY MICHAEL FRANCO
Now that the COVID vaccine has started to become more available to the general public we’ve started seeing plenty of questions. Hopefully this story will give you an update on how things are going and answer some of the questions you might have. You still have to sign up for an appointment to get the vaccine but soon those slots will be much more plentiful. President Joe Biden and his administration have come out stating that they have boosted production to get everyone the shot by the end of July.
Health workers and teachers will get vaccinated over the next couple of weeks, with Biden saying that every adult will be able to get the shot by May. Now some people might still have concerns about the shot, but the CDC has stated that the vaccine is highly effective at preventing Covid-19. Covid-19 can cause serious, life threatening complications and there is no way to know how it can affect you, and the vaccine can help that and prevent spreading it to family, friends and others around you. Some side effects you experience are pain and swelling in the arm, throughout the rest of the body you may have a fever, chills, tiredness, and a headache. The side effects may affect you in some activities but they should pass in a few days.
The apparent rapidness of the rollout has caused some states like Texas, Mississippi and Connecticut to ease restrictions, but many other states are continuing to enforce mask mandates until more of the population gains immunity. The US has 2 million vaccine doses per day, with it being 1.3 million doses just a month ago. President Biden also promised to administer 100 million vaccines by his 100th day in office, which is April 30th. About 54 million people have already been given at least one dose of the vaccine.
There are three types of vaccines that are available at the moment Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. If you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine you will only need one shot instead of the two required by the other vaccines, but you need to be 18 or older. You also have a robust response 15 days after the shot and significant protection by day 29.
Tier 3 of the Missouri COVID-19 vaccination plan started Monday; these will go out to the people who work in what is considered the critical infrastructure category, this category includes: teachers, energy workers, agriculture workers and elected government officials. Scott Clardy, Assistant Health Director for Columbia and Boone County Public Health and Human Services, said Missouri will be following in the federal government’s footsteps to ensure every Missourian who wants to get vaccinated will have the chance by May. Groups of essential workers like teachers, grocery workers, and childcare providers will be among the people that will be able to get the tier 3 vaccine shot.
According to the CDC, 19.4% of people have at least one dose of the vaccine and 10.3% have been fully vaccinated. With the vaccines rolling out you can expect to see some places get them so you can just walk in and get it instead of waiting on a list.