COVID-19 Vaccine: What We Know So Far


Late November 2020, it was made clear how health care workers on the frontlines would receive the COVID-19 vaccine as Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, announced one of the first COVID-19 vaccine plans for emergency use.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech recently. This vaccine was the first to pick up the national government’s consent to go into utilization in the U.S. as a breakthrough step in endeavors to beat back the pandemic.

The total number of cases reported in Los Angeles County has now surpassed the 500,000-mark, hitting 501,635 infections.

As a result, Moises Rivera, like many other hospital employees in the county, is anxious to receive the vaccine.

Rivera said, “It’s amazing news. Nobody expected any sort of vaccine anytime this year to be implicated and distributed, especially in this large of an amount.”

Looking ahead, Pfizer plans to distribute about 25 million doses in the U.S. by the end of 2021. Since Covid-19 crowded hospitals, infecting 2,879,752 Californians, killing 32,300, and sinking the economy, people everywhere have long awaited the arrival of a vaccine and the potential to reduce and resolve the virus.

Rivera said, “For my job, and I assume many other hospitals, the wings that deal with COVID-19 patients most directly, will receive the first doses. Hospitalizations have doubled since Thanksgiving and quadrupled in the last month, so when experts say that we’re in uncharted territory at this point, they’re right.”

The distribution plan is ultimately a county issue, and certain counties are doing better than others. The first phase includes vaccinating frontline healthcare staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities. Once completed, the next phase involves vaccinating those 65 and older.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been deemed both safe and highly effective by the FDA. Since the vaccine was developed relatively fast many people have rightfully been skeptical and apprehensive. However, Phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine reveal the shot, when taken, is 95 percent effective across a variety of age and racial groups and ethnicities.

While the distribution of the vaccine is news to celebrate, state health officials have asked Congress for at least $8.4 billion, but have only received about $350 million from the CDC for vaccine distribution. Much more resources need to be allocated to see true progress and flatten the curve.