Vaccine FAQs

What do we know about the vaccine right now and who’s behind it?

At the moment, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the only vaccines available in U.S. The FDA authorized the emergency use of the vaccine for all Americans age 16 and older. However, the vaccine remains unapproved by the FDA and its quantity is not yet sufficient for all the vaccinations needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

How many doses does California have right now?

As of April 6, California has received about 26.4 million doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and more than 20 million people have taken the vaccine. The state is now vaccinating all healthcare workers and long-term care residents (Phase 1A); people with a high chance of exposure and those 65 or older, which includes agriculture and food workers, education and childcare workers (Phase 1B); residents age 16 or older dealing with high-risk medical conditions, disabilities, illnesses, living spaces or work environments; and all residents 50 and older. Every Californian 16 or older will be able to get vaccinated starting April 15.

Who will get the vaccine once it’s available at the countywide level?

This is likely going to be rolled out in many different ways, depending on how your county is handling the situation. But what we do know is those considered high-risk healthcare workers and first responders as well as residents of congregant care facilities like nursing homes will get the vaccine first. K-12 teachers, school staff and childcare workers will be next. And then employees who work in prisons, jails, detention centers and similar facilities will be next in line.

How could a safe vaccine be produced so quickly?

According to Dr. Peter Marks of the Food and Drug Administration, which evaluates the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates, the FDA was able to eliminate the “dead space,” the months and even years that can typically occur between phases of trials. Also, an established vaccine development process was already in place prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, giving researchers a running start on developing vaccines to fight the coronavirus. “There were no corners cut here,” Marks said during a union-sponsored town hall about the vaccine. “We can feel very comfortable that the things that needed to be checked were checked.”

What has worked so far to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus?

Wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and staying home are still the best ways to stop the spread of the virus, according to medical experts. Once the vaccine is available to everyone in 2021, getting vaccinated will be the best way to help us reopen the economy and relieve our hospitals and communities that have been impacted the most.

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