The Pfizer Vaccine and You

Navaneeth Rajan, Online Staff Writer

Recently, the vaccine developed by bio-pharmaceutical giant Pfizer passed Phase III in the three-layer process for testing vaccines and was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for usage in America. Except, it wasn’t. Not really, anyways. While it’s true that the Pfizer Vaccine has a 95% success rate, and that it has been authorized for emergency use in the United States, the vaccine hasn’t truly been approved by the FDA. Rather, Pfizer has been granted temporary approval to distribute the vaccine, with the understanding that the benefits in this case outweigh the risks of distributing a vaccine with possible negative side effects. Should the FDA determine that the risk is too high, they are entitled to revoke the distribution license.

So, with distribution beginning on Monday, what does that mean for you? Well, due to limited supply of the vaccine, experts have determined that healthcare workers and nursing home residents, as the two populations at the highest risk, should be the first to be vaccinated. Even with a vaccine approved, the pandemic will continue to stretch on for months, so healthcare workers, who interact with those infected by coronavirus regularly, and nursing home residents, who make up 40% of all COVID-19 deaths, need to be prioritized. Additionally, the vaccine hasn’t been approved for usage by those 16 years old or younger, meaning most students at PDS likely won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 until after the pandemic has ended. Still, not everyone in a population needs to be vaccinated for active case numbers to stop growing, and Pfizer’s vaccine is a massive step forward in ending the COVID-19 Global Health Crisis. As a PDS student who’s chosen to remain anonymous states, “I am grateful that the vaccines [sic] development has been as quick as it is… to optimize the path to building herd immunity and phase the coronavirus out.” 

Still, one thing that’s critical to keep in mind that a vaccine is not a cure. It can prevent you from getting infected with the coronavirus, but if you get sick, receiving a vaccination will not help. COVID-19 has become no less deadly. So, until the pandemic is declared over by global health organizations, coronavirus regulations still apply. Stay six feet apart. Keep your mask on. If you truly want the pandemic to end, that’s the only way to do it.