COVID-19 Vaccine

What do we know about COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19

  • All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development or being distributed are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection

  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.
  • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important parts of COVID-19 disease that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic

  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

A Phased Approach to Vaccine Allocation for COVID-19

This graphic represents the Washington State plan to distribute the vaccine. There may be more clarification.

Phase 1a is only individuals who have regular contact with people ill with COVID-19 such as paramedics, respiratory technicians, doctors and nurses in acute care areas.

Phase 1b allows an individual who has any of the conditions that create significant risk, to move ahead of the line. Those conditions are currently listed as:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Also included here are older adults who may be in skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, adult family homes and the like

Phase 2: Most people who are considered essential workers

Phase 3: This is where healthy young adult and teenagers over 16 get vaccinated. If the vaccine is not yet approved for children but Moderna began testing in youth 12-17 in December.

Phase 4: Anyone who has not already been vaccinated in one of the prior phases.

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