What not to do now that a Covid-19 vaccine has arrived

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But the pandemic is not yet over. Here are three things you shouldn’t do until things get under control.

First off, it will be months before most people can get the vaccine, so be patient and don’t rush to your doctor or pharmacy hoping to get one right away.

It’s up to states to allocate their share of vaccines, but the CDC has recommended that frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities receive the vaccine first. Other high priority groups include essential workers, emergency personnel, and people with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications or death.
Over the next few months, the focus will be on vaccinating these people, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN last week. And it will likely be spring when the vaccine becomes more widely available.

“I predicted that by April it will be… ‘the open season’, in the sense that anyone, even non-priority groups, could get the shot,” Fauci said.

Highlighting other vaccine candidates in clinical trials and under review by the FDA, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Axios last week that there would be enough vaccines for any American who has it. would like one by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

“We want it to eventually get to where it is as much as possible to get the flu shot,” he said.

Jan Malcolm, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health, told CNN she thought it was a “great idea” for people to call their doctor’s office to find out what their plan might be to administer drugs. vaccines, but this information may not yet be available. .

“A lot more information is going to be coming out in the near future on how people will be able to access these vaccines when they become more widely available, but frankly, it’s probably a month or more,” Malcolm added.

In the meantime, if getting a new vaccine gives you a break, you should read about it. The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective, but Moncef Slaoui, the head of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed ​​vaccination initiative, told “Fox News Sunday”. that he was concerned about the level of reluctance to vaccinate.

“We hope that now that all the data is available and available to be discussed in detail, people will keep an open mind, to listen to the data,” Slaoui said, “and we hope this is a very effective and safe vaccine, so take it. ”

Don’t stop wearing masks

Masks will continue to be crucial tools in the fight against Covid-19, even if the shots go into the arms.

Dr Sandro Cinti, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, explained that it is still not known whether people vaccinated against the virus can still infect someone else.

Trials only tracked Covid-19 in people who showed symptoms. But according to the CDC, about 40% of cases involve people who have no symptoms.

“You have to wear your mask,” he said. “What they didn’t watch is if you get the vaccine and you’re protected, can you still get a virus that then gets into your nose and then infects someone else. ”

Fauci echoed that message when speaking to CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper at CNN’s coronavirus town hall last week. Even if you get vaccinated in January or February, he said, “Half the country may still not be vaccinated, which means there are a lot of viruses floating around there. ”

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“And even if you are vaccinated, you can be protected against disease, but you cannot be protected against infection,” he said.

People who have been vaccinated may still catch the virus. While it can’t make them sick, they could still pass it on to someone else by coughing or sneezing.

“The more people who get vaccinated, the less and less the threat is,” Fauci said. “Whether you get to the point where you have an overwhelming majority of people vaccinated and have good herd immunity protection, you can go back to normal as you wish. ”

Don’t stop social distancing

Throughout the pandemic, social distancing has gone hand in hand with masks, and that doesn’t change now.

Both will still be needed, even after receiving the vaccine, the CDC said on Saturday.

No vaccine is 100% effective and protection is not immediate, CDC’s Dr Sarah Mbaeyi said in a meeting Saturday with the agency’s vaccine advisory committee. Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses given three weeks apart to achieve 95% effectiveness, and it will take one to two weeks after the second dose for a person to be considered “fully immunized.”

> Mbaeyi said, including masking, social distancing and hand washing.

Unfortunately, for many Americans, continuing to distance themselves socially can mean not reuniting with loved ones for the holidays.

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Even Fauci has said that if he wants to see his three daughters, his family will not be reuniting for Christmas for the first time in 30 years. In an interview with the Milken Institute last week, Fauci told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell that even modest gatherings of families and friends were behind the continued outbreak of Covid-19.

“We are starting to see infections emerging from what otherwise appear to be benign settings,” he said, expressing concern about the potential for spread during the holidays.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents to stay home for the holidays and join the California regional stay-at-home order, noting an increase in cases following Thanksgiving gatherings .

“We have to make sure there is no wave of Christmas and holidays on top of that,” he said. “It’s in our hands to keep these numbers from climbing, these (hospital) beds from disappearing and these lives from ending. ”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper made a similar plea in a written statement, calling on North Carolinians to hold virtual gatherings this holiday season.

“As difficult as it may be, especially during the holidays, the sacrifices we make now will ensure that our loved ones meet at Thanksgiving and Christmas tables next year,” he wrote.

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