Exciting news is coming from the COVID-19 frontlines! We now have two vaccines that have been given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
An EUA is a way for the FDA (the governing body in the United States that approves drugs and vaccines and deems them safe for use) to allow manufacturers to make and distribute a vaccine prior to going through the formal approval process. Although it moves quickly, the EUA process still requires clinical trial data that is testing the safety and effectiveness of the product. A drug product typically goes through three phases of clinical trials prior to be considered for approval by the FDA, and the EUA is no different. The COVID-19 vaccines that have been given EUA approval are both in Phase 3 of trials and have been given to thousands of people. There has also been time to follow-up with people after the doses are given. Rest assured, if you decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine, there is continued scientific research, testing and monitoring being done to ensure public safety.
With EUA approval of two COVID-19 vaccines, many in the community are wondering when they may be eligible to receive one.
This is a valid question, and due to the limited supply of these products, there is a coordinated effort in our state, community and organization to ensure an equitable solution to this dilemma. There are currently four phases of rollout for the vaccine and are indicated as phase 1a, 1b, 1c and 2.
For phase 1a, there is a priority being placed on healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents. Healthcare employees are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, which increases the possibility of them spreading the virus further. So it is imperative to keep front line health workers healthy to provide care to those in need. Residents of long-term care facilities are at a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19 and live in a congregate setting. Phase 1b and 1c will continue to focus on higher risk patient populations; those aged 65 and above, frontline essential workers, and younger patients with high risk medical conditions.
Phase 2 will then open to all patients aged 16 and older that do not fit into the phase 1 planning. Unfortunately, there is no timeline currently available to provide estimated dates of each phase rollout. Rest assured, Fort HealthCare will continue to keep you up to date with information on these vaccines as it becomes available to us.
To keep up to date with the latest information from Fort HealthCare about the COVID-19 Vaccine, visit www.forthealthcare.com/covid.