NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Food and Drug Administration has authorized an emergency rollout of what promises to be a strongly protective vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech.
Below are answers to commonly asked questions. Regular updates will be made as needed.
Which COVID-19 vaccines will be approved soon?
The FDA will consider an application from Moderna on December 17.
How many doses will each state receive at first and when?
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut expect to receive their first doses during the week of December 14. New York is expecting 170,000 doses for about 85,000 people (two doses are required for each person)
Who will be the first to get the virus vaccine?
Healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and other first responders and essential workers are expected to be first in line.
Who will get the vaccine next?
Distribution is expected to target the most critical workforce, adults 65 and up and anyone considered high risk under age 65 starting in mid-January.
What about everyone else?
Vaccinations for everyone else are expected to begin after March.
You can get updates on how each state is handling distribution on these sites:
If I get vaccinated do I still need to wear a mask/face covering?
Yes, you will still need to wear a mask and follow other precautions. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus.
Are there side effects to taking the vaccine?
Volunteers in vaccine trials have reported they frequently feel flu-like effects after getting vaccinated such as body aches, or even fever and a headache, federal health officials said.
Will I receive proof of having the vaccine?
Vaccination cards will be used as the "simplest" way to keep track of Covid-19 shots, said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, which is supporting frontline workers who will administer Covid-19 vaccinations.
"Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due," Moore said. "Let's do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone's going to get that."
If I had COVID-19, do I need the vaccine?
According to the CDC, There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Until we have a vaccine available and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices makes recommendations to CDC on how to best use COVID-19 vaccines, CDC cannot comment on whether people who had COVID-19 should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
More answers to questions can be found on the CDC's website.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control as well as state health departments in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
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