Protect Yourself

Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets strict standards for vaccine clinical trials to be conducted with thousands of study participants. Scientific data and other information from these trials are used by the FDA to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective. If the standards are met, the FDA can make the vaccine available for use in the US by approval or through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). A committee composed of medical and public health experts also reviews the data before making recommendations to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These efforts are to ensure individuals receive a safe and effective vaccine. 
 

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
The FDA has approved an EUA for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be used on individuals 16 years of age and older. The two-dose regimen, given 21 days apart, is 95% effective in providing immunity; however, data on how long the immunity lasts are currently not available. It’s important to note previously infected individuals can benefit from vaccination due to the risk of COVID-19 reinfection once immunity wanes after 90 days. 
 

MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine
The FDA has approved an EUA for the MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine to be used on individuals 18 years of age and older. The two-dose regimen, given 28 days apart, is 95% effective in providing immunity; however, data on how long the immunity lasts are currently not available. It’s important to note previously infected individuals can benefit from vaccination due to the risk of COVID-19 reinfection once immunity wanes after 90 days. 

There are no data available on if both the Pfizer and MODERNA vaccines can be interchanged to complete the vaccination series. It’s strongly advised if you receive the first dose from either manufacturer to receive the second dose from the same manufacturer.

Delta Variant
The Delta variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021 and in Georgia June 2021.  It was initially identified in India in December 2020. This variant seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. So far, studies suggest that the current authorized vaccines work on the circulating variants. CDC recommendations on how to protect yourself can be found here: How to Protect Yourself and Others

When to use a mask
According to the CDC, cloth face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. These face coverings are used to help protect others in case you’re infected, but don’t have symptoms. To wear a face covering correctly, it should be placed both over your nose and mouth and secured under your chin. Additional information can be found at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html