COVID 19 Testing and Vaccine Distribution


Photo courtesy of LA Times

As vaccines are becoming more accessible, many are left wondering if they are eligible for the vaccine and what are the differences from the three vaccines.

Alice Mancilla, Co-Editor In Chief

Currently, there are three Coronavirus vaccines called ​​​​Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Moderna, and the Jhonson’s & Johnson’s vaccine. The vaccine is set to be distributed to people who fit under specific conditions and guidelines. More and more people will be eligible for vaccination as the criteria for vaccine distribution becomes more general. 

The vaccines will be distributed through phases created by the CDC. Phase 1a consists of health care personnel and long-term care residents. 1b phases include first responders, essential workers, and people who are 75 years or older. People through the ages of 65 to 74 are allowed to get the vaccine as well as people with underlying conditions over the age of 16. Currently, any person who falls under any of these categories can get the vaccine through an appointment. To schedule an appointment and to see if you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine click here.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been confirmed to be 95% effective against the original COVID-19 strands during laboratory testing. According to CDC, the side effects of the shot are pain, redness, and possible swelling in the area the shot was given. Fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea are all symptoms that may occur after receiving the Pfizer shot. People under the age of 16 are not permitted to get this vaccine because symptoms after the shot became more severe the younger the person was, according to some trials. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not meant to prevent or cure COVID-19, its purpose is to decrease the severity of symptoms and chance of death. This vaccine is meant for those who are not allergic to anaphylaxis. There are two doses of this shot that are given 21 days apart from each other.

According to the CDC’s official website, the Moderna Vaccine was 94.1% effective during laboratory testing. The effects of this vaccine are the same from the Pfrizer-BioNTech, with symptoms like swelling, pain, headaches, chils, fever, nausea and more. People who are 18 years of age or older can receive the Moderna vaccine. People who receive this vaccine get two shots 28 days apart. Just like the Pfizer shot, people that are allergic to anaphylaxis should not receive this vaccine.

The newest approved vaccine is the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. The J&J vaccine was 63% effective during laboratory testing. Although the results of the Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine testing aren’t as high as the Moderna or Pfiezer vaccine, during testing nobody received medical care for COVID-19 within 4 weeks after receiving the J&J shot. CDC explains that when offered the vaccine, it is better to take any of the three that have been approved rather than wait to receive the vaccine you prefer. The common effects of the Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine are the same symptoms from the Moderna and Pfiezer vaccine. These side effects can last up to seven days. There is only one shot necessary when receiving the J&J vaccine. This vaccine also contains anaphylaxis, so any people who are allergic to this and plan on receiving any of the approved vaccines should be cautious. 

In California, 23% of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine according to USA Today. USA Today also states that 11% of California residents have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines. Although many people still need to be vaccinated, the CDC explains that wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and getting the vaccine when it is offered is important to keep yourself and others safe. Even when you or a family member is fully vaccinated you should still abide by these protocols. All three vaccines are helping reduce the number of deaths from COVID-19 and following safety protocols can keep you and others safe.