Several coronavirus vaccines have made it through the testing and approval process and are now being distributed in the US at a rate of over 1.3 million doses per day. It’s a testament to the wonders of modern science and technology that these vaccines are ready so soon and that they have such a high efficacy rate. A lot of people still feel skeptical about them, though, and that’s what we want to address in this post.
From the beginning, it was made clear by the scientific community that a vaccine or innovative treatment would be the best solution to our current crisis. It was my decision that I would take the vaccine as soon as it was available due to the nature of my work and the level of exposure we face in dentistry to airborne illnesses; as such I paid close attention to every available information disclosed about the vaccines and other treatments modality being researched.
At this time, there are fortunately plenty of information from trusted sources about how the vaccine works and how its mode of action compares to other vaccines being currently used for other infections and illnesses.
Concerns about any new medication is reasonable, especially one which, due to the urgency of the current circumstances, had to be rolled out in such an unconventional manner; however because vaccines are typically given to millions of healthy people to prevent serious diseases, including children, they’re held to very high safety standards. They are tested through clinical trials, on hundreds to thousands of people who volunteer to get vaccinated in order to assess safety, effective doses, and immune response. Even after a vaccine is approved, it continues to be tested. The company (ies) that makes the vaccine regularly tests batches to make sure the vaccine works like it is supposed to, is pure and sterile.
The Vaccine’s Impact
I am fortunate that neither member of my team nor me got infected even though we have had patients who informed us they have been exposed and/or infected. Thanks to the recommendations of the CDC and ADA, we have been able to put in place engineering techniques and systems to protect patients and team members as well.
I received my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine about 3 weeks ago and am scheduled to receive the 2nd shot this week. Some of my team members already have their shot scheduled and with the availability of more vaccine soon everyone will be protected.
I am grateful that everyone in my team understand the importance of being cautions in and out of work to protect everyone they live and/or work with, including our patients.
We Can Do This Together
Continuing to social distance and wear masks in public are still critical for slowing the spread of the virus, but the vaccines will be available to much wider sections of the population soon. “Back to normal” is finally in sight thanks to these vaccines, and we can’t wait!