The first vaccine for Covid-19 in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 13. At the Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, semi trucks rolled out of the loading dock with the first doses of the vaccine, which was then given out for the first time on Dec. 14.
Vaccines will initially go to health care workers and those dealing with COVID-19 patients along with people living in long-term health care facilities. Supplies will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021. Young children, the lowest risk age group, will be the last to be vaccinated.
“Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are under development. As of November 24, 2020, large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for five COVID-19 vaccines in the United States,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in their recent article. As the vaccine to fight COVID-19 gets closer there are still concerns on how many shots will be needed.
As vaccines all come in different sizes and shots, so does the COVID-19 vaccine. Many of the vaccines, including the Pfizer version, require two doses spaced approximately three weeks apart. Although there are many questions still unanswered, the CDC is working hard to get more information out to the public every day.
On Nov. 14, the first at home COVID-19 diagnostic test for self-testing was released. The Lucira COVID-19 All-in-One Kit provides rapid results in a single use test. However, it was only available by prescription. It is used to detect COVID-19 without risking exposure in public testing zones.
“The All-In-One Test Kit test has been authorized for home use with self-collected nasal swab samples in individuals age 14 and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider,” the FDA stated on Nov. 14 in their news statement.
An over-the-counter version of the home test was approved by the FDA on Dec. 15. It is made by an Australian company called Ellume. It will cost about $30 and be available in January. The test will take about five minutes to collect samples and results will be ready in about 15 minutes.
As the last month of 2020 is coming to an end, hopefully the end to COVID-19 won’t be too far away. As more people are vaccinated, schools and life can go back to normal. With the CDC and the FDA having a vaccine by the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 for everyone to get vaccinated, there may be an end in sight.