With the steady trickle of the Covid-19 vaccinations making their way through each phase, the discussion has turned away from “When is the vaccine coming out?” to “Would I and the people I know have the vaccine administered?”.
So we reached out to you, our Georgia Southern community, to help us tune in to the current vaccine buzz around campus and here is what we heard.
A grand total of 153 students, staff and faculty got back to us through the Google Form we sent out inquiring about the topic.
Of those who responded 70.6% answered that they would consider getting the vaccine once it becomes more widely available, with the remaining 29.4% answering that they wouldn’t.
The main concern that was raised by both groups is about the speed at which the vaccines were developed and became available with questions about the side effects and long term effects that the vaccines might present.
The reason that the two available vaccines became available so quickly was through the Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) process that is issued through the Food and Drug Administration. This is only seen through after the companies (Moderna and Pfizer) put their own testing which is how we know the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Which one of the Staff members who answered our Google Form explained through their experience in getting one of the vaccines three weeks ago, “It was fine. I took the Moderna vaccine. I have not had any complications other than my arm being sore for two days.”
They included in their explanation that, “Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.”
One of our Faculty members drew a comparison between our ongoing pandemic to another disease when explaining why they were for receiving the vaccine; “I am all for taking it and everyone should consider taking it, if your doctor agrees, when it is available. I was in on the initial polio vaccinations to school children in the mid-1950’s. I did fine. There will always be some people who have different physical reactions to any vaccine. I can’t let fear keep me from trying to help contain this virus.”
Information about each vaccine with a focus on their EAU process is available on the FDA webpage:https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines#news
The vaccines are currently being distributed through stages with the idea to ensure that those at the greatest risk of being exposed to the virus are inoculated first.
There have also been those in our community who have already gotten their vaccination
Georgia is currently in the 1A+ stage of the distribution of the two currently available Covid-19 vaccines.
This stage includes healthcare workers, individuals who are 65 years of age or older and their caregivers, residents of long term care facilities and the staff there, first responders. For more information about the current stage and those to follow as well as where the vaccine might be available for you: https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains how the FDA has granted the two currently available vaccines EAU while others are still going through the same clinical trial process that these two went through prior to being granted EAU.
The main difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are currently being distributed are the way that they are administered. Both the Modern and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.
For more information on that and for some general Q and A’s about the vaccines and other preventative measures: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html