On December 11, the FDA issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of COVID19. Now there are two vaccines: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, both of which have been shown to be roughly 95% effective .
This is a promising step in the fight against the coronavirus, and the knowledge that they will receive the vaccine soon has brought relief to countless Americans.
However, even though both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have already started being administered in the United States, these vaccinations do not signal the immediate end of the pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccines, while important, are not an immediate solution
While coronavirus vaccines are certainly promising, people should not look to them as a quick fix for ending the COVID-19 pandemic for a few reasons:
1. Logistical challenges with vaccine distribution and administration
Because the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination needs to be kept in a deep freeze, it is more costly and challenging to transport and distribute than many other vaccines .
In addition to trying to secure the funding to obtain and distribute the vaccine, many states are also struggling to come up with the money necessary to hire staff to administer the vaccines, keep track of the individuals who need to take the shot’s booster, and cover positions for healthcare workers who may have to take off work if they experience side effects of the vaccinations like fatigue .
Although some individuals have already taken the vaccine, there are a lot of logistics to work out before this vaccine is widely available to more than just essential workers.
2. The U.S. needs to reach herd immunity
In order to decrease the spread of COVID-19 from person to person to the extent that this virus is no longer a threat, the United States needs to reach herd immunity. This will make sure that the entire population is safe from COVID-19, not just the people who are vaccinated.
While several thousand people, from healthcare workers to members of Congress, have already taken a COVID-19 vaccine, herd immunity in the United States is still a long way off. According to immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, 85% of Americans will need to receive COVID vaccinations in order for there to be herd immunity against the coronavirus in the U.S. .
Not only will it take time for this amount of the population to receive their vaccines, but there are also many Americans who do not want to receive the vaccine right away. Considering that roughly 44% of Americans want to wait before receiving the coronavirus vaccine, it may be months before herd immunity is achieved in the United States .
3. Building immunity takes time
Even when people take a COVID-19 vaccine, immunity to the virus is not instantaneous.
Both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require a priming dose and a follow-up booster shot . This booster shot must be administered a couple of weeks after the initial shot, meaning that people who take the vaccine will not experience the full benefits of this vaccine for nearly a month.
After the booster shot, it will still take time for vaccinated individuals to build immunity for the coronavirus. In the meantime, as we weather the coronavirus second wave and even a third or fourth, they will still need to take precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
4. The Coronavirus is still relatively unknown
Although people across the world have been fighting against COVID-19 for a year now, there is still a lot that is unknown about the coronavirus.
A new strain of the coronavirus that has been spotted in some countries features 17 mutations, and experts do not know whether the COVID-19 vaccinations that are being distributed now will adequately protect against these new mutations .
5. Healthcare workers need protection now
Even though these vaccines are major accomplishments and can provide coronavirus prevention which will eventually help usher in the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not enough for healthcare workers to rely on these vaccines for protection right now.
These vaccinations do not provide an immediate solution, and as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb after the holiday season, hospitals and healthcare facilities are in need of a way to keep their employees safe and improve throughput in the meantime.
The SCONE™ is the perfect solution.
This device uses negative pressure technology to help clear infectious droplets and particles, significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals and serving as an active barrier of protection that healthcare workers desperately need as they wait for Americans to develop herd immunity.
The SCONE™ also reduces PPE changes and simplifies the treatment process, allowing healthcare professionals to treat patients more efficiently and maximizing hospital throughput.
While the U.S. waits for people to receive the vaccine and build immunity, healthcare workers are still at risk for COVID-19 while they fight on the frontlines to care for COVID patients. They need medical devices like the SCONE™ to provide the protection they need to continue this fight.
SCONE™ has been authorized by the FDA for Emergency Use. Connect with us and learn how to get SCONE™ into your healthcare facility and bring better COVID19 protection to your healthcare facility today!