Access to the new COVID-19 vaccines was first given to healthcare personnel, people 65 years and older, people at high risk for severe illness, and workers in essential and critical industries.
By providing care to those who are or might be infected with COVID-19, many healthcare workers have a high risk of being exposed and getting sick with COVID-19. Examples of healthcare personnel include:
“Rochester Regional Health received its first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the week of December 14, 2020, following the Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA,” shared Dr. Robert Mayo, Chief Medical Officer of Rochester Regional Health.
“Our clinical teams continue to work closely with federal, state and local health agencies to distribute and administer the vaccines among our team and in the community as more doses become available.”
Because the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 increases with age, seniors 65 and over were first in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Seniors are at a higher risk of hospitalization, illness, intensive care, needing a ventilator to help them breathe, or death from COVID-19 than younger demographics but as availability expands, the age groups are as well.
Including those who have underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and type 2 diabetes. All individuals 16+ are now eligible.
Essential and critical industries is identified by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as roles including those in law enforcement, public safety and other first responders, education, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation and logistics, public works and infrastructure, communications and information technology, and other community- or government-based operations.
All individuals who work, study or live in New York State and are over the age of 16 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
In clinical trials of more than 40,000 participants, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective against COVID-19. In clinical trials of more than 30,000 participants, the Moderna vaccine was 94% effective against COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are comparatively highly effective in preventing infection when you look at the other vaccines we regularly get or provide our children,” explains Dr. Maryrose Laguio-Vila, an infectious disease expert at Rochester Regional Health.
To get more information on the distribution of vaccines in the United States, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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