Two different pharmaceutical companies have now had COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA for use in the United States. This is exciting news as it means that a larger portion of our country will be safer from the virus than they once were. The vaccine is not a cure for the illness, and it doesn’t protect everyone that gets it with one hundred percent assurance that they won’t get sick.
There is a lot of hype behind these vaccines, but it’s important to be realistic about the situation. First, access to these vaccines is very limited right now. It’s up to individual states and regions who is going to have first access to this medication, but most places are saying that healthcare workers, those out on the front lines helping people, and those that are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 complications should have first access to the vaccine. States like California and Florida have both stated that senior citizens will be at or near the top of the list of populations prioritized to get the vaccine.
This is great news. The whole point of senior care is to help protect seniors. This can take a lot of different forms, but in the end, regardless of the service being performed, the goal is to help elderly individuals live a higher quality of life. This might mean increased supervision for someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease so they don’t leave their house and get lost, it might mean helping with meal preparation for someone who doesn’t get around as easily as they once did, or it could mean someone to help make sure that medications are being taken on a regular basis. It could mean a variety of other things, too. Ensuring that seniors have access to the vaccine early on will help them to stay safer as COVID numbers continue to increase across the country, overwhelming hospital and healthcare systems.
Each part of the country and each town/region has a different timetable on when residents can expect to have access to the vaccine. If you’re unsure of when your area is going to have the vaccine available for seniors and others, get in touch with your local Department of Health. They will be able to give you a better idea of when this will be ready.
Hopefully, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine means that fewer people will suffer as a result of this illness. Hopefully, it means that fewer lives will be cut short, that families can reunite, and that economic hardships can end. There are still a lot of issues with availability, distribution, and receptivity to be worked out, but the hope is that the vaccine can help our world start to regain some sense of normalcy.
We’re not out of the woods yet. The vaccine requires two dosages, and all safety protocol should be followed after the vaccine is completed in order to help reduce the transmission of the disease. Even with the U.S. fully vaccinated (which could take months), precautions should still be followed.