FDA authorizes Covid-19 vaccine, what you need to know

The Food and Drug Administration authorized Friday, Dec. 11, the Pfizer vaccine for use in the United States. Health care workers and some elderly residents could receive the vaccine as early as next week, according to the FDA.

The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose. Learn more.

As more vaccines become available, it will be offered to other members of the public. Each state will decide on its own plan for vaccine distribution. Michigan has not yet published its final distribution plan.

Though specific information about when and where you can get vaccinated is not yet available, we will provide it to you as it becomes available.

Vaccination is a personal decision, and as trust in public officials has become feeble over the past four years, it is imperative that you educate yourself about the vaccine for your health and the health of your family.

Here is some basic information on the vaccine and a host of websites for additional information:

Is the Vaccine Safe?

The FDA is studying the drugs, devices, and vaccines before it approves them for use on the public, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama have vowed to take the vaccine to assure the public of its safety and confidence in the vaccine is rising as more Americans understand the process.

The FDA is reviewing two vaccines and several more are being developed.

Click here to learn more about the different vaccines.

Click here to learn more about how the vaccine works.

How many shots does the vaccine require?

So far, two doses are required for the vaccine to be effective, according to the CDC. The doses must be 21-28 days apart. 

Should people who have had COVID-19 be vaccinated?

Yes. said Dr. Fauci, since the length of immunity is not certain after recovering from the virus.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine side effects?

Side effects of the vaccine produced by Pfizer include flu-like symptoms, such as sore arms, muscle aches, and fever — that could last days.

Are kids included in the vaccine?

Possibly. Pfizer enrolled kids between the ages of 12 and 17 in its study, and the results are not ready yet.

Will pregnant women be able to get a vaccine?

Pregnant women have been excluded from large-scale clinical trials. Experts told NBC News that those pregnant women should be included.

Will we have to pay for the vaccine?

No. The government will provide vaccines to all Americans at no cost.

Here are additional websites for further information:

The CDC: (go to the website and click on Coronavirus Disease 2019, then click on Vaccines). This website, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contains much information about the supply, planning, safety, and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

U of M info: (go to the website and click on Covid-19 Vaccines). This website, published by Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan, contains a wealth of information about vaccines and a good question and answer section.

State of Michigan:  This site, published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, contains current coronavirus restrictions, offers a chat site, a covid alert app, and a question and answer section.


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