As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide information on who is and is not recommended to receive each vaccine and what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness.
Why we need a vaccine
- Vaccination is a step towards normalcy; if enough Nevadans are vaccinated, it will help enable our businesses, restaurants, schools, and casinos to stay open.
- As of Dec. 7, Nevada has reported 170,587 total cases of COVID-19 and 2,319 total deaths.
- An effective vaccine will protect people by lowering their chances of getting COVID-19 if they’re exposed to the coronavirus.
- As of Sept. 27, 2020, there were more than 200 vaccine candidates in preclinical and clinical development globally, including 11 in phase 3 trials.
- Vaccine clinical trials for the approved Pfizer vaccine has demonstrated 95 percent efficacy in clinical trials, meaning 95% of those vaccinated for COVID-19 did not get sick with the disease.
- Widespread vaccination can end this pandemic, as it has historically done with diseases like smallpox, polio, and measles.
Step-by-step approval process
Spring 2020: Scientists began conducting lab research for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate followed by pre-clinical tests on lab animals. Both Pfizer and Moderna utilized a long-studied, but yet to be used vaccine technology, messenger RNA (mRNA.) Companies submitted results to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the form of an Investigational New Drug application (IND). FDA assessed lab practices, product quality and safety, and manufacturing ability, and determined it was safe for testing in people, granting IND approval.
Summer 2020: Phased clinical trials began. To date, Pfizer has enrolled 43,538 participants in their clinical trial, with 21,769 receiving their vaccine. Moderna has enrolled 30,000, with 15,000 receiving their vaccine.
Fall 2020: Clinical trial data is reviewed by the FDA and the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee — outside, independent, technical experts from various scientific and public health disciplines. An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was issued to Pfizer on Dec. 10 and to Moderna Dec. 18. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — a federal advisory committee of scientific and medical experts — voted to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those 16+ years and the Moderna COVID-10 vaccine for those 18+ under EUA.
Winter/Spring 2021: CDC and FDA will provide ongoing vaccine monitoring for safety and provide data and insight to government health agencies, public health partners, and the public.
Program activities are supported by the Nevada State Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number SG 25050 from Coronavirus Relief Funds from the State of Nevada.