There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA approval will trigger millions of vaccine doses to be distributed across the U.S. and administered to the first “tier” of recipients, likely consisting of health care workers and congregant living residents.
What was only a thought experiment this summer — “would I be willing to get a COVID vaccine developed in the time frame of less than a year?” — has become a question I answered in reality last week as my health department began planning its tier one vaccine supply request, of which I am a part since I am a public health nurse there. I have had my own concerns related to the vaccine, which I have reconciled for myself; my hope is that sharing my thought process may help you as well.
First, I admit that I do not fully understand the mRNA vaccine — but there are plenty of things about science and medicine that I don’t fully understand, yet accept as fact. Since I am not an immunologist or vaccine expert, I have to trust that the community of professionals has been as honest and thorough in their assessments of these vaccines as they have been with all other vaccines before them. The electrical wiring in my house is best tended to by an electrician; I try to be an informed electricity consumer, but I mostly leave it up to the professionals. I choose the same approach here.