I am Valérie Allusson, Chief Medical Officer at Mountainside Medical Center and a member of the Board of Directors here at the YMCA of Montclair. I am excited to announce that the Y and I, along with my colleagues at the hospital, have collaborated to bring you Ask the Doctor, a monthly column providing you with health information.
Today, I will be answering questions on COVID-19 vaccination.
How effective and safe is the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Pfizer and Moderna have developed a vaccine that is administered in two doses. Both companies show that after the second dose, the vaccine is 95% effective, with no significant side effects. The vaccines have the ability to prevent COVID-19, but also prevent severe cases of COVID-19.
When will the vaccines be available?
Both Pfizer and Moderna have applied for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After approval from the FDA, the CDC will provide a framework on which groups to prioritize. The first groups who will receive the vaccines will be nursing home residents and healthcare workers. It is expected that vaccines will be made available to this priority group, including the Mountainside Medical Center, before month’s end.
Will people still need to wear a mask, social distance, and wash hands after being vaccinated?
Yes. It is recommended you continue wearing a mask, social/physical distancing, and washing your hands until the general population is vaccinated.