As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, the largest vaccination program in the history of the United States is now underway. With this development comes the inevitable questions of what this means for individuals, families and organizations. On this page, as well as other pages in this section, the Kansas Health Foundation has attempted to outline some of the most common information and provide answers to the most pressing questions facing Kansans. More information can also be found on printable handouts in English, Spanish and both languages.
The state of Kansas has released its plans for vaccine availability by population. This plan, which divides Kansans into five tiers, has now moved into Phase 5. In this phase, all Kansans ages 16 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine. This includes all groups who were eligible in phases 1-4.
Learn more by viewing the complete plan here.
On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This authorization allowed for the domestic distribution of a vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. One week later, a similar authorization was given for the distribution of a second COVID-19 vaccine option, this one developed by Moderna. While each of these vaccines requires two doses, on Feb. 27. 2021, authorization was given for a single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.
During this approval process, the FDA closely analyzes studies of the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates. By granting approval for the vaccines, the FDA has deemed them safe and effective for use. Even after a vaccine is approved, a vaccine safety monitoring system goes into effect, which continues to examine the safety of vaccines as they are more widely used.
Many people have questions about potential vaccine side effects. According to the FDA, “the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19).” As more people receive the vaccines, multiple health agencies will continue to monitor these reactions and side effects.
Depending on availability, it may be months before many Kansans are able to receive the vaccine. In the meantime, it will take the efforts of everyone in the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, here are three important steps Kansans can take:
COVID-19: Now What?
COVID-19: Helping Others
COVID-19: Next Steps
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