There isn’t a lot of information yet about a vaccine for COVID-19. That’s because none have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Any vaccine that OhioHealth administers must receive FDA approval and have successfully completed all three phases of their vaccine approval process.
In the meantime, we will share what we do know. On this page, we will attempt to answer the Five Ws (plus H): Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. For the time being, we will switch up the order to answer the question we are all asking – When.
When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available to the public?
It is anticipated that at least one vaccine could get FDA approval before the end of 2020. However, it would not be immediately available in large quantities to be administered to the general public.
Who will be eligible to get the vaccine?
Guidelines are being developed now on which groups would be eligible to receive the vaccine. These will be based on who is at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. We anticipate that groups determined to be high-risk would be prioritized to receive the vaccine first.
What will be your process for delivering the vaccine?
This will depend on which vaccine is approved. Some potential vaccines that are still being tested would require two doses for a person to achieve a level of immunity.
Where will I go to get the vaccine?
This will also depend on which vaccine is approved. Some of the potential vaccines being tested must be kept at sub-zero temperatures, which means they will likely not be available in physician offices, like a flu shot or other routine vaccine.
Why should I get the vaccine?
Any vaccine that receives FDA approval will offer some level of immunity to COVID-19. At this time, it’s too early to tell if a COVID-19 vaccine would offer full immunity, like the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) or chickenpox is intended to deliver. It could function more like a flu shot, which provides incomplete or partial immunity. In that case, recipients could still develop COVID-19, but the symptoms would be less severe.
How will things change if I get the vaccine?
It's too early to tell if the first vaccines will offer full immunity. That means you would still be able to get sick from COVID-19 and potentially spread it to others who have higher risks of complications. You should continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and follow other preventive measures for COVID-19.