COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES: MARCH 2021

The discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine has been dramatically celebrated across the world. It brought with it a profound feeling of hope. It meant that victory against the SARS-CoV-2 virus was finally within reach. Several months of hard work and billions of dollars were devoted to the worthy cause.

The sequence of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination

Generally, the first group of patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination were healthcare personnel who were most susceptible to contract the virus. Included in this group are all older residents of long-term care facilities. Vaccination for this set of people started in mid-December last year.

The next set of people in line for the vaccine were people over 75 years of age and essential workers. These essential workers include firefighters and other people in the agricultural sector. After this group, the vaccine was made available to people between the ages of 65 and 74, younger people between the ages of 16 and 64 who have an underlying health risk that could lead to serious health complications from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and people in other sectors like transportation, construction, and food services.

Due to limited vaccine supply, each state has put forward different criteria to decide those eligible and those who aren’t yet qualified through their Public Health Departments. Usually, eligible candidates have to schedule appointments, and again, the requirements vary from state to state. In many cases, the requirements even differ from one county to county.

Collaborative effort to ease the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and affiliated organizations are working round the clock to ensure that the entire process of checking eligibility and booking an appointment for vaccination is as convenient as possible. The center is joining forces with various local health departments and community-based organizations to coordinate the vaccine’s distribution.

The CDC’s concerted efforts, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders have made vaccine distribution easier, especially in hard-to-reach places. The CDC has even provided a comprehensive toolkit for community-based organizations such as social service organizations, school organizations, and faith-based bodies.

The toolkit contains a vast wealth of information that the staff of these organizations can use to educate and sensitize the people in their environment on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The toolkit also contains resources like PowerPoint presentations, social media content, newsletter content, a factsheet, and so much more. The toolkit and other resources are available on the CDC website.

As mentioned earlier, the specific criteria for eligibility vary from state to state (and even from county to county). So, it is of critical importance to consult your local health department to see if you have eligibility requirements under new phase adjustments in your state. Your local health department is where you will find up-to-date information about how to get vaccinated.

And if you need to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, use our online portal on our home page to get started! AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham is helping to administer the vaccine for eligible patients!