It’s much harder to get in front of a problem once it’s in full swing. Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. If anything, we have learned that prevention is key to our health and safety. One might say that we have witnessed that same lesson with the recent debilitating winter storms in Oklahoma and Texas. Unfortunately, the weather is just one of the temporary setbacks in the vaccine rollout. In this article, Advanced Body Scan provides you with the latest COVID-19 vaccine update and everything you need to know about it.
And then we’ll talk about the proactive measures you can take in these extra risky times for your health—especially if you’re an older adult.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout—A Quick Overview
We know. The constant pandemic setbacks are real. Unfortunately, that’s the norm whenever something spreads and takes a foothold. When you’re in a constant state of troubleshooting a life-threatening situation, it’s hard to get out in front of the situation.
Many of us had the same thought when the COVID-19 vaccine began to roll out back in December. “Finally, life’s going to get back to normal.” But normal is taking a bit longer than anticipated. Let’s take a look at why.
Why Is the Vaccination Process Taking So Long?
- Time. Vaccination programs take time to get up and running.
- Expense. States have only started receiving significant federal funding for vaccination delivery efforts in January 2021.
- Distribution. Transporting the current available vaccines is complicated. Both the vaccines—the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna—have to be shipped and stored frozen. After thawing, they have to be used within 5 days.
- Scarcity. The reality is that there’s just not enough vaccines yet. While the vaccination process is underway, manufacturers are not yet able to keep up
Why Aren’t There More Vaccines?
In part, vaccine manufacturers haven’t been able to produce what they promised. Additionally, the FDA has authorized only two vaccines. so far: the mRNA vaccines made by the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership and by Moderna. Even when the FDA does authorize more vaccines, the effects won’t be immediate.
When Will We Get More Vaccine Doses?
On Feb. 26, the Johnson & Johnson Janssen one-dose vaccine goes before the U.S. FDA for review. Like with the others, this rollout will not be a fast one.
Originally, federal officials were expecting billions of J&J doses, rather than millions. That, however, turned out to be a miscommunication over the production timeline, according to CNN. Those 20 million vaccine doses are expected in April.
Will the Vaccine Keep the Virus from Spreading?
Medical experts still suggest masking and social distancing after people are fully inoculated. Doctors aren’t sure yet if vaccinated people can spread the virus to those who have not had the shot. They also don’t know if the vaccine protects against new variants.
This doesn’t mean that the outcome is not hopeful.
Dr. Benjamin Singer, pulmonary and critical care specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently told the Chicago Tribune, “(The vaccines) are very protective against acquiring symptomatic COVID-19 and exceptionally protective against contracting severe disease.”
The testing stages of the COVID-19 vaccines were designed to address urgency. The manufacturers’ primary mission was to make vaccines that would prevent symptomatic and severe disease and save lives. Finding out if it can stop transmission of the virus would have taken much longer. Over time, we will learn the effectiveness of the vaccines with more studies. However, experts do seem confident that vaccination will cut back substantially on SARS-2 transmission.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Situation in Oklahoma
The last week of February marked the launch of the second wave of vaccinations in Oklahoma with 137,000 new doses arriving after winter storm setbacks.
Who Is Eligible for the Vaccine Right Now?
Who is eligible for vaccines is up to the individual states? Initially, when the rollout started back in December, vaccines were supposed to go to health workers and the staff and residents of nursing homes.
Currently in Oklahoma, this second round of vaccines is slated for K-12 teachers and Oklahomans of any age with serious health problems.
There are 90,000 teachers in the state who became eligible for the shot during the last week of February. And there are 635,000 Oklahoma residents with the following comorbidities that will be eligible for vaccination:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic lung, liver, or renal disease
Choose Proactive Health Measures During COVID
As you know, there are many lifestyle changes you can make in order to improve your health, especially while you wait on the vaccine. Eating wholesome foods, exercising, getting plenty of rest, moderating alcohol, and quitting smoking are all things that can give you a leg up during the pandemic and for any future challenges to your health.
Take Control of Your Health Screening
Another way to be proactive about your health is to get regular body scans. Advanced Body Scan’s heart, lung, colon, and full body scans allow you and your doctor to detect signs of life-threatening disease—like heart disease and cancer—even before symptoms arise. Early detection means you can act before you possibly find yourself in the middle of a battle for your life, when the disease has already entrenched itself.
Preventive scans allow you to take control of your health. You don’t have to feel helpless as a high-risk patient during the pandemic—this one, or future ones. Find out now if you have one of the comorbidities like hypertension, heart disease, or early stages of lung cancer.
You have no choice but to wait for the government to respond to the pandemic with vaccines and other measures. But you can choose to monitor your own health and be ready to act fast.
Our non-invasive, low-dose scanner may detect the smallest irregularities months to even years before you might experience any symptoms. If you’re ready to take control of your health, contact Advanced Body Scan today. We’d love to hear from you.