Cold Storage Error
The vaccine distribution has improved. But sometimes mistakes happen. Walgreens made a storage error and now Ohio nursing homes have to re-administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents. Some of the shots had not been stored under the proper cold storage temperatures. Walgreens said it discovered that one lot of the vials containing the vaccine were subject to improper storage before being delivered to the facilities.
The Trump administration initiated the Pharmacy Partnership with drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens. The chains agreed to three visits to every participating nursing home, vaccinating as many people as possible the first two times, and providing the second required dose on the later visits. The distribution has been inconsistent.
Residents have accepted vaccines with 78% receiving at least one shot between Dec. 18 and Jan. 17. However, staff members continue to refuse to accept vaccinations. The Trump administration promised that it would launch a public information campaign about the vaccines but it never happened. Health-care worker acceptance increases in facilities that have done more to educate staff members about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Wear a Mask
Public health measures — such as avoiding crowds, physical distancing and masks — reduce the risk of the coronavirus diseases. Health experts give five reasons Americans should wears masks even after vaccination:
1. No vaccine is 100% effective.
Large clinical trials show vaccines prevented 95% of illnesses caused by the coronavirus. Which still means 1 in 20 people are left unprotected, said Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the CDC.
2. Vaccines don’t provide immediate protection.
No vaccine is effective right away. It takes about two weeks for the immune system to make the antibodies that block viral infections.
3. Covid vaccines may not prevent you from spreading the virus.
Vaccines may provide two levels of protection. While covid vaccines clearly prevent illness, researchers need more time to figure out whether they prevent transmission. Wearing masks is the safest way for vaccinated people to protect those around them.
4. Masks protect people with compromised immune systems.
Although the vaccines appear safe, some people aren’t able to be vaccinated. The CDC advises to avoid vaccination if you have had severe allergic reactions to vaccine ingredients, including polyethylene glycol. The agency also warns people who have had dangerous allergic reactions to a first vaccine dose to skip the second.
5. Masks protect against any strain of the coronavirus, in spite of genetic mutations.
Global health leaders are extremely concerned about new genetic variants of the coronavirus, which appear to be at least 50% more contagious than the original. So far, studies suggest vaccines will still work against these new strains.