Know what to expect when getting a vaccine, when it will be available, and how it was developed and approved.
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Thank you to everyone who responded. We are reviewing and processing the results. Your responses and comments will inform the Minneapolis Health Department's plan for an equitable and effective community vaccination plan.
A vaccine must be safe and effective for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to approve it. The FDA reviews vaccine research and testing before approving a vaccine.
What to expect
When you get a COVID-19 vaccine you should expect:
- The vaccines will require two doses given several weeks apart, so plan for two appointments.
- You will be told about the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine. You have the right to accept or refuse the vaccine based on the information you receive.
- The vaccines are safe and effective. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the vaccine.
- Reported side effects are typical of a normal immune response to any vaccine including fever, headaches, and muscle aches.
- The vaccine is free with or without health insurance.
Vaccine phased distribution
The first COVID-19 vaccines will be available in Dec. 2020.
Vaccines are being distributed in a phased approach.
- Phase 1 includes healthcare workers as well as long term care staff and residents. Additional phase 1 groups are other critical workers, such as firefighters, and folks at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
- Phase 2 will continue to focus on critical populations and begin to distribute to the general population.
- Phase 3 will reach the full general public so that anyone and everyone who wants a vaccine will have access. For more information about groups and phases:
COVID-19 Vaccine distribution timeline
The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in phases. Here are the vaccine distribution phases and expected availability.*
Potential Timeline for Distribution
Phase 1A - Dec 2020: Distribution will focus on healthcare workers and long-term care residents.
Phase 1B - 1st quarter 2021: Distribution will focus on other critical workers.
Phase 1C - End of 1st quarter 2021: Distribution will focus on adults with high-risk medical conditions and people 65 and older.
Phase 2 - 2nd and 3rd quarter 2021: Vaccine distribution will have a continued focus on critical populations and general population.
Phase 3 - 3rd quarter 2021 and after: Distribution will focus on the general population.
*Note: This timeline is dependent upon vaccine approval and availability. All time frames are estimated and subject to change.
- The first vaccines will be given by injection. They will require two doses given several weeks apart.
- The vaccine will be free with or without health insurance.
- The first vaccines were approved under an emergency use authorization. The authorization requires each vaccine is proven safe and effective.
- The first vaccines are not expected to be approved for use in children and those who are pregnant or nursing. More data is needed about how the vaccine affects these groups.
To be approved, a vaccine must be effective. The FDA requires that any vaccine be greater than 50% effective at preventing COVID-19. The vaccines currently approved are about 95% effective.
COVID-19 Vaccine development and approval
Researchers and medical experts worked together in new ways, devoting resources and funding to quickly develop safe and effective vaccines.
The vaccine approval process includes multiple phases of testing and approval.
Pre-clinical testing: A new vaccine is first tested on cells. Then it is given to animals, like mice or monkeys, to see if it works.
Phase 1 safety trials: The vaccine is given to a small number of people. This is to test for safety and dosage. It also confirms that the vaccine works on humans.
Phase 2 expanded trials: The vaccine is given to hundreds of people. It is tested in different populations, like age groups. This shows if the vaccine works differently between groups. Safety is a top priority.
Phase 3 efficacy trials: The vaccine is given to thousands of people. There are two groups. One receives the vaccine, and the other does not. After time, the groups are compared to see if the vaccine works to prevent disease.
Approval: The results are reviewed. If the vaccine is safe and effective, it is approved.
Do you have questions about vaccines? Email [email protected] or contact Minneapolis 311 a6 612-673-3000.
Last updated Jan 4, 2021