Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #40
Vaccines on the Way
Vials of the first COVID-19 vaccine are reaching all 50 states today. Yes, the numbers are still going up to new records daily and hospitals are terribly strained. Numbers have been at record highs the past 7 days. Experts expect this trend to continue and get worse before it gets better as we go into Christmas holidays and the heart of winter.
However, we would like to take this blog to hold onto the most hopeful thing that has happened since mid-March when this pandemic became very real for us all: vaccines are on the way for every day folks.
On Friday, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The next day, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) followed with its recommendation of this vaccine for people 16 and older. They also recommended that healthcare workers and long term care facility residents be first in line to receive the shot. Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director said the first vaccinations are set to start as early as Monday.
If you have been keeping up with the news, you may have heard that this particular vaccine requires special handling. It requires very cold deep freeze containers because the vaccine must be stored at -70°C (-94 F). Freezers that are capable of these temperatures cost as much as $20,000 and normally only found in a laboratory. Experts say that this requirement might ease as they learn more about how the vaccine reacts to warmer temperatures, but for now the vaccine has to be used as it has been studied, at these temperatures.
Also, we cannot forget that the Moderna vaccine which is on the horizon just behind Pfizer in terms of EUA and rollout; and it does not require this deep freeze handling. It can be stored in a regular freezer. The vaccines use similar mRNA technology so it seems reasonable to believe that the Pfizer vaccine requirements might change. Without such stringent temperature requirements, logistics of getting to all Americans are simplified.
In order to get a handle on this pandemic, this vaccine effort needs to reach everyone in the country and really all over the world. This will take a very long time, but we are on the way today. We will be in line to take it when the time comes. Side effects that indicate that your body is mounting its response and creating a way to fight off COVID-19 are worth it to us.
Masks and social distance remain our best defense and even with the advent of vaccines, we will need to continue wearing them for quite a long time. In our continued efforts to care about other human beings, we hope others will avoid large holiday in person gatherings and continue safe practices as long as it takes.
Back to hope. The news is full of pictures and videos of vials of Pfizer vaccines loaded onto trucks and airplanes using special equipment and containers. This effort has been in the planning stages by many players for a long time. It is clear that this is not your usual shipping situation.
We have seen stories about the logistics of this effort, yet thankfully, the vaccine is slated to arrive at all 50 states Monday. Let us all applaud the combined effort that is providing this vaccine to give all of us hope in fighting this virus. In fact, the excitement for the vaccine shipment brought out small groups of spectators to the airport in Michigan where the vaccine was loaded onto a cargo plane.
Moncef Slauoui, head of the US coronavirus vaccine efforts says that the United States expects to distribute 40 million vaccines by the end of this year and 50-80 million doses in January and February. It will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. Today, we are quite excited at this latest development. All agree that this will be the biggest vaccination effort in American history.
We continue to wear our masks and socially distance to protect our fellow human beings and ourselves. We ask that everyone do the same.
We are Susan Ramsey and Amie Goldberg, both practicing attorneys and nurses here at the Romano Law Group. Here is a little more about each of us:
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.