How Are You Feeling About the Vaccines?

Above, a covid-19 vaccine candidate produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech being used in a clinical trial at the Sao Lucas Hospital, in Porto Alegre, Brazil on August 08, 2020.
Above, a covid-19 vaccine candidate produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech being used in a clinical trial at the Sao Lucas Hospital, in Porto Alegre, Brazil on August 08, 2020.
Photo: Silvio Avila/AFP (Getty Images)

The past few weeks have brought a flurry of news about covid-19 vaccines, and it’s enough to make anyone feel both optimistic and confused.

On Monday, the UK became the first western nation to approve the emergency use of a vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, with doses expected to be doled out next week. On December 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold an advisory committee meeting on the same vaccine. A week after that, outside experts brought together by the FDA will also review another vaccine candidate, this one developed by Moderna. Should these meetings go as expected, it’s almost certain that the FDA will issue emergency use authorizations of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines soon after and that the first doses will begin reaching the public this month.

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In light of all this, we want to know: How are you feeling about the vaccines?

Both inoculations, for instance, appear to be highly effective (over 90%) at preventing symptoms of covid-19 in those vaccinated. And trials so far haven’t found any serious side effects linked to their use, though, like many vaccines, they may leave you feeling a bit crappy for a day. Has that made anyone feel more comfortable about taking a theoretical vaccine that they did earlier in the year? Has anything else recently made you feel more or less confident in taking a vaccine when it’s available? Are you in one of the high-risk populations, such as front-line health care workers, that are expected to receive the first doses this year and early next? Do you have family members trying to convince you that a vaccine will contain the mark of the beast?

Over the next week or two, I’m going to be reaching out to many scientists for their perspectives on the upcoming covid-19 vaccines. So I’m also curious about what questions you might have that I can pass on—your worries, confusions, and simple curiosities. What about your close loved ones? Are there any concerns they’re bringing up that you’d like to have a better grasp on?

Let’s chat.

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Science writer at Gizmodo and pug aficionado elsewhere

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DISCUSSION

One of the reports I read said you will need 2 shots (4-6 weeks between them), is that true.

How long should “crappy day after” really be (flu shots make me sick for 2 or 3 days) so I can schedule time off work.

Which of the vaccines is most effective with least side effects and which will most likley be available to the general public.

Are the shots truly covered under most health care plans/what is the deductible.

Will the shots be via medical practitioners only or will they be available from phamacies.

Will it matter if I have COVID antibodies (I was ill when tests were still really hard to get, so I don’t know).

About how long should they be effective for and will this eventually be a yearly thing like a flu vaccine?

How old should a child be to get one? How old is too old?

Are there other health conditions that would be advised not get the vaccine?

(Sorry for so many, they were ones just off the top of my head.)