Trust Index: Answers about the COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON – Whether you plan to get the vaccine or not, you’ve likely been keeping tabs on the progress, and there is a long list of things to track; some of it may not be accurate.

We are all being told to do our part to eliminate the risk of the virus in order to return to normal life. According to the health experts, that means getting the first vaccine available to you.

So the first question is, when exactly will that be?

Your spot depends on the state’s rollout plan, we all know frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be among the first to receive a vaccine for coronavirus but if you’re a vulnerable adult outside of these settings, will it be months before you receive one? Our research shows that’s true.

“I would expect the regular people at large to start vaccination in late January, early February and it will extend until spring for sure,” said Dr. Philip Salem. “I don’t think we would go back to any normalcy before, at least, we have vaccinated 60 to 70% of the population and that we have seen a significant reduction in infection infection”

Does that mean masks will be here until late 2021?

Again, that’s true.

“I think the likelihood of us going back to no masks in the doctor’s office in the next year is unlikely,” said Dr. James McCarthy, chief physician executive at Memorial Hermann. “We’ll still be masked for a while. Hopefully, as rates drop, our ability to not have those in everyday life starts to diminish.”

Howver, that will only happen if people agree to get the vaccine and it might be hard to convince some people to do, especially if social media is fueling fear.

One viewer asked KPRC 2 to confirm whether the government is using the vaccine as a form of control, specifically for female sterilization.

This is false.

“This vaccine has undergone very rigorous testing, it has been tested on a minimum of 35,000 people so we know a great deal about its side effects,” Dr. Philip said. “The side effects are very minimal.”

Side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness and mild flu-like symptoms. These are comparable to other vaccines that are readily available at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office every year.

KPRC 2 Health Reporter Haley Hernandez will be tracking some key dates concerning the vaccine over the next few days and weeks.

On Thursday, the FDA will hold a public meeting with independent experts, who will advise the agency on whether or not to grant the vaccine an “emergency use authorization” for the Pfizer vaccine.

Once that decision is made, the vaccine distribution would start immediately.

Here in Texas, Gov. Abbott has said the rollout could happen on Dec. 14.

On Dec. 17th, the FDA meets to decide on an “emergency use authorization” for the Moderna vaccine.