The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer, allowing distribution of its new vaccine for COVID-19. This is encouraging news as the vaccine will serve as a vital tool for controlling and eventually ending this pandemic that has caused so much loss, pain, and disruption around the world.
In order to receive EUA, Pfizer enrolled more than 43,000 participants in a phase 3 clinical trial and met required efficacy protocols. In fact, the vaccine showed 95% efficacy. Some clinical trial participants reported fevers, fatigue, muscle aches, and soreness around injection sites. These side effects are normal and a sign that the body is building immunity.
Kaiser Permanente is proud to have played a part in developing this vaccine by participating in the phase 3 clinical trials.
What Kaiser Permanente knows and what comes next
- States will receive limited quantities of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and will make them available to approved vaccine providers.
- Kaiser Permanente has been approved as a vaccine provider in every market where they operate. COVID-19 vaccines will be arriving in the next few days at multiple Kaiser Permanente locations.
- As an approved provider, Kaiser Permanente will administer initial vaccines to the populations prioritized by state health departments and CDC guidance, regardless of health plan membership.
- Health care workers and residents of skilled nursing facilities have been prioritized by federal and state public health departments to receive the vaccine first in phase 1a. The next groups for prioritization are expected to include essential workers, adults with underlying medical conditions, and people over 65.
- Kaiser Permanente won’t charge your employees for the vaccine. Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars are required by the federal government to be given at no cost.
- Vaccine supply will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021.
- Kaiser Permanente will update kp.org and their other communication channels with information about who is eligible in each phase of the states’ prioritization process and how people across their communities can receive a vaccination as it becomes available.
Throughout this process, Kaiser Permanente’s infectious disease chiefs, pharmacy, clinical, and operational leaders have been hard at work. They've reviewed the safety and efficacy data, and are making sure Kaiser Permanente is ready for these new tools that will help bring about the end to this global pandemic.
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