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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The COVID19 Vaccine

On December 14th, Sandra Lindsay, a healthcare worker from Queens New York, became one of the first to receive the new COVID19 Pfizer vaccine (1). Millions rejoiced at this long-awaited news after spending months in this pandemic, with what seemed like no end in sight. This vaccine has sparked a new hope in our society towards fighting this awful pandemic in the new year. Due to the large number of individuals who want this vaccine, phases have been planned for its release. Before discussing the phases, it’s important to understand what this vaccine is and the science behind it. 

I have researched on the Pfizer vaccine and have read articles published by the CDC. Currently there are three types of vaccines for COVID19. These include protein subunit vaccines, vector vaccines, and mRNA vaccines. The most used out of these three so far has been the mRNA vaccine. This type of vaccine “contain[s] material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus” (2). Our bodies then copy the protein and destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. After this “our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future” (2).

This medical technology is new in vaccinations, however the CDC reassures that the vaccine is safe to take and is around 95% effective after the second dose (1). The CDC explains that although the first dosage begins building protection against the virus, a second dosage is critical to strengthen and solidify this protection. This process is nothing new to us. Many vaccines and shots require two or more dosages such as the measles and HPV vaccines (3). If you do end up taking this vaccine, make sure to make time for your second dosage when it is needed. 

The Massachusetts government has published on the phases, informing us of each one and when they are to occur. Of course, changes can happen due to the unpredictability of our circumstances. Phase 1, scheduled for December of 2020 to January of 2021, “Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care” are the first of the priority recipients in this phase. Then it is rest homes and long-term facility workers, emergency responders, and home-based healthcare workers (4). Phase 2, scheduled for February to March, includes individuals over the age of 65, other essential workers, and high-risk individuals such as those with underlying conditions or illness. Then phase 3, scheduled to begin in April, will include most of the general public. This will include high education workers, bottled beverage industry workers, and veterinarians (4). 

There has been a lot of debate over this vaccine as the mRNA vaccine is new to human vaccinations. Some people are worried about the side effects. However most vaccines can come with side effects, whether they are mild or severe. Medical professionals have defended this new vaccine and promise that it is safe. They are continuously observing their trials and of any significant effects. 

There is a high demand for this vaccine, so I recommend getting in contact with your primary care doctor or a medical care facility when your phase is about to begin. Give yourself time to schedule an appointment and call-in advance. Until we are able to receive this vaccine, it is important that people are still socially distancing, washing their hands, and wearing masks when out in public. Now especially is not a time to practice leniency with these procedures. We are all in this together and should do the best of our abilities to slow and lessen the spread of COVID19.


  1. https://abc7ny.com/sandra-lindsay-second-covid-vacine-coronavirus-vaccine-pfizer/9347577/

  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html

  3. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-statement-following-authorized-dosing-schedules-covid-19-vaccines

  4. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-timeline-phase-overview