President Donald Trump and US Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, during a news conference at the White House, September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Army general Gustave Perna, who oversees the logistics of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to states, said the US will give Americans paper cards reminding them to come back for second doses.
Vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna, which are awaiting emergency authorized use from the FDA, require two doses.
Experts previously told Business Insider getting 100% of Americans to show up for a second dose might be tricky.
The US will begin transporting vaccines to states within 24-hours of an FDA greenlight, Perna said.
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The US government will be giving Americans paper cards reminding them to get second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Army Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees the logistics of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to states, said federal agents will send ancillary kits that include needles and syringes to doctor’s offices and pharmacies that will distribute the vaccines. The kits also include paper cards to serve as reminders for patients to get second doses, he said at a Wednesday briefing. Americans will need to fill out the cards with the date they must go in a for a follow-up visit.
Perna said states, as well as pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, will have their own plans to notify citizens of when to get second doses.
“At the federal level, we have capability and capacity to send second dose messages out only if and when it’s in collaboration with state laws, regulations, and policies,” Perna said.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech firm Moderna have filed with the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorized use of their COVID-19 vaccines. An independent advisory committee will meet on December 10 and decide whether to recommend the FDA approve Pfizer’s vaccine.
Read more: How the pharma giant Pfizer teamed up with a little-known biotech to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine in record time
Both vaccines require two doses for optimal effectiveness. Pfizer’s must be taken three weeks after the initial dose, and Moderna’s four weeks.
Getting 100% of Americans to show up for a second dose might be tricky, experts told Business Insider’s Aylin Woodward. Studies show a significant number of women did not return to get second doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer.
A double-dose of the vaccines means states will need twice as many vials and syringes, which might be in short supply.
If taken correctly, early trial data indicates the vaccines will be highly effective at preventing individuals from getting COVID-19. A Pfizer analysis of late-stage trial data found its shot is 95% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19, exceeding scientists’ expectations. Moderna said its vaccine was 94.1% effective at protecting against COVID-19.
The US will begin transporting vaccines to states within 24-hours of an FDA greenlight, Perna said. Healthcare workers and long term care facility residents will receive the first doses of the vaccine.
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