Senior facilities residents waiting for COVID vaccine
Around the globe, there are now five vaccines being delivered with the goal of stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic ravaged the world, including the United States, throughout 2020.
The vaccines include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Sputnik 5, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech.
Pfizer, an American company, teamed up with the German BioNTech to develop and produce a vaccine that requires two injections several weeks apart to immunize.
ModernaTX, an American company, manufacturers the Moderna vaccine. This vaccine also requires two injections.
ModernaTX received emergency use authorization Dec. 18, 2020, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer received the same authorization November 2020.
The Russian Federation vaccine, called the Sputnik 5, was the first vaccine provided to humans outside of trials. The vaccine did not complete phase 3 clinical trials before rolling out, which raised early questions about its safety. Sputnik 5 also requires two doses for immunization.
Two vaccines have been developed in China. One is produced by a Chinese state company called Sinopharm, and a second vaccine developed by a Chinese-based company is called Sinovac Biotech Ltd. Third-phase trials of both vaccines are in the process. Both vaccines require two doses, weeks apart.
There is another vaccine in phase 3 trials that is a partnership with Canada and China called CanSino Biologics. This vaccine is a single-dose vaccine and is expected out to the public perhaps in March or April.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson has a vaccine in phase 3 clinical trials. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires only one shot. It is expected to receive emergency use authorization in February.
Another phase 3 vaccine that also might hit the public soon is one developed jointly and being clinically tested by Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University, England.
Some Lehigh Valley residents began receiving the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. These are essential health care workers and senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities serving the elderly.
The Pfizer vaccine along with the Moderna vaccine will be used to vaccinate most people in the United States over the coming months.
Catasauqua Elderly Towers, 534 Third St., and Devonhouse Assisted Living, 2 Front St., are waiting for vaccine availability for their residents, leaving the responsibility for vaccination up to the individual resident and their health care provider.
Leaders at both Catasauqua Elderly Towers and Devonhouse Assisted Living have said little about vaccines to residents, according to tenants at both facilities. Both organizations’ leaders were not available for comment.
“The people living here will go to their doctors for a vaccine,” said Frank of Catasauqua Towers, who requested his surname not be used. “This is like an apartment house. There’s no medical staff here.”
He does not expect an orchestrated vaccine delivery campaign at the Elderly Towers but was unclear if shots will be provided on site.
Two Devonhouse residents granted an interview but asked not to be identified.
“I did not hear a thing about a vaccine being given here,” one of the residents noted.
He went on to say he has been living at Devonhouse for two years and enjoys being there.
The second gentleman noted he was aware of the virus but was totally unaware vaccines are available.