December 3, 2023

USU Eastern students eligible for COVID vaccines: available for everyone 18 and older

 On March 18, 2021, Gov. Spencer Cox announced that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility was opened to everyone 18 and up in the state of Utah. 

Gov. Cox hopes to have Utah fully vaccinated by July 4, this year. 

This means that every student at Utah State University Eastern is currently eligible to recieve one of the three available vaccines. 

There are multiple places in Carbon county to receive a vaccination and all three are available in the area. Here is everything you need about the vaccines to know before scheduling your appointment.

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was the first to be given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. The first doses of the vaccine were given out on December 14, 2020. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that uses the spike proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 to create an immune response to the virus in the recipient. The vaccine is administered with two doses spaced 21 days apart. Patients are considered fully vaccinated 10 days after the administration of the second dose. 

In clinical trials, the vaccine was shown to be 94% effective against symptomatic cases of COVID-19 and 100% effective against hospitalization and deaths. Real world observations have shown a 90% efficacy in symptomatic COVID-19. It also reduces the risk of transmission by 94%. 

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was the second to receive EUA from the FDA. It was given authorization on Dec. 18, 2020. 

The vaccine uses the same spike proteins as the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. This vaccine is also administered in two doses, four weeks apart. Patients who receive the Moderna vaccine are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose. 

In the clinical trials for the Moderna vaccine, the efficacy was shown to be 96% protective against cases of symptomatic coronavirus. It also shows 100% protection against hospitalization and death. 

 Johnson & Johnson is the latest vaccine to be given emergency use authorization by the FDA. It was approved on Feb. 27, 2021. 

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses inactive SARS-CoV-2 cells to activate an immunity response in patients. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a lower efficacy rate that the others. In trials, it showed a 72% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and a 100% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths. 

The vaccine is administered in one dose and patients are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their vaccination appointment. 

        All three vaccines share similar side effects. Most vaccinated people reported soreness at the injection site, swelling at itchiness at the injection site, headaches, chills and body aches. Most symptoms only last a few days and are considered mild. 

Smith’s Pharmacy has appointments to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Walmart has appointments for the Moderna vaccine. Lin’s Market has limited appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Southeast Utah Health Department has appointments, but vaccines vary through the department. 

 Both the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization suggest scheduling a vaccine appointment as soon as possible. 

After a vaccination appointment, keep the vaccination card you receive. It may be required for entry to venues and for travel in the near future. 

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