By Blair Whitfield, PharmD
Gayco Consultant Pharmacist
On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, and ”D” for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some people who are infected may not have symptoms. For people who have symptoms, illness can range from mild to severe. Adults 65 years and older and people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness.
Key Things To Know
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.
- It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.
- COVID-19 vaccines are more widely accessible. Everyone 16 years and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.
What We Are Still Learning
- We are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms.
- We are also still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.
- We are still learning how many people have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before most people can be considered protected (population immunity).
- We are still learning how effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic together, remember that we are here to protect our patients and ourselves. Stay safe!