Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, scientists have been working tirelessly to develop a vaccine for the virus. Currently, there are two vaccines with the highest success rates and most popularity: the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine has been 90% effective throughout testing, and the Moderna vaccine has been 94.5% effective – both have incredible results considering the short amount of time spent manufacturing them. Additionally, “Pfizer and BioNTech also announced on Friday [February 19] that their vaccine can be stored at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks” similarly to the Moderna vaccine (New York Times). Prior to this, the Pfizer vaccine had to be stored at -75 degrees Celsius. This will hopefully expand the number of pharmacies and doctors’ offices carrying the vaccine, and allow more Americans to receive the vaccine at a faster rate.
As of right now, the main two vaccines being distributed in New York (and the US) are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both require two doses, requiring people to schedule two appointments 21 to 42 days (Pfizer) or 28 to 42 days (Moderna) apart. In New York State, the only people receiving the vaccine at the present time are people who are most likely to contract Covid-19 due to an essential job or high-risk people, who are more likely to contract serious symptoms when getting Covid-19. These people include healthcare workers, grocery workers, people aged 65 and older, nursing home staff, first responders, teachers, people living in homeless shelters, and people with comorbidities. The vaccine will not be supplied to children at this time, as it is unknown whether or not the vaccine will have a different, if any, effect or harm on them. Most likely, The Hewitt School’s hybrid learning will remain the same until the end of the year, but with the advent of these vaccines, there is hope for more in-person days and even full in-person school next year!