The COVID-19 Vaccine: How to Prepare

The race is on to create a safe, viable vaccine to protect the world from COVID-19. United in the nationwide Operation Warp Speed effort, scientists have expedited vaccine trials like never before and there is widespread hope that a vaccine will be available in the not-too-distant future. While we wait, Inspira is doing everything it can to be fully prepared to administer an approved vaccine to the South Jersey community.

“When a vaccine is approved, Inspira will offer it,” said Joe Alessandrini, vice president of Clinical Services for Inspira Medical Centers Elmer and Vineland, and a licensed pharmacist. “We are working to be fully prepared to make the vaccine readily available to the communities we serve.”


Understanding Vaccines

When it comes to protecting your body from illnesses, your immune system is on the front line. Yet with a vaccine, both the body and the immune system are fortified from harmful and debilitating illness-inducing germs.

“Vaccines defend the body by injecting a small amount of the virus into the body so the immune system can develop antibodies—proteins that signal the immune system to attack foreign cells,” said Alessandrini. “Typically, the injection contains an active, inactive or partial part of the bacteria or virus, which allows the immune system to protect the body against the particular illness by monitoring for them and promptly fighting them if, and when, they’re detected.”

Why the Key to our Future is in a Vaccine

“Vaccines are essential to our overall survival because, really, they protect the body from illnesses without the patient actually being infected. Of course people can create antibodies after an illness, but with a vaccine, you avoid the uncertainty of not knowing how you will react to this illness,” said Alessandrini. “This is why we must continue upholding preventive measures (like wearing a mask, handwashing, and social distancing) until there is a COVID-19 vaccine—because we need to protect both ourselves and our community from this illness.”

While being vaccinated against COVID-19 will help stop an individual from contracting this illness, there is an even larger advantage to mass vaccination known as herd immunity: As the number of people vaccinated against an illness like the novel coronavirus increases, the potential for this illness to spread throughout a community decreases significantly.

“When the researchers determine the vaccine is safe and ready to be released and widely distributed, we can start to mitigate the devastation from this illness like we did with the measles, mumps and even chicken pox,” said Alessandrini. “Unfortunately, there are some people who may be unable to receive the vaccine due to a preexisting health condition—and these are the individuals who will benefit from herd immunity.”

Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19 at Inspira Health

Inspira is committed to protecting our South Jersey community against the novel coronavirus and already preparing to offer the vaccine as soon as it’s available. While several vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials—studies are still being conducted—researchers are working diligently to expedite the road to recovery.

“The world has united to produce a safe and effective vaccine to get us back to some semblance of our previous normal,” said Alessandrini. “And while experts are working on producing a vaccine, Inspira is doing everything it can to prepare to distribute this vaccine as soon as it's available.”

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