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Can Mom Be First In Line for the Vaccine?



"My 86-year-old mother is a bit of a news junkie. She is following the development of a vaccine for COVID very closely and wants to be the first in line when it’s available. She believes that anyone over 65 will be the highest priority, and she intends to get her shot ASAP. Mom is very anxious to resume her usual activities, and we frankly do not blame her.

We children have more of a wait-and-see approach. This whole warp speed thing is nice, but we do not want mom to be the front line, if you know what I mean. 

Please weigh in on vaccinations and how quickly we can resume normal routines."



How wonderful that your mother is on top of what is going on in the world. She is informed, and it sounds like she embraces new solutions. Good for her.

On the other hand, it sounds like she has children who are a bit skeptical of these new vaccines that are coming out. Your suspicion seems to revolve around the speed with which they have been developed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is one of the more conservative regulating bodies for new drugs in the world. That is why you will hear about drugs being released in other countries long before they are available in the US. Vaccines produced in this country have had an excellent safety record since vaccines have been mass produced.

The vaccines coming out now are indeed going to be released faster than any vaccines in the past. That does not mean that they did not go through Phase I, II, and III testing. Phase III testing involves tens of thousands people. I cannot tell you that they are 100% safe, or if the effectiveness will be as high at 90-95%. Time will tell on that.

What I do recommend is that your mother obtains all of the information that she can about the vaccine and then makes a decision. She also will need to follow all of the instructions and information provided by the healthcare providers distributing the vaccine, such as when the vaccine becomes effective after receiving it. Also, with COVID being so prevalent in society right now, professionals may recommend distancing even after distribution begins until a large percentage of the population is vaccinated and the incidence drops. 

Suggest that your mother follow the Center of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines carefully for the next six months. That is the one source that you can rely on consistently. There is generally nothing political about the CDC, and I believe you can trust their advice on this matter. Do recognize that COVID is a new disease and information about it is being updated as it becomes available and as studies are done and validated by subsequent studies. 

We are all in this COVID journey together and learning as we go. Do your best to stay safe.


About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

RN / CEO - Emeritus

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