We need a national strategy on pandemic preparedness to prevent or otherwise lessen the impact of current and future pandemics. The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease is committed to raising awareness of threats posed by infectious disease and to advancing solutions to ensure future pandemic preparedness.
Pandemic preparedness must include addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and building understanding and confidence in vaccines.
Frequently asked questions - VacciNATION
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Any vaccine approved by the FDA has gone through a rigorous testing and clinical trial process, involving highly-trained scientists and thousands of volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
If I already had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Can you get COVID-19 through the vaccines?
No, it not possible to get COVID-19 through a vaccination.
How confident are researchers in the science?
When will it be my turn to get vaccinated?
States will determine who is eligible to receive vaccinations and in what order. For more information, visit immunize.org/states/.
Once vaccines are available, where can I go for updates or additional information?
FAQ about COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination
Once I get vaccinated with both doses, do I need to continue wearing masks and avoiding close contact with others?
Yes. The CDC and public health and infectious disease experts recommend that everyone, even those who have received both doses of a vaccine, continue to wear masks and avoid close contact with others. Though the vaccines have been shown to prevent you from developing COVID-19, questions remain as to whether vaccinated people can continue to spread COVID-19. Taking the steps of wearing masks and avoiding close contact will help stop this pandemic.
How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
There is no cost for the vaccines, which were purchased by the federal government to be distributed to the American people. Vaccination providers can charge a fee for administering the shot, but no one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.
Frequently Asked Questions - AMR
We are currently facing one of the biggest health care threats of our lifetimes. Why is antimicrobial resistance (AMR) so important now?
Right now, COVID-19 is testing the limits of our health care system. Many deaths attributed to pandemics like COVID-19 are due to secondary infections caused by antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” Antibiotics and antifungals underpin modern medicine, and growing antimicrobial resistance jeopardizes people’s health and the entire health system. While treatment advances for serious chronic diseases accelerate, we are losing ground in our ability to fight bacteria and other life-threatening infections. Every time people take antibiotics, some bacteria may survive, multiply, and evolve to become resistant to existing treatments. This means that new resistance to our current treatments continuously emerge, rendering many existing drugs ineffective and shrinking our treatment arsenal.
Without effective treatments for drug-resistant infections, patients lose not just protections against infectious diseases such as pneumonia, but also other advances of modern medicine that rely on the ability to effectively treat and prevent hospital and community-acquired infections. This includes organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, major surgery, and care of preterm infants and immunocompromised patients, among others. Even routine procedures and surgeries involve greater risk from the rise in antimicrobial-resistant infections.
Re-establishing a robust pipeline to build up our arsenal of antimicrobial treatments is critical given that hard-to-treat bacteria and fungi continue to emerge. We must act, and act now.
How are we so unprepared as it relates to the AMR threat? And what comes next?
The world is currently witnessing what happens when we don’t have treatments to address highly contagious, infectious diseases. Because of the lack of sufficient financial incentives in the current system, the necessary investments are not being made in the research and development of new antimicrobial treatments. We must act now to overcome obstacles that have deterred this investment to date.
Treatments for resistant infections are extremely difficult to develop, and opportunities to recoup development costs and to make a return on investment are limited. Currently, it takes 23 years for a company to see profit on a new antibiotic. In addition, current reimbursement policies often disincentivize use of the most appropriate treatments in hospital settings. And stewardship programs that are designed to reduce the development of new resistance can further limit the use of newly developed medicines.
Putting policies into place to ensure that academic and industry scientists are incentivized to cooperate and create a sustained and robust pipeline of new antibacterials medicines and novel therapies that save lives is critical to our economy. Finding opportunities that educate patients, engage investors, and empower innovators is more important than ever in the fight against infectious disease.
Who can have the biggest impact on addressing AMR issues?
We all can play a role in addressing and slowing the development of AMR. At an individual level, it starts with hygiene and thorough adherence to treatment when antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals are prescribed. For health care providers and facilities, public awareness, sanitation, early point-of-care diagnostics, clinical guidelines and good stewardship are important factors. For policymakers, passing legislation that can create the environment to encourage investment in new treatment options is essential. Our government needs to to help incentivize innovation by:
- Supporting investment in early stage research and development of new medicines,
- Advancing efficient regulatory development and review pathways,
- Establishing payment and reimbursement policies that address barriers to appropriate use and stabilize the market,
- Developing solutions to stimulate investment by creating an attractive market.