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 the required number of doses, do I need to continue wearing masks and avoiding close contact with others?
The latest guidance from the CDC is that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. The CDC continues to monitor the situation and issues updated guidance regularly based on additional research and as more people get vaccinated.
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.
Some vaccines require two doses and others require one. Are all COVID-19 vaccines effective?
Can I pick which vaccine I get?
How long does it take for the vaccine to provide immunity, and am I permanently immune after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Can I visit friends and family after I am vaccinated?
Is it safe for my child to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. A child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html
Do the vaccines protect against variants?
The longer it takes for the U.S. to reach more complete vaccination rates, the longer the virus has time to mutate. Getting your shot is the best way to help protect against variants. More information from the CDC on variants can be found here.
How do I know if I need a booster shot?
It is important to consult your physician with questions about receiving a vaccine booster shot. There are important considerations relative to the timing of your first vaccine shot(s). The current CDC recommendations can be found here.
What treatment options are available if I become infected with COVID-19?
There are increasing treatment options available with many more being tested for future use. Learn more here.
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.