COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Dysautonomia Center has been receiving many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. We are eagerly awaiting its approval and arrival as well, and look forward to this momentous step forward in the ongoing battle against this global pandemic. We will be keeping up to date in the vaccine availability and distribution so we continue to be ready to advise. For now, this is what we know.

COVID-19 vaccine is expected to become available to frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents first, and may be available in mid to late December. Availability to other populations at increased risk or vulnerable populations is not expected until early 2021. All phases of vaccine distribution will be guided by national and local health departments including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of our patients are considered “high-risk” including those with FD, MSA, PD and others, and should be able to receive the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to the public.

When vaccines do become available, they will probably require 2 injections, as nearly all COVID-19 vaccines being produced and studied in the United States require two shots separated by several weeks. The first shot helps the body to recognize the virus, and the second one boosts the immune system’s response for the most protection the vaccine can offer.

As a clinic within NYU Langone, we will best be able to advise on when vaccination is available here. Other places the vaccine may be available are through your local pharmacy, PCP, urgent care or eventual temporary community vaccination stations. But currently, the vaccine is not yet available anywhere, so there is no need to contact your provider about scheduling an appointment. Please follow national and state guidance on when it might be expected near you. More information can be found in the following links.

Furthermore, patients of NYU Langone will receive information about how to receive the vaccine as soon as it becomes available through NYU Langone Health MyChart and the NYU Langone Health app. “We expect additional doses to start to become available rapidly in early 2021, so we will be able to offer the vaccine to more and more patients,” says Andrew Rubin, senior vice president of clinical affairs and ambulatory care.

This is all very good news, however, given that the vaccine will likely not be available to you or your entire family in the next few months, and infection rates throughout the U.S. are at all-time highs, it is more important than ever to remember to be patient. This unusual, frightening, and frustrating time will pass, and you and your family can celebrate in the usual ways in the not-so-distant future when it is again safe to do so if you continue to take precautionary measures now. Do not succumb to “COVID-fatigue”. Enjoy the holidays by connecting with friends and family through Zoom, phone calls, and limiting contact to only those already living with you. Please continue all other precautions to avoid disease transmission.

And from all of us at the Dysautonomia Center, Happy Holidays!