COVID-19 Vaccines are the next step in being able to protect our communities and slow down the spread of this virus. Over this past year, the impact of CV-19 has affected all of us in our lives, work, activities, and freedom. The responsibility is ours, as a community to help stop the virus from continuing to spread. The CV-19 vaccines are a safe and effective tool to help us do that. We want to encourage all employees to step up when their turn comes and get vaccinated to continue doing all they can to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their coworkers.
From Randy Freitas, “I believe in vaccines. I consider myself a healthy person that rarely gets sick, yet I get a Flu shot every year. When the country shut down due to the Corona Virus, I knew it would be a matter of time until a vaccine was made available. To have several come out so fast is truly amazing. There are 3 that are currently out, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer. Moderna and Pfizer, have shown achievements way beyond what experts had hoped Covid-19 vaccines could hit. Pretty soon other vaccines from Novavax and Astra Zeneca are right behind for trying to get emergency use authorization.
Right now, because of the limited supply of the vaccines, you won’t get to choose which vaccine you get. That’s not that big of a deal to me because any vaccine is better than no vaccine. The 3 current vaccines show an various efficacy rates, but they are even more effective against hospitalization and death.
I have signed up on several places to be notified as soon as the requirements change for eligibility for the vaccines, as well as standby lists. I have heard that some places that give the vaccine have “no-shows” and don’t want their vaccines to go to waste, so they keep people on a standby list.
I am excited to say that I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine! There are minor differences between the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The main difference (to me) is the time between doses. Pfizer requires 21 days between doses, Moderna is 28 days between doses, and Johnson & Johnson is a single dose. I am scheduled to get my second dose March 16th.
I’m glad that the vaccine has been out long enough to not be one of the guinea pigs, but still be one of the first few to get it. I will share if I have any mild or severe side effects”
All CV-19 vaccines in the United States are effective in preventing the disease. At the time this article goes to press, there are 3 approved vaccines. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was recently approved. The most common side effects are pain in the arm where the shot was received, headache, body ache, chills, fever, or feeling tired. These vaccines use a new approach called mRNA.
Facts about COVID-19 Viral Vector Vaccines from the CDC (Johnson & Johnson):
- COVID-19 viral vector vaccines, the vector (not the virus that causes COVID-19, but a different, harmless virus) will enter a cell in our body and then use the cell’s machinery to produce a harmless piece of the virus that causes COVID-19. This piece is known as a spike protein and it is only found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- The cell displays the spike protein on its surface, and our immune system recognizes it doesn’t belong there. This triggers our immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating other immune cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection.
- Viral vectors cannot cause infection with COVID-19 or with the virus used as the vaccine vector.
- The genetic material delivered by the viral vector does not integrate into a person’s DNA.
The CV-19 Vaccine distribution rollout started in late 2020 with Healthcare workers and long-term care residents in phase 1A. The state has opened up the eligible list to include phase 1B: people 65+, education & childcare workers, emergency workers, and food/grocery/agriculture workers. The next phase, 1C is estimated to begin around March 15th pending supplies and county distribution process. 1C will be for those aged 16-64 with disabilities and/or underlying health conditions. Each county in CA is proceeding through these phases at slightly different speeds. After phase 1C hasn’t been announced yet, but will likely be an aged based priority system which may possibly prioritize other essential workforces that have not been eligible for the vaccines yet.
For the most accurate CV-19 vaccine distribution information where you live, please look up your local county public health website. Some counties have notification systems you can sign up for where you will get an email notifying you when you are eligible for the CV-19 vaccine based on your age and some health-related questions they will ask you on their website. The state of CA also has a notification site you can sign up through https://myturn.ca.gov/. When you receive the notification that you are eligible you will need to lookup resources in your county or reach out to your healthcare provider for options on where you can sign up for Vaccine appointments. Mass Vaccination sites have been popping up around the bay area (Oakland Coliseum, Levi Stadium, SF Moscone Center) to start accommodating larger volumes of people.
Pharmacies in some counties have also started to receive CV-19 vaccine doses. When your turn comes, it may be more likely that you find an appointment for the CV-19 vaccine through other locations than your primary care provider or normal medical group. If you are unsure if you should get the vaccine due to specific medical conditions, please consult with your primary care provider to evaluate your situation.
After receiving the vaccine, please note that you still need to keep wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and staying at least 6 feet away from those you do not live with. Experts still do not know how long the vaccine will protect you so all distancing measures still need to be kept in place. This allows you and others the best protection from catching the virus or passing it along even after being vaccinated.
Please take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your community by getting CV-19 Vaccinated when you have the chance to do so. This is our time to step up and start working together to enhance immunity and change the trajectory of this virus and the pandemic in our communities.
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