First A Bit Of Background
Vaccines work in several different ways, providing benefits to the individual and the community.
An obvious individual benefit is that vaccines can prevent infection in the person who is vaccinated. But vaccines can also reduce the amount of virus a person makes if they do end up becoming infected. This can reduce severe disease and reduce their likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.
All this leads to benefits for the community. If vaccine uptake is high enough and transmission is reduced, our collective immunity can be used like a fire break. It blocks pathways of virus transmission and protects vulnerable people from infection, even when those people are not vaccinated.
Severe disease due to COVID is a critical health issue, with the potential to put significant stress on health-care systems and resources. But if vaccine supply is limited, do we:
directly reduce severe disease by giving the vaccine to those most at risk, such as older people
indirectly reduce severe disease by vaccinating the people most likely to get sick and transmit the virus, such as certain groups of younger people
use a mix of both strategies?
The question is, how can a limited supply of vaccine have the most impact?
How Do Vaccines Work
Vaccines work by preparing your bodyâs natural defenses to recognize and fight off germs that can make you sick.
- Some vaccines have dead or weakened versions of the germ.
- Others have substances made to look like part of the germ.
- The currently available COVID-19 vaccines teach the body to make proteins that look like part of the virus that causes COVID-19. They do not have any form of the COVID-19 virus, live, weakened, or dead. .
When you get any vaccine, your immune system responds by:
- Making antibodies. These are proteins produced naturally by the immune system to fight disease.
- Preparing your immune cells to respond to future infection.
- Remembering the disease and how to fight it. If you are exposed to the germ after getting the vaccine, your immune system can quickly destroy it before you become sick.
This is what makes vaccines so effective. Instead of treating a disease after it happens, vaccines can prevent us from getting sick in the first place.
Chinese Officials Urge Elderly To Get Covid Vaccine Cite Lesson Of Hong Kong
An elderly woman receives a dose of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine, following the coronavirus disease outbreak, at a community vaccination centre, in Hong Kong, China, February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
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BEIJING, March 18 – Older people in China should get vaccinated against COVID-19, senior Chinese health officials said on Friday, adding that deaths among the elderly in the latest wave to hit Hong Kong serve as a lesson for the mainland.
“The outbreak in Hong Kong is a particularly profound lesson for us, an example that if the vaccination rate for the elderly is low, the rate of severe cases and deaths will be high,” Wang Hesheng, deputy director of the National Health Commission, told a news briefing.
“We must not regret when it is too late,” he said.
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Only 19.7% of people aged over 80 in China have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster as of March 17, and just 50.7% of that age group have completed their primary vaccinations, said Zeng Yixin, another NHC deputy director.
Densely populated Hong Kong has registered the most deaths per million people globally in recent weeks – more than 24 times that of rival Singapore – due to a large proportion of elderly who were unvaccinated as the highly transmissible Omicron variant ripped through care homes. read more
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Discover More About The Science Behind The Covid
The COVID-19 vaccines available in the US Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are incredibly safe and effective in preventing infection from the virus and in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death. If you are uncertain about vaccination, talk with your health care provider or watch these videos from Delaware providers across the state.
Can People Who Are Breastfeeding Get The Vaccine
Yes. Experts, including the CDC, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives recommend that people who are breastfeeding be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Lactating people were not included in the vaccine studies. However, based on what we know about how these vaccines work, the vaccines are not thought to be a risk for the baby. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which might help to protect their babies. These vaccines do not pass into breastmilk.
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Should People Under 60 Who Are Eligible Get Another Booster
People 50 and older can now get a second booster shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The value of the additional jab, especially in younger and healthier subjects, isn’t as clear-cut. The preliminary studies in Israel found that it the odds of hospitalization and death among elderly patients when the omicron mutation was predominant. But the subjects were between 60 and 100 years old. It might not be as critical for a robust 50-year-old. Speaking with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on April 17, Jha said that a second booster shot for Americans between 50 and 59 “is a much closer call.” People in that demographic may want to consult their health-care provider to see if they would benefit, Jha said.”There is a difference between somebody who is 51 and otherwise healthy without any major medical problems and somebody who is 85 and has multiple medical problems,” Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, an infectious disease expert at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, told NBC News in March.
“Their risk profile from potentially having a bad outcome from COVID-19 is fairly different,” Kulkarni added. “The bottom line is, it depends on individual risk profile: What is your age? What are your comorbidities?”
In the Israeli study, less than 0.1% of patients with three shots died. That percent dipped to 0.03% for those who got the fourth shot.
Is It Safe For Me To Get A Covid
Yes. The CDC and medical professional groups recommend vaccination for everyone aged 5 years and older. This includes people who want to get pregnant now or in the future as well as their partners.
There is no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Studies have shown no differences in pregnancy success rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated women. And a small study of men found no changes in their sperm after they received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. There is also no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect puberty or teenâs development.
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant â see below.
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Why Should Older Adults Get Vaccinated Should They Be Worried If They Have Any Underlying Health Conditions Or Are Frail
Supiano: Its been known since the beginning of the pandemic that older people are at very high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomesand even death. In Utah, data over the last year shows 70 percent of deaths from COVID-19 have been in people age 65 and olderover 1,500 deaths total. Age is a strong risk factor in bad outcomes in COVID-19. This is why its extremely important for older adults to get the vaccine as soon as possible. People who are in this age groupwho have multiple chronic conditions, who may be frail, or living in a nursing homeall the more need the vaccine. The data we have at this point suggests the two vaccines that are available are extremely safe and well-tolerated in this age group.
Vaccines For People Who Could Become Pregnant
Vaccination is important for everyone of reproductive age, whether planning a pregnancy or not.
During pregnancy, your immune system changes and this can put you at risk for a number of serious infectious diseases and complications. Your baby can also be affected by these infections, which can result in:
- birth defects
Since an unplanned pregnancy can happen, it’s important to keep your vaccinations up to date at all times. This will help protect you and your baby from certain infections that could cause serious complications. Talk to your health care provider about your vaccination status.
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Q How Long Will The Vaccine Protect Me From Covid
A. We are still learning about length of immunity. To determine how long protection lasts, follow-up studies are required to detect levels of both types of immune responses antibody and T cell as well as any repeated exposure risks. As more information becomes available, more information will be shared on the length of immunity.
Q When Can I Get A Covid
A. Anyone 5 years of age and older is now eligible and recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Local health departments, pharmacy partners, health care providers in short, every jurisdiction that receives Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, including the pediatric dose, are fully open to everyone 5 years of age and older. Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for use in the U.S. for those 5 years of age and older.
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Recombinant Protein Subunit Vaccine
- Nuvaxovidâ¢ , Novavax
All authorized COVID-19 vaccines
When referring to COVID-19 vaccines throughout this chapter, only COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized by Health Canada for use in Canada are included. Refer to Vaccination of specific populations, Persons new to Canada for information regarding non-Health Canada authorized vaccines.
For complete prescribing information, consult the product leaflet or information contained within Health Canada’s authorized product monographs available through the Drug Product Database.
Big Decisions Take A Village
In any scenario, tackling complex questions around vaccine distribution will require specialist knowledge from across many disciplines.
We need to understand how the virus spreads in a given population, how the vaccine works in different groups within that population, who might be hesitant about the vaccine, how we can deliver the vaccine to a wide variety of people and manyother factors.
Importantly, were still learning about this virus. It behaves differently in different communities, due to different environments, demographics, biology and behaviours. Strategies may differ in different regions and must adapt with our evolving understanding of the virus. There wont be a one size fits all approach.
Its also vital to keep in mind that a vaccine wont be a silver bullet. Vaccines are not 100% protective and will take time to roll out. Public health measures such as rigorous testing, hand-washing, mask-wearing and a level of social distancing will remain important for some time.
There will be challenging and contentious decisions for initial access to COVID vaccines, but ultimately vaccine supply will become less restricted. Its important to remember we all collectively benefit by shepherding certain groups to the front of the vaccine queue.
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How Can I Get Vaccinated
Vaccines are available at hundreds of locations throughout LA County including clinics, pharmacies, worksites, schools, places of worship, senior housing developments and long-term care facilities. There are also community vaccination sites and mobile or pop-up sites in places like metro stations and parks. In-home vaccination is available for people who are homebound. Many locations do not require an appointment.
To get a vaccine visit VaccinateLACounty.com and select âClick Here to Get Vaccinatedâ to find a location or request an in-home vaccination. If you need help, you can call the DPH Vaccine Call Center at 833-540-0473, 7 days a week from 8am to 8:30pm. They can arrange in-home vaccination, free transportation to a vaccination site, or help with paratransit and other services for people with disabilities. Information is also available in multiple languages 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
Johnson & Johnsons Janssen Covid
On April 23, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , and the Illinois Department of Public Health lifted the pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine in the United States and Illinois. On April 13, 2021, after six cases of an extremely rare but severe type of blood clot associated with low platelet counts were reported in women who had received the J& J vaccine, the CDC and FDA paused use of the vaccine. This pause allowed the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to conduct an extensive review of what they ultimately found to be 15 cases, as well as inform providers and clinicians about the potential adverse events and how they can be recognized and treated.
The pause was proof that the extensive safety monitoring system is working and was able to detect a very small number of adverse events. The FDA has concluded that the known and potential benefits of the J& J vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks.
People who have received theJ& J COVID-19 Vaccinewithin the past three weeks who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should seek medical care right away.
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Q How Much Will This Vaccine Cost Me Is It Covered By My Insurance
A. There is no cost for the vaccine. However, vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving the shot that is reimbursed by the patients public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay a vaccine administration fee.
Can My Employer Require Me To Get Vaccinated
Technically, yes. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said federal employment protection laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19.” And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a vaccine mandate, effective Jan. 4, for companies with 100 or more workers. Employees at these businesses will need to be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 before coming into work.
Similarly, vaccine requirements have been announced for all federal workers and contractors and all health care workers in facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars, including nursing homes. Individual states, including New York and California, have also introduced vaccination mandates for teachers and other workers, requiring those who do not get a vaccine to submit to regular testing, masking and social distancing requirements.
But other federal laws may supersede the EEOC’s, so accommodations may be granted to people who don’t want to be vaccinated because of valid medical or religious reasons. Those workers may still be required to wear a mask in the office or be told not to come in at all.
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Are There Any Drawbacks To Getting Another Dose Of Vaccine
Scientists have discussed the possibility of immunity fatigue, where the body is overexposed to a vaccine and stops reacting to it. At this point, it’s only a theoretical problem. But UCSF’s Gandhi said, “This many shots in such a short time — it’s unprecedented.”
“There’s also the idea of ‘original antigenic sin,’ where you keep training your T cells to fight against the original strain, but we keep getting newer and newer variants.” As a result, your system is less able to fight off coronavirus infection.
B cells, another kind of immune cell, can adapt to whatever COVID variant they face, Gandhi said. But it’s not clear T cells have that versatility. “It’s still theoretical, but I wouldn’t get a booster unless I really felt it had benefit,” she added.
Does Race And Immigration Status Factor Into Who Gets The Vaccine First
The national phased approach for distribution doesnt specifically call out race and/or immigration status among the subpopulations at risk however, some states have spoken up about the issue. In New York, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said his state will not tolerate inequity in COVID vaccine distribution. On, he wrote, Black and brown communities that were first on the list of who died cannot be last on the list of who receives the vaccine.
Williams agrees with viewing vaccine distribution from a lens of health equity. We cannot leave the have-nots behind as the surge peaks, he says. We know 37% of volunteers in the Moderna vaccine trial came from communities of color. Those same vulnerable communities must be prioritized to receive the vaccine when its released.
We also know nearly 45,000 undocumented immigrants are working as nursing assistants and nearly 30,000 are working as home health aides, according to research conducted by the New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization. Vaccination for these frontline healthcare workers is also essential in helping reduce the risk of infection among our nations seniors.
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Can The Vaccine Make People Sick
Spivak: A person cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccines. Its more likely for people to experience side effects after getting vaccinated. Side effects are more commonly reported among younger people and typically occur 12-24 hours after vaccine administration. Side effects include fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. This reaction is the bodys immune system mounting against the virus and building immunity. Tylenol or ibuprofen can help alleviate these symptoms. There are no other infections or illness you can get directly from the vaccine itself.
Supiano: Data suggests these mild symptoms are less common in older adults but still more common after the second dose. These side effects are minimal and short-lived. Its well worth receiving the vaccine instead of getting infected with COVID-19.