Encouraging Union Members to #TakeTheVaccine
Safe. Effective. Time-tested.
Good news for union members, especially those of you who are on the front lines. Multiple safe and highly effective vaccines are now becoming available at clinics around Los Angeles and are a big part of the solution to getting our country back on track. To help members decide whether the vaccine is for them, we took a look at the science behind the medicines that are now available.
We know there’s a lot of misinformation about vaccines out there. And we are aware that some of our members may be skeptical about taking the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, concerned about their effectiveness or safety. To set the record straight, we’ve gathered information from the medical experts, and here’s what they have to say:
Busting the Myths
These vaccines are not “new” – they’ve been In the works for years. Operation Warp Speed gave the impression that the first two of these approved vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, were developed in record time– less than a year, but research into these kinds of vaccines, called mRNA vaccines, have been studied for more than 20 years. And the process has been in testing for many years as well. Even the more traditional Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, the most recent of the three to be approved, has been in the works in labs and clinical trials for years.
These vaccines have gone through the same vigorous safety approval process as any other vaccine submitted for approval. To study and evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, these Phase 3 trials have been tested by large populations of 30,000 – 45,000 pre-qualified volunteers, then compared to non-vaccine control groups.
Not true. None of the vaccines in the US studies used a live Covid-19 virus. Some people do get a temporary side effect after taking the vaccine – like body aches or fever. But that’s simply a sign that your immune system is fighting the virus. Any side-effect are far less intense than getting the actual virus.
Again, not true, according to the scientists. These mRNA vaccines cannot interact or modify your DNA because the nucleus where the DNA is stored has a protective shell around it which is impossible for mRNA to crack. Instead, the proteins made from this mRNA interact with your body’s natural immune system to create a robust antibody response to COVID-19, without you getting sick.
No, but the success rate of these vaccines is very high. And most importantly, prevent people from dying or having to be admitted to the hospital. The vaccines help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to get sick. While many people with COVID-19 have only minor or no symptoms, the risk of severe illness and death without the vaccine’s protection is very real. There’s also no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Not to mention the risk to your family and friends.
Yes. Studies from both vaccines have shown a very high success rate for preventing the virus, but even for those few who did catch the virus, none of the people who were infected got severely ill.
The vaccines are currently only available to people 16 years and older. The other groups of people doctors recommend NOT take the vaccine include:
- People with a proven history of severe allergic reaction to vaccines
- Pregnant and lactating women should talk to their doctors since there’s not enough data on these groups
- Immunocompromised people, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, should talk to their doctors first
- People over 16 years of age
- Healthy people
- People with food or mold allergies were included in the clinical trials with no adverse effects
- People with underlying medical conditions were found to be safe using the vaccine
- The elderly tended to have a good safety record using the vaccine
- People who have already had COVID were found to be safe using the vaccine
- Children and young infants are currently enrolled in clinical trials to study the safety and efficiency of the vaccines on this young population. Vaccines are not currently available for this group but may be as early as winter of 2021.