Minnesota is currently leading the nation in the number of vaccines distributed. Because of such adamant efforts on behalf of public health services here, now everyone ages 16 and up is eligible to receive a Covid-19 Vaccine. Given that the timing of the rollout has been quick, it is understandable that many still have some questions regarding how safe and effective the vaccine is. To combat confusion, we have compiled everything you need to know about the vaccine and why it is safe for you to get.
It is important to begin by saying that getting the vaccine is a personal choice, and no one can force you to be vaccinated. However, to get vaccinated is an act of love for one’s community and shows commitment to keeping everyone safe and allowing the state to reopen to help those who are suffering due to continued Covid-19 restrictions. Remember, when you get the vaccine, you get an extra layer of protection!
To provide another layer of information, we have begun an interview series with CLUES staff members who have received their vaccines. They provide their personal experience being vaccinated, any side effects they encountered, why they recommend others get vaccinated, and why it is important for people to get vaccinated as soon as they become eligible. Check out this interview that was done with our Covid-19 Health Navigator, Nohely Arteaga here and look out for more stories we will be sharing across our YouTube channel and Facebook page.
There is a significant amount of people worried about the safety of the Covid-19 Vaccine because research was seemingly “rushed.” It is understandable to be cautious when it comes to issues regarding one’s health, but it’s important to note that the vaccine is very safe. Actually, Covid-19 is a SARS virus, meaning the research to develop a Covid-19 Vaccine didn’t start in January, but years ago. For years, researchers were paying attention to related coronaviruses, “which cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), and some had been working on new kinds of vaccine — an effort that has now paid off spectacularly,” writes Philip Ball in an article titled “The Lightning-Fast Quest for COVID Vaccines - and What It Means for Other Diseases.” Basically, years of research had been done on different types of coronaviruses, of which Covid-19 (Corona Virus 2019) is a variant, so to come up with a vaccine to specifically treat Covid-19 researchers were able to intensify the development process and build on existing progress to expediate the vaccine we have now.
It is of utmost importance that people know “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.” This data comes from a CDC articled titled “Safety of Covid-19 Vaccines” which you can access here. The CDC has been extremely open about which safety procedures have been enacted during the vaccine trials and has continued to value transparency as millions of the public around the globe have begun to receive their vaccines. Thus far, millions of people in the United States alone have safely received the Covid-19 vaccine with limited symptoms as they gain an immune response.
Typically, immigration or employment status can affect people’s access to equitable healthcare. Fortunately, in this case, the federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status according to the CDC in a frequently asked question forum. At vaccine appointments you are typically only required to confirm your name and date of birth, removing many barriers from the process of receiving one’s vaccine. To find out how you can access your vaccine, sign up for the Minnesota Vaccine Connector here (accessible in English and Spanish).
Need help? CLUES is here to help! Contact our bilingual Covid-19 navigator:
Nohely Arteaga | 651-315-7973 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Receiving the vaccine is essential to allowing communities to safely reopen and resume normal day to day activities. The CDC at this time has given the okay to fully vaccinated individuals to gather with other fully vaccinated individuals without a mask. If we are able to get enough of the community vaccinated and reach a desirable level of heard immunity, you will once again be able to see your friends and loved ones without the fear of spreading or contracting the virus (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html).
When weighing your options, it is important to make sure you are consuming trustworthy information that accurately represents the current situation. At CLUES, we are committed to connecting you with relevant and up to date information surrounding the issues that affect you. We encourage community members to get vaccinated, and until things can safely reopen, to continue taking Covid-19 precautions prescribed by the Minnesota Department of Health in accordance with the CDC that say, even “after you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.” The end is in sight, and there is hope for a return to normal very soon as vaccination efforts progress smoothly.
To learn more about the vaccines, visit this helpful source from Yale Medicine: Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How Are They Different?