KAZU Article: Extra Effort Required To Reach Those Who Aren’t Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in California has reached a turning point. Gone are the days when people repeatedly hit refresh on their computers, hoping to score a vaccination appointment. Now some clinics are accepting walk-ins and others end the day with unfilled appointments. That’s forcing health and government officials to rethink their vaccination programs.

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As the community immunizers in Monterey County, VNA is creating a pathway for loyal clients to receive the COVID vaccine in a safe setting, efficiently, with minimal wait time.

VNA is a COVID Ready partner and will be offering community clinics, employer-sponsored clinics, and curbside by appointment when the vaccine is allocated, and each phase rolled out.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection or immunity, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity.

Getting vaccinated adds an important layer of protection for you, your family, and your loved ones.

Vaccines will help us get back to work, gather with friends, see loved ones, and begin to get back to our lives.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available—wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from people outside our home, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, washing hands frequently, AND getting vaccinated.

Currently two vaccines have received emergency authorization, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.  Both are mRNA vaccines and require two doses to be fully effective.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines do not contain live virus and cannot give someone COVID-19.

When the mRNA vaccine enters the body, it gives instructions to the immune cells to make a “spike protein.” Once the immune cells recognize the protein, they begin to make anti-bodies to defend against the virus. Once completed, the cells break down the protein and get rid of it.

The most common side effects are pain in the arm where you got the shot, feeling tired, headache, body aches, chills, and fever. These side effects are a sign that the immune system is working to build up defenses.

Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines need two shots. The first shot gets your body ready. It is important that you get the second shot at the time you are told, to make sure you have full protection.

All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are over 90% effective at preventing the disease.

The vaccines were tested in large clinical trials. Many people were recruited from many diverse backgrounds including age, race, ethnicities, and pre-existing medical conditions.

mRNA vaccines are held to the same rigorous safety standards as all vaccines in the United States. The science behind mRNA is not new. mRNA technology has been studied for seasonal flu and other immunization for decades. Cancer research has used mRNA to trigger immune responses to target specific cancer cells.

Yes, you should still be vaccinated because you can become infected more than once. Although you may have some short-term natural protection (known as immunity) after recovering from COVID-19, it is not known how long this protection will last. At this time, the CDC recommends waiting 90 days after being diagnosed with COVID-9 before getting vaccinated.

Monterey County has launched an online portal for community members to express interest in receiving the vaccine. Currently, the portal does not allow people to make appointments. The portal can be accessed at montereycountycovid-19.com

The county is relying on push notifications, social media, and local media to get the word out to the public.

Local information and updates regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccination roll out can be found on the Monterey County Health Department Website using the following link:

Monterey County Health Department Home Page: https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/health
SIGN UP for email updates on available clinics and other information offered by VNA.

The vaccine is provided at no cost for recipients. Agencies administering the vaccines may charge an administration fee which will be covered by health insurance.  For the uninsured, agencies administering the vaccine will be reimbursed through a federal fund.

Source: CDC

For more information: COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

Luz – Nursing Mother

“Having no data to support the safety of COVID-19 vaccine in lactating women, I was nervous about receiving the vaccine. As a first-time mother and lactating, I focused on the resources I had and contacted my midwife for support. I was reassured other pregnant and lactating women were receiving the vaccine and were doing fine. With that in mind, I received the vaccine to protect not only my baby, but myself, my family, and my community from this serious disease that has killed many people.”

April – pre-existing allergies/anaphylaxis

“As someone with a history of severe allergic reactions, I had questions if receiving a COVID vaccine was right for me. After talking to my doctor, I made the decision to not only protect myself, but to help protect my family and my community from this serious disease by getting vaccinated. Clinical testing has shown it to be effective, and as a public health nurse I wanted to help model it is a safe thing to do.”

Rosee- Latina, Caring for aging mother

“As a Latina RN with a decades-long passion for improving public health, I decided to get the Covid-19 vaccination because above all, the science behind it is evidence based, thus it is trustworthy; hence I’m protecting myself, mi familia, & mi comunidad, all the while continuing with the proper public health precautions.”

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