HELPING LATINOS RECOVER AND THRIVE
To achieve the pandemic recovery we all want, we must ensure that everyone is included in it.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND HOW DOES IT SPREAD?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory illness first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China, but has now spread to other parts of the world, including the United States.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2 and is spread between people who are in close contact with each other (within about six feet), mostly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest (symptomatic); however, growing evidence suggests that COVID-19 may be spread by people before they start showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) or by people who have the virus but never show symptoms (asymptomatic). The virus can also live on certain surfaces for a period of time which can make it possible for people to get COVID-19 if they touch a contaminated object and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. That is why it is important to take preventive steps to avoid getting sick.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Some people who get COVID-19 may be asymptomatic but for those experiencing symptoms, the following, varying from mild to severe, may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
In addition, other symptoms can include:
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of smell
- Loss of taste
This Self-Checker tool from the CDC can help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.
WHAT DO I DO IF I FEEL SICK?
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, if you are sick with COVID-19 or start experiencing its symptoms, follow these steps:
- Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 get a mild form of the illness that may include fever, coughing, and other symptoms listed above. People with mild symptoms can usually get better at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Stay in touch with your doctor: Call your doctor before going to their office. If you do not have a regular doctor, call your local health department or hospital to find out where you can go to seek medical care. Be sure to get care immediately if you have trouble breathing, since that is a more serious symptom, or if you have any emergency warning signs, or think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.
- Stay away from others: Separate yourself from other people or pets in your home and stay in a specific “sick room” and use a separate bathroom, if possible. Clean high-touch areas in your “sick room” and bathroom and let someone else clean other areas of the house.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue and throw away the tissue in a lined trash. Immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Clean your hands often: Wash your hands with soap and water often. Only use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share dishes, utensils, glasses, cups, towels or bedding when you are sick. Always make sure to wash your household items with soap and water.
- Wear a cloth mask or covering: If you are sick and you must be around others even at home, wear a cloth mask or face covering over your nose and mouth.
- Monitor your symptoms: Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention immediately.
Learn more about what to do if you are sick or put in home isolation. While clinical trials are underway to help identify an effective treatment, there is currently no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK?
Anyone, no matter their age, can become sick with COVID-19. However, older adults (over 65 years of age) and people with compromised immune systems or chronic conditions, such as diabetes and lung disease, may be at higher risk for developing more serious symptoms or complications from COVID-19. If you or your loved ones are at higher risk, stay home as much as possible, consult with your doctor about additional steps to take to protect yourself and follow these prevention measures to decrease your risk of getting sick with COVID-19:
- Ensure you have enough food at home and that your prescriptions are refilled and up to date.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Avoid nonessential travel.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
WHERE DO I FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES?
- General Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 | CDC
- People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions | CDC
- What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Disease 2019 | CDC
- Symptoms of COVID-19 | CDC
- Steps to Help Prevent COVID-19 if You are Sick | CDC
- 10 Things You Can do to Manage Your COVID-19 Symptoms at Home | CDC
- What You Can do if You are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19 | CDC
- COVID-19 | World Health Organization (WHO)
HOW COVID-19 VACCINES WORK
HOW DO THE COVID-19 VACCINES WORK?
The COVID-19 vaccines are a type of medicine that work by teaching our body how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines will help protect us from getting COVID-19, becoming very sick with the virus, needing to be hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines are a powerful tool that will help end the pandemic sooner.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET A COVID-19 VACCINE?
Getting vaccinated is a powerful tool that will help save lives and end the pandemic sooner. When more of us are vaccinated, the more we protect ourselves and our loved ones against COVID-19 and other variants
WHAT ARE THE COVID-19 VACCINES MADE OF?
The Pfizer and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA also called mRNA. mRNA COVID-19 vaccines teach our body to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, protecting us from getting sick all together or getting too sick. mRNA does not interact or change our DNA and mRNA COVID-
19 vaccines do not contain any live virus so you cannot get sick with COVID-19 from these vaccines. To learn more, click here.
The Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine does not use messenger RNA, instead it uses a viral vector to create a strong immune response in our body that will recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Like messenger RNA vaccines, the viral vector in the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine does not interact or change our DNA and does not contain any live virus so you cannot get sick with COVID-19 from this vaccine. To learn more, click here.
DO THE COVID-19 VACCINES CONTAIN THE LIVE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19?
No, Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Jonson vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so the COVID-19 vaccines cannot give us COVID-19 or transmit the virus. The COVID-19 vaccines are a type of medicine that will teach our body to build the immunity we need to recognize and fight the virus if we become exposed
HOW OFTEN WILL I NEED TO GET VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19?
Currently, we do not know for certain how long protection from a given vaccine will last. The virus is changing or mutating, which may make re-vaccination necessary. Also, each COVID-19 vaccine will have its own unique schedule depending on how long protection or immunity will last. Public health experts are keeping a close eye on the virus to learn more about how long the COVID-19 vaccines will protect us once we get vaccinated.
HOW SAFE ARE COVID-19 VACCINES
HOW DO I KNOW THE COVID-19 VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE?
Both the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ensure that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, and those underway are safe and effective for our community. The FDA and the CDC carefully evaluate that all vaccines are as safe as possible, and because vaccines are given to millions of people to prevent serious diseases, they’re held to very high safety standards. The COVID-19 vaccines undergo rigorous testing that includes vaccinating tens of thousands of people who participate in clinical studies to generate the information needed for the FDA to determine their safety and how well they work. After the FDA authorizes a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the CDC then reviews the COVID-19 vaccine available information before giving recommendations for public use. Even after the COVID-19 vaccines are approved, the FDA continues to monitor public safety.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
Sometimes people might feel under the weather for 1-2 days after receiving either of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available. This is totally normal. These side effects usually mean that the vaccine is working to build the immunity we need to recognize and fight COVID-19. If you don’t have side effects, that’s normal as well, the COVID-19 vaccine is still working.
Here is a list of common short-term side effects for the COVID-19 vaccines that should eventually go away:
· Pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you got the vaccine
· Fatigue or tiredness
· Muscle aches or pains
For the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine that require a second dose, some people may feel side effects for a few days after either or both doses.
Similar side effects have been reported for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and like the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, these side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine, but they go away in a few days.
If you have questions about symptoms or any other side effects after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, ask your health care provider. You can also download v-safe in your smartphone. V-safe is a tool that checks in on you after your COVID-19 vaccination.
You can also download v-safe in your smartphone. V-safe is a tool that checks in on you after your COVID-19 vaccination.
TYPES OF COVID-19 VACCINES
WHAT ARE THE COVID-19 VACCINES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE?
Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccines that have received authorization for emergency use by the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are:
· The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, approved on December 11, 2020.
· The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, approved on December 18, 2020.
· The Johnson & Johson COVID-19 vaccine, approved on February 27, 2021.
CAN I CHOOSE WHICH COVID-19 VACCINE TO GET?
Once we have access to a COVID-19 vaccine, it is important we get the vaccine that is available to us. However, some COVID-19 vaccination sites do allow you to choose which vaccine to get based on availability. Ask your COVID-19 vaccine provider about your options.
HOW DOES MODERNA’S VACCINE COMPARE TO PFIZER’S?
Both vaccines use the messenger mRNA technology which will teach our body to fight a COVID-19 infection in two ways. First, by recognizing the virus, and second, by fighting the virus. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer excellent protection against COVID-19. The Pfizer is approved by the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people 12 years and older while Moderna is approved for people 18 years and older. Both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines require two vaccine doses. The interval between Moderna doses is 28 days, and the interval for the Pfizer doses is 21 days.
WHY DO I NEED A SECOND DOSE OF THE PFIZER AND THE MODERNA COVID-19 VACCINES?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for them to be most effective. The first dose helps our body recognize the virus and gets our immune system ready, while the second dose strengthens that immune response. Our immunity will be much higher after the second dose because our body will be more prepared to fight COVID-19. It’s important to keep your appointment for the second dose to be fully protected against COVID-19.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID-19 VACCINE?
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one dose vaccine that works similarly to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that creates a strong immune response that will help our body fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It meets the same safety, quality, and effectiveness standards of the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it received authorization for emergency use by the FDA on February 27, 2021. Just like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is very effective at preventing severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and death due to COVID-19. It’s important to note that you cannot get COVID-19 from any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
CAN I TAKE THE PFIZER DOSE AND THEN LATER THE MODERNA OR OTHER COVID-19 VACCINE IN THE SECOND ROUND?
No, the current recommendation is to take two doses of the same vaccine provider. For example, if you receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for the first dose, make sure to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for the second dose. It is important to stick with one vaccine from one provider. Remember to save the name of the COVID-19 vaccine you receive for when you get the second dose. Ask your health care provider who is administering the vaccine to give you a record or a vaccine card.
If you receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, this is a one dose vaccine, so you do not need to return for a second dose. After one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINE
WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
There are several ways to find vaccine providers in your area, the best way is to visit Vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489). Vaccines.gov a free online service where you can search for pharmacies and providers that offer vaccination near you. Information about where COVID-19 vaccines are available is updated daily.
Also, most retail pharmacies are distributing the Pfizer, the Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines Visit your local retail pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available. Forinformation on locations near you, visit the following retail pharmacy websites in addition to your local grocery store pharmacies: · CVS · Walgreens · Walmart
DO I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE TO RECEIVE ONE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
No, the COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in the United States whether you have insurance or not. However, your insurance company or state’s relief fund will be billed a fee for the vaccine administration. Be sure to bring your insurance card with you if you have health insurance. If you do not have health insurance, you can still get the vaccine.
WHO CAN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?
WHO CAN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?
In the United States, anyone who is 12 years of age or older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people, including those with pre-existing conditions (including hypertension, diabetes, asthma, auto-immune disorders, pulmonary, liver and kidney disease, and other stable and controlled chronic infections). If you have any questions or concerns about whether you should be vaccinated or what type of COVID-19 vaccine would be best, you should talk to your doctor or primary care provider.
CAN I GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IF I’M PREGNANT?
Yes. You can receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant. You are especially vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 when you are pregnant, and getting the vaccine can protect you from this,
If you have any concerns about getting vaccinated while pregnant or have questions of which vaccine would be best and when you should be getting vaccinated, you can always talk to your health care provider to make a decision that is best for you.
CAN I GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IF I’VE HAD COVID-19?
Yes. Even if you had COVID-19 before, you can still get one of the COVID_19 vaccines available. We still don’t know how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts and it is possible to get COVID-19 twice. The recommendation is to wait at least four weeks after full recovery from COVID-19 infection to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
After getting the COVID-19 vaccine you should continue to wear a mask indoors in public, avoid large crowds and indoor gatherings in public spaces, and wash your hands often.
CAN I GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IF I AM UNDOCUMENTED?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are available for the undocumented community. Public health employees should not discriminate against undocumented individuals from getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Also, the Biden administration has stated that ICE and CBP will not be at vaccination sites. Some personal information might be requested to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and the personal information requested will vary by site, but rest assured that this information is kept private and will not be shared with other entities. We understand that fear is a reality for the undocumented community when giving out their personal information, so if you have concerns about sharing personal information, speak to allies or a local trusted source in your community. You can also visit www.immigrationlawhelp.org for additional resources
IF I AM TAKING OTHER MEDICATIONS, CAN I GET ONE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
Always seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you may have regarding your medications while receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and if you have any medical contraindications to any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
IF I HAVE A CHRONIC CONDITION, LIKE DIABETES OR HEART DISEASE, CAN I GET ONE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
Living with a chronic condition increases the risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, so yes, it is generally recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However, if you have a chronic or underlying medical condition, it’s best to
have a conversation with your health care provider to make a decision that is right for you.
ARE THE CURRENT COVID-19 VACCINES APPROVED FOR CHILDREN?
Currently, the Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for people 12 and older in the United States. We still don’t know when the COVID-19 vaccines will be approved for all children, but we do know that Pfizer and Moderna are performing studies on their vaccines among 6-month-old babies to 11-year-old children.
WHAT TO DO IF I AM FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19?
WILL I HAVE TO FOLLOW OTHER PREVENTION MEASURES AFTER I RECEIVE A COVID-19 VACCINE?
COVID-19 vaccines will protect you from getting really sick if you are exposed or infected with the virus. For now, the CDC has stated that if you are fully vaccinated you should be able to be involved and participate in many of the same activities that you did before the pandemic.
After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, we should continue to wear masks indoors in public settings to maximize protection against the Delta variant if we live in an area of substantial or high transmision.
You may also choose to wear a mask, regardless of the level of transmission in your area, If you or someone in your household has a weakened immune system or is unable to get vaccinated yet.
In general, fully vaccinated individuals should also continue practicing physical distancing, and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. These are some of the steps we can continue to follow to slow the spread of the virus in our community after we have been fully vaccinated.
Keep in mind that each local and state guidance and regulations might be different, so it is important to double-check and see what the guidance is for your county and state health department.
To learn more about guidelines after you have been fully vaccinated, click here.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GET VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19?
Vaccination in the United States is voluntary. It is a personal decision. If you choose to get vaccinated, it will help protect you from getting COVID-19 or getting very sick with the virus. It will also contribute to greater immunity and fewer cases in your community and across the country. The more people get vaccinated, the sooner this pandemic will end.
HOW COVID-19 VACCINES WERE DEVELOPED
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING A COVID-19 VACCINE?
The process of making the COVID-19 vaccines and the ones underway involves rigorous testing in thousands of participants in clinical studies. Once there is enough information, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines
risks and benefits and recommends or denies the approval of the vaccine before the vaccine reaches the public. The FDA is the agency responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available received authorization by the FDA for emergency use based on clinical testing and guidelines to ensure the vaccines are safe to use. Now that we have three COVID-19 vaccines available, the FDA will continue to monitor and track side effects as it normally does with new vaccines.
WHAT ARE CLINICAL TRIALS?
Clinical trials are science-based studies performed in people to test safety and effectiveness of a new medication, treatment, screening, vaccine, and more. It is important to note that before entering the clinical development, an investigational vaccine has previously been studied to make sure it is safe to test on humans. There are three phases to the clinical development for a new vaccine to be approved. You can click here for a visual of the three phases on how a new vaccine is developed, approved, and manufactured.
WHY DO CLINICAL TRIALS SOMETIMES PAUSE DURING THE CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT?
At any moment during the clinical development, if scientists observe concerning side effects, they can put the clinical trial on pause and it is only after a detailed investigation when scientists decide to continue or abandon the clinical trial. Pausing clinical trials during the clinical development is common and they have and will continue to occur during the development of more COVID-19 vaccines. These pauses are only signs that scientists are following protocols to ensure safety.
WHY IS OUR PARTICIPATION IMPORTANT IN CLINICAL TRIALS?
Historically, people who are Latino, Black, Native American/Alaskan Native, and people from other racial and ethnic minority groups, which are also communities disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, have been significantly underrepresented in health research. For this reason, public health experts are making a call to action to ensure that people from racial and ethnic minority groups become part of clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines. Those who have participated in clinical trials say their motivation is to help advance health care and contribute to scientific findings for the collective good.
WHERE CAN I FIND A CLINICAL TRIAL FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
Our colleagues at COVID-19 Prevention Network have created a participant screening registry for potential participants who want to partake in current or future COVID-19 prevention clinical trials. Please note that each trial is at different phases of recruitment, so information will vary. If you are interested in taking part of the registry, click here to begin the survey and you could become part of clinical trials currently looking for participants. The survey typically takes 10 minutes to complete.
The National Institutes of Health’s Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities (CEAL Alliance) also aims to ensure that COVID-19 prevention and treatment clinical trials include racially and ethnically diverse communities most affected by the pandemic. The CEAL Alliance conducts outreach and seeks input from communities to raise awareness about COVID-19 and to address misinformation and mistrust about the pandemic in efforts to combat it. The CEAL Alliance research teams are working to expand community outreach efforts by NIH COVID-19 trial networks while engaging with trusted organizations and people. For more details, click here.
WHAT CAN WE ALL DO TO TACKLE MISINFORMATION AROUND THE COVID-19 VACCINES?
We encourage you to share resources from trusted sources in your community with your friends, neighbors, and family to ensure that they also have the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines.
For more guidance on what to do about misinformation and how to help stop it, please visit out misinformation page.
- Development of New Vaccines | CDC
- Ensuring the Safety of Vaccines | CDC
- Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker | The New York Times
- These are the Top Coronavirus Vaccines to Watch | The Washington Post
- FAQs What You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing, and Immunity | Massachusetts General Hospital
- Vaccine Product Approval Process | FDA
- Clinical Studies Recruiting Volunteers | COVID-19 Prevention Network
- COVID-19 Vaccines 8 things to Know | CDC
- NIH COVID-19 Communities Responding Together | NIH
- V-Safe after vaccination health checker | CDC
- Is a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial Right for Me? | CEAL
- Journey of a Vaccine | CDC
- How mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Work | CDC
- How Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines Work | CDC