Everything You Need to Know about the Covid-19 Vaccine

Which one is the best one? What are their side effects? Where can I sign up to get vaccinated?
Photo Credit: Gedesby1989 / Pixabay

COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force CA

Last Tuesday, medical experts, community leaders and Californians who already received the vaccine held a virtual press conference to share information about the California vaccination campaign.

“One of the questions I get asked the most is which of the three vaccines is the best. My answer is always the same: ‘The best vaccine is the first vaccine you can put on your arm,'” said Dr. Illian Shapiro, AltaMed Medical Director of Health and Wellness Education, during this week’s press conference. The doctor confirmed that the three immunizations are highly effective and safe. “Within 15 minutes of receiving the vaccine, I had my boss asking me to go back to work,” he remembered, laughing.

Shapiro explained that, like any other immunization, the vaccine may cause minor redness and temporary pain, which is a normal reaction of the body.

“They are minor side effects because the body is learning to protect itself from the disease. It is OK to be afraid but it´s not OK not to ask for more information,” said the doctor.

“I wasn’t sure about getting the vaccine,” confessed Lizbeth Benavides, 27, Special Education teacher and counselor for the Santa Clarita School District. “I never liked shots, and I was also worried because I have a 4-month-old baby, but my mother convinced me to do it.” Benavides decided to receive the immunization so she could return to the classroom.

“The truth is that the shot only bothered me for five minutes. I’ve been working at the school since February,” she added.

Regarding the availability of vaccines, Dr. Tomás Aragón, Director and Officer of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) explained that as the supply of available vaccines increases, the requirements will also be expanded so that more people can receive them.

“Eligibility is going to change very soon, once more people of 65 and up, agricultural, essential and health workers and educators receive their vaccines,” said Dr. Aragón.

Doctors and experts also agreed on the importance of maintaining safety protocols, the use of masks and social distance, until the entire population has been immunized.

When can I get the vaccine?

“In the state of California, already 10.3 people have been vaccinated, which translates to almost one in three Californians,” noted Yurina Melara Valiulis, Public Information Officer for the Vaccinate California Campaign. 54 percent of the immunizations were for people 65 and older.

Melara explained that those interested in receiving their vaccines can register on the site https://myturn.ca.gov/, to determine their eligibility, obtain the immunization, or receive an appointment to do so.

“If you are in one of the already approved categories, they will give you an appointment right away,” Melara pointed out. You can also call 1-833-422-4255.

The state of California has expanded its reach to 170 organizations that work directly with disproportionately affected communities, to share information and answer questions from the population.

In Detail

  • There are currently three vaccines available against Covid-19, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. All three options have undergone rigorous testing and are highly effective in preventing severe cases, hospitalization, and death from coronavirus.
  • The three available vaccines were tested among members of different ethnic communities. For example, 45.3% of Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinical trial participants identified themselves as Hispanic / Latino; 19.4% as black or African American; 9.5% as American Indians or Alaska Natives; 3.3% Asian and 5.6% as multiracial.
  • To determine your eligibility, get in the waiting list, and get your shot visit https://myturn.ca.gov/, or call 1-833-422-4255
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