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VACCINE SAFETY

COVID-19 VACCINE

Racial minorities and other vulnerable populations have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Reducing our communities’ impact will require a collective effort to ensure those who want the vaccine can obtain one. It is also equially essential to ensure that our communities can find reliable and accurate information to help them make an informed decision.

We commit to regularly update our content to ensure your questions are being answered. Vaccination is a crucial component to helping Nevadan’s go back to work, school, and socialize with family and friends. If enough Nevadans are vaccinated, we will slow the spread of the virus enough to help more businesses, restaurants, schools, and casinos to return to normal.

However, right now, stopping the pandemic requires us to continue to using all the preventive measures. So along with the vaccine, make sure to keep wearing your maks and social distrance. Learn more about why you still need to wear a mask and social distance after a vaccine here.

Answering your questions about vaccines

Check out our informational videos:

  • What are vaccines? – Vaccine Series by Dr. Cucalon Calderon
  • How do vaccines work? – Vaccine Series by Dr. Cucalon Calderon
  • How is a vaccine approved? –  Vaccine Series by Dr. Cucalon Calderon
  • What does it mean to fast track a vaccine? – Vaccine Series by Dr. Cucalon Calderon
  • Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19 – Health Equity Series by Dr. Erick Lopez
  • Immunity Explained – By Dr. Ann Vuong

FAQs by our partner Immunize Nevada

Questions include: When can I get a vaccine? Can I get a vaccine if I already had COVID? and more!


Is the COVID-19 Vaccine safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has grants Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19).

Clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate additional COVID-19 vaccines in many thousands of study participants. These trials will generate scientific data and other information that will be used by FDA to determine vaccine safety and effectiveness.

After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This continued monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.

Read more here about the latest vaccines that have been approved.


How Do mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Work?

Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

  • They cannot give someone COVID-19: mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way: mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
  • mRNA Vaccines Are New, But Not Unknown: Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine.

Read more here


What COVID-19 Vaccines are Currently Available?

As of January 12, 2021: Two vaccines have been approved for use in the U.S. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, but multiple COVID-19 vaccines are still under development.

  • Both vaccines are two-dose vaccine, which means you will need to wait either 21 (Pfizer) or 28 (Moderna) days for your second dose
  • Data for both vaccines indicate over 90% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose.
  • Pfizer clinical trials included bout 20,000 individuals who indicated they were Hispanic (26.2%), African American (9.8%), Asian (4.4%), and less than 3% other.

Learn more about Pfizer

  • Moderna clinical trials included about 15,400 individuals who indicated they were Hispanic (20%), African American (9.7%), Asian (4.7%), and less than 3% other.

Learn more about Moderna


Who should and should not get the vaccine?

Each vaccine is different so make sure to read about each one before you decide if it is right for you.

Moderna

    • Approved for those 18 and older
    • SHOULD NOT get it if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • SHOULD NOT get it if had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
        • Moderna Ingredients: The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

Read more here.


Pfizer

    • Approved for those 16 and older
    • SHOULD NOT get it if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • SHOULD NOT get it if had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
        • Pfizer ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

Read more here.


COVID-19 Vaccine Resources