Health & Fit 3 Experts on Why Young, Healthy People Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccine Passports Are Getting a Bit Easier to Obtain—Here’s How to Get One
As more destinations and venues require proof of vaccination for entry, a growing number of options for obtaining a digital vaccine certificate are becoming available.For many people, the CDC-issued, 3- x 4-inch paper COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card is all they have to prove that they are fully vaccinated. But a paper certificate can get lost and does not present some of the conveniences of having a digital version (ideally with a corresponding scannable QR code) that is securely stored in our devices for easy access when needed for travel or entry into a theater, restaurant, or event space.
Earlier this year, it seemed like we were so close to victory in our seemingly endless slog against COVID-19—at least in the U.S.—as people continued to get vaccinated andfrom their January peak. But since April, vaccination rates have fallen significantly in the U.S., with young adults .
Being vaccinated now is more important than ever. In recent weeks, the more contagious delta variant has taken hold as COVID-19 cases have surged again. (The delta variant is nowof cases in the U.S.) As of July 23, COVID-19 cases were on the rise in 90% of the U.S., with outbreaks in parts of the country that have low vaccine coverage, according to the (CDC). Although vaccination rates have been ticking upwards again in light of delta, it’s still just as crucial for young and healthy people to get vaccinated.
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Without young people—including kids—getting vaccinated, hopes forare dim. Although kids can now get a shot, many young people haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine for a number of complex reasons, including the perception that they’re not at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 or anxieties about potential side effects from the shots. Yet there are a number of very real reasons young and healthy people really should roll up their sleeves.
For more specific guidance on vaccination in the young and healthy, SELF spoke with three experts in vaccines, bioethics, and public health:, M.D., a member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and an associate professor in the department of pediatrics, division of infectious diseases; , Ph.D., the director of the Center for Bioethics at New York University; and , M.D., a pediatrician and child and community health advocate who focuses on structural racism, inequity, and health.
8 Popular Myths About the COVID-19 Vaccine, Debunked
These are the facts and nothing but the facts!Experts say the vaccine is safe and effective — even against the Delta variant — and that an increase in the number of people who get vaccinated will help get things back to normal faster, so we can return to concerts, crowded restaurants, traveling, and even prom.
What would you say to a young, healthy person who is anxious about getting the vaccine?
Dr. Tony Moody: I think all the data up to this point really shows that the vaccines are safe and effective. You can’t deploy any medical intervention to this many people without seeing occasional side effects, but frankly, they’ve been incredibly [rare]. The vaccines are effective at reducing severe disease, and they appear to cut down on transmission to other people even if you do get sick. The data is overwhelming in favor of getting the vaccine.
Some people feel anxious about how fast thewas developed, but it was because there was a need. We don’t have years of safety data on this vaccine, but no steps were skipped. Instead, regulators cut out a lot of the red tape that hangs up approval processes and didn’t waste time between steps. The FDA still did their normal data review, and the CDC is carefully reviewing side effects.
Covid-19 Pandemic Timeline Fast Facts
Read CNN's Fast Facts about the coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The coronavirus, called Covid-19 by WHO, originated in China and is the cousin of the SARS virus. © Newsday/Getty Images Nurse practitioner Deborah Beauplan administers a COVID-19 swab test at a drive-thru testing site set up for Suffolk County employees and their families at Smith Point Park in Shirley, New York on December 19, 2020. Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals.
Dr. Matthew Liao: In terms of vaccine safety, the science is really good. More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S. alone, and there’s no evidence of long-term bad effects. Reputable medical groups like thehave recommended everyone—including young people—take the vaccine.
Dr. Rhea Boyd: We speak to communities of color, predominantly Black and Latinx communities, across the country who are well aware of this nation's history of racism in health care—many based on their own experiences seeking care. What may surprise people is, it’s not necessarily fear of historical racism that seems to be shaping people's perceptions of the current vaccine. Instead, people are asking questions about the process by which the vaccines were developed and the safety data that exists. That tells me that people, at least the ones we are speaking to, are discerning consumers of health care, not just "suspicious."
It is important that young people understand two things: One, people are more likely to be exposed to COVID right now, and if exposed, infected, than ever before. That is partly because the most common strain of COVID in the U.S. is the highly transmissible delta variant. And it is partly because many areas have relaxed important mitigation strategies like masking and distancing. As a result, those who remain unvaccinated are now more vulnerable than ever to infection. But the good news is, the best way to protect themselves and others is vaccination, and it is safe, effective, and.
Mix-and-Match Covid Boosters: Why They Just Might Work
The Food and Drug Administration seems likely to allow Americans to switch vaccines when choosing a Covid-19 booster shot. That authorization, which could come this week, is the latest development in a long-running debate over whether a mix-and-match strategy helps protect people from the coronavirus. Here are answers to some common questions about mixing and matching booster shots. How is mix-and-match different? Immunizations typically consist of two or more doses of the same vaccine. The Moderna vaccine, for example, is administered in two identical shots of mRNA, separated by four weeks.
What should young people know about COVID-19 vaccine side effects?
Dr. Moody: All the vaccines have, such as fever, soreness around the vaccination site, body aches, and headaches, which typically last for a few days at most. COVID vaccines seem to have a bit more side effects than the typical flu vaccine, but they also seem to be generating a very robust immune response. That seems to go hand in hand: If people are having side effects, it means the vaccine is revving up their immune system, although it still works even you can have no side effects on an individual level. These short-lived side effects are better than getting COVID itself.
For people who are concerned about[with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] or heart inflammation, these risks do seem to be very rare. There are also no plausible arguments I’ve seen to suggest people will have a problem with future , and there’s no reason to think that other side effects won’t emerge for years. If we thought this could happen, we wouldn’t recommend vaccination. I understand where the objection is coming from, but it’s a straw man argument. I find it’s an avoidance tactic.
What would you say to a young, healthy person who doesn't think they need to get vaccinated?
Dr. Moody: People really need to think about how their actions impact others. Even if a person feels they’re not at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, they’re almost certainly coming into contact with people who are. By getting vaccinated, you’re helping your fellow citizens.
New York City issues vaccine mandate for indoor events, confuses entire country
New York City will soon require that people show proof of vaccination to eat indoors and go to concerts, but it’s not launching another app.The initiative marks the first time a major US city has issued a vaccine mandate like this, and it immediately confused the public.
Some people argue they might still catch COVID even with a vaccine. [While these vaccines can help prevent you from getting a disease, they’re especially good at preventing you from getting severely sick.] We expect somewhen we have a lot of transmission. What we want to see is a lower rate of complications due to COVID-19, which is exactly what we’re seeing with these vaccines.
Dr. Liao: It’s true that young people don’t get as sick on average, but they can. Nearly 10,000 people under the age of 40in the U.S. of COVID-19 to date, and about one in three who are infected with COVID has gotten , or symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks. I know people who have long COVID, and it’s serious. For months you can’t breathe well, and you can lose your sense of taste and smell. It can affect your cognitive abilities and make you very fatigued. But even a mild infection could cause you to miss work or school because you have to quarantine at home.
as long as we don’t have the virus under control, and there’s plenty of evidence it’s because of people who are not vaccinated. Young people are viral factories. Even if they don’t get sick, they could be [allowing the virus to replicate and potentially create] new virus strains. Delta spreads much more quickly than previous strains, so imagine if there was a variant that affected even more people. Restrictions . If you care about being able to go to restaurants and bars, it’s very important to get the virus under control. The sooner we get the virus under control, the sooner we can return to normal. If you care about freedom, this is the best way to achieve it.
Your Top Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Ages 5 to 11, Answered by a White House Doctor
Where can my kids get vaccinated? What are the possible side effects? Will they need a booster shot? We spoke with Marcella Nunez-Smith, M.D., a co-chair of President Biden's COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, to answer these questions and more. Kids ages 5 to 11 will get a smaller dose of Pfizer—two doses of 10 micrograms each, which is one-third of the adolescent adult dose. It will be given as two shots, spaced three weeks apart, and it's 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, according to an October 29 press release by the FDA.
Where can young people find a vaccination site near them?
Dr. Boyd: Vaccines arethroughout the country. Everyone can visit if they want to find a vaccine site near them.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to get a vaccine but their parents don't agree?
Dr. Liao: Being a parent myself, I think that having parental input is very important. I can see why parents would want to weigh in. Kids should talk to their parents and try to reason with them. There’s a lot of, so kids can help educate their parents. The conversation you have depends on the parents’ concerns. Is it about the science, the risk, or religious objections? Figure out what parents are worried about and go from there. I also think it’s helpful to explain to parents the benefits of the vaccine.
Dr. Boyd: I am fortunate to live in a region where counties have enabled teens to seek vaccination independently. To be clear, it is ideal for parents and caregivers to participate in these decisions with their teen and young adult children. But it is also important that teens and young adults can speak with a health care provider independently and make choices to protect their health. We often do this when we care for young people's reproductive health, and it is important to do so now when we care for their health during this pandemic.
What kinds of conversations did you have with your kids about getting vaccinated?
Dr. Moody: We are very pro-vaccine in my family, and my kids were all eager to get the vaccine and move on. My wife, my 16-year-old daughter, and I all participated in thephase 3 trial. My daughter and I were in the blind arm, so we got the real vaccine as soon as the unblinding happened.
Dr. Liao: I have a 12-year-old daughter who got theon the second day it was available at our local CVS. She was super excited because she’s been quarantined all year and wants to see her friends. We had a conversation about the risks and benefits, but she wasn’t worried because we reassured her that the vaccine is safe.
Traveling soon? Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel .
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with more recent information. Testing is much more accessible now than it was earlier on in the pandemic. As more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, some countries have dropped testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. But depending on where you want to go, a negative COVID-19 test result …Testing is much more accessible now than it was earlier on in the pandemic.