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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is proud to be vaccinating our health care staff.

Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy and safe. 

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PPMM Health Center Staff Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe and Effective

The approved COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested on tens of thousands of volunteers from diverse and representative age and race/ethnicity backgrounds. The vaccines have been determined to be effective and safe by the medical and scientific community who made it their highest priority to develop the vaccine as fast and safely as possible.

Vaccine Development

The three-phased testing process for vaccines is the same as every other vaccine approved prior to COVID-19. A safety board approved every study, and the FDA carefully reviewed the data from every phase of every vaccine trial. Vaccine developers have ensured that clinical trials reflect the nation’s diversity. Data will continue to be collected two years after a vaccine is first administered to ensure that the long-term effects are safe. You can review the evidence yourself by viewing the public information on the FDA’s website.

Some commentators have noted that the some of the COVID-19 vaccines utilized mRNA. mRNA is a messenger RNA and the vaccine uses a piece of mRNA that tells a cell to make a specific protein. An mRNA vaccine is not a virus and can’t cause disease.

Historic Injustices

The medical establishment’s history of racism and abuse toward Black, Indigenous, and people of color that has resulted in deep mistrust. This coupled with current day structural racism have contributed to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color. These realities make access to the vaccine of critical importance. PPMM is committed to providing our staff, patients, and the communities we serve with all the information they need to make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and deciding what is best for their health and safety.

Finding Vaccine Appointments

In California, you can learn about vaccination eligibility and sign up for alerts at: https://myturn.ca.gov/

In Washoe County, Nevada, you can learn more about vaccinations and where to get them at: https://www.covid19washoevaccine.com/

Concerns about the vaccine?

If you’re skeptical or concerned about the vaccine or side effects, we hear you. The likelihood of a severe side effect is less than 0.5%. When mild side effects occur, they are a normal sign your body is building protection to the virus, and most go away in a few days.
 
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the vaccine, including the last date the answer was updated.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

The most common reactions are pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These symptoms are commonly seen with other vaccines, also. Reports of fever and nausea are less common and no serious side effects were seen in the data reported from the clinical trials.

Last updated: 2/1/21

Is the second dose exactly the same as the first dose?

For vaccines that have two doses, your body just responds to the second dose differently. The first dose primes your body and the second dose boosts your antibody response. By the second dose, your body recognizes the foreign substance and reacts strongly. As a warning, people seem to experience stronger side effects after the second dose.

Last updated: 03/04/2021

Are there any resources specifically for Black, Indigenous, and people of color to help make a decision about vaccination?

Yes! The Black Coalition Against COVID-19 has created a video called Making It Plain - What Black America Needs to Know about COVID-19 and Vaccines. You can view the recording on YouTube.

You can also read an article written by Dr. Eugenia South, an emergency medicine doctor and professor, who penned an article entitled, “I’m a Black Doctor Who Didn’t Trust the COVID Vaccine. Here’s What Changed My Mind.”

Morehouse School of Medicine president Valerie Montgomery Rice hopes the Black community will believe trusted messengers and advocates about the vaccine. Read a Q&A with her here.

Last updated: 01/29/21

I’m pregnant. Is it safe to receive the vaccine?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other professional medical groups are  recommending that pregnant individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccines and don’t need to have a discussion with their provider first.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for all people aged 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or might become pregnant. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.

Last updated: 08/11/21

How often should a person get the vaccine or a booster, especially given the uncertainity of immunity strength over time?

Information about boosters for immunocompromised and those over the age of 65 should be available in the next few weeks. 

Last updated: 08/11/21

How long would you wait to get vaccinated after testing positive?

Once a person’s symptoms are resolved, they should get vaccinated.

Last updated: 08/11/21

What happens if we do not get the second dose in the allotted time?

For vaccines that have more than one dose, similar to other vaccines, there is typically a large window where you can still get vaccinated and your body would respond the same way. The current guidance allows for individuals to receive both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines up to six weeks after the initial dose and up to four days early.

Last updated: 08/11/21

After I receive the vaccine, do I need to continue to wear a mask?

Yes! With Delta, we know the vaccines will likely protect you from developing serious illness that results in hospitalizations and death. Breakthough cases are possible and you can transmit the virus to other people. Wear a mask whenever you leave your home!

Last updated: 08/11/2021

How do I safely wear a mask?

When you’re selecting a mask, you want to choose one that fits snugly against your face.

To help keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out, you can wear a cloth mask over a standard medical mask (double mask). Another way is to use the ear loop knotting/folding technique with the single mask as shown in this video.

The CDC has very helpful guidance on how to improve mask usage here.

Last updated: 03/04/21

Does the vaccine stop transmission?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not stop the transmission of the Delta variant. 

We do know that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness resulting in hospitalizations and death that strain our overburdened health care system.

Last update: 08/11/21