Covid-19 and Vaccination

ORANGE COUNTY

All you need to know about Covid-19 Vaccines in the Orange County

Vaccines against Covid-19 are our best bet to control the pandemic. The entire world had been waiting for the vaccines and finally, the vaccines are out.

Vaccinations against the Coronavirus started in December in the state of California.

The supply of the vaccines is low at the moment. However, it is expected that most of the residents of the state of California will be vaccinated by the summer of 2021.

Which Vaccines are available?

Two vaccines were approved by FDA for emergency usage taking into consideration the rapid spread of the virus.

Vaccine Who can take it?Number of DosesTime between the dosesEfficacy
Pfizer/BioNTechAges 16+221 days94%-95%
ModernaAges 18+228 days94%-95%

 More vaccines are expected to be available soon and are in clinical trials. Some of them are:

  1. AstraZeneca
  2. Jannsen
  3. Novavax

Vaccine Distribution in Orange County

Since the supply of the vaccines is low at this point, the distribution of the vaccine is being done in a phased manner. The phased approach has been designed to reduce morbidity and mortality rates. Thus, people at high risk for infections as well as complications will receive the vaccines earlier than others.
Currently Vaccinating…

Phase 1A is currently being given the vaccines. If you belong to Phase 1A and have not yet received the vaccine, you should contact your employer or the care facility that you work for, for further information.

People who are residents of Orange County and are 65 years or older (Phase 1B) are now eligible for registering themselves to get the Vaccine.

How to Register?

Registration and a prior appointment are mandatory for getting a vaccine.

  1. Othena is providing vaccines for Phase 1A and for persons aged 65 years or more. To qualify and register for the vaccine, please visit here.
  2. UCI Health is also offering the vaccines to individuals qualifying for Phase 1A and those who are 65 years of age or older. You can visit here for registering and getting an appointment. You can also call the Patient Access Center at 714-456-7002 and select option 7 to get help with appointments.
Preparing for the Vaccine Appointment
  • Arrive 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Carry a copy of your confirmed appointment.
  • Carry a valid photo ID proof such as a driver’s license that mentions your age.
  • Do not take any over-the-counter medication before taking the vaccine.
  • You are allowed to bring only one person with you, should you need support, at the time of your scheduled appointment.

Are the Covid-19 vaccines safe?

The vaccine helps our immune system to fight the Coronavirus infection. It gives protection a few weeks after the dose is administered. The FDA has issued a EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for the vaccines. The vaccines have gone through clinical trials and have been approved for usage by the FDA. They are safe for usage according to the age prescribed for each vaccine.

What happens when you take the Vaccine?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an efficacy of 94% to 95%. Hence, taking the vaccine will protect you from getting infected with the Coronavirus.
However, the duration of the protection has not yet been confirmed. One of the reasons for this is that new strains of the Coronavirus can come into existence. The protection against the new strains cannot be guaranteed.

What to expect after you take the Vaccine?

Side-effects of the Vaccine

Like most other vaccines, the Covid-19 vaccines can have mild side-effects. These are usually flu-like symptoms that go away on their own within 48 hours. Persons who have taken the vaccine have shown symptoms such as soreness in the arms, fatigue, body ache, mild fever, etc.

While the symptoms are generally harmless, you should seek medical attention in the below cases:

  1. There is soreness or tenderness in the area where the shot was administered even after 24 hours.
  2. The symptoms are severe and are causing major discomfort.
Care to take after taking the Vaccine
  1. If you have any soreness in the area where the shot was administered, apply a wet washcloth to ease the pain.
  2. Maintain regular arm movement.
Safety Precautions after the Vaccine

 It has not yet been confirmed that taking the vaccine prevents you from spreading the virus to others. Hence, it is important to take precautions even after getting the vaccine.

  1. Wear a mask in public.
  2. Maintain social distancing.
  3. Practice hygiene – wash hands frequently.

Who should take the Covid-19 Vaccine?

The Covid-19 Vaccine is not mandatory. However, it is our best bet to control the pandemic, and hence it is recommended that everybody should take the vaccine.

  1. Persons who have never been exposed should get themselves vaccinated.
  2. Persons who have been infected previously can get infected again, and hence, need the vaccine.
  3. The vaccines are safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. However, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before getting the vaccine.

Persons with known allergies or those who are allergic to the ingredients in the vaccine should consult their doctor before getting the vaccine. 

Who should NOT take the Covid Vaccine?

The vaccine has not been tested for side-effects and efficacy on children and infants. Hence, no vaccine is yet available for those below 16 years of age. Clinical trials are in progress to test the safety of the vaccines for children.

Further Plan for Vaccination

As vaccine supply increases, other groups of individuals would be given vaccinations. For a detailed plan on vaccine distribution, see here.

POD (Point of Dispensing) sites will be set up in each region of Orange County for dispensing the vaccine to different groups as more supplies of the vaccine become available.

Covid-19 Vaccine and Misinformation

Some miscreants had spread the rumor that the vaccine contains traces of cow or pork meat. This is NOT true and both Pfizer and Moderna have confirmed that their vaccine does NOT contain any traces of components of animal origin.

Let us all come together to protect our community by staying away from misinformation and stoping its spread! Seek information only from trusted sources.

For more information about Covid-19 Vaccines in the state of California, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/.

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