National Minority Health Month Aims to Boost Vaccine Awareness
Across the country and right here in Nassau County, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted minority communities with higher rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. As a result, advocacy groups are shining a spotlight on the vaccine during National Minority Health Month this April. Now that vaccination appointments are available to all New Yorkers ages 16 or above, learn the vital information about this potentially life-saving shot.
Empowering the Community During Minority Health Month
This year, National Minority Health Month’s goal is to empower communities to practice COVID-19 safety precautions, learn the facts about the vaccines, share accurate information with family and friends, and get vaccinated when the time comes.
Understand the Science
So far, three vaccines have received approval for use in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration found them to be safe and effective after rigorous reviews. As of April 2021, millions of people have already received a COVID-19 vaccination. Because of reports of an extremely rare potential adverse event (less than 1 in a million), the FDA has recommended a temporary hold on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it investigates the cases and provides additional guidance to providers.
COVID-19 vaccinations help your body develop immunity to this virus without contracting the illness. The COVID-19 vaccines do not carry a risk of infection because they do not contain live viruses. Instead, these types of vaccines use mRNA technology to build an immune response in your body.
It usually takes a few weeks after being fully vaccinated for your body to develop a full immune response to the COVID-19 virus.
Know What to Expect
The COVID-19 vaccinations are administered by an injection in the arm. Depending on which type of vaccine it is, you may receive either one or two doses.
After receiving the injection, you may experience minor side effects as your body develops a new immune response. Common side effects include pain, redness and swelling. You may feel minor symptoms throughout the rest of your body, including tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea.
Some individuals experience no side effects at all. If you happen to experience more severe symptoms, be sure to consult with your health care professional.
Use Available Online Resources
Those interested in and eligible to receive the vaccine can use the VaccineFinder to learn about where to find appointments. You can use its search tool feature to identify locations in your area where you can schedule an appointment.
Continue to Take Precautions
Even after being vaccinated, the CDC recommends continuing to take safety precautions, including wearing a mask, maintaining safe distances in public and washing your hands regularly.
Contact Us to Learn More
The COVID-19 vaccines are a tool that can help us all resume the activities we love without the risk of spreading the virus. With vaccine availability increasing nationwide, National Minority Health Month’s #VaccineReady campaign is a reminder to us all to consider the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have any questions about vaccinations or other minority health topics, contact Family Health Centers.