Frontline News, Edition 10March 10, 2021
WE ARE STARTING TO SEE THE LIGHT
A MESSAGE FROM 1199 SENIOR EVP VERONICA TURNER-BIGGS
Last week, I received my first vaccination at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. (And I feel great.) 1199ers at Interfaith have been doing incredible work throughout this vaccination effort. Central Brooklyn was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and it was wonderful to see Interfaith caregivers, who have given so much, working to restore the health and wellbeing of thousands of Brooklynites. Interfaith 1199ers and hundreds of thousands of caregivers like them have been playing central roles in vaccine rollout programs that protect our communities. At the same time, 1199ers have been educating their Union sisters and brothers (as well as the public) about the vaccines and their efficacy. Because of our members’ dedication, vaccine hesitance among 1199ers is down and vaccination rates are up. I urge everyone to keep up this work. Keep pushing. Keep educating. Send your co-workers and friends and family to 1199SEIU.org, CDC.gov, and WHO.int to learn as much as they can and share the information they garner from these trusted sources. We have been in the trenches for over a year now and we are starting to see light. Together, we will help put this pandemic behind us; we will get back to our lives and families and continue the work of fighting for justice for us all.
VACCINATION PACE PICKS UP
When President Biden took over in January, a key priority was to increase the number of vaccines delivered to states. By mid-February, the Biden administration announced it had increased by 57% the weekly number of doses shipped to states. That increase in supply is now increasing the pace of vaccinations. Over the past week, states have seen a dramatic uptick in the number of people receiving a vaccine dose. New York increased by 65%. Massachusetts went up by 33%. Florida increased by 30%. New Jersey went up by 24% and the District of Columbia increased by 3%. We are still not at a point where everyone who wants a vaccine can get it, but the supplies are increasing, and more and more people are stepping up to take their shot.
I’VE RECEIVED THE VACCINE. NOW WHAT?
Now that more and more 1199 members are getting vaccinated, we need to know what we can and cannot do. Below are some frequently asked questions for people who have been vaccinated.
Am I immune right away?
It takes several weeks for your body to build immunity after vaccination, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means you will not reach peak protection in the early weeks right after your vaccination. For vaccines that require two doses, protection is typically achieved seven to 14 days after the second shot, infectious disease experts say. Can I pass the virus along to someone else? Scientists are still learning how well the vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus. In the interest of speed, vaccines were designed primarily with the goal of preventing severe illness and death, not stopping transmission of the virus. But the limited research so far has shown promise, and experts say they’re condent that the vaccines reduce transmission.
Do I still need to practice social distancing and wear my mask?
Public health officials recommend that vaccinated people continue to practice social distancing and wear masks in public spaces. Especially in the early weeks after getting fully vaccinated, when you’re still vulnerable to catching the virus, you should keep wearing your mask. You may be fully vaccinated, but millions of others remain unprotected. Your mask helps protect others.
Do the vaccines protect against the new virus variants?
While Moderna and Pfizer said their vaccines were effective against the variant first discovered in Britain, some shots are less protective against the variant in South Africa. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had a 64 percent efficacy rate in South Africa.
FAQs compiled and updated regularly by 1199’s Benefit Fund and the first place to go for questions about the Covid-19 vaccine, where to get it, and other concerns.
Other questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Email us at: VaccineQuestions@1199.org