Frontline News, Edition 17

April 29, 2021



maskGuide_fa.jpgThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday issued new interim public health guidance for the fully vaccinated. This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. Fully vaccinated people can now unmask at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC is telling unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings. For more information, visit https://


Some people, no matter what you say, will not be persuaded to take the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, trying to convince them may just harden their resolve not to take the shot.

Fortunately, most people who are hesitant are in a “wait and see” mode and can be persuaded to take the vaccine if we have a good conversation. In many ways, they are like the swing voters who want to hear from both sides before making their decision. Our job is to have a good conversation that allows them to make the right choice and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family, and co-workers. Just as with our efforts during elections, here are some things we can do to have more effective conversations:

Listen. Don’t Lecture. People who are hesitant have questions and we should ask what they are and listen. Don’t judge their concerns or lecture them—try to understand their concerns and answer as best you can. We all know when someone is not listening, so do your best to be an engaged listener.

Appeal To The Best In Each Other. We sometimes think people just need to have the facts to make the right decisions. We know that is not often the case with COVID-19. In conversations about the vaccine, simply providing facts can be harmful because people may feel like they’re getting a lecture without being heard. Facts are important, but we can also appeal to the best in each other when speaking to someone who is hesitant: getting vaccinated will help protect our families and our community by getting us closer to herd immunity. Some people are more willing to take the vaccine if you remind them that their vaccination helps all of us: ‘It’s not for you, it’s for your grandmother,’ or ‘It’s for those you work with.’

Make It Personal and Be Patient. Our own stories are our most powerful tool to help people make the right decision. Many people are waiting to see how the vaccine works, so talk about your own experience. Talk about what it means knowing you can now visit your family and friends without putting them at risk, or go to an event. If your arm was sore or you had a headache after the shot, let them know but assure them it is worth the result. Finally, be patient. You won’t move everyone after one conversation, so stick with it. Even if you move one person, you have succeeded.


Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) lifted a 10-day safety review “pause” of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six cases of a rare type of blood clot following use of the vaccine. After reviewing data about the adverse events and checking with medical experts, the agencies concluded that the vaccines known benefits of preventing COVID-19 far outweigh potential risks and allowed continued use of the single-dose vaccine. The agencies also recommended that women younger than 50 years old be aware of the rare—but increased—risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen. The safety-review pause shows the extraordinary priority the Biden Administration has placed on vaccine safety while thousands of people continue to get sick every day and hundreds die from COVID-19.


Q: What if I got or want to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?

A: The adverse reaction to the J&J shot is extremely rare, occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare. For three weeks after receiving the J & J vaccine, you should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of a blood clot with low platelets. These include: severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, or easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site. If you develop one or more of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.