COVID: Five Things You Need to Know 04/22/21

 
Today is April 22nd, 2021 and there’s a lot on the Covid update slate this week. Supply, variants, herd immunity, Facebook’s local vaccine distribution, and the one shot vaccine pause. Here are the top 5 things you need to know:
 
  1. J+J VACCINE PAUSE: There has been a lot of news recently about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Although COVID-19 vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson’s, have been shown to be very safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, Federal and State agencies (CDC, FDA, and CDPH) have recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution after a rare and severe type of blood clot was reported in 6 individuals of the approximately seven million recipients of the vaccine administered to date.

    This pause allows Federal and State health authorities to take steps to learn more about these rare incidents, and is proof that the systems set up to keep us all safe are working as they are designed. The E.U. announced this morning that  the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should carry a warning label regarding the risks associated. We are awaiting comment from the Federal government which should come later this week or next week.

    Locally, in Santa Clara County, approximately 62,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered, with NO reported cases of blood clots. We have full faith that Federal and State agencies will look into this matter with the appropriate care. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to prevent people in our community from getting sick and dying from COVID-19. We urge you to get vaccinated when you are able to.

  2. DEMAND>SUPPLY: If you still can’t get a slot for your shot, you’re not wrong – supply still isn’t meeting demand across most of California. Counties are reporting that there is still not enough supply to give vaccine appointments to everyone who wants one, despite the State opening up appointments to those aged 16 and older last week. Conversely, for some California counties, there is plenty of supply but not enough demand due to vaccine hesitancy. There has been a slight decline due to the recent claims about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as the fact that the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes it easier to reach hard hit communities. This news comes as roughly one-third of Californians are fully vaccinated.
  3. WHEN ARE WE DONE? HERD TO SAY: As reopenings occur, the concept of ‘herd immunity’ is much debated. Governor Newsom, when asked about whether or not he believes California will reach herd immunity to COVID-19 last week, indicates that he feels herd immunity is “illusory.” This notion is backed up by epidemiologists and scientists who note that herd immunity is not a specific number or percentage, but a concept. This supports the Governor’s recent statements calling for California’s full reopening on June 15th.
  4. VARIANTS VS VACCINES: Variants of COVID-19 are making their way around the world, the nation, and your hometown. Variants are increasingly concerning as the nation is in limbo; many but not most have received at least one vaccination to date. Additionally, the concern grows over “breakthrough” cases, or cases where a vaccinated person has become infected.
  5. FB LIKES TO MAKE VAXX EASY IN MENLO: SVLG member company Facebook launches a vaccination site at Menlo Park headquarters. The company partnered with a local clinic, Ravenswood Family Health Center, to provide vaccinations to the underserved. Facebook’s vaccination clinic is giving vaccines to those 18 and older who live in three of the hardest hit communities near the Facebook campus. Those communities include East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks. In addition to the vaccination effort, the company is providing shuttles and on-site translators. 

The next installment of 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19 will come out in two weeks on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. In the meantime if you have questions or comments regarding SVLG’s COVID-19 work, please reach out to me at [email protected]. Thank you and stay safe.

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April 22, 2021

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