1-2-3! Let’s End the Pandemic!

There is a lot of information out there about coronavirus and its vaccine.  We are here to help you sort the facts from the myths.  Our goal is to help you decide if the vaccine is the right choice for you and your family.

step one get informed

Where can I get helpful COVID-19 information?

There are many germs out there that can make us sick. Coronavirus disease, also called COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, is caused by a virus.

Most people infected with the Coronavirus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

 

(World Health Organization, 2021)

 

Coronavirus is a virus, not a bacteria.

 

Bacteria Virus
Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that get nutrients from their environments.

Some bacteria are good for our bodies — they help keep the digestive system in working order and keep harmful bacteria from moving in. Some bacteria are used to make medicines and vaccines.

But bacteria can cause trouble too, as with cavitiesurinary tract infectionsear infections, or strep throat.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria. They aren’t even a full cell. They are simply genetic material (DNA or RNA) packaged inside of a protein coating. They need to use another cell’s structures to reproduce. This means they can’t survive unless they’re living inside something else (such as a person, animal, or plant).

Viruses can only live for a very short time outside other living cells. For example, viruses in infected body fluids left on surfaces like a doorknob or toilet seat can live there for a short time. They’ll die quickly unless a live host comes along.

When they’ve moved into someone’s body, though, viruses spread easily and can make a person sick. Viruses cause minor sicknesses like colds, common illnesses like the flu, and very serious diseases like smallpox or HIV/AIDS.

Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Antiviral medicines have been developed against a small, select group of viruses.

 

(Kids Health, 2021)

 

What to learn more?

There are ways to find out if a bacteria or virus is making you ill.

Click Here to learn the differences between viruses and bacteria.

To understand how COVID-19 vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. Our immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red cells, which carry oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, which fight infection. Different types of white blood cells fight infection in different ways:

Macrophages are white blood cells that swallow up and digest germs and dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave behind parts of the invading germs, called “antigens”. The body identifies antigens as dangerous and stimulates antibodies to attack them.

B-lymphocytes are defensive white blood cells. They produce antibodies that attack the pieces of the virus left behind by the macrophages.

T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.

The first time a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it can take several days or weeks for their body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After the infection, the person’s immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

The body keeps a few T-lymphocytes, called “memory cells,” that go into action quickly if the body encounters the same virus again. When the familiar antigens are detected, B-lymphocytes produce antibodies to attack them. Experts are still learning how long these memory cells protect a person against the virus that causes COVID-19.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

Want to learn more?

Click Here to understand how vaccines work.

Vaccine Safety, Overview, History, and How it Works

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/history/index.html

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness.

Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity.

Learn more about getting your vaccine.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized and recommended or undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States.

Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Protein subunit vaccines include harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that causes COVID-19 instead of the entire germ. Once vaccinated, our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Vector vaccines contain a modified version of a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. Inside the shell of the modified virus, there is material from the virus that causes COVID-19. This is called a “viral vector.” Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

Some COVID-19 Vaccines Require More Than One Shot

To be fully vaccinated, you will need two shots of some COVID-19 vaccines.

Two shots: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two shots, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two shots.

One Shot: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires one shot, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your shot. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot.

If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second shot, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking steps to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot).

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Want to learn more?

Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

Call 211 or 877-947-2211.

Spanish, Hmong, Chinese Mandarin, Hindi, and Somali language assistance is available.

¿Tiene preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19? Llame al 211 o al 877-947-2211 (llamada gratuita).

Puas muaj lus nug txog qhov tshuaj tiv thaiv COVID-19? Hu 211 los sis 877-947-2211 (tus xov tooj hu dawb).

如有关于 COVID-19 疫苗的问题,请拨打 211 或 877-947-2211(免费电话).

COVID-19 वैक्सीन के बारे में कुछ सवाल हैं? 211 या 877-947-2211 (टोल फ़्री) को कॉल करें।

Wixii su’aalo ku saabsan tallaalka COVID-19? Soo garaac 211 ama 877-947-2211 (lacag-la’aan).

step 2 make your decision

Is the vaccine right for me and my family?

Everyone is different.  The best way to know if the vaccine is right for you or your family is to talk to a doctor or medical provider about your specific concerns or conditions.

Vaccinate Your Family has gathered some of the most requested resources for families, healthcare providers and other experts. You can narrow your search using filters by audience and by type of resource.

Want to learn more about vaccines and children? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a great website about all types of vaccines. Go to https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center to learn more.

Want to hear from other parents about their decision-making process? Go to https://www.voicesforvaccines.org/ to learn more.

We understand that some people may be nervous about the COVID-19 vaccines — this is totally reasonable.

While the current Coronavirus is new, its part of a larger coronavirus family that has been around a long time. Researchers were working on vaccines for the coronavirus family for years, so they did not have to start from scratch.

Researchers who have been developing the COVID-19 vaccine have been working intensely to develop and test the vaccine, they have been transparent in sharing data, holding live hearings, and pausing trials when it’s been important to slow down.

Want to learn more?

DHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information page offers COVID-19 vaccine information.

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination page offers COVID-19 vaccination information and updates from the CDC with links to additional resources.

How Are COVID-19 Vaccines Authorized?

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02940.pdf

The COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine work to fight different germs. Wearing masks, washing your hands, and limiting contact with others can help prevent you from getting both the flu and COVID-19. However, receiving the seasonal flu shot is still a good idea. The COVID-19 vaccine is effective at preventing you from getting the coronavirus.

step three get vaccinated

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are free, regardless of whether someone has insurance. People can find and schedule an appointment through the following:

Use VaccineFinder or VaccineSpotter

Register on the Wisconsin Vaccine Registry for an appointment at a community-based vaccination clinic or with the local health department;

Call (844) 684-1064 with questions about vaccination or for help registering for a vaccination. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Mandarin, Hindi, and Somali.

Want to learn more?

Options for Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccination (P-02914)

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/library/p-02914.htm

Where to get vaccinated: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-get.htm

Want an easy way to find a vaccine near you, go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ for user friendly search tools.

Follow Wisconsin Vaccine Hunters and Angles on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/885569148875668

– Wisconsin Immunization Neighborhood (WIN) is a collaborative group of invested stakeholders who advocate to reduce barriers to vaccines, distribute accurate, science-based immunization information, and advocate evidence-based vaccine policy.  Learn more here https://immunizewisconsin.com/

Getting vaccinated does not need to be a stressful process. Here is an overview of what you can expect throughout the COVID-19 vaccination process, how you can make it smooth and stress-free, and how to stay safe until you are fully vaccinated. You can also get the facts on common side effects of the vaccine.

Know the vaccine appointment basics

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all. An ID or insurance is not required to get vaccinated.

Some vaccination sites may require vaccine recipients ages 12 to 17 to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Postpone your appointment if you don’t feel well, have COVID-19, were exposed to COVID-19, or received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require that you receive two doses, so you will need to plan for two appointments. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.

It takes up to two weeks after your second dose (or your single dose of Johnson & Johnson) to be fully protected, or fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Tips for your vaccination appointment

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Wear short sleeves.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your ID if you have one.
  • Maintain a safe social distance between you, other patients, and staff.

If you have insurance, provide your insurance information. No charges will be transferred to you. If you do not have insurance, do not worry. Insurance is not required.

Maintain 6 feet of distance between you, other patients, and staff when possible.

If it is your second appointment, bring your vaccination record card.

Before Continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, physically distance, and wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

Reschedule your appointment if you don’t feel well, have COVID-19, were exposed to COVID-19, or received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

Drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s rest, and eating a balanced meal before your appointment may help lessen possible side effects.

After Immediately after your first dose, you will be observed for at least 15 minutes. If you experience any immediate reactions, make sure to report them to medical staff right away.

Shortly after your first dose, you may experience mild side effects such as:

·       Fever

·       Chills

·       Tiredness

·       Headaches

·       Pain or swelling on your arm where you got the vaccine

These are common signs that your immune system is strengthening its response to the virus. They usually go away within a day or two. Even if you experience side effects from the first dose, it is very important that you get your second dose (if you received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine), so you have full protection.

Discomfort from fever or pain is normal. However, contact a health care provider if redness or tenderness of the arm where you got the vaccine increases after 24 hours or your side effects worry you or last longer than a few days. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Fully Vaccinated You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Until then, continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, physically distance, wash or sanitize your hands frequently and follow CDC’s guidance for choosing safer activities.  (link is external)

After you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can start doing things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do after becoming fully vaccinated.

 

Want more information?

 

Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine (P-02891)

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/library/p-02891.htm

Languages: English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

How Our Bodies Respond to the COVID-19 Vaccine (P-02941)

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02941.htm

Languages: English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

Next Steps: After You Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine, P-02879

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/library/p-02879.htm

Languages: English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

COVID-19 Post-Vaccination Guidance for Schools (P-02944)

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02944.htm

Languages: English, Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, Spanish

CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

You can look up your immunization history on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. Find the registry here: https://www.dhfswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en

Attend our Upcoming Vaccine Events!

Waukesha County Fair

Who: Any Wisconsin Resident who attends the fair age 12+ up. Attendees age 12-17 will need a parent or guardian present. No ID is required.

What: Vaccines from Village Primary Care Providers (VPCP) are free to the public. Both the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available and a follow-up clinic will be scheduled at VPCP’s clinic.

Where: Waukesha County Expo Grounds at 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI 53188. Find us in Section C!

When: July 21 to July 25

Why does CAC care about ending the pandemic?

Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin believes everyone should have the opportunity to be as safe and healthy as possible. This means we must pay particular attention to the communities that are most at risk for COVID-19 and have less access to the supports they need to stay healthy. We know that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and other communities of color are most at risk for exposure to COVID — and suffer poorer health outcomes if they get it — because they are often locked out of affordable homes, safe transportation, quality health care, and jobs that offer paid sick leave and options to work from home.

Many of our essential workers who keep our country running — our bus drivers, our farmworkers, our grocery store workers — are from these same communities. This is why they will be among the first to have the option to be vaccinated. And it is why the national recommendations are prioritizing essential workers, in addition to health care workers. The COVID-19 vaccines offer an important opportunity to support and protect those who have been and stand to be most harmed by COVID-19. We know this is only part of the solution, and we must also commit to addressing the social factors that affect our health and that will reduce inequities in health outcomes, like universal basic income, equitable school funding, eviction moratoriums and rent cancellation, and releasing people who are in prison.

This page is made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Social Development Commission.