COVID-19 Vaccine Information

 

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Vaccines and School Employees

Last Updated 6/11/21

Are all school employees eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Yes, all San Diego County school employees are eligible for vaccination, as are all individuals 12 and older. Vaccinations are available through the County of San Diego and are no longer being operated through VEBA. 

To stay up to date, please visit the following: 

 

Is the vaccine mandatory for school employees?
The decision to require that employees be vaccinated is one that can only be made at the local level. School leaders should consult their legal counsel for guidance on this issue.

 

If school employees go through their health care provider to get the vaccine, how do they know if their health care provider has the vaccine available? Should they rely on their health care provider to notify them when the vaccine is available or should they contact them? 
Please call your health care provider or check their website for information on vaccine availability. 

 

Can we work with our local fire department to vaccinate school employees?
Schools may work with any provider to vaccinate school employees. We cannot ensure that local fire departments currently have the supplies or capacity to vaccinate school employees.

 

Do school staff need to continue participating in COVID-19 testing after they are fully vaccinated?
Yes, testing is still necessary. Currently authorized vaccines have demonstrated very high levels of effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 symptoms, and early data show that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19. All currently approved vaccines do NOT use the live virus that causes COVID-19 so there is no chance of receiving a false positive after being vaccinated.

 

Do I have to wait awhile after receiving the vaccine like I do with the flu shot?
There is a 15-minute observation period that is standard after receiving any vaccine (not just for COVID-19) that still applies to people with no contraindications. If there is a history of allergic reaction, 30 minutes. Please discuss with your provider if you have a history of severe reactions. 

 

Will school nurses be vaccinating school employees?
There are no plans for school nurses to vaccinate school employees

 

Are children being vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes, the CDC approved emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 on May 12, 2021. Clinical trials are currently under way for children under 12 years of age.

 

Should I be vaccinated if I have any pre-existing conditions or special health considerations? 
Please review the CDC’s list of clinical considerations prior to receiving the vaccine. Due to being at increased risk of severe COVID-19, those with underlying conditions are generally strongly recommended to receive the vaccine.

 

Do we need to continue using the traditional prevention measures in the school setting, even if teachers and staff are vaccinated?
Yes. Implementation of layered prevention strategies will need to continue until there is more vaccination coverage in the community. Cal/OSHA regulations still require that all employees wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing, regardless of vaccination status.

In addition, vaccines are not yet approved for use in children under 12 years old. For these reasons, even after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue prevention measures for the foreseeable future, including requiring masks in schools and physical distancing.

Visit the County of San Diego schools site for additional vaccine-related FAQs.
 

Vaccines and Kids Ages 12 to 15

Which vaccine is available to adolescents ages 12 to 15?
The vaccine created by Pfizer is the only one available to this age group.

 
Is parental consent needed for individuals under the age of 18 to get the vaccine?
Yes, parental consent is required, unless you are an emancipated minor. On MyTurn, there is a way to indicate age and add parental/guardian written consent. A parent/guardian does not need to be present. If a parent is present, written consent is not needed. Please visit the County’s website for details on what to bring.

How do I get my child an appointment to be vaccinated?
Appointments are no longer necessary, but available if preferred. Please visit the County of San Diego website for a list of locations. Vaccines can also be accessed through your physician or at local pharmacies.
 

 
Will state health officials require vaccination of students before returning to school in the fall?
Not at this time since the vaccine is still under emergency use authorization. 

 
Is the number of doses and amount of dosage the same for individuals ages 12 to 15 as it is for adults?
Yes. Adolescents ages 12 to 15 receive the same amount of vaccine and in two doses. (Similar to the flu vaccine where only the youngest kids get half a dose while older kids receive the same dosage as adults).

Information for Vaccinated Individuals

I’ve received my vaccine. When am I considered fully vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions, like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces – in public places until we know more, until you are fully vaccinated.

 

I am fully vaccinated. What am I able to do now? (Per CDC)
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
  • You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.\
    • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

The safest actions for individuals right now are those allowed under CDC, State, and local public health guidance. Even though your risk for developing COVID-19 is reduced, the people around you may not have been vaccinated and are still at risk. Additionally, more is still being learned about the virus variants and how well the vaccine works against them. The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for everyone.

 

What COVID-19 safety precautions should I continue to use and in what situations if I’m fully vaccinated? 

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.  Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested 3 days before travel by air into the United States (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

Read more about what you should keep doing from CDC

 

How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?
It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. It should take up to 14 days after your last dose for you to be fully protected. Based on available data, the COVID-19 vaccine provides strong protection for at least six months, including against severe illness if you get sick. Research over time will confirm how long the protection lasts, and additional doses may be needed in the future to boost protection.

 

Do we need to continue using the traditional prevention measures in the school setting, even if teachers and staff are vaccinated?
Yes. Implementation of layered prevention strategies will need to continue until we better understand potential transmission among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine and there is more vaccination coverage in the community. Cal/OSHA regulations still require that all employees wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing, regardless of vaccination status.

In addition, vaccines are not yet approved for use in children under 12 years old. For these reasons, even after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue prevention measures for the foreseeable future, including requiring masks in schools and physical distancing.

Visit the County of San Diego schools site for additional vaccine-related FAQs.

 

What can we expect if we continue to follow COVID-19 safety precautions after vaccination?
As we continue to follow guidelines, we should see a drop in COVID-19 cases, ICUs, hospitalizations, outbreaks, and deaths. If this drop keeps going down in the right direction, more businesses and locations can reopen, more families can be together in person, and more individuals can travel without the stress and limits of a global pandemic. Things may not return to the routine before COVID-19, but the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines offers the best way to move forward.
 

General Information About the Vaccine


Answers to these questions are provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please visit their website for additional details. 

What are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. All vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized for emergency use only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Learn more from the CDC.

 

Where can I learn more about the vaccines currently available for COVID-19?
The CDC has information about the different types of vaccines currently available.

 

How does the vaccine work?
Please visit the CDC’s website for details. 

 

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

 

Are two doses of the vaccine necessary? 
COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Two doses are needed for the vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease. The vaccine produced by Janssen/J&J is administered as a single dose. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. You should not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated.

However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.

Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the months after initial infection. Therefore, people with a recent infection may choose to delay vaccination for a few months, if desired.
 
 
When will booster doses be needed?

The need for and timing of booster doses for the COVID-19 vaccines has not been established. No additional doses beyond the single dose or two-dose primary series are recommended at this time. 
 

Why would a vaccine be needed if we can do other things, like physical distancing and wearing masks, to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading?
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
 
 

Is immunity better achieved with natural infection or the vaccine?
The vaccine is the safest way to acquire immunity to COVID-19. See benefits of getting vaccinated. Some not hospitalized still have long term effects, which range from annoying to clinically meaningful.
 

Do I need to continue wearing a mask, physical distancing, hand washing, and following coughing and sneezing etiquette after I have been fully vaccinated?

No. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic.

Additional recommendations can be found at When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.
 

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