Webinar offers information on COVID-19 vaccines

There’s more than one type of COVID-19 vaccine and physician Joseph Iser educates students on what to know about each type

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Coronavirus has plagued the world for the past year and now, but thanks to health advancements, there is a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed. During a Feb. 17 webinar, physician Joseph Iser educates students on what to know about each type. (Photo via Pixabay)

Cicily Thomas and Collin Andrews , Staff Writer

With the approval of COVID-19 vaccines, people across the world are hoping to soon revert back to post-pandemic times.

On Feb. 17,  physicians Joseph Isler and American River College nurse Pamela Whipple discussed via Zoom what vaccines have been made available for those who are receiving the vaccines right now, and those who will be receiving it soon. 

Those who didn’t attend the session can watch it whenever they’d like because as it was recorded. Find the Zoom link for the session here.

After a year-long quarantine and nearly three semesters of online distance learning, not being able to work, or seeing loved ones, two vaccines approved by California’s Department of Public Health are finally available. 

“There are five vaccines right now and only two have been approved, they will allow us to return to normal. The efficacy ranges from 66-95 %,” Isler said. 

Pfizer and Moderna are the vaccines being used right now. 

These two vaccines are made available to those who meet the CDPH requirements in regards to risk level, which is posted on their website.  

Other vaccines have been made, but cannot yet be distributed until approval. Most recently, the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine was approved in February.

Novax is another vaccine that has the same requirements as Pfizer and Moderna but has yet to be approved.

Oxford/AstraZeneca has been approved for use in Europe, but not in the United States; Isler displayed this vaccine’s history on a PowerPoint during the webinar. 

Whipple said this vaccine is providing people with protection against COVID-19 and is time-sensitive after the first dose. When administered the vaccine, make sure to follow the guidelines to make it the most effective. These vaccines are offered at no cost. 

“We are not sure yet if the vaccines will protect against transmission … you do still have to wear a mask two weeks after because we don’t believe it still protects others from around you,” Whipple said. 

 Students who are concerned about if they will get to choose what vaccine they will receive have finally received an answer to this question.

When trying to decide where to get your vaccine you probably won’t have a choice, according to Isler. 

“The only way to choose [the vaccine you get] is to know what place has which vaccine,” Isler said.

After nearly three semesters of 100 % distance learning and living life in a pandemic, the process of reopening schools is closer than it was a few months ago given the fall semester will be hybrid, but there are still questions to be answered about how this vaccine can and will affect people after being administered. 

“With the passing of [the] Johnson and Johnson vaccine, your age group will be hearing something soon about when you can receive the vaccine,” Isler said. “Johnson and Johnson [has a] million doses in reserve [and] can be transmitted in normal vaccine conditions [unlike the other vaccines, which have to be frozen].”

With the approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine people may still wonder just how effective this vaccine is amongst those who are vaccinated and those who are not. 

After two weeks, 50 % of you will have a protective antibodies response and 50 % of you will not,” Isler said. “The Biden administration has asked to move up teachers high on the priority list…if you want to get people back to work you need to get [students] to school and this starts with vaccinating the teachers.” 

 As students begin to learn more and more about how to receive the vaccine and the waiting period, people can stay up to date by using the My Turn app. 

“I think about this as boarding a plane,” Whipple said in response to how she views this vaccination process. “All people have a boarding pass and will get on the plane, but others will board first and some will need assistance getting there, but we will all get there.” 

For more information about when to receive the COVID-19 vaccine go to myturn.ca.gov.