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PREPARING TO VACCINATEBy Blog Master
COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION FOR OLDER ADULTS
Pasadena Village and the Pasadena Senior Center recently co-sponsored a COVID–19 informational program that featured Dr. Kim Shriner from Huntington Hospital and Judith Dunaway from the Pasadena Public Health Department. Annie Lasky, Director of Events at the Pasadena Senior Center, introduced the speakers and Katie Brandon, Executive Director of the Pasadena Village, moderated the Q & A session. The hour-long Zoom presentation was attended by more than 100 people.
Dr. Shriner, head of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at Huntington Hospital, provided participants with the latest information on vaccine development and mitigation efforts to control the virus. The grim fact is that the US has 20% of the global deaths from this pandemic. COVID-19 is a very infectious, aggressive virus with a high mortality rate. It is extremely dangerous and it highlights the inequity in our health care systems with low income and people of color suffering the greatest damage.
Vaccines, used in conjunction with other mitigation actions, are the only way out of this pandemic. Dr. Shriner emphasized that the newly developed vaccines are very safe. Although the vaccines were developed very quickly, the platform for the vaccines is well established, and people should not be afraid to be vaccinated. In fact, Dr. Shriner noted that vaccines are one of the safest treatments we have. Many other medical treatments, such as blood thinners and antibiotics, often have many serious side effects, and yet they are still life-saving.
Dr. Shriner listed the various vaccines that are currently available, most notably Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. While we may think that one is better than the other due to higher efficacy ratings, Dr. Shriner stated that 60 – 70% efficacy is sufficient for protection. “Whatever vaccine you can get – get it”, said Dr. Shriner. There is no statistical evidence that benefits any one brand of vaccine.
In the end it will take vaccinations plus mitigation to control this virus. Dr. Shriner stressed that mask wearing will continue into the foreseeable future and that social distancing and avoiding crowds will also be factors in our daily lives.
Judith Dunaway from the Pasadena Health Department reported on the latest vaccine distribution numbers and provided resources to secure vaccinations for Pasadena residents over the age of 65.
For more information about the Vaccine Click here.