Covid-19 Vaccine Information – Get the Facts
UFCW essential workers will be among the first to be eligible to take the new COVID-19 vaccine, which evidence shows will provide significant protection against the deadly disease. There are two vaccines that are or will soon be available from Pfizer and from Moderna, and both use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. Unlike other vaccines, mRNA technology does not use any live virus particles. You will not be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Safety and Effectiveness
Both vaccines have a very high level of effectiveness: Pfizer has a 95 percent rate and Moderna has a 94 percent rate. To be effective, both vaccines require two shots, given a few weeks apart. Vaccines cannot be mixed and matched between doses. The length of vaccine-induced immunity is not known at this time, and booster shots may be required.
Some people who get a COVID-19 vaccine will experience side effects, particularly after a second dose. The side effects of the vaccine appear to be minor and temporary, including injection site pain, fatigue, and occasional fever, headache, or aching muscles and joints. These side effects fade within 1-2 days; no long-term effects have been detected thus far.
While the vaccine provides significant protection, it is not 100% effective. There is a slight chance that vaccinated individuals can still get infected with a mild case of the virus. Those who have taken the vaccine can also still spread the virus to others at home and at work. Thus it is critical that everyone continue to wear PPE and follow public health protocols for the foreseeable future.
What Is In The Vaccine
The two vaccines both use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. They do not use any live virus particles, meaning individuals will not be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, the messenger RNA — a piece of genetic code — directs cells to make the COVID-19 spike protein themselves, after which point the immune system creates the antibodies that fight COVID-19, providing a significant level of immunity.
How The Vaccine Was Developed
Because mRNA is easy to make in the laboratory, manufacturers saved years in development, accelerating the creation of the vaccine.
In clinical trials for both vaccines, over 73,000 people from the U.S. and around the world received injections, including over 25,000 people from the communities most impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Latinx, and older people.
How Vaccines Get Approved
Vaccines must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before distribution. The FDA bases its decision to approve or not approve a vaccine on data from clinical trials. Independent experts and career scientists determine the vaccine’s safety based on the extent of side effects. If the clinical trial data shows enough evidence of efficacy and safety, the FDA will approve the vaccine.
Who can get vaccinated now
Est. 3M people
- Healthcare workers
- Long-term care residents
Est. 12M people
NOW VACCINATING AS SUPPLIES ALLOW
- Individuals 65 and older
- Sector populations:
- Agriculture and food
- Education and childcare
- Emergency services
Take Care of Yourself
Just as we are asking the public to do, help stop the spread of the virus by following public health recommendations. Stay home if you are ill, alert your health care provider if you have virus symptoms before visiting a clinic or hospital. Practice social distancing guidelines
What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
UFCW Advocating for Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers
In addition to demanding that employers provide adequate measures to minimize the risk of infection to our members, we have introduced a recommended emergency legislative package in Sacramento that would do the following:
- Require a minimum of fourteen days sick leave and increase unemployment and state disability benefits during the State of Emergency.
- Grocery workers are allowed to flexibility in their scheduling for those that have children at home. UFCW is coordinating with unionized employers to compel the state to create a fund to subsidize childcare for workers who are designated as essential employees.
- Mandate that grocery retail, drug retail, and food delivery employees are allowed time to wash their hands (every 30 minutes) and that employers provide, at their expense, all necessary sanitary cleaners, including, but not limited to, hand sanitizer, disinfecting cleaning products, and protective gear (gloves, etc.) and appropriate training on their proper use. Mandate sufficient staffing to ensure sanitary bathrooms are stocked with necessary soap, towels, toilet seat covers and toilet paper, and are made available to employees and public entering such work sites.
- Provide access to coronavirus testing at no expense to grocery, drug store and food delivery workers.
- Permit workers to alter their schedules to address childcare and family needs arising from pandemic without retaliation and with good faith effort to maintain hours. Offer full-time hours to current employees before hiring new employees.
Sign up for free COVID-19 vaccination
Vaccinations are in high demand. But you can find out when it’s your turn to get one. Sign up at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 and schedule your appointment, or get notified when appointments are available in your area.
Sign Up For Coronavirus Alerts From Your UFCW Union Family
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Use your Union Power to protect yourself, your co-workers, and our community
As union workers we have the right and responsibility to speak up for health protections that will make us and our community safer. Additionally, understand that the crisis is not an excuse for the employer to violate our contracts. Demand proper breaks, overtime pay, scheduling rights and other contractually mandated benefits.
Rest assured that your union leaders and staff are focused on protecting your rights and your health and safety during this crisis. If you have concerns, questions or if you just want to talk about workplace issues, call your Local 5 Union Representative.