COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Protection

COVID-19 vaccines are crucial in our battle against the pandemic. With options like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, each vaccine is highly effective at reducing the severity of symptoms and preventing serious illness. Common side effects, such as arm soreness and fatigue, are normal signs that the vaccine is working. Importantly, COVID-19 vaccines do not give you the disease but help your body build a strong immune response. Regardless of whether you had COVID-19, getting vaccinated is recommended, as it provides better protection and reduces the chance of the virus mutating. High vaccination rates lead to herd immunity, slowing the virus's spread. Stay vigilant by practicing safety measures alongside vaccinations.
covid virus immunity

Every Californian age 16 and older became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on April 15, 2021. Vaccinations are one of the most important tools for ending the pandemic and keeping individuals and communities safe. COVID-19 vaccines reduce viral transmission from person to person, COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths. Vaccine safety, on the other hand, is a point of concern among the population. Here’s what you need to know.

COVID-19 Vaccines

There are three FDA-approved vaccines available from Pfizer/ BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

Some say that the first vaccine offered is the best one.

Each vaccine is highly effective.

Efficacy is the chance that each vaccinated person is less likely to get sick after each exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines initiate an immune response without having to experience the illness or long-term effects caused by the virus. Although vaccines are not 100% perfect, they help reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and significantly reduce the chance of serious illness and death.

Some people may experience side effects after receiving a vaccine.

Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm, and tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. This is a normal sign that the vaccine is working as expected. Additionally, full protection takes place 2 weeks after their last dose. Once fully vaccinated, people may be able to begin doing previously enjoyed activities, such as gathering indoors without masks with other fully vaccinated people.

COVID-19 vaccines do not cause the disease.

Subsequently, no FDA-approved vaccines use a live or weak version of the COVID-19 virus. Innovative and proven technology helps the body recognize key parts of the virus and build a strong immune response.

The FDA has authorized several COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine safety has been observed in both clinical trials and among the millions of people globally who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

It is recommended that you get the vaccine regardless of whether or not you had COVID-19.

People develop antibodies through the disease. However, there is evidence showing immunity through vaccination may last longer. Vaccinations may also provide better protection from more strains and mutations of the virus.

High vaccine rates in a population reduce the chance for the virus to mutate.

Mutations occur when there are plenty of opportunities for the virus to spread, replicate, and change forms. Many viral mutations go unnoticed. However, some mutations may cause the virus to spread more quickly, cause more harm, or impact different groups of people.

High vaccination rates increase herd immunity. 

Herd immunity is a form of community protection. If enough people in the community have antibodies to the virus, it will slow the spread of the virus, reduce strain on the healthcare system, and saves lives. By getting the vaccine, you can help protect the unvaccinated.  

Furthermore, Vaccines are one part of the comprehensive public health response to COVID-19. Social distancing, hand-washing, avoiding crowds, ventilation, mask-wearing, testing, tracing, and isolation remain critical to ending the pandemic. As more vaccinations take place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue providing more guidelines on how we can move towards re-opening the economy and gathering more safely.

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Work Health Solutions

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.