LOS ANGELES — (June 16, 2021) – With COVID-19 restrictions lifted in Los Angeles County yesterday– CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) urges that with the upcoming Independence Day holiday and summer vacations on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated to protect yourself and others before celebrating safely with friends, family and fellow Angelenos. As of today, only 47% of adults in Los Angeles have been fully vaccinated, and vaccinations continue to lag in communities of color.
In L.A. County, just 42.8% of Black residents and 51.2% of Latino residents have received at least one shot, compared to 63% of white residents, and 59% of Native American residents. Black residents are twice as likely, and Latinos 60% more likely, to be hospitalized with the virus than the white population. Amongst Asian Americans, 73.5% ages 16 and above have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which while is above average compared to other ethnicities, 25% are still unvaccinated.
While access to vaccination and logistical barriers play a central role in the disparities in vaccinations, many residents have also been misled by common myths about the vaccinations. It is crucial to separate the myths from reality, and understand that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective:
- MYTH: Researchers rushed the development of the vaccine, and it cannot be trusted.
FACT: A commonly expressed concern centers on how quickly the vaccine was developed. In truth, the swift development of the vaccine is the result of incredible scientific advances, and no corners were cut in researching and developing it. Due to the urgent health threats posed by the pandemic, record investments were spent on developing the vaccines, which allowed manufacturers to take multiple steps simultaneously without financial risk and greatly reduce the timeline usually required to develop a vaccine. The technologies for the vaccines have also been around for decades, which also allowed scientists to move quickly.
● MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine can affect your reproductive health.
FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine, like any other vaccine currently in use, won’t make you sterile or cause any harm to your reproductive health. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. Getting COVID-19, on the other hand, can have potentially serious impacts on pregnancy and the mother’s health.
- MYTH: If I have already had COVID-19, I do not need a vaccine.
FACT: People should be vaccinated regardless of whether or not they have already had COVID-19. Re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, and due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19, the CDC advises all eligible individuals to get a vaccine. Those who have questions about receiving the vaccine after being infected with COVID-19 should talk to their doctor.
- MYTH: The vaccine can give me COVID-19 or cause long-term side effects.
FACT: The vaccine will not give you COVID-19 and none of the vaccines contain any part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Short-term side effects can take place after receiving the vaccination – but this is perfectly normal. In fact, such side effects merely signal that your body is building its defenses, so do not be alarmed if you experience commonly reported side effects such as fever, headache, joint or muscle pain, fatigue, or chills. The vaccine breaks down and leaves your body shortly after triggering the immune response, which makes long-term side effects extremely unlikely. Side effects have also been closely monitored in clinical studies for over a year to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective. The vaccine does not interact with your DNA and will not affect your reproductive health. A far greater risk, especially for vulnerable portions of the population, is not receiving a vaccination, since COVID-19 can cause long-term side effects for those who survive it.
As myths often spread due to fear, it is critical to get information from reliable sources such as the CDC or itstimelosangeles.org. In addition, people can reach out to their personal doctor and public health officials. We are on our way to achieving herd immunity, but to get there, people need to commit to protecting themselves and others.
IT’S TIME LOS ANGELES
By providing in-culture, accurate, data-driven information from trusted sources on the need to receive life- saving vaccinations, this multi-platform campaign is aimed at the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities gravely impacted by COVID-19 across Los Angeles. The culturally tailored campaign is led by a team of multicultural and multilingual strategists and creatives. The goal is to increase access and the rate of vaccinations to ensure a more equitable outcome for Latino, Black and AAPI communities. Launched by CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) follow us at https://www.itstimelosangeles.org/ and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a crisis relief nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee that is dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Penn mobilized a powerful network to take immediate action. More than 11 years later, CORE continues to lead sustainable programs focused on four pillars: emergency relief, disaster preparedness, environmental resiliency, and community building. The organization has expanded beyond Haiti to support communities in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Latin America. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE has been operating free testing sites across the U.S. alongside local partners, providing essential resources and contact tracing services as well as part of its integrated approach to combat the pandemic. In 2021, CORE is working with its partners in the U.S. and internationally to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, and has published a manual to encourage equity-focused community-based vaccination operations. More information: http://www.coreresponse.org/covid-19 and follow CORE on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.