Public health officials and politicians have repeatedly called for national vaccination campaigns since the summer. However, in the absence of a meaningful federal campaign, concerned local officials have started developing their own publicity.
New Orleans is possibly best positioned to be at the top. The city is regularly hit by hurricanes and has an emergency management office that works in the field of public messaging.
Answers to your vaccine questions
If I live in the US, when can I get the vaccine?
While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary from state to state, most doctors and residents of long-term care facilities will come first. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help.
When can I get back to normal life after the vaccination?
Life will only get back to normal once society as a whole receives adequate protection against the coronavirus. Once countries have approved a vaccine, they can only vaccinate a few percent of their citizens in the first few months. The unvaccinated majority remain susceptible to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show robust protection against disease. However, it is also possible that people spread the virus without knowing they are infected because they have mild or no symptoms. Scientists don’t yet know whether the vaccines will also block the transmission of the coronavirus. Even vaccinated people have to wear masks for the time being, avoid the crowds indoors and so on. Once enough people are vaccinated, it becomes very difficult for the coronavirus to find people at risk to become infected. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve this goal, life could approach a normal state in autumn 2021.
Do I still have to wear a mask after the vaccination?
Yeah, but not forever. The two vaccines that may be approved this month clearly protect people from contracting Covid-19. However, the clinical trials that produced these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. That remains a possibility. We know that people who are naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread it without experiencing a cough or other symptoms. Researchers will study this question intensively when the vaccines are introduced. In the meantime, self-vaccinated people need to think of themselves as potential spreaders.
Will it hurt What are the side effects?
The vaccine against Pfizer and BioNTech, like other typical vaccines, is delivered as a shot in the arm. The injection is no different from the ones you received before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported serious health problems. However, some of them have experienced short-lived symptoms, including pain and flu-like symptoms that usually last a day. It is possible that people will have to plan to take a day off or go to school after the second shot. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system’s encounter with the vaccine and a strong response that ensures lasting immunity.
Will mRNA vaccines change my genes?
No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to boost the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slide inside. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus that can stimulate the immune system. At any given point in time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules that they produce to make their own proteins. As soon as these proteins are made, our cells use special enzymes to break down the mRNA. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can only survive a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell’s enzymes a little longer, so the cells can make extra viral proteins and trigger a stronger immune response. However, the mRNA can last a few days at most before it is destroyed.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a “Masks Up, NOLA!” Slogan. As the virus raced through the neighborhoods, Laura A. Mellem, the city’s public engagement manager for its NOLA Ready program, was well aware that black New Orleans were being hit in disproportionate numbers. Blacks make up about 60 percent of the city’s population, but nearly 74 percent of Covid-19 deaths.
“But the communities hardest hit by the virus are probably the most reluctant to get the vaccine because they have long been abused in the name of science,” Ms. Mellem said.
How can you convince them to get the shot?
In November, the city assembled the Vaccine Equity and Communications Working Group, a coalition of high-profile public health doctors, religious leaders, leaders from Black, Latin American, and Vietnamese communities, and leaders of the city’s major social clubs. The group completed surveys and identified cultural icons that would appeal to residents.
Instead of focusing the news on the misery caused by the pandemic, Ms. Mellem decided to emphasize an ambitious and welcoming tone, a central finding from behavior change research and thought leaders in cities like San Francisco. As Edward Maibach, Professor of Public Health Messaging at George Mason University writes, the most effective communication makes “the behavior we encourage simple, fun and popular.”
“I get my shot so I can visit my 92-year-old mother and eat in our favorite restaurants,” says Julie Nalibov of the Krewe of Red Beans, who helps the city’s ailing cultural artists, many of whom are over 70.