As a health department, it is our goal to ensure everyone in the county is safe and healthy. The care and safety of the public is always our top priority. As with any vaccine, Shasta County will not distribute a COVID-19 vaccine unless the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined it is safe and effective. The FDA oversees and regulates vaccine quality, safety and effectiveness. The FDA is committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. It will not jeopardize the public's trust in the science-based, independent review of any vaccine.
After the FDA determines a COVID-19 vaccine is safe, the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews the clinical trial data and provides advice and guidance to the Centers for Disease Control.
In addition to federal review, California has formed a panel of public health and immunization experts—the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup—to further review the efficacy and safety data of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA.
National vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for rare side effects (called adverse events) that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If the symptoms are true safety concerns, the guidelines for the vaccine will be changed. This monitoring ensures that the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh the risks.
Visit the CDC for more information on the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines and to report unusual side effects following any vaccination (see links under "Existing Safety Monitoring Systems").
Below are some of the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Prevent serious illness: A COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. It also protects people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Help stop the pandemic: Scientists estimate that to control COVID-19, about 7 or 8 of every 10 people will need to be vaccinated to control the virus. Given that the U.S. population is more than 330 million people, this means that almost 250 million will need to receive the vaccination to reach this goal.
- Build protection safely: The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no ways to know how COVID-19 will affect you. The vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
You might have fatigue, headache, body aches, soreness at the site of injection and even some fever. These are normal immune responses to vaccines and are your body’s natural response in building immunity. The second dose might have stronger side effects than the first.
You can register with V-Safe , a smartphone based tool that uses texts and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Read the V-Safe flyer for more information.
California’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also conducts reviews to ensure the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA.
After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This continued monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a national vaccine safety surveillance program, collects and analyzes adverse events associated with U.S. licensed vaccines. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including providers, patients and parents.
Providers: Under the Emergency Use Authorization, providers are required to report serious negative side effects to VAERS or to the vaccine’s manufacturer per its Fact Sheet.
Public: The public should report unusual side effects to one of the nation's safety monitoring systems for the general public, military members, veterans and tribal nations. Or, call VAERS toll-free number at 1-800-822-7967.
For an additional layer of safety monitoring, the CDC has introduced the V-safe app. It is a smartphone-based health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys to:
The app allows the CDC and FDA to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine safety in real time and make sure vaccines are as safe as possible.
Public Health has worked with long-term care facilities since long before this pandemic began, to help them create and implement the processes and protocols necessary to prevent a communicable disease outbreak, and to respond quickly if one does happen. Most long-term care facilities have quickly and effectively isolated COVID-19 positive staff and residents to ensure that any spread is either non-existent or minimal.