Our company values are rooted in doing what’s right and as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re committed to helping our colleagues, as well as our communities, understand the COVID-19 vaccination information available.
The experts are clear – vaccines work! Safe and effective vaccines are what will end this pandemic and ensure a healthier and safer future for us all.
We are determined to do our part to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible and have taken several important steps as vaccines begin to roll out:
- We continue to support local relief efforts and have currently donated over $30 million to organizations around the world in the wake of this global crisis.
- We have committed to covering the cost of the vaccine for all colleagues if not already paid for by their government or healthcare plan.
- We are providing flexibility to allow time for colleagues to get the vaccine and have conducted several vaccine clinics for our manufacturing facilities and will explore more for our facilities where possible.
We are also working with Dr. Barbara Pahud, an infectious disease specialist and former Stanford University Vaccine Fellow, to provide advice and guidance to our colleagues on COVID-19 vaccine information. Her input has been incredibly valuable in understanding the constantly changing vaccine space, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share this resource outside of our organization.
We recently hosted a global vaccine information session for our colleagues to talk about the different vaccines available, why we’re seeing different efficacy rates and what those mean, and other practicalities and safety measures to consider as you’re getting vaccinated. Her main takeaway: vaccines work and you should take any vaccine you can get, as soon as you can get it!
Below (and in the video above) we’ve rounded up the most frequently-asked vaccine questions along with responses from Dr. Barbara. To note, available vaccine information is changing very quickly. We will continue to share updates from the latest Dr. Barbara vaccine information sessions as they are available.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ & Responses from Dr. Barbara
Can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 use inactivated virus, parts of the virus, or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
Will the vaccine hurt?
No. The injection into your arm won’t feel any different than any other vaccine. You might feel mild discomfort, as you would with any vaccine.
Are there side effects to the vaccine?
Side effects may include local pain or swelling at the injection site, or systemic flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headaches and chills. Most side effects are mild to moderate and last only 1-2 days.
What “side effects” are not due to the vaccine?
Cough shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell are not consistent with post-vaccination symptoms and may be a sign of a COVID-19 infection.
Can pregnant women get the vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends pregnant women get vaccinated. Babies can also get antibodies from mom!
Can children get the vaccine?
Not yet. The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for ages 16+ and additional trials are underway for children as young as 6 months old.
If I had COVID-19, do I need to get the vaccine?
Yes. Depending on your country, you should still get vaccinated with one or two doses. Once your symptoms have subsided, you can get vaccinated.
Do I need to get both doses of the vaccine?
Yes. You have some protection after getting one dose (of a two-dose vaccine), but you should get both doses for the full protection.
Can I choose which vaccine I get?
Likely not. My recommendation: take what you are offered from the vaccines that are authorized in your country.
Will we still need to wear masks and practice social distancing after receiving the vaccine?
Yes. We will need to continue to wear PPE and practice social distancing until a large portion of the population is vaccinated. The CDC is easing some restrictions for those that have been vaccinated.
These vaccines were developed very quickly – are they safe?
Yes. Approved vaccines have gone through careful testing and clinical trials, received authorization for emergency use, and are continuously monitored for side effects.
How long will the vaccine last?
Unclear. Coronavirus vaccines may become an annual event (like the flu shot). Immunity from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is shown to last at least 6 months so far.
Dr. Barbara Pahud is an infectious disease specialist and former Stanford University Vaccine Fellow. She is currently a member of the United States COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health to respond to the global pandemic. As a part of this network, Dr. Pahud is helping conduct Phase 3 efficacy trials for COVID-19 vaccines in adults and children. She is a frequent commentator on US media networks and in media publications, particularly on the topic of COVID-19.
You could find more about this article on the website mondelezinternational.com HERE