Trust the science, trust the vaccine Wednesday, May 5 2021 

By Alexia Juarez–

On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. One can hope that this is the first step in minimizing cases in this still-fragile pandemic. 

The Center for Disease Control claims that the vaccines are safe and effective, as they meet the FDA’s scientific safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support its Emergency Use Authorization.  

This announcement can give students at U of L hope that we can one day return to a COVID-19-free environment when we take the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. 

In early January 2021, the University of Louisville announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. U of L Health will administer the vaccine to members who choose to be vaccinated, and the first phase is distributed to those in patient care and over the ages 50 and 65. 

U of L announced that students can get vaccinated starting April 12, along with any individual 16 and up. Given this information, it is imperative everyone is granted the most accurate details to ensure their safety and well-being.  

“There are three vaccines that are currently being injected: Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna,” Paul McKinney, associate dean of the U of L School of Public Health said. McKinney said that support is needed for this vaccine in hopes to avoid another surge. 

The CDC states Johnson and Johnson has an efficacy rate of 66.3 percent, with Pfizer at 95 percent, and Moderna at 94.1 percent.  

On April 13, @POTUS on Twitter posted a video of Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, explaining that there will be a halt on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine due to a small number of adverse events.  

Fauci explains that these events were seen in six out of the 6.85 million vaccinated, and those who have already gotten the vaccine should not be worried because “The J&J vaccine has been shown in clinical trials to be highly efficacious.” 

Dr. Fauci further stated that these halts have not been found in Pfizer or Moderna.  

“Over 120 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccines,” said Fauci.  

“Only a small proportion–6.85 million–are J&J […] There have been no signals that there’s any concern about adverse events among these tens of millions of people.”  

The CDC lifted the pause on the J&J vaccine on April 23.

It is crucial that we trust the science provided by health professionals giving us the information we may not already know, in order to expand our knowledge on a virus that has impacted our lives exponentially.  

The CDC has also stated that the vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes both established and new safety systems.  

They have also debunked several myths about the vaccine, including ones that claim it can make you sick with COVID-19, and that you can test positive for the virus after vaccination.  

Fauci encourages that everyone still get vaccinated, and that these halts have nothing to do with the vaccine’s efficacy.  

“The danger of COVID-19 as a disease clearly, overwhelmingly outstrips any risk of an adverse event from a vaccine,” said Fauci.  

For more information, see the CDC’s full myth debunking site here. 

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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Washing your hands won’t cut it: Get your flu shot Tuesday, Sep 22 2020 

By Catherine Brown —

Around this time last year, The Louisville Cardinal published an article persuading students to get their flu shots. Global health standards have changed since then. It’s time to get your flu shot.

The University of Louisville will provide free flu shots to students, faculty and staff starting Sept. 21 on the Health Science Campus. On Sept. 28, free flu shots will be available on Belknap Campus in SAC W116-117. 

Students might be surprised to hear that the university is not mandating flu shots the way they have with COVID-19 tests. U of L Director of Communications John Karman said flu shots are still highly recommended for students, faculty and staff.

According to the Center for Disease Control, vaccines produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. The immune system often develops sickness-like symptoms such as a fever after receiving a vaccine, but these symptoms are normal and help the body to develop immunity. After these symptoms disappear, the body will remember how to fight that disease in the future should a patient get infected. Those infected shortly before or after the time of the vaccination might still develop the disease as the body has not had enough time to create these memory cells.

But the coronavirus is not the same as the influenza virus or any strain of it. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are still susceptible to the flu. 

U of L provides free flu and cold self-care kits to students. These kits can be found at Campus Health Medical Services, the Health Promotion office, and at designated flu-shot stations.

Even U of L students agree that you need to get your flu shot.  “Flu shots are necessary to get because it’s best to be protected against the disease so you won’t have a chance of getting the virus,” said Destiny Smith, a pre-nursing student.

This year, Smith said because of COVID-19 it is even more important to get a flu shot.

”Students should get the flu shot again because the symptoms are very similar to COVID,” she said. “Getting a flu shot is something that may help prevent the spread of COVID.”

Doctors aren’t just suggesting flu shots for fun. People often think they won’t catch a disease because of their good hygienic habits or a strong immune system, but these things aren’t always enough to protect you. Bacteria and viral infections are everywhere and we carry more of these in our bodies than we assume.

The CDC estimates that a range of about 12,000 to 79,000 flu-related deaths occur every year. COVID-19 deaths total at nearly 200,000 in the United States.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, immunologist expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed concerns that the fall season will help spread the virus. 

“As we get into the fall and do more indoor things, we’re likely to see upticks in COVID-19,” said Fauci. He also advised wearing masks and social distancing, which can help control the spread of the flu.

Nobody wants to shake hands with you when you’re carrying harmful bacteria. Simple hand washing isn’t going to make the flu virus go away. Wear a mask and stay home when you can. Nobody wants to catch your virus.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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