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Teens Get the Vaccine

Protect your community by getting the COVID vaccine!

Teens Get the Vaccine

New Voters is excited to announce the relaunch of our Teens Get the Vaccine campaign for the back-to-school season. With the 2021-2022 school year fast approaching, millions of students across the country are returning to school with no online option and and an unwillingness to wear masks. It has been shown that, in order to have a safe return to school, students ages 12 and up must get vaccinated. However, many teens are extremely hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. "Teens Get the Vaccine: Back to School" will reach out to students nationwide that are unsure about getting vaccinated and will provide them with the necessary information and resources to get their vaccine.

This past spring, New Voters launched our Teens Get the Vaccine campaign which encouraged high school students to lead vaccine hesitancy drives in their high schools. The goal of our campaign was to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation while inspiring students to get vaccinated. Our campaign included an interview with former CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden as well as press features in WLRN and The Philadelphia Tribune

FAQs:

Hesitant about getting vaccinated? Learn more from these FAQs answered by people your age and checked by medical professionals

Where can I get vaccinated? How do I sign up?

Put your zip code here and you can sign up for a vaccine near you right away! It’s super easy. 

Are COVID vaccines dangerous? They cause life threatening blood clots; the FDA hurried to approve them and are now withdrawing them. See the J&J vaccine.

The US has resumed use of the J&J vaccine after concluding that the risk of blood clots was very rare, only pausing distribution out of an abundance of caution for after reports of just six women—out of more than seven million vaccinated—experiencing dangerous blood clots after receiving the J&J one-shot dose. But as Stat Class tells us, correlation does not equal causation!

(For background, on April 13 the FDA and CDC recommended a pause on the distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This was due to reports of six women—out of more than seven million vaccinated—experiencing dangerous blood clots after receiving the J&J one-shot dose.

The risk of developing a clot after getting the J&J vaccine is currently 1 in 500,000 (6-13 clots /6.8 million doses). Comparatively, 1-2 people in 1000 get blood clots on average in the general public. For women the risk of getting a blood clot after taking birth control is 1 in 2000. Meanwhile, the risk of clotting is 1 in 10 after being infected with COVID-19. This risk can shoot up to 1 in 5 if COVID sends you to the ICU.

The CDC pulling the JJ vaccine actually PROVES how safe the vaccine is. If they provided this level of scrutiny for just 6 cases our of 7 million, you can imagine how closely they are looking at all vaccines for COVID.
 

Can the COVID-19 vaccines make you infertile / sterile in later years?

This is completely false, and after seeing how weak the correlation between the ingredient and a pregnancy protein, you will see that too. The mRNA-based vaccines “code” for a protein that is in COVID, and that protein is linked to ANOTHER protein called syncytin-1 which is vital for a viable pregnancy. However, the link of this protein to the other protein is very slight and the vaccine does not impact syncytin-1 or any other pregnancy-related protein, and the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility in any way. In fact, many women in the trial became pregnant or gave birth after starting the vaccine trial, and had no problems!

Will the vaccine alter my DNA?

Nope! Most COVID vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are actually based on mRNA, which does not even come close to your DNA. All they do is deliver instructions to our body’s cells to make a specific protein that is harmless, but that our body recognizes as foreign. This makes our body learn how to fight off that protein. This same protein is found on the outside of a COVID virus (with the dangerous part of COVID being inside the virus). 

This differs from the standard vaccines you may have heard in bio class where an inactivated pathogen (or dead COVID) is put in the body to “teach” it to fight back - this is completely safe too! COVID vaccines however operated as stated above.

Can COVID-19 vaccines give you COVID-19?

Nope! The only way to get the COVID-19 vaccine is to be infected (which happens when you don’t wear a mask or congregate in groups). None of the vaccines actually contain the live virus at all, instead containing instructions for your cells to create a harmless protein that is found on the outside of the COVID virus. Side effects are the result of your body learning how to fight off the COVID virus as the vaccines introduce the harmless part of the COVID virus to your body, and actually prove that your body is ready to fight off the virus when it comes! However you do need to wait 2 weeks after your second shot for the proteins to completely kick in and be fully protected from the virus. If you know someone with the vaccine who got the virus, they likely caught it before full immunity was reached (either between doses or before the 2 weeks were up).

Does the vaccine contain a microchip (courtesy Bill Gates who wants to secretly track us)?

Absolutely not! First off if these giant tech people wanted to track us they already could through our computers and phones which they’ve already sold to us; why would they go through spending even more money to track us when they already can?

In all seriousness, it would be impossible to create a radio transponder, radio receiver and transmitter (necessary for any micro chip) that could fit through the end of a needle. So as long as your vaccine is being administered through a needle, which all vaccines are, you are completely safe.

Are the vaccines safe, since they were developed so fast?

They are very safe! As you can know, people were really eager for things to get back to normal and for the vaccine to be created, meaning there was more funding and more volunteers available than ever has been for the development of a vaccine - so obviously it was made faster! Not to mention the fact that technology is a ton better than it was in the 80s when the last big vaccine was developed. 


Also, while SARS-CoV-2 is new to science, researchers have been studying coronaviruses for decades (this isn’t the first one I know! Just the most spreadable). Additionally, all the most brilliant minds in the world were putting their heads together on this as we all want life to go back to normal, meaning that there was an unprecedented amount of cooperation across the planet. This means data from every country was available and made creating the vaccine even simpler (versus other illnesses where data is withheld). The results were also made available quicker than normal because of how infective COVID-19 is, meaning they could see when the control group got infected and how the vaccine group did not very early on. 

Do I need to get vaccinated if I have had COVID-19 already?

Yes you still do. The vaccine itself produces a stronger immune response than being naturally infected, as seen in comparison. Also, there have been many cases of people being reinfected, as you may have seen with the Prime Minister of the UK, and while your first experience may have been fine, you never know how your body can react (as ⅓ of people our age get long term side effects from COVID) or which of your loved ones you could infect. Lastly, there have been many cases of false positives with COVID tests, so you may not have even had it before. Regardless,  you should definitely GET VACCINATED! (Although you do have to wait 2 weeks after your first negative test to be sure the virus has cleared your system as, like with all vaccines, you can not actively be sick when getting the vaccine).

Why do I have to wear a mask after receiving the vaccine? Can I still spread COVID?

The vaccines prevent you from getting ill, actually decreasing your likelihood of getting sick enough to go to the hospital by 99%! And while there is strong evidence that you can’t get infected, you still might be asymptomatic and spread to unvaccinated folks, potentially hurting your parents or grandparents. Until we have a critical mass of people vaccinated, it’s best to wear your mask when indoors and only hang out with other vaccinated people.

Does the vaccine contain fetal tissue? 

There is absolutely no fetal tissue in the COVID vaccine. This would actually make the vaccine completely ineffective and we would not be seeing the lower amount of cases than we do. To be sure, you can check out the vaccine ingredients at: https://www.immunize.org/covid-19/#prod

Can I get the vaccine if I have a preexisting condition?

You absolutely should! You are actually at a greater risk of having worse effects than anyone else, and you could even die! In fact, most people with preexisting conditions have already gotten vaccinated due to the rollout timeline of the vaccine (prioritizing those with pre existing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease). They are all completely fine and so will you! You will be asked at the COVID-19 location any relevant questions regarding allergies (specifically to COVID-19 ingredients) so you don’t have to worry about accidentally taking it when it could harm you.

Will the vaccine protect against COVID-19 for life? Do I have to get the shot again?

Honestly, we don’t know. While we do know the short term protection the vaccine provides, and the lack of long term consequences, we are unsure about how long it will last. However, the more people that get the shot, the faster we can return to normal even before needing a booster shot (like we do with the flu).

Do I need to get vaccinated? I thought only old people got sick with COVID and our age was safe.

Unfortunately we still need to :/ Young, fit, athletes have still reported brutal respiratory side effects, like Cam newton and Jayson Tatum, and taking the shot is an easy way to avoid all that. While you or someone you know may have gotten COVID and been fine, ⅓ of all people our age have long term symptoms of COVID that could result in you dropping out of school from brain fog or unable to ever play sports again due to consistent fatigue. Again that is ONE THIRD of people our age so we really have to watch out as I know I have a ton of plans for the future and so do you! The vaccine is really so safe and makes such a difference in not letting you get sick, and a plus for society given that you are much less likely to spread the vaccine to other people and that’s great for the planet and definitely our parents/grandparents!

Can I get the vaccine if I’m not a citizen?

You absolutely can! The CDC and Department of Homeland Security themselves have said that you can get the vaccine regardless of your immigration (or health insurance) status. So you don’t have to be a citizen or have health insurance to get the vaccine - everyone has the right to be safe from this virus! You also do not have to pay - the government is covering this one.

You do not have to provide insurance status nor identification.  If you do not have documentation, anyone can get the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge and without identification.  See the DHS statement on equal access: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/02/01/dhs-statement-equal-access-covid-19-vaccines-and-vaccine-distribution-sites

Can I get the vaccine if I’m not yet 18?

If you are 12 or older, you can get the Pfizer vaccine, which is available in most locations! They are also quickly working to authorize people younger than 12 so keep an eye out!

I’ve heard a lot about new variants - can the vaccine protect me from them? Should I wait until a better vaccine comes around?

You should absolutely NOT wait - get vaccinated ASAP so things can get back to normal! The less people are vaccinated, the more variants are created, which will mean we may eventually need to make a new vaccine if we don’t get to herd immunity soon. Current vaccines however do protect against current variants due to the broad immune response they have, making the vaccine effective against current changes in the virus.

The reason more variants are created when less people are vaccinated is because all viruses evolve over time, as you may know from bio. It replicates and makes copies of itself but isn’t perfect, and sometimes changes a bit, making a variant. As more and more people get the virus and in turn spread it to more people, you can imagine how much more likely new variants are created, just due to the law of large numbers. 

So you should absolutely get the vaccine ASAP, and tell your family and friends as well to avoid the creation of new more dangerous variants! The vaccines -- it doesn't matter which one -- represent the absolute best in protection against this deadly disease.  And just as the virus evolves, so can we, to combat it. This is one of the reasons we may need a booster shot in a year's time.

Has the vaccine been tested for people of my ethnicity/race?

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths are disproportionately higher in communities with larger Black or Hispanic populations. Factors disproportionately impacting the BIPOC population include poverty, neighborhoods with overcrowded households, air pollution, and inadequate access to health care. Thus, it is even more vital that young BIPOC adults GET VACCINATED, as they are at higher risk of infection, hospitalization, severe disease, long-term symptoms and death from COVID-19 than their white counterparts.

Sources

Bontemps, Tim. “Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Says He’s Still Feeling Effects of COVID-19.” ESPN.Com, 16 Feb. 2021, www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/30912183/boston-celtics-jayson-tatum-says-feeling-effects-covid-19.

“Coronavirus and COVID-19: Younger Adults Are at Risk, Too.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-covid-19-younger-adults-are-at-risk-too. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.

“COVID-19 and Your Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Mar. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

“COVID-19 Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Apr. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html#:%7E:text=The%20federal%20government%20is%20providing,or%20health%20insurance%20status.

“Information about the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Apr. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Janssen.html.

“Information about the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Apr. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Moderna.html.

“Information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Apr. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html.

Miller, Sara. “FDA, CDC Lift Pause on J&J Covid Vaccinations. “ NBC News, 24 Apr. 2021, /www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/u-s-should-resume-j-j-vaccinations-warning-notice-cdc-n1265073

Newman, Tim. “Addressing 13 COVID-19 Vaccine Myths: Safety and More.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 Jan. 2021, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medical-myths-13-covid-19-vaccine-myths. 

Price, Christopher. “Cam Newton Says His COVID Setback Early in the Season Played Havoc with His Production All Year.” BostonGlobe.Com, 22 Feb. 2021, www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/21/sports/cam-newton-says-his-covid-setback-early-season-played-havoc-with-his-production-all-year.

“What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Mar. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html.