Newsletter from the Coastal Health District (April 16, 2021)

The following information is courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health Coastal Health District

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Weekly Update for 4.16.21

The vaccine trials were good ... but how are vaccines working in the real world? 
(Spoiler alert: they're working really well!)

The first two COVID-19 vaccines to be authorized in the United States - Pfizer and Moderna - showed very promising results in clinical trials. But how are they working in real life conditions, outside the confines of a clinical trial?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set out to evaluate this when they selected 3,950 frontline workers for a study on vaccine effectiveness.

The study included health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers - people who are likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work. These participants were tested for COVID-19 weekly for 13 weeks, regardless of symptoms or known exposure. During that time, many participants received COVID-19 vaccine.

Under real-world conditions, the mRNA vaccines were 90% effective against COVID-19 infection in fully immunized people (this includes preventing asymptomatic infection). You're considered fully immunized 14 days or more after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.

Even partial immunization (you received the first dose, but haven't yet received the second) was 80% effective against infection.

This is great news in the fight against COVID-19. These findings indicate that mRNA vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer are very effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of symptom status, among working-age adults in real-world conditions.

You can read more about the study on the CDC website.


COVID-19 Vaccine Availability in the Coastal Health District

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at your local health department and through many other healthcare providers. For an appointment with public health, please visit, or visit our website to see a list of other local providers.

What about Johnson and Johnson vaccine? 
The FDA and CDC have recommended pausing Johnson and Johnson vaccinations while they review possible adverse reactions.

The Johnson and Johnson clinic scheduled for April 24th in Camden County will now offer Moderna vaccine. If you have an appointment, you may still come at your regular appointment time and will receive Moderna instead of Johnson & Johnson. You will need to return for a second dose in four weeks.

The FDA and CDC are reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot occurring in women aged 18-48 about a week after vaccination. More than 124,000 doses of J&J vaccine have been safely administered in Georgia, and none of the six cases are in individuals vaccinated in Georgia.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare, and are known to have occurred in less than 1 in 1 million vaccinations.

Individuals who have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care providers. DPH urges all health care providers to be aware of the potential for these adverse events and plan for appropriate treatment required with these types of blood clots.

Vaccination remains one of our best tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with basic prevention measures – wearing a mask, distancing from others, avoiding large gatherings and frequent hand washing. The Georgia Department of Public Health will continue to monitor the situation with J&J vaccines and provide additional information as it becomes available.


Frequently Asked Question:

Now that we have vaccines, are you still doing contact tracing on new cases of COVID-19?

Answer: Yes. It's great that people are getting vaccinated, but COVID-19 is still very active in our local communities. And now that several coronavirus variants have appeared in the U.S., it's very important to continue investigating cases of COVID-19. Through case investigation, we can learn more about how and where the virus is spreading in our area. Part of that investigation includes contact tracing, which enables us to notify people about an exposure to COVID-19 so they can take precautions. These are still very important tools in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

What to know about COVID vaccines
& new variants

Several variants of the original COVID-19 virus are now circulating throughout the world, in the US, and in Georgia. What does this mean for the vaccines we're administering right now? Get answers from Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, an infectious disease physician and CDC-trained epidemiologist, and Stephaun Wallace, PhD, a Research Epidemiologist and Clinical Assistant Professor, Global Health at the University of Washington.

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This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.