Every day is becoming clearer: being vaccinated gives you strong protection against all known variants of COVID-19. This blanket of protection covers you and everyone else around you, especially for the seniors in your life. Vaccination is our best weapon against this deadly illness.
Get Fully Vaccinated!
The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines provide high levels of protection against all known coronavirus variants, including the much-publicized Delta variant. The CDC is closely watching and studying all variants. They find that the vaccines do work against them. To get the most protection from this latest variant, it is essential to get all doses of the vaccine. Global researchers tested blood samples of vaccinated people who got both Pfizer doses. They determined the vaccine is 87% effective against serious illness or death. (The effective rates are averaged among the four reported studies.) However, these same studies show a single dose only provides 10% effectiveness.
COVID Cases Rise
In many counties, COVID cases are back on the rise. Alameda County reports new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have more than doubled since early June 2021. In Contra Costa County, the COVID case rate is about 17 times higher for unvaccinated people than for vaccinated people. These new cases are in communities with the lowest vaccination rates. Neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19 are also experiencing high infection rates. A small number of generally mild cases are among vaccinated people. Yet, the vast majority of new infections are in unvaccinated people. The same fast infection rate among unvaccinated people is happening throughout the country.
Vaccines Prevent COVID Death
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, concluded on July 2, 2021 that 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths in the past six months did not get vaccinated. Had every single one of those people gotten vaccinated, they would still be alive and healthy. Almost all COVID deaths are preventable now with the vaccines.
The Dangerous Delta Variant Quickly Spreads
The Delta variant is especially dangerous for unvaccinated seniors and young people. The CDC states that the Delta variant is twice as contagious as the original virus. It is spreading rapidly in communities with low vaccination rates. These pockets of unvaccinated counties give the virus the breeding ground it needs to spread faster.
Think of it this way: the virus thrives in a human environment and quickly spreads as it overwhelms its new environment. Just like a noxious weed, it finds ways to spread by overtaking as many environments as possible. The vaccines make your body a bad environment for the virus to grow or change. The reverse is also true. Again, just like a noxious weed, once the virus finds an environment it loves, it will grow worse variants to spread as much as possible. This is why mass vaccination works and is incredibly important.
Vaccination Impacts Center for Elders’ Independence
Sadly, early in the pandemic we saw participants and staff in our program suffer from COVID-19. We established stringent safety programs very quickly that prevented any spread in our centers or clinics since then.
Working with Alameda County in December 2020, Center for Elders’ Independence got approval to receive and give the vaccine. We worked very swiftly to get the vaccine to participants and staff either at our medical clinics or at the participants’ homes. Thankfully, six months later, 90% of participants and 82% of our staff are fully vaccinated. Vaccinated seniors are now welcomed in our day centers to enjoy social activities and hot meals with their vaccinated friends. Not one vaccinated senior has gotten sick in our program.
Please Get Vaccinated
We urge you, if you are not vaccinated, to please do so as quickly as possible. We care deeply about each and every one of the seniors in our trusted care. When a beloved grandmother passes, we grieve alongside the family as if she were our own grandmother. Please protect yourself and everyone else around you by getting vaccinated.
To find a vaccination clinic or drive-through location within Alameda County, please click here: Vaccines Available in Alameda County or call 510-208-4829. Appointments are no longer required. Drop-ins welcomed. Paratransit transportation within Alameda County is available.
Contra Costa County also offers your choice of vaccines by walk-in, by appointment or by having their mobile team visit you at your location. Details are here: Vaccines Available in Contra Costa County or call 833-829-2626. There are 11 vaccination centers throughout the county plus a number of pharmacies and clinics. You do not need to be resident of Contra Costa County to obtain a vaccine there.
And if you are vaccinated, we thank you. Being vaccinated show you care and keeps us ALL safer.