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An Editorial Statement from IMAC
IMAC POSITION STATEMENT ON COVID-19 VACCINATIONS
As new and various diseases develop, such as COVID-19, our Interdenominational Ministers Action Council (IMAC) offers support and encourages on-going research and development of safe, easily accessed vaccinations for the pandemic health threats we face today. IMAC endorses offering COVID-19 vaccination for the protection and prevention of the spread of disease among our community members and their families. The COVID-19 vaccine is an additional tool to support the safety of the communities we serve and must be made available to everyone. We understand that some people may be apprehensive about getting vaccinated due to the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines; however, the Food and Drug Administration has granted the use for two COVID-19 vaccines, which has been demonstrated to be safe and effective as shown through the results of large clinical trials and, accompanying data of the manufacturing companies. In light of the development of these vaccines, our members should continue to use appropriate personal protective equipment and follow social distancing precautions, infection, and handwashing practices.
Facts about the vaccines:
Unlike conventional vaccines, these two vaccines were produced using messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology. mRNA vaccines are not made with virus particles or inactivated virus and therefore are non-infectious. Once injected, the mRNA will enter the cells, turning on cellular production of the “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the coronavirus. When released into the circulatory system, these host-produced spike protein molecules will stimulate an immune response to produce protective antibodies. These antibodies will inactivate coronavirus particles before the host can be infected, therefore protecting against infection. The mRNA strand in the vaccine degrades once the protein is made. The mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell and does not integrate itself into the host genome.1
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at -70°C ±10°C and the Moderna vaccine at 2-8°C to prevent the breakdown of the mRNA molecules. The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two injections 21 days apart, while the Moderna vaccine is administered in two injections 28 days apart.1 Both vaccines have high efficacy, estimated at 90 – 95% effectiveness. Common vaccine responses reported include fever, muscle pain, fatigue, joint pain, chills, and headache. Anaphylactoid reactions in two healthcare workers, each with a history of anaphylaxis, have been reported1.
Vaccine Distribution to Public:
The Delaware Division of Public Health has adopted an ethical framework that guides decision-making for the administration of the vaccines that are expected to be limited for the first several weeks. Vaccine administration to the public expands through phases as the vaccine becomes more available. Overarching Goal: To vaccinate as many people who choose to be vaccinated as possible in a time-sensitive manner as a critical mitigation strategy in the COVID-19 pandemic response.2
- Maximize benefits and minimize harms — Respect and care for people using the best available data to promote public health and minimize death and severe illness.
- Mitigate health inequities — Reduce health disparities in the burden of COVID-19 disease and death, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
- Promote justice — Treat affected groups, populations, and communities fairly. Remove unfair, unjust, and avoidable barriers to COVID-19 vaccination.
- Promote transparency — Make a decision that is clear, understandable, and open for review. Allow and seek public participation in the creation and review of the decision processes 2.
As a commitment to keep community members informed about current developments and to provide an opportunity to ask health providers question concerning individual challenges and health risks, IMAC releases this statement of confidence in the physicians and practice managers of the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Medical Society of Delaware, and the Centers for Disease Control to distribute equitable health care for all.
Additional resources may be found on the website: coronavirus.delaware.gov or you may access the Delaware Division of Public Health Vaccine Call Center. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Contact (302) 672-6150 or Vaccine@Delaware.gov
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). COVID Position Statement 2020.
Vincent P. Oliver
Reverend Dr./ Vincent Oliver, IMAC President
La Vaida Owens-White, MSN, RN
Health Committee, Chair