5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Pacific Islander communities

Last updated: Jun 7, 2021
Here are five updates for those in Pacific Islander communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The pandemic has greatly impacted Pacific Islanders in California. The number of cases for these communities is 33% higher than the state’s average. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help protect the health of all communities.

Below is the latest information about the vaccine. There is also more from experts that support the needs of Pacific Islander communities.

1. The vaccines are tested for everyone’s safety.

Many clinical trials test diverse populations. This helps make sure the results apply safely to everyone. This includes all approved COVID-19 vaccines. In the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) trials, 0.2% of the participants identified as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

While some people have concerns about vaccine side effects, COVID-19 can cause long-term and fatal results. The risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine is lower than the dangers of the virus itself.

2. The vaccines lower the risk of sickness and death

Diabetes, along with obesity and heart disease, add to the seriousness of COVID-19. Frequent public contact, such as being an essential worker, can also increase the virus's risk. So can living in homes with many generations. Many of these factors are common for Pacific Islanders. This makes vaccination very important.

3. Vaccination greatly reduces COVID-19’s risks

Data shows that the vaccines protect from this deadly virus. Vaccinated people are less likely to catch it. If they do, they will have less severe symptoms and be less likely to stay at the hospital or die. The vaccines may also protect against long-term health effects from the virus.

4. Many Pacific Islander experts support vaccination

The National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum agree that the vaccines are safe. These groups focus on and support Pacific Islander physicians and their patients. Doctors, community health centers, or family and friends who have received the vaccine are all good resources for questions.

5. Getting vaccinated can help keep everyone safe

Staying informed about the risks of COVID-19 and getting the vaccine can help slow the spread of the virus. It may also help the U.S. reach herd immunity sooner. Learn more about COVID-19 in Pacific Islander communities, plus groups and resources that help with vaccine education and access.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to anyone 12 and older. This is true even for non-US citizens or people without insurance. For those facing hurdles to getting vaccinated, California is working to make it easier. The state is helping with rides, mobile clinics and more.

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