Talking Points for Pharmacists

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Safety

  • The vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Clinical trial participants were recruited to see how the vaccines offer protection for people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, including those with different medical conditions.
  • I trust the vaccines are safe and effective because of the data. The available vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, including from the highly contagious Delta variant.
  • FDA and CDC closely monitor vaccine safety after the public begins using a vaccine to watch for possible side effects. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) allows anyone to submit a report, including parents, patients, and health care professionals. There’s also the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker which is a smartphone-based tool that sends text messages and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you’ve been vaccinated.
  • To speed the process, COVID-19 vaccines went into production while they were still being tested for safety and effectiveness in clinical trials. This kept the vaccines safe but also made them available more quickly.
  • It is impossible to get COVID from any of the vaccines in use or in testing in the United States. None of these vaccines contains the live virus that causes COVID-19, so they cannot make you sick with the disease. The vaccines train our bodies to recognize the COVID virus and make cells that can destroy it, but they do not contain the virus.

Preventive Measures

  • We need to do all we can to stop this pandemic. Get vaccinated as soon as you can. Until you're fully vaccinated (2 weeks after your final dose), continue to wear a mask when inside public places (even vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high spread of COVID-19 should wear a mask inside public places to maximize protection from the highly contagious Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others), stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.
  • Vaccines are here now and everyone age 12 and older in the United States can get them. To stay safe, don’t let your guard down yet—stopping a pandemic means using all the tools available to us.

Benefits

  • It is much safer to get vaccinated and avoid contracting COVID-19. Your risk for serious health problems is much lower from the vaccine than your risk if you’re unvaccinated and get COVID-19. COVID-19 can leave you with heart and lung damage and other conditions that require long-term treatment. Vaccines are much safer paths to immunity than the disease itself. You can also pass COVID to others.

Recommending Vaccination

  • I strongly recommend getting the vaccine to all my patients. I got/am getting mine because I trust the science that went into developing the vaccines and I trust the data from the clinical trials.
  • I strongly recommend you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. It will reduce your risk of getting the disease and help protect you from getting seriously ill if you get COVID-19. Millions of people have already received the vaccines, so we’re headed in the right direction.
  • I strongly recommend getting the vaccine. I got/am getting it to protect myself, my friends, and my family. I’m doing it to get a step closer to being with the people I love.   
  • The FDA has fully approved a COVID-19 vaccine after thoroughly evaluating data on its safety and effectiveness and inspecting manufacturing plants and procedures. The vaccine was authorized for emergency use late last year. If you’ve been waiting for an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, you can get one today and help protect yourself and others.

SAFETY IS THE TOP PRIORITY

The FDA and CDC have the highest standards when it comes to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Their process includes the following procedures:

  • Scientists must first test vaccines extensively in medical studies to ensure they are safe and effective.
  • Before the FDA authorizes a vaccine for use among the public, it ensures its safety by independently:
    • Reviewing the data from the medical studies, and
    • Inspecting the manufacturing facilities.
  • Even after a vaccine has been made available, the FDA and CDC closely monitor vaccine administration to identify even rare side effects or reactions.
  • The FDA and CDC closely review any reports of side effects or reactions and share these facts with the public.

The extremely rare cases of blood clotting and Guillain-Barré Syndrome following Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine and heart inflammation following Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines—a very small number of cases out of millions of vaccinations—show that the FDA and CDC’s vaccine safety monitoring systems work and catch even the rarest reactions.

Thorough investigations have confirmed that all currently available COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, including from the Delta variant. Medical experts stress that the benefits of receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccines in use in the United States far outweigh any potential risks.

The monitoring systems ensure that doctors are notified to watch for signs of serious reactions, no matter how rare, and are aware of proper courses of treatment.