I am writing to you today with a special public service message regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. With the availability of very effective vaccines, the fact is that only 49% of the Palm Beach County population is currently fully vaccinated with 61% having received at least one dose of the vaccine. My hope is that after reading the information contained in this newsletter, you will take some time to consider the importance that we all have in ensuring our community is safe from the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.
It is up to us to stop the spread of this virus. I hope you join me and my staff and get fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family.
Anne M. Gannon
Constitutional Tax Collector, Serving Palm Beach County
What History Can Teach Us
Americans have always been wary of vaccines, so this is nothing new to us. When the first vaccine against smallpox was deployed in the 1700’s, people were skeptical of not only the shot but also of the people administering the shots. But today, because of that vaccine, smallpox has virtually been eliminated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 other diseases1 that were once prevalent in the United States have been eliminated by vaccinations. With more than 2,880 deaths in Palm Beach County due to COVID-19 and 148,000 cases, it is time to act and get vaccinated.
It is easy and convenient to find a location where you can get vaccinated and many of the locations welcome walk-ins, so click here2 to find the nearest location and get vaccinated now.
To Tell the Truth
I am sure, like me, you have heard concerns raised by some as a reason for not getting vaccinated. These include:
- “The vaccine may impact my fertility”
- “I’m young and healthy, so I don’t need to get vaccinated”
- “I’ve already had COVID-19, so I don’t need to be vaccinated”
- “I’ll get the virus from the vaccine”
I urge you to do your homework and research these myths so you can fully understand the benefit of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. I recommend visiting the CDC website3 and a CNN article4 to read more about these myths and then plan to get your vaccine, if you haven’t already done so.
The speed at which the COVID-19 vaccines were developed is unprecedented. I can certainly understand that this may cause some to question the safety of such vaccines. Afterall, Jonas Salk developed the first effective polio vaccine in 1952 and it was three years later in 1955 when the vaccine was licensed in the United States.
According to the CDC, in the last decade, numerous changes in vaccine production and administration have reduced the number of side effects and has resulted in safer vaccines. But are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? The CDC states that the COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by FDA. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
But what about the long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines? Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects
have been detected.
By the Numbers
Perhaps the greatest argument for encouraging everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine lies in the numbers:
Contrast these numbers with the number of cancer deaths in Palm Beach County in 2019, which was 3,211. I think we all would agree that given the opportunity to treat and beat cancer, most would adopt a treatment plan that could potentially lead to being cancer free. It is just as important to adopt a treatment plan to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19. And the vaccines are proving to offer that protection
Palm Beach County continues to provide COVID-19 related support, including information on the vaccines. Please visit the Palm Beach County coronavirus website7 for more information on how and where you can get your COVID-19 vaccine and protect yourself and those around you.
5 Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html
6 As of June 30, 2021