March 2021 Vaccine Update

Path to Reopening (P2R) Committee
March 2021
Updated Information about Vaccinations

By now, many of our church members have already been vaccinated and the rest of us are working hard to find a location where vaccines are available. “When can I get vaccinated and how can I sign up?” seem to be the most important questions in our minds.

This Washington County Health and Human Services website is a good starting point for finding the vaccination sites in Washington County:  https://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/CommunicableDiseases/COVID-19/vaccine.cfm
You can see a Vaccine Eligibility chart and information about finding a vaccination site. Make sure you frequently check this website for additional vaccination sites.

Unfortunately, even with the increased number of vaccination clinics, the vaccine shortage puts a limit on the speed of vaccine delivery to those who need it. Everybody will become vaccinated eventually, but it is still hard to know exactly when that will happen. Be patient and keep trying.

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for persons 18 years of age or older. This is great news because this vaccine can achieve immunity after only one dose (Hurray!). Also, it can be stored in a refrigerator as opposed to the very rigorous frozen storage requirement of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines, which will make distribution a lot easier and faster.

As President Biden has said “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May.”

Let’s talk about masks!
Masks are a very important part of combating the COVID-19 pandemic along with staying at least 6 feet away from people not in your household, avoiding crowds, and getting vaccinated when your group is eligible.
Here are some general guidelines. Masks should:

  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and not have any gaps,
  • Be made of a material that is breathable; they should not be made of a material this isn’t breathable, and
  • have exhalation valves or vents that allow the viral particles to escape.
  • Some people should not wear masks, including children under 2 years old and anyone who has a disability or underlying medical condition that precludes wearing a mask.
Here are some facts about the many types of masks available:
  • Cloth masks should be made of multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric. If you hold the mask up to a bright light source, you should not be able to see the light through the mask. Cloth masks should be washed regularly in warm or hot water and detergent.
  • Surgical masks (disposable face masks, medical procedure masks) should be made of multi-layered, non-woven material (check the label or packaging). These masks are not washable and should be thrown away once they have been worn or are dirty.
  • KN95 masks/respirators are commonly made in China. Unless these masks meet requirements similar to those set by CDC’s NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), you should assume that these masks are comparable to cloth masks. They should be worn for lower-risk activities, such as grocery shopping and going for walks. These masks are not washable and should be thrown away once they have been worn or are dirty.
  • N95 respirators are intended only for healthcare workers.
  • should be made of 2 layers or should be folded to make 2 layers.
  • Face shields without an additional mask worn underneath are not recommended at this time.
Double masking is a good way to improve the effectiveness of your mask and to improve the fit of the mask around your face. Just make sure that you can still breath easily and that your vision is not obstructed.
  • A good combination of masks is a cloth mask over a surgical/disposable mask.
  • Do not wear 2 surgical/disposable masks together.
  • Do not combine a KN95 mask with any other type of mask.
You can choose a mask for different situations based on the higher risk of exposure for some situations. For most community situations, a surgical/disposable mask or cloth mask is sufficient. For higher risk activities, such as going to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment, you could wear a cloth mask over a surgical/disposable mask for extra protection.
The appropriate way to wear face masks is illustrated by this very good dog — he eventually got it right!

Questions? Contact us!
Email P2R@uuccwc.groups.io if you have any questions or want to understand more about the biology and background of the vaccine. We’ll do our best to send an answer as quickly as possible.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please send a confidential email to minister@uuccwc.org or pastoralcare@uuccwc.org so that they can check in with you and see if you need anything.

Please stay safe and be kind! We can get through these difficult times by helping each other.

Your Path to Reopening (P2R) Committee
Mark Bischoff                        Bill Ellis                                  Ed Gallaher
Lisa Lake                                Annie Raich                            Zsuzsa Vamos