COVID-19 and Vaccination Update

By Lily H-A

From PHN Issue 46, Spring/Summer 2021

On February 27, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a third COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J, sometimes called “Janssen”) under the same shortened process as the other two currently approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).

The J&J vaccine only requires one dose instead of two, and doesn’t need ultra-cold refrigeration, so it’s easier to distribute. It also uses slightly different technology from Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines. All three vaccines work by making the cells in your body produce harmless proteins that look like parts of the coronavirus, which teaches your immune system how to recognize and destroy the actual coronavirus if it enters your body. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use a messenger called mRNA to do this, while J&J’s uses a deactivated virus called an adenovirus. This deactivated virus cannot infect you, and is not the same as the coronavirus.

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If You’re Having Symptoms of COVID-19

By Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 42, Spring 2020

Most people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, or their symptoms are mild. But some have:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing, in severe cases

In an article for Prison Legal News, Michael D. Cohen, M.D., explains that people in prison who are over 50 may be at higher risk for severe symptoms. There is currently no vaccine or cure for COVID-19. Scientists have started testing some possible medicines, but they don’t know if these will work yet. It’s important to ignore rumors and just get health information from reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization.

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How to Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

By Lorin Jackson and Frankie Snow

From PHN Issue 42, Spring 2020


Handwashing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here are some tips for handwashing:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Make sure you rub all hand surfaces with soap, including thumbs, fingertips, and backs of hands.
  • Dry with a paper towel if possible, and use that to turn the water off.
  • Always wash your hands before and after eating, and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or being in a crowded area.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains 70% alcohol or more.
  • It is believed that the virus enters the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
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