The UFCW knows how hard our members and other essential workers continue to work to provide for their communities during the pandemic. We want to make sure our members have the important information they need about the COVID-19 vaccine and how to access it.
Hear From Experts About the Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine
The UFCW hosted an educational COVID-19 Q&A Series with top doctors and leading public health specialists from across the country to answer your questions about the COVID-19 disease and the life-saving vaccines for it.
May 6 Q&A Series Town Hall [Video in Spanish]
Dr. José Romero, MD
Chair at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Dr. Fabian Sandoval, MD
Executive Director and Research Director at the Emerson Clinical Research Institute.
May 10 Q&A Series Town Hall
Dr. Peter Marks, M.D., PhD
Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration which is the agency responsible for regulating and reviewing the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Dr. José Montero, MD, MHCDS
Director of the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support at the CDC, where he oversees support to the US health departments and those serving tribal nations and insular areas.
Dr. Robert Harrison, MD, MPH
Clinical professor of medicine at UCSF and an occupational and environmental medicine specialist. He specializes in preventing coronavirus spread in the workplace environment.
May 27 Q&A Series Town Hall
Dr. Marcella Nunez Smith, MD, MHS
Senior Advisor, White House COVID-19 Response Team; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management; Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center; Director of the Center for Research Engagement, Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS
Vice President of the Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Chief Diversity Officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Ms. Tiffany Tate, MHS
Executive Director of the Maryland Partnership for Prevention, a non-profit organization that is the parent to Maryland’s childhood and adult immunization coalitions
Get the Facts about the COVID-19 Vaccine
There are three vaccines available from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. Unlike other vaccines, mRNA technology does not use any live virus particles. You will not be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Johnson & Johnson is a viral vector vaccine. A viral vector is a gene code which causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating T-cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection.
Safety and Effectiveness
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose. All three vaccines are extremely effective.
Vaccines cannot be mixed and matched between doses. The length of vaccine-induced immunity is not known at this time, and booster shots may be required.
Some people who get a COVID-19 vaccine will experience side effects, particularly after a second dose. The side effects of the vaccine appear to be minor and temporary, including injection site pain, fatigue, and occasional fever, headache, or aching muscles and joints. These side effects fade within 1-2 days; no long-term effects have been detected thus far.
While the vaccine provides significant protection, it is not 100% effective. There is a slight chance that vaccinated individuals can still get infected with a mild case of the virus. Those who have taken the vaccine can also still spread the virus to others at home and at work. Therefore, it is critical that everyone continue to wear PPE and follow public health protocols for the foreseeable future.
What Is In The Vaccine
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. They do not use any live virus particles, meaning individuals will not be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, the messenger RNA — a piece of genetic code — directs cells to make the COVID-19 spike protein themselves, after which point the immune system creates the antibodies that fight COVID-19, providing a significant level of immunity.
Johnson & Johnson is a viral vector vaccine. A viral vector is a gene code which causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating T-cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection.
Because mRNA is easy to make in the laboratory, manufacturers saved years in development, accelerating the creation of the vaccine.
In clinical trials for both vaccines, over 73,000 people from the U.S. and around the world received injections, including over 25,000 people from the communities most impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Latinx, and older people.
How Vaccines Get Approved
Vaccines must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before distribution. The FDA bases its decision to approve or not approve a vaccine on data from clinical trials. Independent experts and career scientists determine the vaccine’s safety based on the extent of side effects. If the clinical trial data shows enough evidence of efficacy and safety, the FDA will approve the vaccine.
Download Our COVID Vaccine Flyer for Your Workplace
Essential Worker Health Survey Key Findings
To better understand how we improve workplace safety, and the impact that the pandemic has and will have, the UFCW has partnered with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and FORWARD, the national databank for rheumatic diseases, to launch a long-term, national Essential Worker Health Survey.
The Essential Worker Health Survey will help us better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on workers and on all our families. By learning more about how this disease impacts frontline workers like you, we can learn about what steps we must take to better protect you in the workplace.
Here are the latest key findings:
Essential Worker Health Survey
Join the Essential Worker Health Survey today.
Get The Facts Vaccine Flyer
Download and post the Get The Facts vaccine flyer (in English, Spanish, French or Burmese) on your work bulletin board. Click on the image to download the PDF.