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Residents of Hamilton County have access to free COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and testing.

Did you know that free COVID-19 resources are available in Cincinnati? Call 311, Option 4, for convenient dates, times and locations that offer free COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and boosters available to all residents, regardless of age, financial status, immigration, or insurance.

Developments have provided various vaccinations for protection against this novel virus and its heavy death toll. If you’re a resident of Hamilton County, take advantage of this free decision to protect yourself and your loved ones. Getting vaccinated is easy, simple, and safe. #ThinkAboutIt!

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Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccine

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccination are numerous. Think about it:

  • COVID-19 vaccines available in the US protect you and your loved ones from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.
  • Children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help themselves from getting sick if they get the virus.
  • Getting children vaccinated can also help relieve the strain on families.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can offer added protection to people who have had COVID-19. Protection includes protection against being hospitalized from a new infection, especially as variants continue to emerge.
  • As with vaccines for other diseases, you’re protected best when you stay current with the recommended doses and boosters when eligible.

Related Article: Find Black Doctors accepting new patients in Cincinnati.

COVID-19 Vaccination and African Americans

According to the Ohio Department of Health, 43.7% of the Black/African American population in Hamilton County are fully vaccinated; however, six predominantly African American communities have the lowest vaccination rates in the region: Avondale, Camp Washington, English Woods, Millvale, North Fairmont, Price Hill, and Winton Hills.

Vaccine efficacy results were observed across racial and ethnic groups in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna trials – more diverse than many trials have historically been. Findings show that vaccine safety and efficacy were similar for people of color and white participants.

Racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutional racism and historical inequities in health care play a role in vaccine hesitancy among African Americans and other people of color.

Vaccination is effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and severe illness. Equitable vaccine administration can reduce COVID–19–related disparities. Knowing these facts will hopefully help increase confidence in your willingness to get the vaccine, particularly if you’re a Black adult. If you’re still unvaccinated and have yet to get the COVID-19 vaccine, #ThinkAboutIt!

Test and Protect partners in Hamilton County offering free COVID-19 vaccines

When you’re ready, find a no-cost vaccine provider by calling 311 (option 4) #ThinkAboutIt! 

Related Article: Socially distant activities in Cincinnati for adults, seniors, and kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine. #ThinkAboutIt.

What are the current CDC guidelines for COVID-19?

In addition to basic health and hygiene practices, like handwashing, the CDC recommends some prevention actions at all COVID-19 Community Levels, including:

What do I need to bring to the vaccination appointment?

You should bring your ID and insurance information if available. However, if you cannot show ID or do not have insurance, you will not be turned away.

A well-fitted, properly worn mask is also required during the vaccination appointment. Lastly, wear clothing with easy access to your upper arm where the vaccine will be administered.

How do the vaccines work?

Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized for use in the U.S.: mRNA, viral vector, and protein subunit. Each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and help protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. #ThinkAboutIt.

None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

  • Vaccines do not use any live virus.
  • Vaccines cannot cause infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or other viruses.

They do not affect or interact with our DNA.

  • These vaccines do not enter the cell’s nucleus, where our DNA (genetic material) is located. Therefore, they cannot change or influence our genes.

What are the vaccine options, and what are the ingredients?

You can find vaccine overviews, safety information, and ingredient lists below:

Common ingredients, purpose, and what else the ingredients can be found in…

  • Stabilizers
    Purpose: To keep the vaccine effective after manufacturing
    Most commonly found in Jell-O® and naturally in the body
  • Adjuvants
    Purpose: To help boost the body’s response to the vaccine
    Most commonly found in Drinking water, infant formula, and some health products such as antacids, buffered aspirin, and antiperspirants
  • Residual Inactivating Ingredients
    Purpose: To kill viruses or inactivate toxins during the manufacturing process
    Most commonly found in: Naturally in the human body, fruit, household furnishings (carpets, upholstering)
  • Residual Cell Culture Materials
    Purpose: To grow enough of the virus or bacteria to make the vaccine
    Most commonly found in eggs and foods that contain eggs
  • Residual Antibiotics
    Purpose: To prevent contamination by bacteria during the vaccine manufacturing process
    Most commonly found in common antibiotics. Antibiotics that people are most likely allergic to—like penicillin—are not used in vaccines.
  • Preservatives
    Purpose: To prevent contamination
    Most commonly found in some kinds of fish

What is happening with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The US Food and Drug Administration has determined that the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a syndrome of rare and potentially life-threatening blood clots in combination with low blood platelets, warrants limiting the authorized use of the vaccine.

The FDA has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to…

  • Individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate
  • Individuals 18 and older elect to receive the J&J vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe even though the vaccines were developed rapidly?

Although COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, research and development on vaccines like these have been underway for decades. All vaccine development steps were taken to ensure COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness, including clinical trialsFDA approval, and tracking safety with vaccine monitoring systems. African American immunologist, Kizzmekia Corbett, played a key role in developing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Elderly man showing off his vaccination

If I already had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Absolutely! You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you have already had it. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from the infection provides added protection against the virus. #ThinkAboutIt!

People who already had COVID-19 and remain unvaccinated after their recovery are more likely than those who get vaccinated after recovery to get COVID-19 again.

If I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant now, as well as women who might become pregnant in the future.

If we need a booster, are the vaccines working?

Of course! COVID-19 vaccines are working well in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, public health experts are seeing reduced protection over time against mild and moderate diseases, especially among specific populations.

Do 5G mobile networks spread COVID-19?

No. The World Health Organization states viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.

Is COVID-19 just an advanced version of the influenza virus?

No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu causes roughly 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per year in the US By contrast, COVID-19 has caused more than 191,000 deaths in the US

Are COVID-19 vaccines being used for population control?

A widely shared social media post promotes the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines are used for population control. The post references Pfizer documents but does not cite any specific report as evidence for the claim. According to the Public Health Collaborative, nothing in the Pfizer FDA documents supports that the COVID-19 vaccine is population control.

Conspiracies have persisted for decades that vaccines are being used to control or harm people. Experts agree that depopulation conspiracies circulate in communities that have experienced unethical medical research or experimentation. Conspiracies can only be combated by acknowledging that serious abuses have occurred in the past. These abuses have led to the safeguards that exist now.

Young woman getting a vaccination
COVID-19 vaccines are working well in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Protecting yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 can help save lives. Just think about it. Have more questions? Visit How to Protect Yourself and Others.

Content sponsored by The Health Collaborative

Related Article: Residents of Hamilton County who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 might be eligible to participate in a Rapid Re-Employment Program.

Written by: Crystal Kendrick

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Free COVID-19 vaccines images provided by © [yurakrasil] [wavebreak3] [WavebreakMediaMicro] [Confidence] /Adobe Stock

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

Crystal Kendrick is the publisher of The Voice of Black Cincinnati. With a vision to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region, Crystal oversees all content creation and publication, ensuring each piece aligns with the outlet's mission to inform, engage, and inspire. A lifelong advocate for community engagement and empowerment, Crystal's leadership steers The Voice of Black Cincinnati toward being a pivotal platform to find community resources, local Black-owned businesses, culturally relevant events, jobs with equal opportunity employers and scholarship for higher education. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn to explore her experiences and contributions to Cincinnati's media landscape.

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