THE COVID-19 VACCINES: What You Need to Know

Image courtesy of Daniel Schludi

The world has been holding its collective breath anticipating the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the day is finally here, so let’s talk about it. The Pfizer vaccine is already being distributed in America and the UK, and the FDA just approved the Moderna vaccine in the United States. Here’s a little brief on what we know now.

When can I get the vaccine? The highest priority groups have already started receiving vaccines. In the US, that includes people over the age of 80 and all health care workers. NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the general public should be able to get the vaccine around March/April. Other estimates put general public availability closer to early June 2021. Australians can expect a rollout around March 2021.

How effective is the vaccine? Extremely! According to the manufacturers, both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide about a 94% protection rate. That’s about as good as it gets in the vaccine world.

How do I get the vaccine? Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are a two shot deal. You’ll go to your doctor to get the first shot, and go back again to get the second shot three weeks later. BTW: It’s completely safe to use with the flu shot! In fact, you should definitely get a flu shot, too. 

Are there are any side effects? The COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA technology, which means it’s going to feel different from your average flu shot. Some people say it was easier/less painful than their regular flu shot, others reported more pain at injection. At the time of writing this, only 16% of people in clinical trials had same day side effects like mild fatigue, fever, or headache. That’s okay! It just means your immune system is kicking into gear.

Does this mean I can throw a “COVID’S Over” party once I’m vaccinated? In a word, no. The vaccine prevents COVID from entering your system, but you can still pass it along to others. That’s why we have to continue social distancing, keep wearing our masks, and avoid indoor hangs with large groups of people. Covid fatigue is real, and although there’s nothing I'd love more than to have a big dinner party, with the intensive care units in Los Angeles at capacity, now is the time to hunker down.

So while we’re waiting for our vaccination day, we're still wearing our masks, washing our hands, and wiping down surfaces. But there are some other simple things we need to do on the daily if we want to keep germs at bay. 

1. Clean your phone daily. Your phone screen is the most-touched surface you have, and you put it on your face! Whatever you touch throughout the day can end up on your phone when you're answering texts and emails. A daily spritz with our Glass natural Cleaner will leave your screens crystal-clear and grime-free.

2. Clean your keyboard and mouse every other day. Your fingers touch your keyboard and mouse all the time and think about how many things your fingers touch throughout the day. Toilet flushers, door handles, the open trunk button on the back of your car. And then you bring them inside, and touch your workspace with them! The pandemic has given me a heightened sense of awareness about germs, and I plan on keeping it long after this pandemic is gone. Take some time to spray your keyboard and mouse with a little All-Purpose Cleaner. Plus, it’ll get rid of the sticky dots from your lunch leftovers.

3. Take off your shoes, and clean them before you store them back in the closet! It's unlikely that you'll track corona through the house on the soles of your shoes, but you can bring in other dirt and grime! I keep a bottle of Leather Cleaner in my hall closet to give my shoes a quick clean before storing them again. Leave a basket of slippers next to the door so you can slip into something a little more comfortable right away.

4. Doorknobs and Handles! Everyone touches them, but nobody thinks about them. Get rid of all those grubby little fingerprints and leftover germs with a quick spray and wipe with All-Purpose Cleaner a couple of times a day. Trust us. This is a thing now.

5. A good tongue scraper. Ok so this isn’t specifically COVID-related, but we think oral hygiene is always important. A good tongue scraper can get rid of bad breath, remove bacteria from your mouth, and improve your overall health.

6. Fresh mask. Just like in Asia, masks look like they’re going to be a permanent part of our culture even post-vaccine (especially during cold & flu season). Every morning when you get dressed, you put on clean underwear. And every day if you leave the house, you should put on a fresh mask. We love our pack of t-shirt soft masks because it comes with multiples, and they’re super easy to wash. Don’t forget to throw on a mask strap to make it more effective. And for an extra level of protection, we still recommend pairing it with a Face Shield, especially when traveling.

7. Clean your tools. It’s as important to wash your tools as it is to wash the dirty item. That means dish brushes, sponges, makeup brushes, hairbrushes, and dish towels. After all, if you're cleaning with a dirty sponge, you’re just spreading dirt all over your pretty face. This goes for your makeup brushes and tools, too!

8. Air filter. The perfect symbol of everything disastrous that happened in 2020. Between the smoke from the summer and the airborne pandemic, our air filter has been working extremely hard. But it also can help relieve asthma symptoms, get rid of weird smells, and filter out any weird chemicals that might be hanging around. Max bought a few of these for her house and nobody’s been sick yet, just saying!

9. Don’t forget to dust. Speaking of asthma, don’t forget to dust the hard-to-reach places like the tops of your windows, bookshelves, and light appliances. A thin layer of dust can tarnish a seriously beautiful book collection, but also make allergies and asthma worse! These ostrich feather and lambswool dusters are so absurdly beautiful, you feel like you’re dusting with a character from Beauty and the Beast! [ed. note: they’re currently sold out, but on the way!]

10. Wash the dog. Our dogs are part of our family, too, so keep them clean with all-natural Castile soap from Oregon Soap Company. They’ll be squeaky clean, so all you have to worry about is shedding.

Wherever you are and however you’re celebrating this week, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday. This year has been a lot, but we’re finishing it with lots of love, gratitude, and dry hands from all the washing. Good thing we have a Hand Cream for that!