Update on the COVID-19 Vaccine and COVID-19 Relief
CaHPSA E-Newsletter ∙ Volume 2, Issue 6  December 2020

Hello health justice advocates!

      We at CaHPSA hope you are all staying safe and having a good holiday season and new year! 2020 has been quite an eventful year to say the least, and I'm sure most of us are ready to look onwards to 2021. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 cases climbing by about
27,000 every day in California, this pandemic will carry over into the new year. It’s imperative that we all continue to maintain the typical COVID-19 precautions that we all have been practicing for the better part of 2020. 

      In this newsletter, we are going to dive into some details about how the new COVID-19 vaccine works. The United States has begun their phase 1 distribution of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine to those with high risk of exposure, such as health care workers. This vaccine being administered is a mRNA vaccine and is being distributed under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. This relatively new vaccine format works by delivering a dose of messenger RNA (mRNA) that codes for a specific viral protein or part of a specific viral protein (also known as the spike protein). Our cells take in this mRNA and transcribe it into the spike protein and send it to the surface of the cell. Our immune system then recognizes that the cell doesn’t belong in our body, due to the foreign protein and initiates an immune response which helps build future immunity. The benefit of this type of vaccine is that no weakened or inactivated COVID-19 virus is actually used, but rather a specific protein made by the virus that when isolated, is harmless. Another benefit is that because the materials used to make this vaccine are readily available in a laboratory, they can be mass produced much easier than older methods of producing
vaccines. It wasn’t until recently that we discovered a way to work around the inherent instability and inefficiency of in vivo delivery techniques of mRNA vaccines. This technological advancement is what has allowed us to be able to administer this COVID-19 vaccine and manufacture it in such a short time frame. 

      Some of you may be apprehensive about the rapid development cycle of this new vaccine and also the EUA title attached to it. To ease some of these concerns, the rapid speed of development of this vaccine can be associated with the global effect COVID-19 had and the government’s support of vaccine research and development. Here is a document released by the FDA giving a little insight into what exactly the EUA means. In short, experts in the field take a look at the data accumulated over thousands of clinical trial patients and make a decision to implement a vaccine whose potential benefit to society outweigh the risk of implementing the vaccine. This option for a vaccine to be released to the public under EUA is only possible after the final results of a stage 3 clinical efficacy trial have been above required standards.

California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA)

The History of Vaccines

Recommended by Soham Mhatre

If you would like to recommend an article or website that you find interesting, contact us here.


Are you interested in taking a deeper look at public policy and healthcare reform? Join our Newsletter Team! Our team works to create engaging, creative newsletters on a variety of healthcare topics. Previous topics included health inequity, the need for healthcare reform, public policy updates, and more! We embrace CaHPSA’s passion for education and community outreach with our passion for knowledge and keeping our community updated. No experience necessary. This is open to all students and recent graduates. Contact us to learn more or get involved!


Additional Volunteer and Leadership Opportunities:

1. Join our NEW statewide Advocacy Team: Create and distribute advocacy alerts and mobilize students to take action.

2. Join our NEW Media Team: Produce and share social media posts that reach students and activists throughout the state.

3. Join our Outreach Team: Collaborate with CaHPSA members to develop campus outreach strategies to engage more students in healthcare advocacy efforts.

4. Start a CaHPSA chapter on your campus: Launch CaHPSA efforts on your campus to create spaces for students to learn about health policy and how to take action.

5. Join Project White Coat: Become a Certified Enrollment Counselor (CEC) to assist community members with their applications for health insurance. 

Contact CaHPSA
Stay tuned for our next issue of the CaHPSA E-Newsletter!
Read our past newsletters 

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CaHPSA is the student section of California Physicians Alliance (CaPA).
California Physicians Alliance
California Health Professional Student Alliance

1137 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 482-0256 |

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