Ask MAC May 13

The OCPS Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) held a live-streamed event May 13 to answer hundreds of questions submitted by parents, staff, students, and the community.

You can listen to the replay on the OCPS School Board YouTube channel. 
You can read the transcript of the Ask MAC live stream event.

MAC member vaccination information videos:




Frequently Asked Questions

Herd Immunity

Q. What is herd immunity?
A. According to the World Health Organization, ‘herd immunity” means that the population is immune from an infectious disease either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. The World Health Organization supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, as allowing a disease to spread would result in unnecessary cases and deaths. According to the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, in order to achieve “herd immunity” – which means the disease is no longer likely to spread – about 79 percent of Orange County’s population will need to be vaccinated. In fact, it may be more than 79 percent if we find that the virus variants become more prevalent.

Source: World Health Organization and Orange County Government

Q. Why are vaccinations against COVID-19 important?
A. To stop this pandemic, we need to use all of our prevention tools. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight the virus, if you are exposed (also called immunity). Other steps, like wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you don’t live with, also help stop the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, while both infection-induced and vaccine-induced immunity last for at least six months, the bigger boost in antibodies and more lasting protection come from vaccines.

Source: CDC documents - Preparing for your COVID-19 Vaccination, Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines and – Immunity from vaccines is more consistent than from infection

Q. When am I considered fully vaccinated?
A. According to the CDC, People are considered fully vaccinated: 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

Source: CDC – When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

Age Eligibility

Q. What are the age requirements for vaccine eligibility?
A. All individuals 5 and over are eligible to get the Pfizer brand vaccine.

Source: Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccine Safety

Q. Many parents had questions about the safety of the vaccine with their children who have allergies, asthma or other conditions.
A. Please consult your child’s medical provider if you have questions or to discuss their specific health issues and together you can make the determination that’s best for your child as to the COVID-19 vaccination.

Q. From an elementary parent named Jaimie: Can you just give our children the vaccine without our consent?
A. No, OCPS will never vaccinate a child without a parent’s consent. Additionally, per state requirements, a parent or guardian must be with a child under 18 in order to be given the vaccine.

Q. Can you tell me more about the Pfizer vaccine and it’s safety?
A. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 5 and up. You can read more about it here on the FDA’s website, where they answer a number of questions about this particular brand of vaccine.

Side Effects

Q. From an Apopka Elementary parent named John: What are all the ingredients in the 3 different vaccines and what are the known/reported side effects for each?
A. Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer. Here are the CDC links where you can learn more about the ingredients, age recommendations, side effects, safety data and clinical trial demographics of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
Information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Information about the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Information about the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Q. From a Freedom High School parent named Marisol: Does it cause infertility in women?
A. Orange County Government includes this concern in its list of myths on its website, saying there is simply no evidence or even a credible theory to come to this conclusion. Much of this misinformation is spread via inaccurate information on social media. Source: Orange County Government

Additional resources

Key Things to Know

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is now fully FDA Approved
  • You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.
  • It typically takes two weeks after you are fully vaccinated for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are widely accessible. Anyone 5 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Find a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
Source: CDC – Key Things To Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Would you like to know more about the COVID-19 Vaccine? Check out these resources:

Orange County Government, COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Department of Health, Learn More About Available Vaccines

Centers for Disease Control, Key Things to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer Vaccine FAQs