Archive for June 2021

Top 5 Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important things we can do together to stop this pandemic. It can help protect you, your friends, your family, and your community. Here are the top 5 things you should know about COVID-19 vaccination.

  1. COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in US history. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.

Results from vaccine safety monitoring efforts are reassuring. Some people have no side effects. Others have reported common side effects after COVID-19 vaccination like pain, redness, or swelling at injection site. You may also have tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea. These reactions are common. Serious safety problems are rare.

  1. COVID-19 vaccines work.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19. It may also help protect people around you, like your friends, your family, our school, and our community.

  1. You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.

You may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. You may also have tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they typically go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.

Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain you may have after getting vaccinated. It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.

LVC employees can use their COVID-19 sick days if experiencing side effects from vaccination.

  1. It takes 2 weeks after vaccination for you to be considered “fully vaccinated,” meaning your body has built protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

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 Janssen vaccine.

You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.

  1. After you are fully vaccinated, you can start to do some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccines are the key to getting back to normal. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. More details about what you can do can be found on CDC’s webpage.

Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning many things:

  • How effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications.
  • How long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.

If you want to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit


You will not have to quarantine, isolate, or be tested for the fall semester if you are vaccinated. 

Submit your proof of vaccination to LVC and be entered into a weekly $100 drawing.

President’s Message on Vaccinations and Masking

Dear LVC Community, 
We continue to monitor COVID-19 trends and update policies and procedures accordingly. With the recent changes to recommendations in Pennsylvania, decreasing infection rates, and increasing vaccination rates, we’ve made the following changes:  Starting today, you are no longer required to wear a mask outdoors on LVC’s campus. Of course, you may continue to mask up outdoors if you prefer to do so. Indoor masking is required until further notice.  Weekly through June, July, and August, we will draw one employee and one student name from the pool of those who have uploaded proof of vaccination any time this year. Winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card. The earlier you submit proof of vaccination, the higher your chances of being selected. (To protect confidentiality, if you are an employee winner, a human resources staff member will privately contact you. If you are a student winner, an authorized student affairs staff member will privately contact you.)  You will not have to quarantine, isolate, or be tested for the fall semester if you are vaccinated.  Currently, 62% of all employees and fewer than 30% of all students have reported to the College that they have been fully vaccinated. We’re confident these rates are higher than reported. If you have not been vaccinated or reported your results yet, please do so as soon as possible and submit proof of vaccination here. All healthcare experts agree that this is the key to a return to what we all want—normal operations. | Where to Get Vaccinated We set a goal to exceed a 70-80% vaccination rate—a target guided by the current advice of public health officials. We will consider relaxing certain mitigation protocols as the rate increases toward our goal.  I’m also proud to note that I will sign the White House’s COVID19 College Challenge, “where colleges and universities can take a pledge and commit to taking action to get their students and communities vaccinated…” 
Learn more about the science behind COVID-19 vaccines and their safety in this Q&A with Dr. Courtney Lappas
For COVID-19 related questions, contact
Be safe and well, 
President MacLaren 

Vaccine Safety and Science—Q&A with Dr. Courtney Lappas

The Key to Normality

June 2, 2021

As LVC prepares for the upcoming academic year, Ali Wenger, content strategist at LVC, talked with Dr. Courtney Lappas, professor of biology with expertise in immunology and molecular biology, about COVID vaccines.

What would you say is the most important fact(s) for people to know about the safety of the vaccines?

First, I would say that as is the case with any drug or vaccine, it is completely normal and prudent to think about safety. The great news is that all evidence indicates that the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. are remarkably safe. The dangers of COVID-19 are much, much greater than any vaccine side effect. Almost 600,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 to date. So far, approximately 300 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the U.S. alone. Many people have experienced no side effects. The most common side effects are temporary and minor—things such as pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle aches, etc. There have been very, very rare occurrences of allergic reactions, as is the case with almost every vaccine, but even these reactions are treatable and temporary.  

Most people are probably aware that a very, very rare blood clotting disorder has been linked to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The important thing to realize about this observation is that the risk of blood clots resulting from the J&J vaccine is exceedingly low—very significantly lower than the risk of blood clots resulting from remaining unvaccinated and contracting COVID-19. 

Some people might be concerned about potential long-term side effects of the mRNA vaccines in particular—the Pfizer and Moderna shots. Rumors have been circulating about potential effects on fertility, cognitive function, etc. Thankfully, there is no scientific reason for concern. If any side effects are going to occur because of vaccination, they generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. There are no documented reports of delayed side effects of vaccination, in other words, side effects that first show up many months or years after vaccination. It might help people to know that the components of the mRNA vaccines are completely cleared from the human body very rapidly—within days. The mRNA in the vaccines cannot change your DNA, and it will not persist in your cells.

Finally, the safety of the vaccines currently approved for use in the U.S. has been thoroughly investigated. No “shortcuts” were taken in the clinical trials or approval process. 

How established is the science behind the vaccines? Has it been used in other vaccines that are more common?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first mRNA-based vaccines to be deployed. However, the technology has been studied for decades and is very well characterized and understood. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses a different technology—it is an adenovirus-based vaccine, which is what some folks might think of as a more “traditional” vaccine. The adenovirus vaccine platform has also been studied for decades—most recently in vaccine trials in response to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.  

Although some people might wonder if the development of these three vaccines was rushed, it is important to remember that the reason the vaccines could be developed so rapidly is because the technology was already so well established. This is a real scientific success story in which technologies that had been studied for decades were applied to a public health crisis as it unfolded. We can all feel very confident about the science behind the vaccines.    

How does one person getting vaccinated benefit our community?

Currently, more than half of the population in the U.S has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and this number continues to grow. This is great news, and it indicates that most people in the U.S. believe getting vaccinated is the right thing to do. This vaccination rate is directly linked to the very significant decrease in COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide. However, we need even more people to join their friends, neighbors, and classmates in receiving their vaccination so that the virus will not have the chance to mutate and potentially undo all the progress that has been made.  Everyone who gets vaccinated protects not only themselves but also everyone they interact with. And we must remember that we are truly in this together. Children younger than 12 currently cannot receive a vaccine, immunocompromised individuals may not be protected even after vaccination. Unvaccinated individuals may unknowingly transmit the virus to these vulnerable populations. Every additional vaccine administered reduces these risks.  

From a scientific point of view, what are the benefits of a vaccinated community?

The benefits of a vaccinated community are immense. Simply put, vaccination is the path back to normality. At LVC, a vaccinated community would allow us to gather once again in classes, sporting events, concerts, and parties without many of the strict precautions that have been in place for the past year. Vaccination of the LVC campus also protects the surrounding community—the younger siblings, children, parents, and grandparents of our community members. 

What else do you think is important for people to know about the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccines are remarkably safe and effective and are the culmination of decades of scientific and medical research. Getting vaccinated will protect you and the people around you and allow a return to normality. Vaccination has long been regarded by many as the single most important public health measure to which we can all contribute, and each individual who receives the COVID-19 vaccine contributes to the overall health and welfare of the community.