Pittsburgh Freethought Community
Promoting Science, Reason and Secular Humanist Values
in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

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PFC Event Health Policy


PFC strongly recommends that its participants be vaccinated primarily for the benefits that vaccinations afford to the health of the community but also for the modest benefit it affords to reducing transmissibility (and thus community spread) of infectious diseases such as Covid-19. For our in-person events, PFC asks that all of its participants be current on vaccinations (and boosters) in line with CDC recommendations for any and all infectious diseases that are prominently spreading within the community.


How is it enforced?

As PFC promotes science, reason, and secular morality, we trust our members to honor the policy to the best of their ability.

How can I estimate my risk or risk for others?

For Covid-19, the microCOVID Project provides a website based on published scientific research to help individuals estimate the risk of infection given a scenario and mitigation measures in place.

What about members unable to be vaccinated?

Members should consult with their physicians for the best medical advice. In rare cases where vaccination is contraindicated, we ask that the member take due (extra) precaution to reduce risk of transmission to others in the community.

Why recommend vaccines while variants are immune-evasive?

Although some variants are highly immune-evasive, meaning that vaccination has little or no effect on preventing infection (and thus transmission), most vaccines often still afford some enhanced protection against infection.

Is vaccination sufficient?

While vaccination provides substantial protection against severe disease, the community is much better served by reducing infection altogether. PFC also advises that members follow the best available medical guidance to avoid infecting others in the community. For respiratory viruses, that advice includes wearing masks, limiting indoor gatherings, and utilizing indoor spaces updated for active mitigation of respiratory virus transmission.

From the WHO

What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?

Getting vaccinated could save your life. COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. There is also some evidence that being vaccinated will make it less likely that you will pass the virus on to others, which means your decision to get the vaccine also protects those around you.  

Even after getting vaccinated, keep taking precautions to protect yourself, family, friends and anyone else you may come into contact with. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, but some people will still get ill from COVID-19 after vaccination. There is also still a chance that you could also pass the virus on to others who are not vaccinated. Stay at least 1 metre (~3 feet) away from other people, wear a properly fitted mask over your nose and mouth when you can’t keep this distance, avoid poorly ventilated places and settings, clean your hands frequently, stay home if unwell and get tested, and stay informed about how much virus is circulating in the areas where you travel, live and work. 

Do the vaccines protect against variants?

The COVID-19 vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) provide different levels of protection to infection, mild disease, severe disease, hospitalization and death. Research is ongoing by thousands of scientists around the world to better understand how new virus mutations and variants affect the effectiveness of the different COVID-19 vaccines.

In general, the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from all current virus variants. They are less effective at protecting you against infection and mild disease than they were for earlier virus variants; but if you do get ill after being vaccinated, your symptoms are more likely to be mild.

Remember that while the COVID-19 vaccines authorised by WHO are incredibly effective at reducing your risk of developing serious illness and death, no vaccine is 100% effective. A small percentage of people will still get ill from COVID-19 even though they have been vaccinated. Currently there is limited information about the risk of vaccinated people passing the virus to others if they are infected. This makes it very important to continue to practice public health and social measures, even after you have been fully vaccinated.

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