With the COVID-19 pandemic going on for almost a year now, it is a miracle we have multiple reliable vaccines at this point to begin protecting ourselves against the virus. However, with it being so new, it’s not at all uncommon to feel nervous or uneasy about accepting the vaccine. No matter how you feel about getting the vaccine, it’s important to dispel myths and rumors and answer any pressing questions you may have to stop the spread of false information, as well as the spread of the virus! Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the COVID vaccine:
- Will I get COVID-19 if I get the vaccine?
No, you will not get COVID-19 if you get the vaccine. None of the recommended vaccines that are available or in development contain the live virus that could infect you with COVID-19. The vaccine will protect you against the virus by building immunity for a few weeks after receiving the vaccine. You can, however, be infected with COVID-19 if you are exposed to the virus just before or after getting the vaccine, as your immune system has not built up immunity yet.
- What are the side effects of getting the vaccine?
After receiving the second dose of the vaccine, many people experience some symptoms and side effects from the shot. This is good, as it means your body is just building the immunity you were hoping for! You may experience symptoms such as pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects should go away after a few days.
- If I get the vaccine, do I still need to socially distance and wear a mask?
Yes! As we learn more about the virus, it is important we continue practicing the guidelines that we know can stop the spread of the virus, including wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, keeping a distance of 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated rooms, and washing your hands as often as possible. Even if you have the vaccine, this will prevent any risk of you spreading the virus to anybody else who isn’t vaccinated yet.
- Can I get the vaccine if I have an underlying health condition?
If you have not or do not have any allergies or allergic reactions to any ingredients in the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, then you can absolutely get the vaccine! It’s actually very important that people with underlying health conditions receive the vaccine, as they are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. As always, discuss with your doctor if you are able to get the vaccine with your health conditions.
- How many shots of the vaccine do I need?
Both vaccines available require 2 doses of the vaccine. The Moderna shots should be administered 28 days apart, whereas the Pfizer-BioNTech shots should be given 21 days apart.
- How long does protection last once I get the vaccine?
We are unsure of how long protection against COVID-19 lasts after receiving the vaccine, however, experts and professionals are constantly researching and learning about vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity against the virus, and will make information public as evidence is released.
- Do I need the vaccine if I already had COVID-19? Can I get it while having the virus?
You should absolutely get the vaccine, even if you have previously tested positive and recovered from the virus. We still don’t know how long immunity lasts after recovering from the virus, and it is possible to be infected twice. For these reasons, it is safer to get the vaccine if you are able to. If you, however, are currently infected or recovering from the virus, you must wait until you have made a full recovery and followed quarantine guidelines. This also applies to those who test positive for the virus after getting the first dose of the vaccine.
- When can I get the vaccine?
The CDC has made recommendations for the federal, state, and local governments on how to administer the vaccine. Since some groups are more at risk than others, it is possible that you will not be eligible to get the vaccine until later. Click here to see how your state and local governments are administering the vaccine.
At CCA Home Care, our mission is to provide the elderly and their adult children with assistance in achieving a continued independent living lifestyle. We seek to screen and refer caregivers that provide support services, such as home care, assisted living, and more. Visit our website to learn more or find a location near you to contact us.