Want real information on the new COVID-19 vaccines? Here you will find what you need to know about the different vaccines and the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may represent the best hope to end the pandemic. But as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to authorize the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines, you probably have questions. Learn about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, how they work, their possible side effects, and the importance of continuing to take preventive measures against the infection.
What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine may:
· prevent you from getting COVID-19 or getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
· prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others
· increase the number of people in the community who are protected from getting COVID-19 - making it harder for the disease to spread, while also contributing to herd immunity
· prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading and replicating, allowing it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines
What vaccines against COVID-19 have been approved, and how do they work?
Several COVID-19 vaccines are currently undergoing clinical trials. The FDA will review the results of these trials before approving COVID-19 vaccines before use. But because there is an urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines and the FDA approval process can take months to years, the FDA will first give emergency authorization for use of COVID-19 vaccines based on fewer data than is normally required. The data must show that the vaccines are safe and effective before the FDA can give emergency authorization for their use. Vaccines with FDA emergency clearance include:
· The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19. This vaccine has a 95% efficacy rate. This means that approximately 95% of people who are given the vaccine are protected from developing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. This vaccine is for people 16 years of age and older. It requires two injections that are given 21 days apart. The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first dose, if necessary.
· Moderna vaccine against COVID-19. This vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1%. This vaccine is for people 18 years of age and older. It requires two injections that are given 28 days apart. The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first dose, if necessary.
Both Pfizer-BioNTech's and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA). Coronaviruses have a spike-like structure on their surface, called protein S. COVID-19 mRNA instructs cells on how to make a harmless part of a protein S. After vaccination, your cells begin to make parts of the virus. protein and to display them on cell surfaces. Your immune system will recognize that the protein should not be there, and it will begin to develop an immune response and make antibodies.
Do COVID-19 vaccines protect against COVID-19 variants?
Early research suggests that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines may protect against COVID-19 variants identified in the UK and South Africa. Manufacturers of the vaccine are also considering creating booster vaccines to improve protection against the variants.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?
No. The COVID-19 vaccines being made in the United States do not use the active virus that causes COVID-19.
Keep in mind that it will take a few weeks for your body to develop immunity after getting vaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, you may be able to become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after you have been vaccinated.
What are the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, such as:
· pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
· muscle pains
· shaking chills
· joint pain
· nausea and vomiting
· swollen lymph nodes
You will likely be monitored for 15 minutes after getting the COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. For the most part, side effects occur within the first three days after vaccination, and generally only last one to two days.
The COVID-19 vaccine can cause side effects similar to the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you've been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms more than three days after getting vaccinated, or symptoms last more than two days, isolate yourself and get a diagnostic test.
Can you take an over-the-counter pain reliever before or after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before or getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended to prevent possible discomfort. It is not clear how these drugs may impact the efficacy of the vaccine. But it's okay to take it after you get the COVID-19 vaccine, as long as you don't have any health reasons that prevent you from taking it.
What are the long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
As clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine began only in the summer of 2020, it is still unclear whether these vaccines will have long-term side effects. But vaccines rarely cause long-term side effects.
If you're concerned, COVID-19 vaccine safety data will be reported to a national program called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. These data are available to the public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also created v-safe, a smartphone tool that allows users to report side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
How are COVID-19 vaccines being distributed?
COVID-19: Who is most at risk for severe symptoms?
In the United States, the CDC has recommended that COVID-19 vaccines be offered first to:
· healthcare workers
· adult residents of long-term care facilities
· essential frontline workers, such as emergency personnel and teachers
· people aged 75 and over
· people between 65 and 74 years old
· people ages 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions
· other front-line workers, such as those working in the food and construction industries
Guidelines for who will get vaccinated first also vary by state in the United States. Check with your local health department for the most up-to-date information on how and where you can get the vaccine.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have a history of allergic reactions?
If you have a history of severe allergic reactions that are not related to vaccines or injectable medications, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. They will have to monitor you for 30 minutes after you get vaccinated.
If you've had an immediate allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable medications, ask your doctor if you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you've ever had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends against giving that specific vaccine. People who are allergic to polysorbates should not get a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
If you have an immediate or severe allergic reaction after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, skip the second dose.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying illness?
Yes, if you have an underlying condition, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine - as long as you have not had an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components. But information on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with weakened immune systems or autoimmune conditions is limited.
Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get the COVID-19 vaccines?
There is no research on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant or breastfeeding women. But if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and you are part of a group that is recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you may choose to give it to yourself. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits.
Is there anyone who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine?
There is still no vaccine against COVID-19 for children under the age of 16. Several companies have begun enrolling 12-year-old children in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines. Studies that include younger children will begin soon.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine even if I already had COVID-19?
Having had COVID-19 may offer some protection or natural immunity against reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19. But it is not clear how long this protection lasts. Because reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can cause serious health complications, it is recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you've had COVID-19, you may be able to postpone vaccination for up to 90 days after diagnosis. Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is rare in the first 90 days after infection.
Can I stop taking safety precautions after getting vaccinated against COVID-19?
Experts want to know more about the protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccine and how long immunity lasts before changing safety recommendations. Factors such as how many people are vaccinated and how the virus is transmitted in communities will also affect these recommendations.
In the meantime, the CDC recommends taking these precautions to avoid infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
· Avoid close contact. This means avoiding close contact (less than 6 feet or 2 meters) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms. Keep the physical distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you are at higher risk for a serious illness.
· Put on a cloth mask in public places. Cloth masks offer extra protection in places like the supermarket, where it is difficult to avoid close contact with others. If there are surgical masks, you can use them. N95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare providers.
· Practice good hygiene habits. wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw away the used tissue. avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other household objects if you are sick. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
· If you are sick, stay home. Stay home and do not go to work, school, or public places if you are sick unless it is to receive medical attention. Avoid public transportation, taxis, and carpooling if you are sick.
If you have a chronic health condition and may be at higher risk for a serious illness, talk to your doctor about other ways to protect yourself.