The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has held the nation’s hand throughout the entirety of the pandemic. America is fighting through the last leg of returning to normalcy as the vaccine rolls out.
Whether you have yet to get the vaccine or are already fully vaccinated, it is likely that you still have some questions.
Continue reading to learn the answers to common questions regarding the vaccine that was developed at lightning speed.
10. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. It is entirely impossible to get sick with COVID-19 from the vaccine. The only way you could contract the virus is if the vaccines contained the live virus, which they do not.
Although you may experience side effects similar to COVID-19 symptoms, that does not mean you have the virus.
According to the CDC’s website, “COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.”
It does, however, take a few weeks for the body to build immunity against the virus. So, if you are exposed to COVID-19 right before or after receiving the vaccine, it is possible for you to get sick because your body didn’t have enough time to build immunity.
9. How long does protection from the vaccine last?
This question has yet to be clearly answered. The CDC does not know precisely how long the vaccine protection lasts. As of now, it seems that protection lasts at least six months.
Booster shots are likely going to be needed at some point to ensure lasting protection. This is no different than getting a flu shot once a year. Similar to our memory, our immune systems tend to forget things over time.
So, to remind our bodies to fight against COVID-19, there is a high chance a booster shot is necessary. The CDC will inform the public as more information becomes available regarding natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity.
8. What if I already had COVID-19 and recovered?
If you have already had COVID-19 in the past, the CDC still encourages you to be vaccinated. Why? Because experts don’t know how long protection from COVID-19 lasts after experiencing the sickness.
Think about it. You’ve likely had the flu more than once in your life. Just because you already had it doesn’t mean you built indestructible armor against the deadly virus. Plus, it is possible to contract the virus again.
The CDC wrote on its website: “If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Consult your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or have any questions regarding the vaccine-specific that are specific to you.
7. What happens if you don’t receive your second shot?
Five million Americans did not show up to their appointment to receive their second vaccine dose. According to The New York Times, some people’s excuse for missing their second dose is that they are afraid of the side effects. Others felt that one shot is enough to protect them against the virus.
To reach herd immunity and for life to return to complete normalcy, everyone must receive both Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses.
The protection provided by one shot is not enough to protect you from the virus. Although the first dose will somewhat protect you, receiving both will ensure longer-lasting and stronger immunity.
6. How can I continue to be safe going outside?
As stated on the CDC’s website, once you are fully vaccinated, “you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
You are considered to be fully vaccinated after receiving your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the singular dose of Johnson and Johnson.
If you are not fully vaccinated, continue wearing your mask outside where it is required and if you can not maintain 6 feet of distance between those around you.
5. Can the vaccine cause infertility?
No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not affect fertility. The infertility myth surfaced due to a German doctor who is skeptical of vaccines in general.
According to WebMD, a protein in the vaccine is similar to one found in mammals’ placenta. The German doctor argued that the said vaccine might cause the body to attack and reject the protein in the human placenta and make women infertile.
There is absolutely no evidence to support the claims that link the vaccine to infertility, so there is no need to worry.
4. What about coronavirus variants?
The fact that variants of the COVID-19 virus exist is no surprise. Every virus is constantly changing through mutation. However, that doesn’t mean that the variants are here to stay. They actually often disappear. There are currently five documented variants in the United States.
According to the CDC, “some variations allow the virus to spread more easily or make it resistant to treatments or vaccines. Those variants must be monitored more carefully.”
Studies suggest that the vaccine works against the circulation variants, but scientists are continuously studying them to learn more.
3. What about side effects?
Side effects are expected after receiving any of the three available vaccines. When you receive your vaccine, the doctor will warn you of possible side effects.
Arm soreness is pretty much guaranteed for about 48 hours following the shot. Other common side effects include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever, chills, fever and nausea.
The CDC’s website provides useful information regarding side effects and how to treat them.
2. What does it mean when a vaccine is put on hold? Is it dangerous?
The CDC Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a couple of months ago after reports of rare and severe blood clots emerged. During the pause, the CDC and FDA conducted a thorough safety review of the vaccine.
The pause has since been lifted because it was determined that the J&J vaccine is still safe and effective. Although the chances of getting a blood clot are rare, there is now there is a warning risk with the single-dose vaccine. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and receiving the J&J vaccine is not dangerous.
1. Why should I get my child vaccinated against COVID-19?
Some parents question whether or not they should get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 because fewer children have been sick with the virus than adults. However, children can certainly still contract the virus and spread it. Their symptoms are likely to be less severe or asymptomatic. Getting your child vaccinated helps stop the spread, save lives and ensure your child’s health.