COVID-19 vaccines are finally here and being distributed all over the world and right here in the Capital Region. These new vaccines have raised many common questions and concerns that we hope to help address for our members and the entire community.
The COVID-19 crisis has taken the world by storm, resulting in millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths. In addition to mask-wearing, social-distancing, and hand-washing, the vaccine is the best line of defense against this highly contagious virus.
It’s true that the COVID-19 vaccines were approved and reached the market quickly, but messenger RNA vaccines (or mRNA, which the COVID-19 vaccine uses) have been researched for at least the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that research because all efforts were channeled into finding a vaccine to stop the spread of this disease.
As with most all other vaccines, a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is likely to occur within 15 minutes of injection. That’s why, once you get your first and second shot, you will be asked to remain onsite for observation for no less than 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes you do not feel well or are uncomfortable with leaving, stay and report your symptoms to a staff member immediately. Short-term side effects could include pain at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches. These are completely normal and actually show that your body is producing a response to the vaccine, which is good news. It is also completely normal if you do not have any side effects.
While clinical trials for kids as young as 12 are underway, it will take time to complete them and authorize the vaccine for use in kids.
Not so fast… the vaccine does not offer immediate protection, and it is imperative that people receive both doses for maximum effectiveness. Until the majority of the population is vaccinated, maskwearing, social-distancing, and hand-washing should still be used to protect yourself and others.
For information specific to New York State’s vaccine distribution plan, visit health.ny.gov.
For information on the COVID-19 vaccines, visit cdc.gov.