Vaccines to prevent the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are perhaps the best hope for ending the pandemic. Looking to get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines? Here is what you need to know about the vaccines and the benefits of getting vaccinated.
What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get COVID-19, you could spread the disease to family, friends and others around you.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without your having to become sick with COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine might prevent you from getting COVID-19. Or, if you get COVID-19, the vaccine might keep you from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications. Getting vaccinated also might help protect people around you from COVID-19, particularly people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?
No. The COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.Keep in mind that it will take a few weeks for your body to build immunity after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it is possible that you could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated.
What are the possible side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given, fever, fatigue,headache, muscle pain, chills and joint pain.
You will likely be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects similar to signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you develop symptoms more than three days after getting vaccinated or the symptoms last more than two days, self-isolate and get tested.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have a history of allergic reactions?
If you have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications, you may still get a COVID-19 vaccine. You should be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.
If you have had an immediate allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable medications, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, do not get the second dose.
Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get the COVID-19 vaccine?
There is no research on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and part of a group recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you may choose to get the vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine even if I have already had COVID-19?
Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from 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 severe medical complications, it is recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have had COVID-19, you might delay vaccination until 90 days after your diagnosis. Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after you are first infected.
Source: Mayo Clinic