Destination Vaccination is quickly approaching. So one last segment on the vaccine. Here are some key takeaways:
How does the vaccine work in the body?
Both brands of vaccines use “novel mRNA” vaccine technology. This vaccine technology is new, but has been rigorously studied for decades (which sped the development of the current vaccines). mRNA gives our bodies instructions on how to make a harmless protein that is similar to the coronavirus. As our bodies make these harmless copies, our immune system recognizes this foreign protein prompting an immune response. This immune response then fights the real virus that causes COVID-19 if we are ever infected.
Why are two shots needed?
The first dose readies your immune system to respond. The second dose is the booster that provides optimal protection against the virus.
Can I get a Moderna vaccine for the first dose and Pfizer for the second?
No. The two vaccines are not interchangeable. You will receive an information card as a reminder to which type of vaccine you received. Bring your card with you when you receive your second dose.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and are their side effects?
The vaccines were evaluated through the same process as all other vaccines approved by the FDA. Side effects of the vaccine are normal signs that our bodies are building protection. Commonly reported side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site, low grade fever, chills, tiredness, and head and bodyaches. When you receive your vaccine, you will be required to wait at least 15 minutes to check for an allergic reaction.
Will I need a vaccine every year?
It’s unclear how long the vaccines will provide protection and whether they will be needed every year like the flu vaccine.
Mark your calendars