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Most likely you’ve heard the buzz about the COVID-19 vaccine release.
The vaccine has been talked about since the outbreak of COVID. This is what most of us have been waiting for — And now it is here!
Back to normal life, right? Well, not so fast.
With the vaccine comes a lot of other questions, like — Is it safe? Is it effective? When can I get it?
And along with those questions you have people with mixed views on getting the vaccine. Some people can not wait to get it. Others have stated they are not going to get it. And others are on the fence — they want more information.
And understandably so. There have been so many changes in 2020. And so much information.
And although information at our fingertips is great — it can be hard to determine what is true and what is “fake news”.
So we’re going to share what we have learned to hopefully help you answer questions you may be asking.
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The question most people are asking is — how safe is the vaccine?
According to the CDC, “safety is a top priority”. All vaccinations go through clinical trials. Some of these clinical trials can last years. Due to the urgent need, the FDA has granted emergency approval for the COVID vaccine.
You may be wondering how this is possible. Well, according to the CDC, there were two previous diseases — SARS and MERS — caused by coronaviruses that are closely related to COVID-19. They stopped working on those due to the lack of need. Basically, the viruses went away. Scientists used the information that they had from those studies to help develop the COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense created “Operation Warp Speed”. This operation’s mission is to “help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work”.
So essentially the government has been working tirelessly to develop a safe and effective vaccine.
Finally, the CDC has created a program called “V-Safe”. This is a program that you can sign up for to report any side effects after getting the vaccination. It is an added safety precaution to ensure that those who have received the vaccine have continued support. It also offers peace of mind that if they do have an issue there is an avenue to get help.
Not only do top scientists, like Fauci, back the vaccine — three previous presidents, Obama, Bush, and Clinton, have agreed to take the vaccination on camera in order to show their support that they believe the vaccine is safe.
Will I Get COVID If I Get The Vaccine?
No. Getting the COVID shot does not give you COVID. The vaccine does not put the live coronavirus into your body.
You may experience some flu like symptoms though. Most of these symptoms will occur within the first few days of getting the vaccine.
Also, getting the COVID vaccine does require two shots. The second shot should be administered approximately three weeks after the original shot. The V-Safe will send you a reminder when it is time for you to get your second shot.
Is The Vaccine Effective?
According to studies done the vaccines start being effective after the first shot but become 94% — 95% effective approximately 7 days after the second shot.
So yes, it is very effective.
When Can I Get the Vaccine?
Due to limited supply, the vaccine is going to be administered in stages. The first people to get the vaccine will be medical professionals and people in long term care facilities.
As the vaccine becomes more available the CDC will release the next stages of who it will be available to. It is believed that it will be elderly and those with health conditions.
It is expected that the vaccine will be available to all who would like it by June of 2021.
Will I have to Pay for the Vaccine?
Per the CDC, the vaccine itself will not cost money. The facilities that carry the vaccine will be able to charge a fee to administer the vaccine.
Most of those fees will be able to be reimbursable by insurance. And if you don’t have insurance they can be reimbursed by Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Since There Is A Vaccine Do I Need To Still Wear A Mask And Socially Distance?
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Yes, don’t burn your masks yet. As stated above, there are two shots needed. And you have to wait approximately thirty days in between shots. The vaccine does not take full effect until about 7 days after the second shot.
Also, according to Dr. Fauci we will begin to see herd immunity in the Spring of 2021 but most likely will not see it’s full effect until late 2021.
Therefore, it is going to be important to continue to wear masks and socially distance. Also, this information regarding herd immunity is based on the majority of the population getting the vaccine. If the majority of the population does not get the vaccine it will take longer for the public to be safe.
So until the CDC says it’s safe, it is best to still not attend large gatherings, to continue to wear your masks, and socially distance.
What If I Still Have Questions?
It is best to use reliable resources like the CDC to get your information. They have lots of valuable and science based information on their website.
If you want to talk with someone, contact your internist. If you are in the Fairfax, Virginia area contact Dimensions Direct Primary Care. Dr. Sheila Chen is a board certified internist that can help answer your questions.
If you do not have insurance, no problem. In the Direct Primary Care model insurance is not accepted. You pay a low monthly fee to have access to your doctor.
If you are having anxiety about taking the vaccination and want a medical professional to be there for you — Dimensions Direct Primary Care is a great resource. You can call and message Dr. Chen anytime. She does in office visits and telehealth visits.
For more information contact Dimensions Direct Primary Care at 571-229-9183 or https://www.dimensionsdpc.com/.