Here’s what you need to know…
Why we need a vaccine
Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. Vaccines, along with wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying 6 feet apart, help prevent more illness and deaths. The vaccines against COVID-19 are excellent tools in our toolbox to stop the spread of the virus. By stopping the spread of COVID-19, we can keep businesses, schools, and other venues open.
Having a safe and effective vaccine is the top priority. The makers of the vaccine presented their data and went through a rigorous review process before the vaccine became available for most people. Each company, the NACI and Health Canada continue to watch and review information.
Some side effects are common after any vaccine, including soreness where you got the vaccine, muscle aches, headaches, and tiredness. Less common are fever and chills. When you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to wait for 15- 30 minutes afterward to be monitored for allergic reactions, which can be serious. All locations giving COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to help patients who may have allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccine are rare, with roughly 1 in a million people experiencing one. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
How well does the vaccine work?
The vaccines are very effective at protecting you from the virus. They reduce the risk of infection very well. Based on what we know about vaccines from other diseases and early data from studies, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting very sick even if you do get COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccine is provided at no cost to the patient. However, you may be asked about insurance because the sites giving vaccine can bill insurance. They cannot charge you. They can charge your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, they cannot deny you the vaccine.
Why do I need two doses?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two-dose vaccines, recommended at three weeks apart for Pfizer and four weeks for Moderna. NACI says that if vaccine supply is limited there can be up to four months between the first and second dose. Getting more than one dose is not unusual for a vaccine. In fact, it’s the norm. Many vaccines require more than one dose for maximum protection.
When you get your vaccine, you will get a card with the name of the vaccine on it. It is important that your second dose be the same as your first dose.
Building immunity takes time
It takes at least two weeks after your first shot for you to develop some immunity to COVID-19. Recent studies show that one shot was about 70% to 80% effective so NACI recommended that the second dose be delayed for up to four months in order to be able to vaccinate more people quicker. A second shot of Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZenica/COVISHIELD will still be needed. It is
currently unknown what percentage of the community must be vaccinated to achieve community immunity so continuing to follow the public health measures is critical – wash your hands and sanitize homes and vehicles frequently, wear a mask when in public and stay home as much as possible.
COVID-19 related phone numbers are (204) Inc. 679-0179 and (204) 679-0279