Choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccines work to help your body fight off viruses and illness like COVID-19. When you get a vaccination, you are not only protecting yourself, but you are protecting and defending those around you. This information will help you understand the different types of vaccines available to fight COVID-19, and what you should do to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine.
Types of COVID-19 Vaccines
There are currently three different COVID-19 vaccines available for administering in the United States. They were approved through an emergency use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) initially. Now many are fully approved by the FDA.
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J)
How the COVID-19 vaccine is delivered
The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are given through an injection in your upper arm, similar to a flu shot.
Multiple Dose Vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: given in three doses, with the first and second shots are 21 days apart, and the third dose (booster) is given six months after.
- Moderna vaccine: given in three doses, with the first and second shots 28 days apart, and the third dose (booster) is given six months after.
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine: given in two doses, with the first and second shot (booster) given two months apart.
COVID-19 Vaccine Changes
The original vaccines were created in single or two dose injections. As data was gather and analyzed, booster shots were recommended.
Possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine
Here are some of the possible symptoms you might have after getting your COVID-19 vaccine:
- Pain or swelling at the injection site
- Tiredness or malaise
- Fever or chills
If you experience symptoms after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, it is your body’s immune system doing its job. The symptoms should go away after a couple of days.
You are considered “fully-vaccinated” two weeks after your second dose.
With both the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, you are more likely to have symptoms after your second dose. It takes time for your body to build up protection against viruses like COVID-19. You might have a day or two of symptoms as your immune system kicks into gear to start protecting you against COVID-19.
Should allergies stop you from taking the COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated regardless of past history of allergic reactions to food, pets, venom, environmental or latex allergies.
If you are someone who experiences or has experienced a severe allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable medications, speak with your doctor about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you experience a severe or immediate allergic reaction to the mRNA vaccines (Moderna or Pfizer) after the first dose, it is not recommended for you to get the second dose. It will be likely the viral vector vaccine (J&J) be recommended for you.
Before you get your COVID-19 vaccine
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please speak with your healthcare provider or family doctor. You can also learn more about how the vaccine works and what cautions to take through the CDC’s Vaccine Resources Page.
When you get your COVID-19 vaccine
When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you will receive a card with the date of your shot.
After you get your shot, you will be asked to wait at the vaccine clinic for a short bit of time. This is to make sure if have any reactions to the vaccine that prompt medical care is provided.
Vaccine Card Information
You will be given a vaccine card to keep track of your shot dates. Be sure to bring your vaccine card back with you for your second dose.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to your vaccine card:
- Take a photo of the front and back of your COVID-19 vaccine card
- Print a photocopy of the card to keep in your wallet
- Keep the original copy in a safe place, like with your birth certificate or your social security card
- Post photos of your vaccine card on social media because it includes personal health information (PHI) such as your name and your birthdate
- Laminate the card in case there is a need more information to be added later
What questions about the vaccine are doctors at NMC Health asked the most?
We spoke to our medical experts about what they of the COVID-19 vaccines. If you have questions about getting the vaccine that we didn’t answer, please talk to your doctor.
Still on the fence about getting your COVID-19 vaccine? Hear from more people who want you to know how important it is to be vaccinated, and why the cause is so near and dear to their hearts.