14 Questions The Netizens Have For Covid-19 Vaccine
Featured Image: iStock/Irina Shatilova
The Covid-19 pandemic is raging on. It has taken precious lives, crippled economies, changed business strategies, and affected every dynamic of our lives.
Thankfully, though, we now have multiple Covid-19 vaccines to tackle this monstrosity heads-on – one shot at a time. However, with great vaccine drives come a great many questions.
See, historically, vaccines take years to develop, sometimes decades. The vaccine that successfully eradicated smallpox took centuries to develop. The reason is that vaccine development is a rigorous process consisting of multiple steps from creation to deployment and many clinical trials.
Scientists and researchers have to study a virus for years and then create medicine to amplify the body’s immunity to it, and then conduct clinical trials to make sure the benefits outweigh any potential side effects.
So if you’ve been feeling a little apprehensive regarding the Covid vaccine and have had your fill of the natural foods that boost immunity, we’ve compiled a list of answers to the web’s most asked questions regarding these vaccines. Read on to erase your doubts and get ready to schedule your vaccine appointment.
1. How Many Vaccines Are There Right Now?
In the USA, three vaccines are authorized for administration:
- Johnson & Johnson
Clinical trials are going on for two more vaccines: AstraZeneca and Novavax.
While both Pfizer and Moderna require two shots, Johnson & Johnson is a one-jab success. The important thing to note is that the government and health officials do not recommend one vaccine over another. Get any that you can get your hands on.
If you’ve got any underlying medical conditions, check with your doctor before you schedule a vaccine appointment.
2. How Many Vaccine Doses Are Needed To Get Full Protection?
With Pfizer and Moderna, you need two doses each, 3 weeks and 4 weeks apart, respectively. With Johnson & Johnson, only a single shot is required. It takes about two weeks to get the full effects of the vaccine after your final dose.
So, if you get your first shot of Moderna today and the second a month later, it’ll be two more weeks till you are fully immune to Covid-19.
CDC recommends the administration of the second vaccine dose as close to the first one as possible. But if a delay is unavoidable, you have a 6-week window after the first shot to get the final dose.
3. How Effective Are The Vaccines?
The clinical trials for all vaccines have shown positive results, however, no vaccine can be a hundred percent effective against a viral disease. That’s why we still haven’t been able to get a flu vaccine that can protect us for life.
The data from Pfizer shows that its vaccine is 95% effective against Covid-19 in people who were never infected with the virus. This efficacy rate stands strong across ages, genders, races, and other variables.
4. What Are The Side Effects Of Covid Vaccines?
According to WHO, some common side effects to Covid-19 vaccines include:
- Pain at the injection site
- Muscle pain
It is important to note these side effects are common to most other vaccines too and should not deter you from getting your shot.
If you develop a severe allergic reaction to any of the vaccines or have an underlying medical condition, talk to your doctor before booking your vaccine slot.
5. If I Don’t Get Any Side Effects Does That Mean The Vaccine Hasn’t Worked?
Doctors always tell you that side effects are to be expected after a vaccination dose. They are an indication that the body is mounting its attack against the disease. Yet, what happens when you don’t get any side effects? Does that mean the vaccine has failed?
Not in the slightest. Interestingly, trial data has suggested that both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not cause any side effects in a significant portion of participants. So if you have had either of these vaccines and have not experienced even the mildest symptoms, it’s nothing to worry about.
Even with Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the lack of side effects does not mean much.
6. Do They Work Against Different Covid Variants?
The vaccine will give you some level of protection but sure, there are chances that a stubborn variant may slip through. The good news, though, is that in most cases the vaccine protects you from severe symptoms and even reduces the virus’ ability to transmit its disease to others.
So, even if you get infected by a variant of Covid-19 after you get vaccinated, you’ll still have some form of immunity against the disease and symptoms.
Even better news, pharmaceutical companies, governments, scientists, researchers, and WHO are continuously working to improve the vaccines, and their efficacy will continually increase.
Bottom line: get vaccinated. You may still get Covid but it won’t be that deadly.
7. Are They Safe?
They are. Like all other vaccines, strict measurements have been put in place to ensure the safety of the manufacturing and testing procedure as well as the deployment and administration of vaccines. CDC outlines all the steps of various areas of vaccine safety protocols. They cover everything from manufacturing to testing, and from authorization to the monitoring of any problems that may arise.
8. Can I Still Get Covid-19 After The Vaccine?
The odds are in your favor but this is a mutating disease and the vaccine is still in its early stages. Therefore, chances are that some people may get infected even after getting their vaccine doses. However, these chances are low.
The breakthrough cases may happen more within the period between the two shots. The immunity fully gets boosted two weeks after the final dose. Before that, you may contract Covid but your recovery will be quicker, and symptoms not as bad.
9. Do I Need To Get The Vaccine After I’ve Recovered From Covid?
You should. Thing is, the data is still in its initial stages to accurately predict the duration of immunity a given vaccine will provide you. Hence, the smart thing to do is to get vaccinated whether or not you’ve ever got Covid-19.
Depending on the type of treatment you got to cure your infection, your doctor may suggest a waiting period of 90 days before you can get your immunity shot.
So, talk to your doctor before booking your appointment.
10. If I Have Covid Right Now, Do I Get Myself Vaccinated Or Not?
If you are currently undergoing treatment, you can only be vaccinated once you are fully recovered and have ended your isolation period. The same stands true for asymptomatic patients. Once they end their isolation period and the infection has left their bodies, they can be vaccinated against the virus.
For more details on isolation and quarantine, here is the link to the criteria set by CDC.
11. Can I Choose Which Vaccine I Get?
11. Can I Choose Which Vaccine I Get?
There are so many variables at play, but the short answer is, you most likely won’t be able to choose. Reasons:
- The vaccines are being deployed in a state of emergency, so sometimes, even your doctor won’t know too far ahead in advance which vaccine they’ll get.
- The disease is still rampant, so CDC and other authorities highly recommend that you get the vaccine and not worry too much about the manufacturer. Slight differences aside, all three vaccines have been proven to be significantly effective against Covid-19.
- Authorities are not sure when will there be enough supply of the vaccine for people to choose their favorite. For the near future, pay attention to the vaccine and not the label (shout out to David Rose!)
12. How To Register For The Vaccination?
Good House Keeping recently put out a comprehensive state-wise list of vaccine centers, registration processes, and hotline numbers.
Go through this list to find your state, call the hotline and book your vaccination spot. The site also provides valuable information regarding vaccine eligibility and updates you on your state’s efforts to make the vaccine drive a success.
13. Do I Still Need To Wear A Mask And Socially Distance After I Get The Vaccine?
If you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your second dose) and you are meeting with other people who are also fully vaccinated, then, no. You don’t need to wear a mask or socially distance yourself from them.
However, if any of the above conditions aren’t met, then you do need to follow all Covid-19 protocols to ensure your safety and that of others.
14. A Key Question For Businesses: Can I Make It Mandatory For My Employees To Get Vaccinated?
You can, but it’s complicated. You’ll need to be able to prove that,
- It is your workplace policy
- An employee not getting vaccinated is a direct threat to the workplace and the well-being of others.
- No accommodations could be made to allow the employee to remain unvaccinated. These accommodations may include remote working or a leave of absence.
Still, you will also need to be clear on who will be held liable if a mandatory vaccine results in a severe reaction. Those are rare but there.
You must also keep in mind that several states are considering making it illegal for employers to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for employees. How you want to go forward depends on the business industry you belong to, your workplace situation, and your willingness to face any legal matters that arise in response to your vaccine policy.
Over To You
We hope we have answered your most burning questions regarding the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine drive. If you still have concerns and questions, check out the WHO or CDC websites or get in touch with your local and state authorities to find out the most current updates.
Just a parting note: as the vaccine drives continue all over the world, these are our only hope to achieve a level of herd immunity that allows businesses to return to some semblance of normalcy. While certain businesses have been able to keep their heads above water in these times, not all have been so lucky.
So, consider vaccinating yourself and your families. Only together we can get through this.
If you’ve read so far, here are our three most favorite memes that address the various aspects of the coronavirus vaccine. Enjoy!
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 2, 2021
— Nathan Boachie (@nathan_boachie) November 9, 2020
My boyfriend got his covid vaccine yesterday and I can tell you the most prominent side effect is the inability to shut up about getting the covid vaccine
— Emaperidol (@Emaperidol) December 16, 2020