by Dr. Asma Khan
As we all know, COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and even death for many people across our nation and around the world. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best and safest choice to protect you, your family, and your community.
Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Is it safe?
Since there is currently no cure for COVID-19, prevention is our best strategy. When you get the vaccine, your immune system gets a boost to help prevent you from getting COVID-19.
The 2 COVID-19 vaccines being administered now, Pfizer and the Moderna, have been approved for emergency use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are fully endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The vaccines were developed and tested in large clinical trials (tests) to make sure they met important safety standards. Many people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions, participated in these clinical trials.
What side effects will I get from the vaccine?
Most people do not have any serious side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. However, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch right after. Some people report getting a headache, fever, or other flu-like symptoms after getting the vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and will usually go away after one or two days. Taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol can also help with these symptoms.
Getting the vaccine will never cause you to get COVID-19.
When can I get vaccinated?
Since there is a limited supply of the vaccine right now, it will take time to vaccinate everyone who wants to receive it.
The CDC has made guidelines for who will receive the vaccine first, based on risk. This first group includes people 65 and older, first responders, teachers and education workers, public safety workers, public transit workers, college professors, people who work or live in homeless shelters, and people with certain underlying health conditions.
As we move into the spring, we expect that more people will qualify to get the vaccine. For more information on the vaccine rollout plan, visit the CDC website.
What you need to know:
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you qualify is an important step to ending the current pandemic and the best way to protect yourself and your family. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is completely free of charge. We expect that many more people will qualify to get the vaccine over the coming months.
For more information on how to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Sun River Health, and to put your name on the vaccine waiting list, visit sunriver.org/covidvaccine.
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