New Year Brings New Hope COVID 19 Pandemic Series January, 2021
The new year begin with the continued pandemic and hope from the emerging coronavirus vaccine. It has been tough for survival, and more challenging for healthy aging. The good news is that vaccines are now rolling out and hope this is the beginning of ending the pandemic. In December 2020, the FDA has approved two vaccines, by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, for emergency use authorization. For people 65 and older, as well as people with conditions that put them at high risk for Covid 19, including but not limited to diabetes or obesity, are likely to be offered as a ”priority group”. If you are in this group, be prepared to get vaccinated. Protect yourself is the first priority at this time.
“Should I get it?” Are you undecided?
Facts about the coronavirus vaccine
First, let’s learn the vaccine facts from trusted source. Here are few key messages from the CDC:
FACT 1: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
FACT 2: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
FACT 3: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
FACT 4: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
FACT 5: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
Will the coronavirus mutation affect Vaccine efficacy? Experts anticipates future versions of the vaccine may need to be updated, much like the flu vaccine that varies slightly from year to year.
The two shots COVID 19 Vaccination for effective protection
When a vaccine requires two shots, the first shot helps your body recognize the virus and gets your immune system ready, while the second shot strengthens that immune response. This makes your body more prepared to fight infection. In the studies for Pfizer’s vaccine, the first shot seemed to be about 52% effective in preventing COVID. The second shot increased that effectiveness to 95%. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedule recommends the second shot be given 21 days after the first shot (with a four-day grace period). The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is slightly different — the second shot should be given 28 days after the first one. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were developed and studied using two shots, and when the vaccines are taken according to schedule, they are both extremely effective — 94% and 95% — at preventing COVID-19. If you don’t get the second shot on time, it’s recommended that you get it as soon as possible. Even if you get the second shot late, you won’t have to repeat the first one.
You will soon be able to receive COVID 19 Vaccine at local pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens. The vaccine will be at no cost to you through your insurance or a government program for the uninsured.
For this new virus, the new vaccine was developed with new technologies.
Be aware of serious allergic reactions/anaphylaxis were reported in both and it is not clear that an allergic reaction to one means the same thing would occur with the other. Other side effects - fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain are much more common after getting the Moderna vaccine, especially after the second shot. The symptoms are comparable to those experienced by many people after getting Shingrix, the vaccine to prevent shingles. Local reactions (redness and swelling) are expected, vomiting and diarrhea may occur as well. You may feel under the weather for a day or two after each shot. A small number of cases of a temporary facial paralysis called Bell’s palsy was also reported in both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech studies. As for making any health care decisions, stay informed with benefits and risks. Keep in mind of the following for vaccine safety:
The CDC advises those who have allergic history and /or had serious allergic reactions to other vaccines or therapies to consult their doctor first.
People with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medicines may still get vaccinated.
People who have a severe allergic reactions after the first dose should not get the second shot.
If you experience some mild side effects after the first dose, it’s still important to get the second dose in order to have the best protection against COVID-19. Report side effects to your health care provider.
Some vaccine side effects are similar to COVID-19 symptoms. This does not mean that you have COVID-19. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
Vaccination cannot replace face masks, hand washing and social distancing.
The Bottom Line
The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most powerful tools we have to stop the pandemic. Getting it — along with wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing — is the best way to protect you, your family, and your friends from COVID-19.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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