COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out state-by-state, and it’s important to understand everything you need to know about the appointments.
Feel more comfortable in your decision by understanding the process and benefits of receiving a Covid-19 vaccination.
A police staff member receives AstraZeneca’s vaccine against the coronavirus[/caption]
What to know about the different vaccines
At least three vaccines are approved in the US, with more in the clinical trial phase.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine “use pieces of genetic material (mRNA) instead of virus particles to create an immune response,” according to GoodRx.
The messenger RNA (mRNA) is a critical part of the vaccine.
“mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases,” the CDC writes.
This vaccine is also given in 2 doses. Each dose is 0.5 mL and will need to be administered at least 28 days apart.
In clinical studies, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were more than 94% effective at protecting participants from Covid.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine uses a different technology than the Pfizer and Moderna versions.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine stimulates the body’s natural defenses to produce its own protection against the virus, according to Cambridge News.
It delivers delivers the genetic code for making the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Human cells then manufacture parts of the virus.
A military health worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine[/caption]
The theory is that these parts will trigger an immune response, thus coaching the immune system to fight off a future infection.
While while Pfizer and Moderna vaccina use mRNA, the latter uses DNA.
Oxford says that adenovirus vaccines have been “researched and used extensively for decades.”
All Covid-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing Covid-19.
Before getting vaccinated
Before getting vaccinated, it’s important to see whether you are eligible for the vaccine, and whether or not your chosen Covid-19 vaccine is right for you.
In some areas, the vaccine is available to people 65 and older, people with certain underlying health conditions, health care personnel, certain other essential workers, and residents and staff at certain group living facilities.
Understand the benefits of getting the vaccine. Experts believe that getting a Covid vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do contract the illness.
Covid vaccines are rolling out globally[/caption]
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, especially those that are at risk of falling very ill.
When you get the vaccine, you and your healthcare worker will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth.
Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
Find local social-media groups
Groups on Facebook have come together to help one another locate the vaccine in their area and make an appointment.
One organizer, Brandi Pell, who has up to 50,000 people in her New Jersey-centric group, said they started the page to “give people a place to look and hopefully make the appointment process go faster and a little bit easier.”
Group admins regularly post updates according to the information they recieve.
“So with the Meadowlands [vaccination site], at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, they release a bunch of appointments, someone will write, ‘Meadowlands open now,’” fellow organizer Brittany Pell said.
A woman walks past a board in a testing center[/caption]
In this case, despite only naming New Jersey, members will also list when new appointments go online in New York as well.
It’s helpful to look up similar social media groups according to your area to get the most accurate and recent information about vaccine distribution.
Research the websites
Vaccinations at all sites are done by scheduled appointment only with no walk-ins.
Look up your local pharmacy to ensure which locations are administering the vaccine, double-check that you are eligible, and confirm store hours.
An elderly person receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot[/caption]
Pharmacies can include:
- Rite Aid
- Duane Reade
Your state may have its own one-stop site to locate Covid-19 vaccination areas. For example, the New York government created its own “vaccine finder” website, located here.
Each of these site manages its own schedules and appointments.
Once you have booked your appointment, it’s important to know what to bring. Check with the site you booked with to ensure you bring any necessary documentation.
In some cases, you may be asked to self-certify an underlying health condition as part of the appointment scheduling process, or a vaccine provider will ask you to complete a certification document before or at the time of your appointment.
Those that receive the Covid vaccine may experience mild side effects[/caption]
You may also need to bring proof that you live and work in the state you live in.
If you are eligible for the vaccine based on your age, you may need to show proof of age and state residency.
After getting vaccinated
After getting your vaccination shot, you may experience mild side effects.
These could include fatigue, fever, chills and headache. You may also experience mild swelling or pain of the injection site.
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Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamines, or acetaminophen, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.
In most cases, discomfort is normal, but if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours or your side effects do not go away, call your doctor.
It’s essential to get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first one unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.