There are currently 3 COVID vaccine available in Orlando and throughout the country: Pfizer-BioNTech (mRNA), Moderna (mRNA Vaccines), and Johnson & Johnson (Vector vaccine). As of April 7, 2021, three vaccines, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, have been approved for use via an emergency use authorization (EAU) for adults ages 16 and older. Pfizer has since received EUA for 5-11 year olds, opening the door for everyone in the country 5 years and older to receiving a COVID vaccine.
Getting a COVID vaccine will be similar to the process of getting any other type of vaccine. Patients should talk to their doctors about whether they have allergies and if they have ever experienced a reaction or specific side effects from a vaccine in the past. They should also inform their doctors whether they are currently ill, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant.
The injection itself usually only takes a few seconds and may feel like a slight pinch on the skin. Most people do not experience serious side effects from vaccines, and any side effects they do experience are usually mild. Chills, low-grade fever, headache, tiredness, and muscle and joint aches are the most common side effects of vaccines.
People who get a mRNA COVID vaccine will need another booster shot roughly 3-4 weeks after the first shot to stay protected from COVID-19, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot. It is not yet known how long immunity to COVID-19 will last after receiving a COVID vaccine.
Key facts about COVID-19 vaccines
Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are safe to get and highly effective at preventing you from getting COVID-19. Even if you do get COVID-19, the vaccine prevents you from getting seriously ill. The more people that get vaccinated, the faster we can get back to normal life.
- They’re safe. Rigorous clinical trials must show that vaccines are safe and effective before they’re authorized for public use. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, which have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.
- They’re effective. All approved vaccines are proven to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Based on what we know so far, experts believe that all the approved vaccines will nearly 100% prevent serious illness and death. They may also help protect family, friends, and those around you.
- They’re free. COVID-19 vaccines will be free for all Americans under the CARES act. The US government has already ordered and paid for hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses using US tax dollars to ensure that everyone who wants one can get one.
Top vaccine myths
When deciding to get vaccinated, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.
- The vaccines will not make you sick with COVID-19.
- The vaccines do not have a microchip that will track you.
- The mRNA COVID vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) will not alter your DNA.
- If you already had COVID-19, that does not mean you don’t need the vaccine.
Risks of the COVID vaccine
All vaccines come with potential risks and side effects. The most common side effects associated with vaccines are low-grade fever, malaise, and redness and pain at the injection site. More than 50% of people who received early COVID-19 vaccines reported experiencing mild short-term side effects including fever, headache, muscle aches, and reactions at the injection site.
Questions to ask your doctor about the COVID vaccine
- When should I come back for my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
- What side effects could I experience from the COVID vaccine?
- How effective is the COVID vaccine?
- Is it possible for me to get a mild case of COVID-19 after getting the vaccine?
- Can I stop wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing after getting a COVID vaccine?
- How many different COVID vaccines are available?
- What are the ingredients in the COVID vaccine?
- Who should not get a COVID vaccine?
- Can I get more than one type of COVID vaccine if more are available?
- How long will it take before the COVID vaccine takes effect?