Living in a pandemic world is likely to be something new for many of us. Just as you learn how to adapt to a set of protocols, the rules are swiftly changed and you’re left to figure things out again as the dust settles. Thankfully, a vaccine is providing a strong light at the end of the tunnel. This can be intimidating to think about, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at what the new COVID vaccine involves.
- Priority Groups
The CDC has created priority groups, which ensures that essential workers like healthcare workers and educators have initial access to the vaccine. These are people who are more likely to be directly exposed and can spread the virus quicker if they do contract it.
Scheduling of your vaccine is going to be best handled by your primary care doctor. In previous years, vaccines like the flu shot could be received at a discounted rate through your local pharmacy. Due to this being such a new product, it’s only offered in a location where you can be closely monitored after the shot in case of an emergency allergic reaction.
- Getting the Shots
You can expect to get two doses of the vaccine in order to be considered fully protected. These are typically scheduled about a month apart, and you can expect to spend about 20 minutes to actually get the shot, aside from any line you may have to wait in.
- Side Effects
Side effects of the COVID vaccine can vary widely per person. The most common side effects currently are muscle soreness, headache, and fevers. Your body is developing an immune response so that it will know how to respond in the event you are infected with COVID. This effectively gives your body a “battle plan” on how to fight it off and help you recover quicker and easier.
It’s important to remember that a vaccine is never intended to completely prevent contracting an illness. It simply gives your body the information it needs to lessen the effects if you do become sick. Safety measures, like wearing your mask and social distancing, are still going to be an important aspect of daily life, but you can rest easier knowing that the complications of COVID can be decreased.