What is a Vaccine?
Vaccines prevent diseases, as opposed to most medicine that treats or cures them, and the COVID-19 vaccine is our best option to ending this pandemic.
The purpose of a vaccine is to train the body’s immune system, so that it can fight a disease it hasn't come into contact with before. They are designed to prevent disease, not treat it once you've caught it.
The same way that an exposure to disease would stimulate your immune system, vaccines do the same without giving you the sickness. You develop immunity to that disease after getting vaccinated, without needing to first contract it. It is for this reason that vaccines are such an effective medicine.
Why Do I Need The Vaccine?
By creating an antibody response in your body, a COVID-19 vaccine can help you avoid becoming ill with COVID-19. COVID-19 can cause serious medical issues and can result in death in many cases, and it is impossible to know how the virus will affect you.
If you contract COVID-19, you could potentially spread the disease to your family and friends. This makes the vaccine an excellent option as it prevents you from getting the disease.
At the very least, the vaccine will keep you from becoming seriously ill and from developing serious complications if you do end up catching it despite the vaccine.
Additionally, getting vaccinated might help protect those around you from COVID-19, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness from it.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?
The COVID-19 vaccines being distributed at the moment in the United States do not contain a live virus. This is different from traditional vaccines and is due to modern advancements in medical technology.
However, there is a period of time (typically 3 days) after you have taken the vaccine where you will remain susceptible to catching the virus. Therefore, you must continue taking precautions for a few days after receiving your vaccination.
What are the possible side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccination may cause some very mild side effects. Most of these side effects disappear within three days after vaccination and usually last between one and two days.
Under certain circumstances, the COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects similar to those of COVID-19, but this should not be considered a cause for alarm, since your body is developing immunity against the virus during that time.
The mild side effects mentioned earlier may include:
- Pain, redness/swelling on the area of the shot
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
Allergic Reactions to the COVID-19 Vaccine
If you have a history of allergic reactions that aren’t related to vaccines or injectable medications, you can still get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Your doctor can advise you on whether you should get the CoVID-19 vaccine if you’ve had allergic reactions to vaccines in the past.
The CDC recommends against getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve ever had an immediate reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine. People allergic to polysorbate should not get an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine even if I’ve already had
If you have already been infected with COVID-19 in the past, you might have some natural immunity to reinfection, but that immune response might not last beyond 3 months.
This means you can still be reinfected and there is still a chance of developing several medical complications since you can never know how your body will handle the virus.
This is why it’s recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 still get the vaccine. However, you can delay vaccination until 90 days after your diagnosis., since reinfection is uncommon in the first 90 days of contracting the virus.
It is recommended and important that you consult your doctor if you have any doubts about your health condition and reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.