Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Covid Vaccine Common Questions

Happy Spring! Sure has been a while... but I've been getting a lot of questions about the Covid19 vaccine lately, so I will try to put together some basic information. Please refer to the cdc website for more details.

First, here is a table summarizing the three vaccines that have been available in the US:

What are the possible side effects?
In the arm where you got the shot...
  • pain
  • redness
  • swelling
Throughout the rest of your body...
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • fever/chills
  • nausea
Can you get Covid from the Covid vaccine?
No. There is no live virus in the vaccines. The symptoms you get is your body getting antibodies ready to attack a simulation so that when the real deal comes, it can conquer it. That's the whole point. The symptoms are usually mild to moderate and will go away in 48 hours.

What about the J&J vaccine and blood clots?
So on April 13, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine. There were 6 reported cases of developing a rare and severe blood clot after getting the vaccine. 6.8 million people have already been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine, so 6 out of 6.8 million is extremely rare. Experts are still investigating the cause of the blood clots and there may be underlying conditions that predisposed those folks who developed that reaction. A second meeting about all this is scheduled for April 23, so stay tuned... 

Contact your physician if between days 6 and 13 post-vaccination you develop:
  • headaches
  • leg pain
  • abdominal pain 
  • shortness of breath
Is it still recommended to get a Covid19 vaccine?
Yes. You can review your personal case with your doctor, but in general, the benefits of protection from Covid19 with these vaccines outweigh any potential side effects that may occur.

What about the timing of getting the vaccine?
So here are a few scenarios where one should wait...
  • If test positive for Covid, you should wait until all symptoms resolve and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation. 
  • If treated with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies for Covid, then you need to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.
  • If you got any other vaccines recently, then you should wait 2 weeks before getting the Covid vaccine
What are the benefits of the vaccine?
  • Helps prevent severe infection from Covid19
  • Helps prevent hospitalization from Covid19
  • Helps prevent death from Covid19
  • Helps prevent the spread of Covid19 in asymptomatic people
The bottom line is that vaccines are key to stopping pandemics.

How can we get back to "normal life" sooner?
  • get vaccinated (as long as not contraindicated)
  • wear masks (though vaccinated folks can now potentially unmask indoors with other vaccinated folks)
  • social distance with those who don't live with you (6 ft apart and avoid crowds)
  • wash hands (should always be doing this anyway)
For more specific questions and details, you can check out the cdc website above or discuss with your physician.

So on another note... my family just came back from a little getaway up to the Finger Lakes. My husband and I had visited this area the second year after we got married. Funny, how traveling with four kids changes the ambiance of the trip!

from 2003...

quiet, serene, relaxed... gentle ripples of a lake...

now in 2021

not so quiet, energetic, adventurous... rushing rapids of a waterfall...