3 Facts About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Seniors
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of our daily lives. No more walking out the door without first grabbing your mask and hand sanitizer, for instance. But while the pandemic has been difficult for many, the good news is that vaccines are here and being administered to seniors across the country.
Although that’s great news, Solterra Senior Living understands that you may have questions about the vaccine. For example, how does it work? Is it safe to take? Will you need to get one every year? It’s common to have some questions and concerns about a newly developed vaccine. So here are a few facts about the COVID-19 vaccine for seniors.
1. You May Need Two Doses
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require two doses, while the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose. So it’s important you know which vaccine you’re receiving. And if it’s from Pfizer or Moderna, it’s imperative you follow-up with the second dose.
The interval between doses depends on which vaccine you are administered. The recommended interval between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine is 21 days. The interval for the Moderna vaccine is 28 days.
You should do your very best to schedule the second dose as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, you do have some leeway in getting the second dose if weather or some other unforeseen circumstance causes a delay in your second appointment. According to the CDC, second doses of both vaccines may be administered up to 42 days apart.
2. You May Experience Side Effects
Just as with any other vaccine or medication, you may experience some side effects. For instance, you may have some pain or swelling in the area where you received the shot. You may also experience fever, chills, fatigue, or headaches. If your symptoms persist for more than a few days or if you experience a great amount of discomfort, you should contact a healthcare provider.
According to the CDC, side effects are normal, and the coronavirus vaccine is safe to take. It has undergone rigorous clinical trials and already been administered to millions of people across the country. In fact, the CDC says the COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most extensive safety monitoring in the nation’s history.
3. You Should Still Follow CDC Recommendations
You should take precautions even after you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. For starters, it could take several weeks after you receive a second dose of the vaccine for your body to build immunity against the virus. Also, while the vaccine is highly effective and will likely protect you from getting sick, you could still be a carrier for the virus. That means you have the potential to pass it along to others even after you’ve been vaccinated.
So wear a mask, avoid crowds, maintain six feet of distance from others, and wash your hands often. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently remarked that he’s not dining out or flying yet, even though he’s been vaccinated against the virus. Likewise, you should also exercise caution and take the proper precautions once you’ve been vaccinated.
It’s unclear how long protection from the COVID-19 vaccine lasts. There are still some questions researchers are trying to answer. But as more and more people get vaccinated against COVID, there’s a better chance we can protect ourselves and each other.