WHY SHOULD I RECEIVE A VACCINE AGAINST COVID-19?
Protection! For yourself, your family, your friends, and your co-workers. A COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19 or keep you from becoming seriously ill if you get COVID-19. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is the pathway towards stopping this pandemic. FOR MOST PEOPLE, THE BENEFITS OF THE VACCINE OUTWEIGH THE RISKS.
AM I A CANDIDATE TO GET A VACCINE AGAINST COVID-19?
YES! Anyone who does not have a contraindication for taking the vaccine should receive a Covid-19 vaccine. At this time, the only contraindication is a history of a severe allergic reaction to any of the vaccine components, including sensitivity to PEG (polyethylene glycol). While it is not currently approved for children under age 16, safety and efficacy studies in children and adolescents are underway.
HOW DO I KNOW THE COVID-19 VACCINE IS SAFE?
Experience. Over 70,000 people participated in clinical trials prior to the approval of the current COVID-19 vaccines. As of March 8, 2021, 31.5 million people have safely received them since approval.
Safety has been demonstrated across a broad range of the population, including different ages, races, ethnicities, and those with different medical conditions.
HOW SOON CAN I GET THE VACCINE?
WILL FAMILY ALLERGY & ASTHMA CARE ADMINISTER VACCINES IN THE OFFICE?
Monitor the news and online sources, and when you meet the criteria for vaccination, make an appointment, and get it. Family Allergy & Asthma Care is registered to receive doses of vaccine. When they become available to us, we will administer vaccines. In the meantime, access your vaccine whenever and wherever it is available to you.
CURRENTLY, THERE ARE 3 VACCINES AVAILABLE WHICH VACCINE SHOULD I TAKE?
The 3 vaccines currently available in the US include 2 similar mRNA vaccines, one made by Pfizer and the other by Moderna, and the recently approved Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which uses a harmless adenovirus that stimulates the body’s immune system to make antibodies against the spike protein. This vaccine met the same rigorous safety standards set by the FDA as the mRNA vaccines. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s efficacy was reported to be 72% effective at preventing severe COVID and 100 % effective at preventing death and hospitalizations from COVID-19 infections after just one dose!
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are similar and are equally safe and effective. These vaccines use messenger RNA that codes for the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus to induce immunity. They have both met the rigorous safety standards set by the FDA. The only meaningful, minor difference is that the Pfizer vaccine’s second dose is administered 18-23 days after the first vaccination. In comparison, the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is administered 28 days after the first vaccination.
In short, take whatever vaccination is offered to you.
WHY DO I HAVE TO TAKE 2 VACCINATIONS SEPARATED BY 3-4 WEEKS FOR THE MRNA VACCINES AND NOT THE JOHNSON and JOHNSON vaccine?
The first dose stimulates the immune system to make protective antibodies. The second dose boosts the production of those antibodies, thereby increasing protection. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s efficacy was reported to be 72% effective at preventing severe COVID and 100 % effective at preventing death and hospitalizations from COVID-19 infections after just one dose!
WHAT IF I DON’T GET MY SECOND VACCINATION WITHIN THE WINDOW OF TIME THAT IS RECOMMENDED?
Get your second dose as soon as you can after the window to ensure you are as protected as you can be. The protection offered by a single dose of vaccine has been estimated to be 50%, and the second dose increases this to over 90%.
CAN I GET COVID -19 FROM THE VACCINE?
No! The COVID-19 vaccinations do not contain any live virus. In fact, the COVID vaccine is actually a small piece of mRNA (that contains no virus) that activates your immune cells to make antibodies against the spike protein of the virus, which means that if/when you are exposed to the virus, you will already have protective antibodies waiting and ready to go.
The mRNA itself degrades quickly and is gone, which is one reason the vaccine is so safe.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS FROM THE VACCINE?
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch at the injection site, as can happen with injections of any kind. As sometimes happens with any type of vaccine, some people may experience a low-grade fever, headache, and fatigue during the first 24 hours. These symptoms usually go away on their own and a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do: working and building up protection against disease.
WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE?
No long-term side effects have been identified. The FDA and the CDC are continuing to monitor safety in the larger population, as they do with all new such medical products. Part of the monitoring includes a phone app that sends recipients routine texts to ask brief questions, which monitor side effects. The information goes directly to the CDC.
WHAT ABOUT ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO THE VACCINE?
There have been reports of a few patients experiencing anaphylaxis after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, the CDC issued guidance related to the COVID-19 vaccines and severe allergic reactions. The ACAAI also published guidance on the risk of allergic reactions to mRNA COVID vaccines. Please schedule a televisit with your FAAC provider if you have a history of anaphylaxis, mast cell disease, or concerns about receiving the vaccine.
SHOULD I RECEIVE A VACCINATION IF I HAVE HAD AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO AN ALLERGY INJECTION OR A STINGING INSECT OR IF I HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY?
YES! However, if you have a history of anaphylaxis for any reason, we recommend that your vaccination is administered in a facility that is able to treat allergic reactions and that you are observed for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
If you have specific questions or concerns about the vaccine and whether you are a candidate to receive it, please schedule a televisit to talk with us about it.
CAN I GET A COVID VACCINE ON THE SAME DAY I GET MY ALLERGY INJECTION? OR XOLAIR OR OTHER BIOLOGIC? GAMMA GLOBULIN INFUSION? OTHER VACCINES?
No. Administration of the vaccine with other immunizations or biologics has not been studied. Please allow 24 hours before or after your allergy injection, biologic or gamma globulin infusions before receiving the COVID 19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine should be administered alone, with a minimum of 14 days before or after administration of any other vaccine such as Flu vaccine, Pneumovax, Shingles vaccine, etc.
I HAVE ALREADY HAD COVID – DO I STILL NEED TO TAKE THE VACCINE?
Yes. The immunity offered by the vaccine may provide better/longer protection than the virus itself.
HOW SOON AFTER RECOVERING FROM COVID CAN I GET THE VACCINE?
It is recommended that you receive the COVID-19 vaccine once you have recovered from acute illness and have met the criteria to discontinue isolation. There is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination. If you were treated for COVID-19 with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO GET A COVID VACCINE? IS IT LIKE THE FLU SHOT AND I WILL NEED TO GET IT ANNUALLY?
So far, it appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 is relatively stable and does not mutate in ways that will make the vaccine ineffective.
Please visit https://www.faaccares.com/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/ for FAAC COVID-19 updates.