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Make a Plan to Get Vaccinated: Part Two

This second article in our series on vaccinations is entitled Apply the Facts. (Here’s a link to the previous article, Learn the Facts, if you missed it or want to review.) Feel free to forward, repost and share these stories so that we get accurate, scientific information into the hands of our neighbors, rather than the misinformation that is so rampant.

As with the first article, the following content relates to both the Pfizer as well as the Moderna vaccine.

Q.  Which vaccine should I get?
A.   The pharmaceutical industry and the government are still working out the kinks in the vaccine supply chain, which means consumer choice is very limited. Since both vaccines have been FDA-approved and both use the same basic methodology, it doesn’t really matter which one you get. Your best bet is to get the one that is available the soonest, rather than waiting for one or the other.

Q.  Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or planning to be?  
A.   The CDC has recommended that pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant may be offered the vaccine, if they are in one of the vaccine priority groups and in consultation with their health care provider.

Q.  Should I get the vaccine if I have a history of allergic response to other vaccinations?
A.  If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated. Remember that common side effects (redness/swelling, low-grade fever, aches) are not the same as an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.

Q.  Should I get vaccinated if I have allergies?
A.   The CDC recommends that people with a history of allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies—get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.

Q.  Should I get the vaccine if I have other medical conditions?
A.   Contact your doctor to discuss your particular health situation. Remember that people who are immunocompromised in some way are the most vulnerable to COVID, which is why they have been prioritized in the vaccine distribution plan. The health concerns that you have might make it even more important for you to receive the vaccine as soon as possible.

Q.  If I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?
A.   Yes. There are several reasons for this. First, and most important, you could become re-infected, especially if your initial infection was mild and your body did not produce sufficient antibodies. Second, we do not know how long the natural antibodies you might have produced will last. You do not want to run the risk of coming down with COVID again, especially a more serious case of it.

Q.  If I have COVID now, should I get the vaccine?
A.   No, you should wait until you are fully recovered before receiving the vaccine. Typically, you should wait 10-15 days after symptom onset or diagnosis to ensure you are no longer carrying the active virus. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Q. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as another vaccine?
A. CDC recommends to wait at least 14 days before getting any other vaccine, including a flu or shingles vaccine, if you get your COVID-19 vaccine first. And if you get another vaccine first, wait at least 14 days before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

If a COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently given within 14 days of another vaccine, you do not need to restart the COVID-19 vaccine series; you should still complete the series on schedule.

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