Currently anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. I have received numerous questions about whether or not I recommend the vaccine.
I do recommend getting the vaccine. The vaccines are safe. The side effects are minimal. Most people experience side effects comparable to any other vaccine, sore arm and mild achiness. There are reports of fatigue and feeling ill after the second vaccine, but the majority of people tolerate it very well. Any other scheduled vaccine should be 2 weeks apart. We will gladly accommodate that requirement.
If you have a reaction, you should stay home for 48 hours, but you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 per protocol if you have fever, chills, fatigue, muscle/joint pains or headache.
COVID-19 protocol still requires testing for symptoms that are unlikely to be caused by the vaccine such as runny nose, congestion, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or loss of sense of smell or taste.
Studies have shown that the vaccines are safe for nursing mothers and pregnant women. Transmission of antibodies to babies via the placenta and breastmilk have been demonstrated.
Which vaccine is best? The one you can get. They are all approved by the FDA and are effective. The most important fact is that they prevent hospitalization and serious infection. There is still a possibility that you could contract COVID-19 infection but it would be a much milder illness – similar to a bad cold.
Some of the unknowns are whether or not a vaccinated person could be a carrier without knowing it. Studies suggest this is not the case. However, it is still crucial to continue to wear masks and follow recommended guidelines for social distancing.
The vaccines are recorded in the NY State Immunization Registry, you do not need to call the office with that information.