So You Got the COVID-19 Vaccine; Now What?

February 4, 2021

The purpose of the COVID-19 vaccination is to protect you from getting COVID-19. However, you may still experience side effects from the vaccine; this is completely normal and is a sign that your body is building protection against the virus. Common side effects include fever, chills, fatigue, and headaches. You may also experience some pain and swelling in your arm near the injection site. Although these side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, they should go away in a few days. If you're having pain or discomfort, contact your doctor regarding over the counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to reduce discomfort from your fever. 

Remember, it takes time for the body to build protection after any vaccination. According to experts from the CDC, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 95% effective; however, immunity doesn't happen right away. The COVID-19 vaccine requires two shots, and you are not fully protected until a week or two after the second shot, so vaccinated individuals should act as though they aren't fully immune. Until a majority of the American population has been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, it's important to continue to follow public health and social distancing guidelines from the CDC. Please continue to wear masks in public, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and wash your hands often. And remember - the last major side effect after receiving the vaccine is called HOPE!