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The Most Recent COVID-19 Vaccine Information

By Traci Watkins, MD,
ProMedica Physicians Family Medicine
Special to The Truth

This week marks one year since COVID-19 made its way to Ohio and changed our lives forever. We have learned so much, both in the medical community and in the general public, about how to protect ourselves from this rampant virus.

Traci Watkins, MD

For the past year, the best defense strategies we had were wearing a mask, keeping a six-foot distance from others, and practicing excellent hand hygiene. Now, we have three different vaccines that are being widely distributed to add to our defense strategies.

As of Thursday, March 11, 2021, 80,270 Lucas County residents had at least started the vaccination process. According to state and local officials, we can expect the supply to continue to increase.  Furthermore, President Biden recently stated that all American adults should be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by May. 

Currently, these are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Do I get to pick which COVID-19 vaccine I receive?

The short answer is that you should accept anyCOVID-19 vaccine available to you.

The three vaccines available are all 100 percent effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalizations, and death. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines, which give our cells instructions on how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine which generates a response in our cells to produce the same harmless protein.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots spaced three and four weeks apart, respectively. The Johnson & Johnson requires a single dose.

Regardless of which vaccine you receive, you can trust that they all work to teach our bodies to build antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are exposed in the future.

What are  potential side effects to the vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines can cause short-term reactions (such as headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at the injection site) in some people. This is the result of your body developing immunity.  When you receive the second dose of the vaccine, these reactions may be more pronounced, but are not considered abnormal. .

If you experience a reaction  after the first dose of the vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose, as directed, for the vaccine to be effective. This does not mean that the vaccine has given you COVID-19. Rather, this means that the vaccine is causing your body’s immune system to react and create antibodies to fight off the virus. This means the vaccine is doing its job.

Will I still need to wear a mask after I receive the vaccine?

Wearing a mask will still be required in public places, such as healthcare settings and grocery stores. Even after you receive your vaccine, others around you may not have received it. We know the vaccine helps protect  vaccinated peolpe against COVID-19. However, it may still  be possible for  vaccinated people to transmit the disease to others. Therefore, wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing proper hand hygiene protects those who have not been vaccinated, especiallythose who are at high risk for developing severe illness.

What are the new recommendations from the CDC regarding people who are fully vaccinated?

On Monday, March 8, the CDC  recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions when in public, visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. The CDC considers an individual to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, there are new guidelines for those who are considered  fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people may:

·         Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart;

·         Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease;

·         Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.


Where can I get a vaccine?

If you live in Lucas County, visit https://lucascountyhealth.com/coronavirusupdates/ and click on the “schedule appointment” box in the upper right-hand corner. If you need assistance scheduling an appointment online, please contact United Way 2-1-1 (dial 211 from any phone) or the Area Office on Aging at 419-382-0624.

Any Ohio resident can also use the state portal: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Where can I get more information?

·         https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

·         https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program

·         https://www.promedica.org/covid/vaccines



Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/18/21 09:40:09 -0400.

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