Good News! We have a COVID-19 vaccine (shots) from Pfizer and Moderna.
How does these COVID-19 vaccines work?
You need to get two shots 3 to 4 weeks apart depending upon the vaccine.
- Pfizer vaccines are 3 weeks apart
- Moderna vaccines are 4 weeks apart
- If you cannot get a second vaccine at the time you are due for one, most healthcare experts believe it will still work up to even 6 weeks apart
- Both vaccines work by giving your body Virus-Fighting instructions. Your body learns how to recognize and fight the virus.
- The vaccine tells your body how to fight the coronavirus, without ever being infected.
- The science behind this has been in development now for decades.
Is the vaccine safe? Yes.
- The vaccine has gone through the clinical trial steps before being approved. A clinical trial is a way to test how well a new medicine or vaccine works on people.
- Over 460,000 people got the COVID-19 shots when it was being tested. They volunteered to be part of the clinical trial. They did this to make sure it was safe for you and your family.
- Doctors checked on them for many months after getting the vaccine. They wanted to find any bad reactions to the shots. Doctors are still following people who got vaccines in the trials – they will be followed up for 2 years.
- Pfizer and Moderna gave all of their clinical trial results to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many other scientists reviewed all of the trial information. The FDA approved it for Emergency Use once all questions about the vaccine testing had been answered. The FDA decided both vaccines are safe and prevent infection from COVID-19.
- More than 24 million people in the U.S. have now received one of these vaccines. Severe side effects have been few.
What will happen if I get the vaccine?
The vaccine will not give you COVID-19. This is why:
- The COVID-19 vaccine has no coronavirus in it.
- The vaccine gives your body instructions on how to fight the virus. This may cause you to:
- Get a fever
- Have redness or soreness where your shot was given
- Feel tired and have other common vaccine reactions.
If you do have a reaction, it should go away in 48 hours. Call your doctor:
- If the redness or soreness where you got your shot gets worse after 24 hours (1 day) or
- If your side effects do not seem to be going away after a couple days or are getting worse.
We do not know how long either vaccine protects you from getting COVID-19. At this time we believe you are protected at least 6 to 9 months.
The COVID-19 vaccines protect at least 90 out of every 100 people who get both shots of either vaccine.
Who should get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Most everyone should get the vaccine when you have the chance.
- For the Pfizer vaccine you must be at least 16 years of age
- For the Moderna vaccine you must be at least 18 years of age
Even if you had COVID-19 you should get the vaccine.
But you must wait at least 90 days of being without symptoms. Talk with your doctor first if:
- You have had allergic reactions to vaccines before, or
- You carry an Epi-pen for severe allergic reactions, or
- You have medical conditions and you are concerned
When can I get a vaccine?
The vaccines had to be given to people at highest risk first. These include:
- Health care workers
- People who live in assisted living or long-term care homes
- People who work in law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical technicians
- Anyone 65 years or older
The people next in line for vaccination are those who work in:
- Food and agriculture, such farmers and those who package food.
- Education and childcare
Where can I get the vaccine??
The County of Orange Health Care Agency opened two super clinics for COVID-19 vaccines – Disneyland and Soka University. Appointments for these clinics are filled through the Othena website or app.
- Ask someone for help if you do not have a computer or know how to register.
- Othena will email or text when an appointment is open for you.
- Three more of these large vaccine clinics will open in the next couple weeks.
CVS pharmacies will be getting a supply of vaccines beginning February 12, 2021.
- If you are eligible for a vaccine, sign up at www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine
Provider group offices may be getting a supply of vaccines too.
- Kaiser Permanente and Providence have already begun calling their eligible patients to come in for a vaccine.
- More provider offices are likely to follow. Your doctor will contact you when vaccines are available. Look for something in the mail or an email.
How much will it cost to get the vaccine?
- The COVID-19 vaccine will be given at no cost to everyone.
- The government paid for the vaccine.
- Some people may ask you to pay for the vaccine. This is a scam. They just want your money. Do NOT pay for a shot.