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The COVID Vaccination is Safe.

Vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Vaccination is safe.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine protects against the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also known as COVID-19).

Are there different types of COVID-19 vaccines?

Yes. Currently, 2 vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are also still under development.

How well does the vaccine work?

Based on clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccine is 94-95% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness in people who received 2 doses of the vaccine.

Who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States. You should receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you are age 16 years and older (Pfizer vaccine) or 18 years and older (Moderna vaccine).

It is also important for people who have an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 to get this vaccine. This includes people who:

  • Are Older adults
  • Have health problems such as heart, lung, kidney, liver problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or sickle cell disease
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Are overweight

How many doses do I need?

You need 2 doses that are 3 or 4 weeks apart. This depends on the type of vaccine that you receive. Your healthcare provider will let you know when you need your second dose. You need both doses to ensure that the vaccine is effective.

If I already had COVID-19 disease and recovered, do I still need the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You should be offered the vaccine regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until their illness has resolved and they have met criteria issued by the USVI Department of Health to discontinue isolation.

Are there side effects from the CoVID-19 Vaccine?

If you have a weakened immune system and develop a fever, please call your healthcare provider.

Side effects may occur from the COVID-19 vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away within a few days. Side effects may include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Swollen lymph nodes

It is important to stay at your vaccination provider’s office for 15 minutes after receiving your vaccine. Some people may have a rare, but serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. If this happens, you will receive medication to treat the symptoms.

It is rare to have a serious side effect after receiving vaccines. However, if you do experience a severe allergic reaction, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

How do I manage side effects?

  • To manage soreness and swelling, place a cool, wet cloth over the area you received your vaccine.
  • Medication is available to help with pain as well as fever. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are unsure what medication to take.

Who should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

You may not be able to receive the vaccine if you:

Have an allergy to any part of the vaccine
Had a severe or unusual side effect after this vaccine or any vaccine
Are under 16 years of age

If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose.

Check with your healthcare provider before you receive the vaccine. Always tell your vaccine provider if you have any allergies or if you had a side effect from vaccines in the past.

For a complete list of vaccine ingredients and other COVID-19 vaccination information, please visit www.cdc.gov, www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine.eua or www.cvdvaccine.com

References:

Alberta Health Services. 2020. COVID-19 vaccine information sheet [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/hp/cdc/if-hp-cdc-ipsm-covid-19-vaccine-information-sheet.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): COVID-19 vaccines and allergic reactions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Moderna.html

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2020. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions. https://www.fda.gov/emergencypreparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions