Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many myths and theories about the harmful effect of vaccines on humans. The distrust has caused immunization rates to fall, as parents fear their children might suffer from risks and side effects after vaccination.
From autism, unsafe toxins, microchip conspiracies to their political views, many anti-vaxxers have found countless reasons to convince other people to turn from vaccines. Living in a time when a pandemic is ravaging the world, this stand is highly dangerous and life-threatening.
Unlike COVID, our bodies have not evolved to fight the virus, leaving unvaccinated people more likely to be hospitalized or meet death. Of course, it doesn’t help that much of this fake news is spread quickly over the internet. To help you distinguish fact from fiction, we’ve listed down the things you have to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Approved Vaccine Brands Vary per Country
Different pharmaceutical brands have developed vaccines against COVID. While they will all be able to protect you, different manufacturers also mean that each of these vaccines varies in composition and the way they will trigger our bodies into producing antibodies.
However, not all vaccine brands will be available in every country. If you live in the US, you’ll only be able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. Alternatively, those in Australia will only be able to choose from either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine. Regardless of the brand, you should get yourself vaccinated.
You’ll Need Two Doses for Protection
Excluding Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, you’ll have to get two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected from COVID. If you’re wondering why this is because our body’s response to the first dose is weak. Thus, there is a need to reinforce our immune response by taking a second dose. Not only will you protect yourself, but you also keep the virus from spreading.
Depending on the vaccine, you will have to wait a few weeks before receiving the second dose. The quickest interval is three weeks, while the longest will take you up to 12 weeks. So it’s important to remember to take your second dose and ensure you get the same brand as the first.
The Vaccine Does Not Give You COVID-19
One of the biggest misconceptions about the vaccine is that it might give you COVID-19. Instead of giving you the disease, COVID vaccines include enough parts of a pathogen to stimulate a response, so when you come in contact with the virus, your body will have the antibodies to protect itself.
Some people may also confuse the side effects of the vaccine with the actual symptoms of COVID. Rest assured, this is just a normal reaction, and these effects will pass over time. The spread of this myth can be attributed to the lack of knowledge of how vaccines work. To help ease your mind, you may read more about vaccines from reputable sources like CDC or WHO.
It May Cause Mild Side Effects
As mentioned, you may experience mild side effects a few days after vaccination. Effects vary from person to person, but some of the most common effects include fatigue, arm pain, fever, headache, or soreness at the injection site. If you have any allergies and suffer severe reactions, immediately seek help from a doctor or call 911.
Despite that, some people can get vaccinated and not feel any of these. However, that does not mean that the vaccine did not take effect on their bodies—one does not have to experience side effects to be protected from the virus.
Follow Safety Guidelines Even After Vaccination
The vaccine does not mean that you will be entirely immune to the virus. Due to that, there is still a need for you to follow the safety protocols. Remember, being vaccinated can only minimize your risk of being seriously ill from the infection.
Though, once you’ve been fully vaccinated, you may resume doing your normal activities without wearing a mask unless mandated by federal, state, or local laws and work and business guidelines. You are allowed to go for a run, attend a worship service, visit a hair salon, or go to the gym.
Just keep in mind to be extra careful when you visit crowded or confined spaces as they are most likely to spread the virus faster. So, if you want to go to the gym, always wipe down communal items for safety, such as the powerlifting equipment and mats. As a precaution, wipe things too when shopping or dining outside.
Getting vaccinated protects you and the people around you. It reduces deaths and severe illness due to the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine, paired with your usage of masks, social distancing, and good hand hygiene, can help the world return to normal sooner. As such, when you get the chance, get yourself vaccinated.