Are you confused about the COVID-19 vaccination? There are so many questions: Where to go? Which one should I get? How will it affect me? It can be confusing and if you are asking these questions, the answers may vary depending on who you talk to or what you’ve heard on the evening news. Look no further, the Black Women’s Health Imperative is here to break it down and tell you what you need to know about the COVID- 19 vaccine to protect you and your family.
What vaccines are available to me? How do I choose the best option?
Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccinations available, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer must be administered in two doses: Moderna will be administered 28 days from the first dose, Pfizer will be 21 days, and Johnson and Johnson is a one dose. The efficacy of these vaccinations varies: Pfizer is listed at 95%, while Moderna is at 94.1% with Johnson and Johnson listed at a 66.3% rate. Most vaccine sites will not allow you to choose your vaccine. We recommend that you ask which will be administered to you at the time of making your appointment. For more details about each vaccine, visit this website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html
Are the COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone now?
In most states, the vaccines are now available to anyone 16 or older. Visit this CDC website to learn more and get the most recent information. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/How-Do-I-Get-a-COVID-19-Vaccine.html
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for my children?
Children under the age of 16 have not been approved to receive any of the vaccines at this time. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently approved for persons 16 and older.
Where can I get a vaccination? Do I have to drive out of my local area to get the vaccination?
At the early phase of vaccinations, many were driving to other cities and even states to get the vaccination due to limited supply. That is not the case anymore. While there are areas that may be slower to get appointments, a recent report has stated that there will be enough vaccinations cover most Americans. To find a local vaccination clinic, contact your local health department or visit the resources listed below for the nearest location:
Checkout this resource to learn about what to expect when getting the vaccine. It includes information about how to prepare for your appointment, what to expect during your appointment, and what to expect after getting the vaccine, including information about common side effects.
Do I still have to wear a mask and practice safety precautions after I have been fully vaccinated?
Yes, you do. Remember: You are NOT fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine OR 2 weeks after your one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. While the risk is low, you can still contract COVID-19 and possibly pass it on to others. Stay safe, the pandemic isn’t over, but we’re making progress.
What can or can’t I do after being vaccinated? Can I travel?
Just because you are fully vaccinated, doesn’t mean that you no longer need to be safe. Once you have met the criteria of being fully vaccinated, there are some “do’s and don’ts” that you need to follow to protect yourself and others.
Check out cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html for some simple guidelines including travel do’s and don’ts.
Continue to follow Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI.org) for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and more of the health issues that matter to Black women and their families.