The COVID-19 vaccine is being delivered this week throughout Missouri and is expected to vaccinate 51,000 health care workers. Immunizations are already being given to some health care workers.
Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, says if you get vaccinated, you still need to take safety precautions. She advises the public to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and keep a safe distance from others.
“The verdict is still out on whether or not you can transmit the virus to someone else after you’ve had the vaccine,” she tells reporters. “I think we are going to have to continue to be careful for a while. I think it’s risky to think that when you get the shot in your arm, you’re done and everything instantly goes back to normal again. It doesn’t.”
Bailey says you should still get the vaccination if you have already had COVID-19.
“Very often, we will recommend that when people have had some type of infectious disease, if there’s a vaccination available for it, that they get the vaccination for it to prevent them from getting it again,” she says.
What happens if you just get one shot and not two? Bailey says getting only one dose of the two-dose vaccine is not enough. She says getting a booster shot improves your level of immunity.
“The immune system needs some time to work on this. It needs some time to accept what’s in the vaccine, to process it and to develop the immune response. And then if you get an immunization again, your immune response is just that much more robust and may last longer,” she says.
Bailey says only getting one of the shots leaves you partially protected from the virus. She says being partially protected will not get us to population immunity.
The vaccinations are supposed to be taken about three weeks apart.
Bailey says no live viruses are in the flu or COVID-19 vaccines. She says if you get the flu or COVID-19 right after getting the immunization, that means you were vaccinated too late and the virus was already in you.
Patsy Stinchfield, board president of the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, tells reporters a path out of the pandemic now has some light – thanks to the vaccine.
“And I would argue it is our most important tool right now, along with wearing a mask, washing our hands, and staying out of groups for a long time. We need to make sure that we don’t get ahead of ourselves with this vaccine. Our behaviors really are still going to be important,” she says.
Stinchfield says ensuring the safety of the vaccine has not been cut short.
“And so, it’s sort of like we’ve gone from the covered wagon to the jet,” she says. “And so when people get nervous about this has gone so fast, well we didn’t have to grow a virus in eggs. We didn’t have to encourage people to become part of the trials – people wanted to be part of these trials.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has released common questions that are answered by the latest CDC guidance issued.
• What do I do if I miss the second dose 21 days after the first dose?
o Patients who do not receive the second vaccination dose at 21 days should still receive that second dose as soon as possible thereafter.
• Can you receive the vaccine if you are pregnant?
o Yes, pregnant females are recommended for the vaccine depending on the individual’s risk of acquisition due to the level of community transmission, personal risk of contracting COVID-19 due to occupation or other activities, risks of COVID-19 to the mother and potential risks to the fetus, efficacy of the vaccine, known side effects of the vaccine and the lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy. Special counseling and a 15-minute observation period after vaccination, if chosen, is recommended.
• Should you have a pregnancy test or antibody test prior to receiving the vaccine?
o Routine testing for pregnancy or antibody tests is not recommended in relation to vaccine use.
• Can you get this vaccine if you are in quarantine due to an exposure with a positive COVID-19 case?
o You should delay your vaccination if you have had a known SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) exposure until your quarantine period has ended, unless residing in a congregate setting (health care/long-term care facility, correctional facility, homeless shelter, etc.).
• Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
o There is no information on co-administration of this COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine should be spaced at least 14 days from any other vaccine.
• Who is not recommended for the Pfizer vaccine?
o Those under age 16.
o An individual who has experienced a serious reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components. For information on vaccine components, refer to the manufacturers’ package insert.
Most reported side effects were mild and include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.
Missourians and providers are encouraged to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at www.MOStopsCovid.com
Copyright © 2020 · Missourinet