We made it! 2020 is over and 2021 is finally upon us. Something we all have in common is the desire for a world free of COVID-19, and with the development of the COVID-19 vaccine we are now one step closer to that goal. While this is an exciting time, we understand it can also be confusing and scary to navigate this new system – we are here to break it down for you.
What is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The current available vaccines through Pfizer-BioTech and Moderna are Messenger RNA vaccines (mRNA for short). These vaccines teach our bodies how to make a protein, similar to the one seen on the Novel Coronavirus, to trigger an immune response in our bodies. This response will help to protect us from getting infected should we contract the actual virus. Unlike most vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine does NOT contain a live virus. They do not affect our DNA or have lasting effects. While these vaccines are new to us, they have been studied for decades so take comfort in knowing they are well-known to the medical field.
The vaccines are given in the upper arm in a two-step process. The first shot starts the process of building protection. A few weeks later a second shot is given which gives you the most protection the vaccine has to offer.
COVID-19 Vaccination Side Effects
The most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are pain and swelling of the injection site. Some may also develop a fever, chills, headache and general fatigue. Fortunately, these symptoms don’t last long and can be treated with over-the-counter medicine. It’s recommended that you register with V-safe after your vaccination. V-safe is a free, smartphone-based tool used to check in on your symptoms post-vaccination to gather further data and also reminds you about receiving your second dose.
Vaccine Availability and Eligibility
While the distribution of vaccines is up to your local health department, the CDC recommends giving the COVID-19 vaccine in phases. In December, the CDC announced the first group to receive initial supplies of the vaccine would be healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents. The next group in line was frontline workers and people aged 75-years and older followed by people aged 65-74 years, 16-64 years with underlying conditions and other essential workers. As supply and availability increases the CDC will continue to issue recommendations for vaccination.
Will it Cost me to Get Vaccinated?
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, vaccines are currently covered by U.S. taxpayer dollars and will be available to people at no cost. However, while there is no cost for the actual vaccine, providers may charge an administration fee for giving the shot.
I’m Ready - Where Can I Get a COVID-19 Vaccination?
To find out how and where you can get vaccinated, go to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine homepage here and scroll down to “WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW.” In this section you can select your state from a dropdown menu to determine where and how your local vaccines are being distributed.
We understand that choosing to get vaccinated is a highly personal decision. Read up and stay informed in order to make the best decision for you and your family. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and it’s rollout, visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Inside Rx is happy to provide information on COVID-19 as well as helping you save on prescription medications. Stay well!