Quick Question: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and does it work?

Yes! And Yes! The COVID-19 vaccines that are available have been shown to be safe and highly effective. But this doesn’t mean they don’t have side effects. Here are a few key things to know about COVID’19 vaccines.  

  • The vaccine is highly effective, around 95% after TWO doses, at preventing COVID-19 disease and almost completely eliminates severe disease. It could save your life.
  • Less is known about how much it prevents infection as all of the clinical trials were only looking at differences between people with symptomatic disease and not infection so it is important to continue to wear a mask and distance.
  • You must have both doses and wait at least two weeks after your second dose to have maximum protection. You can still get infected and ill in the early days after vaccination, especially after only one dose. First dose efficacy only around 50%. This means if you start to feel sick, you should get tested.
  • Expect side effects. They are more common with the COVID-19 vaccines than in other vaccines. However, these are time-limited and MUCH better than what you might get with COVID-19 disease. These side effects like arm soreness, fatigue, and more rarely fever and chills, demonstrate that your immune system is working. In fact, they are more common in younger people than older people. You might want to plan taking your doses, especially your second one, on a day before a light work or study day just in case.
  • While 95% effectiveness is far better than many of us thought it would be, that still means some few people could still get COVID-19 after being vaccinated. And with new variants being introduced the effectiveness might not be quite as high for those strains, but early evidence indicates they will still provide good protection. It is critical to continue practicing good prevention habits even if you have been vaccinated. 
  • Vaccines will help us return to normal but only after we achieve high coverage of vaccination. Get vaccinated when you are eligible.

We are still learning more about all the ways that these vaccines affect the immune system and our bodies. This is why it is important to stay up to date with the newest vaccine-related information! Side effects experienced during vaccine trials were similar to common side effects seen after receiving a flu shot, such as fever, fatigue and headaches. However, these side effects are minimal compared to the potential long term effects of being infected with the live virus.

Comments are closed.