42 THE QUEENS COURIER • WELLNESS • SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Answers to six common questions
about the COVID-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccines are authorized by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
for widespread use for those who are eligible.
But while vaccines are now more accessible,
vaccination rates are slowing across
Th ose still uncertain about whether the
COVID-19 vaccine is right for them can
look to trusted health experts within their
communities like pharmacists to address
key questions or concerns about getting the
vaccine, the vaccination process, and common
or expected side eff ects. Dr. Kevin Ban,
Walgreens chief medical offi cer, addresses six
common questions about getting the vaccine.
What are the benefi ts of
getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine has many
benefi ts, including reducing the chances
of severe illness if you do get sick with
COVID-19 and allowing you to get back
to pre-pandemic activities, like gathering
indoors without a mask. Additionally, getting
the vaccine can help prevent you from
getting and spreading the virus that causes
COVID-19 to those around you.
COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening
complications that may lead to hospitalization,
intensive care or even death.
Th ere is no way to know how contracting
COVID-19 might aff ect you, or anyone
else, so it’s important to get the vaccine
to protect yourself and those around you.
With COVID-19 vaccine rollout, infections
have declined signifi cantly, according to the
CDC, but more people need to get vaccinated
to continue to reduce community spread
and protect from variants that have proven
to be more transmissible. Th e benefi ts of the
vaccine outweigh the risks associated with
getting COVID-19, Ban said.
COVID-19 vaccines were
developed quickly, how
do I know they’re safe?
Vaccines were evaluated in clinical trials
with tens of thousands of participants,
meeting the FDA’s rigorous scientifi c standards
for safety, effi cacy and manufacturing
quality needed to support emergency use
In addition, the safe and speedy roll-out
of the COVID-19 vaccines is backed up by
decades of research from a variety of prestigious
medical and research institutions on
this type of vaccine. Millions of people in
the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines
and these vaccines have undergone the most
intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history,
the CDC said. Experts are regularly reviewing
and monitoring adverse events to assess
whether there is a true safety concern.
Vaccines have played a vital role in protecting
the health and safety of communities
Are there any long-term side
eff ects caused by the vaccine?
Some people will experience no side
eff ects at all, while others may experience
common short-term symptoms, like pain at
the injection site or tiredness. Th ese are normal
signs that your body is building protection
against COVID-19 and should go away
in just a few days. Talk to your doctor or
pharmacist about taking over-the-counter
medicine like ibuprofen to relieve any arm
soreness or aches you may feel aft er getting
Serious side eff ects are extremely rare following
any vaccination, including COVID-
19 vaccination. Th e FDA required each of
the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be
studied for at least two months aft er the
fi nal dose even though anticipated eff ects
occurred weeks before that. Hundreds of
millions of people have received COVID-
19 vaccines, and no long-term side eff ects
have been detected, according to the CDC.
Pharmacists are trained to respond and
manage any instances of allergic reactions
in the rare case they occur, as well as report
to the CDC.
Do I really need more than
one dose of the Pfi zer or
Moderna COVID-19 vaccines?
If you receive a Pfi zer or Moderna vaccine,
it’s vital that you receive both doses to
get the maximum protection they provide,
Ban said. Although the fi rst dose provides
some level of protection, the exact length
of time you are protected is unknown.
Getting the second dose sends a powerful
response to your immune system to boost
your antibodies, making them more eff ective
If you’ve waited longer than the recommended
time between doses, it’s better to
get the second dose late than not at all. Get
the second shot as soon as possible if you
missed the recommended window.
If I’m young and healthy,
why do I need a vaccine?
Although COVID-19 symptoms can
vary from person to person, people can
get very sick and have complications, longlasting
symptoms or die from contracting
the virus. COVID-19 can also be transmitted
to others if you’re infected, even
if you don’t have any symptoms. Further,
the Delta variant, deemed by the CDC a
“variant of concern” for being more transmissible,
continues to spread, accounting
for more than 10% of COVID-19 cases in
Until more people are vaccinated against
COVID-19, the virus will continue to
mutate. Th e vaccine is meant to protect
not only you, but also those around you,
like family members and friends who may
have weakened immune systems.
Where do I go to get a vaccine?
You can conveniently and safely get the
COVID-19 vaccine at numerous locations
including your primary care provider, off -
site vaccination clinics or at your local
pharmacy. Not only do they have pharmacists
to help answer any questions you may
have, but they are now off ering same day
and walk-in appointments.
— Courtesy of BPT