Deacon Curlee Eppperson
INTERACTIVE SUNDAY SCHOOL
9 am Sunday Mornings
6:15 pm Tuesdays (Zoom)
Church Council/BOT meeting Thursday October 21,
Pilgrim Community Center
Covid Vaccine Facts
WHAT IS A VACCINE?
According to the CDC, a vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies and cellular immunity to combat that specific disease as if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to a disease without having to get the disease first. This is why vaccines are necessary — they prevent disease by letting you develop immunity in a safe and controlled way.
CAN A COVID-19 VACCINE MAKE ME SICK WITH COVID-19?
No. According to the CDC, none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are mRNA vaccines. Neither of the vaccines are live or weakened versions of the virus. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
WILL A COVID-19 VACCINATION PROTECT ME FROM GETTING SICK WITH COVID-19?
Yes. According to the CDC, current data indicates the current COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No. According to the CDC, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. That immune response and making antibodies is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
AFTER GETTING A COVID-19 VACCINE, WILL I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 ON A VIRAL TEST?
No. According to the CDC, neither the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccines can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THE VACCINE TO BEGIN PROTECTING ME?
It normally takes about two to three weeks for cellular immunity to develop and several weeks for a full antibody response.
SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE IF I AM IMMUNOCOMPROMISED?
If you are immunocompromised or have other health conditions, please discuss whether you should receive the vaccination with your personal physician.
HOW MANY DOSES OF A COVID-19 VACCINE WILL I NEED?
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require two doses. An initial vaccination and then a second dose either three or four weeks later. The Pfizer vaccine requires a booster 21 days later and the Moderna vaccine requires a second dose 28 days later. The different vaccine products are not interchangeable. The second dose must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose. The first dose gives some immunity after two to three weeks and the second dose increases the duration of that immunity. Both doses are important to ensure full protection.
WHAT IF I MISS MY SECOND DOSE OF THE VACCINE?
These two COVID-19 vaccines only achieve 95% effectiveness if you receive the second dose.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE?
Pfizer has said that some Phase III clinical trial participants experienced mild-to-moderate side effects with its investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate. One may anticipate the vaccine may cause mild flu-like side effects — including sore arms, muscle aches, and fever.
WHAT IF I AM CONCERNED ABOUT COVID-19 SIDE EFFECTS?
Please seek medical attention immediately by calling your doctor’s office or setting up a virtual visit if you experience side effects. The CDC has also set up a website to check on recipients. Once enrolled after your immunization, you receive a daily check-in text to report any symptoms.
IF I HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AFTER MY TWO DOSES OF THE VACCINE, SHOULD I GET TESTED FOR COVID-19?
If you begin to feel ill you should schedule a visit with your physician and get tested if your physician recommends it. Scientists are hopeful that the vaccine will keep us from contracting COVID-19, however, it is not 100% effective, and we should expect some people who’ve received it to get sick. Remember, most people who get COVID-19 after the vaccine were exposed prior to receiving the vaccine.
IF I HAVE HAD COVID-19 SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE?
Yes. While individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 do produce antibodies, the antibody levels and how long they last are not known. In addition, while natural infection does induce immunity, it induces less of an antibody response than the vaccine. The antibody response to the vaccine is dramatically higher than it is to natural infection. Re-infection among people who have already been infected with COVID-19 has been reported, so the vaccine should provide additional protection against re-infection.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. According to the CDC, people who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on current information, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward. The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now and will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS I’LL STILL CATCH COVID-19?
According to the CDC, we won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about. The CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
IF I HAVE ALREADY HAD COVID-19 AND RECOVERED, DO I STILL NEED TO GET VACCINATED WITH A COVID-19 VACCINE?
Yes. According to the CDC, due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, a vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
We won’t know how long immunity produced by a vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Information provided by Deacon Karen Reed