We have had a lot of questions about COVID vaccines, so we will try to address those questions here for everyone.
*Will Center Drug be giving the COVID vaccine?
Yes, we will be able to vaccinate you at Center Drug; however, we will probably not receive any vaccine until phase 2 vaccinations start –which is the general public (unless something changes in the distribution system between now and then). We will announce on our website, in-store and via social media when we have the vaccine available and when we will be making appointments.
*Is the vaccine safe?
Yes, the vaccine is safe. The reason it was able to be brought into emergency use so quickly is because it uses technology that has been being studied for over a decade. It uses mRNA technology. Vaccines that use mRNA do not contain live virus, and do not carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person. The mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell and does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA. Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States. These vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Thousands of patients participated in the trials to see how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions. Emergency authorization is only given to vaccines when the expected benefits outweigh any potential risks. The FDA and CDC continue to monitor safety and any side effects that people experience to make sure that even rare side effects are identified.
*There are two vaccines out there right now. One from Pfizer, and one from Moderna. Does it matter which one I get?
No, which ever vaccine you are offered, you should choose to get it. Both vaccines require 2 shots, and yes, you need to get both shots. The 1st shot primes your immune system helping it to recognize the virus and starts building protection for you. The 2nd shot strengthens your immune response. To get the most protection that the vaccine can offer, you need to get both shots. Even if you have unpleasant side effects from the 1st shot, it is important that you make sure you get the 2nd shot. You should make sure your 2nd shot is from the same manufacturer that your 1st shot was from.
*Will I get COVID from the vaccine?
No, you cannot get COVID from this vaccine. However, you may experience some side effects from the vaccine like you would with the flu vaccine. You may experience a sore arm, redness or warmth around the area of the injection, a fever, muscle aches, a headache, and fatigue. These symptoms usually will disappear in 3 to 5 days.
You may not see any of these side effects with the first shot, but after you get the 2nd shot you will be more likely to see these side effects. These side effects appear because your immune system is doing what it is supposed to do, and it shows you that your body is working to build up immunity to the COVID disease.
*I have already had COVID-19, should I still get a vaccination when it comes out?
Yes, you should still get the vaccine because we do not know how long your immunity will last from the infection that you had. At this point, we don’t know how long your immunity will last from the vaccine either—time and continued studies will determine that, so it may not be as urgent that you get the vaccine, but you should still be vaccinated.
*Natural immunity vs. vaccination?
Both the COVID-19 disease and the vaccine are new, but we do know that receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is the safer choice than waiting to get the disease to provide immunity. We do know that COVID has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you do get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may also get very sick, or could die from it. You will not get COVID from the vaccine, and from what we have seen so far in the trials, there are very few side effects from getting the vaccine.
Center Drug strongly recommends that everyone get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is widely available. We will let you know by means of our website, in-store signage, and social media when we have the vaccine, and when you can make an appointment to get your shot!