Know The Facts

COVID-19 Vaccines & Prevention

Allergy & Asthma Network’s Not One More Life Trusted Messengers project aims to empower with practical information and guidance so you can take charge of your health. It’s important to know the long-term effects of COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. Many pharmaceutical companies are developing COVID-19 vaccines quickly because of the seriousness of the pandemic. That does not mean the companies did not follow high standards for safety and testing. In fact, the companies that made the vaccines found no serious safety concerns in the trials. Once vaccines are approved, the FDA, CDC and other government health agencies continue to monitor vaccines for safety and how well they are working.

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Are there side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines?

People who have gotten vaccines said their arm was sore (where the shot was given) and they had mild symptoms (headache, chills, tiredness, muscle pain or fever) lasting for a day or two. Vaccine experts say that’s a sign the vaccine is working, causing the immune system to protect you.

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What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • It will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
  • It may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • It could help protect people around you, especially those with a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
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How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

The vaccines help your body develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness. Most vaccines that will be available will require you to get a series of two shots: the 1st shot starts building protection and the 2nd shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.

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When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available?

There will be a limited supply of vaccines in the first few months of 2021, certain groups will get access first:

  • Healthcare workers and first responders
  • People who live in nursing homes
  • Essential service workers
  • Adults with high-risk medical conditions
  • People 65 and older

If you do not fit in one of these groups, you will likely have access to a vaccine in the second half of 2021.

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Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Each state has a plan to distribute the vaccines and will soon share details about where you can get a vaccine in your community. The vaccine will be available anywhere you normally get a flu shot, such as at:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics and doctors’ offices
  • Pharmacies
  • Some grocery-store chains

For more information about your state’s plan, see Every state has its own COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Find the one for yours here.

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Will the COVID-19 vaccine be free?

Yes, for most people the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost. Your healthcare provider may charge a fee to give you the shot. Your health insurance will be able to tell you what costs you may have to pay. If you do not have health insurance, ask the healthcare provider that will be giving you the vaccine about costs.

If I’ve already had COVID-19, will I have symptoms that last a long time?

While most people who get COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some people can have symptoms that last for weeks or even months.

Common long-term symptoms

  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • – If you think you are having a heart attack call 911

Other long-term symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever that comes and goes
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart.

Rare long-term symptoms

  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Kidney problems
  • Skin rash
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in smell and taste
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety or changes in mood

If I’ve already had COVID-19, can I get it again?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people have reported having COVID-19 more than once, but it’s rare.

Contact your doctor

If you have any rare symptoms or if you have questions about whether your symptoms are related to COVID-19, contact your doctor.

How do I avoid getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 can be passed from person to person, even by people who do not have symptoms. To limit your chance of catching COVID-19, remember the 3 Ws. You should continue to practice the 3Ws, even after you get a vaccine, until your doctor says it is safe to stop.

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your hands frequently

Use soap and warm water for 20 seconds

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your distance

Keep 6 feet apart & avoid large crowds

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a mask over nose & mouth

Prevent spread of COVID-19 & protect others