After a very long and stressful pandemic year, Americans finally have access to COVID-19 vaccines proven to protect against coronavirus infection. It’s important to know who can get COVID-19 vaccines and how so that you can be sure to protect yourself and your loved ones from the threat of this virus.
What Are the COVID-19 Vaccines?
At this time, three vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. Each vaccine, proven to be safe and effective, will reduce your risk of severe illness.
Each vaccine works in its own way, but they all achieve the same result — the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that remember how to fight the COVID-19 virus in the future.
It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. This is why it’s so important to schedule your vaccination as soon as possible!
Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity.
Who Is Eligible for a Vaccine?
Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine varies slightly based on the brand. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was originally cleared for all people 16 years and older. In early May, the CDC also approved this vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15. It includes two shots given three weeks apart. You are officially fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot.
The Moderna vaccine, meanwhile, is safe for all people 18 years and older. It involves two shots given four weeks apart, with full vaccination confirmed two weeks after the second shot.
Johnson and Johnson is also available to all people over the age of 18, but it only requires one dose instead of two.
Where To Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
Though the vaccine was limited in supply in early 2021, companies like Pfizer and Moderna are now producing enough vaccines to meet demand across the United States. The website vaccines.gov provides information about vaccination sites closest to you. Urgent care centers, clinics, pharmacies, and even grocery stores all have stocks of vaccines to offer.
As of May 13, 2021, more than 339 million doses have been distributed through the U.S, and more than 266 million of those doses have been administered. To add yourself to that growing number, contact TLC Medical to book your vaccine appointment today.