We are getting loads of questions about the new COVID-
19 Vaccine. The good news is that there is a vaccine. We have completed the requirements and registered with the CDC, New York State, and New York City. We don’t know when they will be distributing the vaccine to our office.
When will I get the COVID vaccine? The vaccine will be administered in Phases. Read more below:
Frontline healthcare workers in acute care settings like emergency personnel, and those working in intensive care units in the hospital.
High-risk residents and workers in long-term care facilities.
First responders like fire, police, and national guard.
Teachers, school staff, and childcare providers.
Public health workers.
Other essential frontline workers who regularly interact with the public like pharmacists, grocery store workers, and transit employees, as well as those who maintain critical infrastructure.
Individuals in the general population deemed high risk due to co-morbidities and serious health conditions.
Individuals over 65.
Individuals under 65 with co-morbidities and serious health conditions.
All other essential workers. (This definitely includes my patients’ caregivers, if they were not vaccinated during a previous Phase of the vaccine rollout.)
Healthy adults and children.
The exact timing of when enough vaccines will be available for each phase is currently unknown. Experts project that the vaccine will be widely available come springtime this year, in April or May. For at least the next several months, we will have to be patient and wait until our turn comes.
When I am able, should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes. The vaccine, like mask wearing and social distancing, is another tool to add to your toolbox of protections against this virus. The vaccine will protect you from serious illness should you get infected. By getting vaccinated you are also helping to protect your loved ones and the people around you.
Why do I need two COVID-19 vaccine shots?
The first shot helps your immune system recognize the virus. The second shot strengthens the immune response in your body. Both are needed for the best and longest lasting protection.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need the vaccine?
Yes. It is possible to catch this virus more than once. Recovering from the virus will give your body short-term antibody protection, but it is currently unknown how long that protection lasts.
Are there any side effects from the vaccine?
You may experience a sore arm, redness at the injection site, fever, headache, or body aches. These symptoms are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity in your body and they should go away within a few days.
After I have both doses of the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask and practice social distancing?
Yes. While experts continue to learn about the protection provided by the vaccine under real life conditions, it is very important that each person continues to take the risk of COVID-19 seriously. Continue to wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouth with a mask, and socially distance from others.