What You Need to Know About Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, but we now have safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination options. Vaccines are a strong tool in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

You should plan on getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as you’re eligible. People 16 and older are eligible in New York this spring. 

At MS Family Medicine Health Care P.C., Dr. Michele Reed and our team offer comprehensive health care services, including concierge COVID-19 testing and vaccines, in Garden City, Long Island, and Rosedale, Queens.

COVID-19 symptoms and testing

COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever of 101º F, a dry cough, loss of senses of smell or taste, a sore throat, fatigue, muscle pain, and headache.

If you think you might have COVID-19, get tested and self-isolate until you know you’re not infectious. Get a test as soon as symptoms appear or if you’ve had close contact with someone who tests positives.

In order to stay safe and healthy, keep practicing behaviors that limit the transmission of COVID-19, like staying in outdoor or well-ventilated spaces, avoiding crowds and large gatherings, and wearing a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose.

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19

With several COVID-19 vaccines now authorized by the FDA, it’s increasingly possible to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Studies show that all of the COVID-19 vaccine options are safe and effective.

Vaccines like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine require a series of two shots to give you full immunity, while other options like Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine only require a single shot. We help you understand more about the specific vaccine you receive and how long it will take you to reach full immunity.

Once you’ve been fully vaccinated, CDC guidelines indicate that you can loosen some safety precautions. For example, people who receive the full sequence of vaccination shots and developed immunity can meet with other fully vaccinated people without masks indoors. You must still continue to observe other practices like distancing and wearing masks in public.

What to expect from vaccination

Most people won’t need to change any current medication regimens in order to be vaccinated. CDC guidelines recommend against taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain relief medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen before your shot, as these medications could impact the effectiveness of your vaccine.

After your vaccination, we monitor you on-site for at least 15 minutes, making sure you don’t experience an allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations are extremely rare. We also provide you with a card documenting the type and date of your COVID-19 vaccination that you should keep.

Some patients experience side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination. These include mild fevers, body aches, and fatigue. You might not experience side effects for a few hours after your shot. 

For helpful advice on preparing for side effects, consult with the experts at MS Family Medicine. We can answer any questions you have about vaccine safety and side effects.

Schedule your COVID-19 vaccine

We’re still learning more about how vaccination can help stop the COVID-19 pandemic, but the evidence is clear that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, including severe cases that lead to death.

To find out more about getting your COVID-19 vaccine, get in touch with our family medicine providers. Call or use the online tool to book your vaccination today.

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