The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed life as we know it. Not only that, but it has thus far killed one in 500 Americans according to official figures. That is only one of many grim statistics.
But luckily for us all, there are the COVID-19 vaccines to protect us from serious illness and death. And while you may not relish the process of actually getting vaccinated with one of the three vaccines, you also cannot deny their efficacy.
Whether you embrace the COVID-19 vaccines or not, knowing more about them can be crucial. So here, we’ll share the key things to know about COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccines Do Not Prevent Transmission
It would be wonderful if getting a vaccine prevented you from catching a disease. But unfortunately, that is not how vaccines work or what they’re meant for.
The only way to ensure you do not get COVID-19 is to wear a mask in public and to avoid close contact with people from other households.
Other common-sense advice, such as washing your hands thoroughly and regularly and avoiding crowded spaces, is also advisable.
If you’re fully vaccinated but decide to go out and live your life without a mask and without following social distancing practices, you may still contract the coronavirus.
And, your chances of doing so increase when it comes to the more contagious variants, such as with Delta.
What a COVID-19 vaccine does do is reduce your risks of getting seriously ill from the disease, lowering your chances of having to be hospitalized. It also severely lowers your risk of dying from the disease.
You Can Easily Find a COVID-19 Vaccine Site Near You
If you’re ready to get your COVID-19 vaccine, you may need a resource to tell you how to do so.
We have you covered there! Simply go to vaccines.gov, enter your zip code, and you will find all the sites offering the vaccines near you.
You can adjust the filter to account for distance, the type of vaccine (as in Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson), and if the location takes walk-ins.
Only the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine is Approved for Those Under 18
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for children from the age of 12 and up.
Both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna vaccines are approved for adults 18 and up.
These are facts likely to change as more data is processed, however. If you have children and want them to have the vaccines, keep an eye out for updates on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) issues.
Consider Your Lifestyle Choices Leading Up to Your Vaccine
A lot of people like to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Many do so with a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a marijuana cigarette.
And, understandably, people who enjoy these types of substances may wonder if they will interfere with the COVID-19 vaccines.
Well, that all depends, according to medical experts.
Alcohol and COVID-19 Vaccines
For instance, heavy alcohol drinkers, such as those who drink daily, should try to limit their alcohol intake for the two weeks following their inoculation(s). This is because alcohol suppresses the immune system.
And with any type of vaccine, you want your immune system to have a robust response; all the better to protect you down the road should you contract COVID-19!
Cannabis and COVID-19 Vaccines
With marijuana, it’s a bit of a different story. Many doctors do not advise regular cannabis users from avoiding getting vaccines. Cannabis does not seem to play a role in immune system response.
You can learn more about this topic here.
The COVID-19 Vaccines are Considered Safe for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women have two lives to guard at all times — their own and that of their unborn child.
So it’s understandable that someone who is pregnant may feel wary about getting the vaccine and how it may affect the fetus.
Luckily, though, the CDC says none of the COVID-19 vaccines harm pregnant women and their unborn children. All three COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant and lactating women, as well as women hoping to soon be pregnant.
In fact, as Johns Hopkins Medicine points out, it’s more of a risk for women in these categories to go unvaccinated. Because they are in a high-risk group, contracting COVID-19 can potentially be extremely dangerous to both the mother and the unborn child.
We hope these essential things to know about COVID-19 vaccines are helpful to you and your family. When in doubt, always rely on information provided by medical agencies like the CDC.
They have a lot more education and research on the subject of COVID-19 and its vaccines. Even more so than a Facebook friend, that we can assure you!
Our team does not have the qualifications to properly vet the accuracy of information on this new and ever-developing topic, so it’s best to get your information directly from official health organizations. That said, not all our team members believe the official data or science regarding COVID-19 and many of us have more questions than answers. At the end of the day, please do your own research and come to your own conclusions.