What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus that spreads from person to person. This can happen when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, or speaks and their germs get in the air. These germs can make people very sick. This is why it is important that you wear a mask and keep your distance from others. Social distancing can be harder for some people with disabilities, especially people who live in facilities or rely on others for their care. Making sure to wash your hands regularly and to not share items with anyone who is sick can also help keep you healthy.
What is the COVID-19 vaccine, and how does it work?
The COVID-19 vaccine is a medicine that helps your body fight off these germs and stop them from getting you sick. To get this medicine, you will be given either one or two shots in your arm. After the first shot, you will be handed a vaccination card or printout during your visit that will tell you when to return for the second vaccine shot if needed. This will usually be around 21 or 28 days later. Depending on which vaccine you receive, you will either need one or two shots. A complete dose of the vaccine is necessary for the medicine to work.
However, if you had a severe allergic reaction after getting your first shot, you should talk to your doctor about whether to get the second shot.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Before you decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be given information about the medicine and its safety. Scientists from around the world have found the vaccine to be safe and effective. You may feel tired or have soreness in your arm, a mild fever, or body aches after the shot. This is normal and expected.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine or to other types of vaccines in the past, you should speak to your doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine to make sure it is safe for you.
How many different kinds of the COVID-19 vaccine are there?
There are three brands of the vaccine that have been approved in the United States. Their names are Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. There is not much of a difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – these both require two shots. No matter which of these you receive for your first shot, your second vaccine shot must be the same brand as your first vaccine shot. For example, if your first shot was the Moderna vaccine, then you will be given the Moderna vaccine for your second shot. If your first shot was the Pfizer vaccine, then your second shot must be the Pfizer vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot.
How much does it cost to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccine should be offered to you for free or at low-cost.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Where you get the vaccine will depend on where you work or live. This can be at your local hospital, CVS or Walgreens, or local health department:
• If you are an essential healthcare worker, the vaccine will be provided by your local hospital and health system.
• If you live or work at a long-term care facility or nursing home, the vaccine will be provided by a local CVS or Walgreens.
• If you live or work at another type of congregate care setting, if you're an EMS first responder, or you're staff member of a long-term care facility not already included, then the vaccine will be provided by your local health departments.
Should I wear a mask and social distance even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
There is still a lot that we do not know about COVID-19 and the vaccines. To best protect you and others from getting or spreading the virus, public health officials say you should keep wearing a mask and stay 6 feet away from others, even after you are vaccinated. It may be hard for you to keep away from others if you live in a facility or rely on others for your care. Please remember to always wash your hands well and avoid sharing food, clothing, or other items with anyone who is sick.
Will Ohio require me to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, the state will not make you to get the vaccine.
Do I still need to get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19 and am feeling better?
The Ohio Department of Health suggests that people who have already had the virus and recovered may still benefit from receiving the vaccine.
Can I get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine is the medicine that protects you from virus. It does not give you the virus.
Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
You must be at least 12 years old to receive the Pfizer vaccine and at least 18 years old to receive the Moderna vaccine. Scientists are still studying the vaccine for children. It is not yet known if or when children will be receiving the vaccine. Please stay tuned for more information on this as it becomes available.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Updated Feb. 8, 2021
For additional information, visit cdc.gov/covid19
Source: Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
Updated Feb. 12, 2021
For additional information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.