At Swope Health, our providers are talking with patients every day about the new COVID-19 vaccine. We’re hearing a lot of questions, and want to share our answers with you. Here’s the Top 10 list with answers from Dr. Jennifer Frost, Swope Health Chief Medical Officer.
Why should I get vaccinated?
Because the COVID-19 Vaccine helps protect you from getting COVID-19. The vaccine, along with the other preventions – wearing a mask, staying physically distant from others, and washing your hands frequently – are the best tools we have to protect against COVID-19 and end the pandemic.
Does it work?
The vaccines have remarkably high rates of effectiveness – actually higher than many flu vaccines. So, yes, it works to give you immunity to COVID-19. The two vaccines have been proven to be about 95 percent effective. And if you do get infected with COVID-19, your symptoms will likely be less severe if you have been vaccinated.
Will it make me sick?
You can’t “catch” COVID-19 from the vaccination. The vaccination doesn’t actually contain the virus. You may have mild symptoms after a vaccination, like soreness in your arm, aches or tiredness. These are signs that your body is building a response to fight the coronavirus – exactly what you want.
Is it safe?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines have been thoroughly evaluated, using the same procedure as every other vaccine that is available in the United States.
What about long-term side effects?
Each of the COVID-19 vaccines has been studied in more than 30,000 people. There is no evidence of any long-term side effects.
I have a condition (asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.). Should I get vaccinated?
Yes! People with chronic health conditions are at increased risk of severe illness with COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is with vaccination. The only people who should not get the vaccine are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to one of the components of the vaccine.
I already had COVID-19. Do I need to get vaccinated?
Yes. It is possible to be re-infected with COVID-19. The natural immunity you get after the illness may not be long lasting – it varies from person to person. The best way to protect yourself – and others around you – is to be vaccinated.
I’m pregnant or breast-feeding. Should I get vaccinated?
Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding receive vaccination to protect against COVID-19.
This is a new kind of vaccine. Why should we trust it?
It is true that this is a different kind of vaccine, one based on messenger RNA technology (mRNA). This technology has been studied for decades and has been proven safe.
What does the vaccine cost?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that vaccines purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. Vaccination providers are allowed to charge an administration fee, although Swope Health is not charging a fee at this time. Swope Health provides care regardless of ability to pay.
How can I get the vaccine?
Swope Health is offering the vaccine to current Swope Health patients by appointment only. If you are interested in receiving the vaccination, please let us know by registering at https://swopehealth.org/vaccine-interest/
(If you need help, call the helpline at 816-321-3398.)
Swope Health will contact you to schedule an appointment when vaccine is available. Scheduling is based on state guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
We are also planning community vaccination events later in the spring – please check back with us here frequently.
If you have other questions, please talk with your provider.
Learn more from the CDC