Why You Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

I’ve been vaccinated – when can I get a booster shot?

The FDA recently modified the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow for the administration of the third dose of an mRNA (Moderna and Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine for moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals. According to the CDC, the recommendation for a booster shot includes those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection

  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If you think you could qualify to get a third booster shot, contact your primary care provider. If you do not currently have a primary care provider or have additional questions, please click the link below to contact our free Ask-a-Nurse hotline.

Ask-A-Nurse   231-935-0951

What is COVID-19 herd immunity?

Herd immunity (or community immunity) is accomplished when enough people in a region or population become immune to COVID-19 either from infection and recovery or through vaccination. Once herd immunity is achieved, community spread drops significantly and the virus naturally dies out. Learn more about herd immunity.


What are personal protective antibodies?

Personal protective antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight viral infections like COVID-19. Antibodies can take days or weeks to develop in the body following exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. Vaccines are a much safer and more controlled way to develop personal protective antibodies.


Will a vaccine prevent me from getting sick with COVID-19?

COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without having to experience sickness. 

It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection

While rare, it is possible for fully vaccinated people to still get infected. These cases are called vaccine breakthrough infections. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick and experiencing severe symptoms.

 

I have a history of allergic reactions. Can I still receive the vaccine?

Yes. Contact your family doctor if you have had any severe reactions to medicines or vaccines in the past.

According to the CDC, anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are rare.

Anaphylaxis typically develops within the first 15 minutes and among individuals with a history of anaphylaxis. These individuals are routinely asked to wait 30 minutes after vaccination for monitoring. Should this occur, anaphylaxis is highly treatable. Vaccine administration sites are prepared with epinephrine and other safety measures and protocols to respond appropriately.


I’m immunocompromised or have comorbidities. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The risks associated with contracting COVID-19 may be more severe for people who are immunocompromised. Therefore, individuals who are immunocompromised or have comorbidities are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You should speak to your family doctor to understand how the vaccine may affect your current treatment plan.


I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I really need to get the vaccine?

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the possibility of re-infection, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any time as long as you are not acutely ill.

The immunity gained from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. 

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are studying. If you have received COVID-19 convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibody treatment, please wait 90 days before requesting a COVID-19 vaccine.


I recently received a vaccine unrelated to COVID-19. Should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. According to the CDC, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine and other types of vaccines without regard to timing. You can even opt to get multiple vaccines at the same appointment.


Will the flu vaccine prevent me from getting COVID-19?

No, but it can prevent you from getting the flu at the same time as COVID-19. Preventing both illnesses at once by getting your flu shot could prevent severe symptoms. The CDC anticipates the likelihood of both the flu and COVID-19 viruses spreading at the same time this winter.


What if I was exposed to a COVID-19-postitive individual but never tested for COVID-19. Should I receive a vaccination?

Yes. Please complete a 14-day quarantine before you elect to receive the vaccine.