Why You Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

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?

Yes. 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.

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

Yes. According to the MDHHS, most people who have food or environmental allergies can still get the vaccine. Contact your family doctor if have had any severe reactions to medicines or vaccines in the past.

Anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are rare. Less than 0.02 percent of the population responds this way. This reaction rate is similar to (and in some cases lower than) most drugs and vaccines that are studied, including placebos.

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?

Individuals who have received an unrelated vaccination should wait 14 days before electing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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.