Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has never been the same. The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was first detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China after which it spread rapidly across the world. By mid-2020, the disease had spread to almost every country, and the effects seemed irreversible at the time. Restaurants, bars, shopping malls, clubs, and other non-essential commodities were shut down and to this day, people across the world are still self-isolating at home to help control the spread of the virus. As everyone desperately prayed for a vaccine to end the pandemic, the FDA approved a few formulae for emergency use in the last quarter of 2020.
Vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer are now being distributed across several countries like the USA, Israel, Italy, and many others. People at the highest risk of getting infected, including health workers, essential workers, and clinically vulnerable individuals, are being given doses of vaccines in two rounds. Since the vaccines are still new and are distributed across only a few countries, the mere thought of getting vaccinated can seem intimidating. However, if you learn about the process and take the necessary safety measures, then there’s nothing to worry about. Here is what you should do before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
1. Educate Yourself about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Before you take the vaccine shot, you must learn more about the composition and how it works to be aware. Ideally, your body develops B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes to fight the virus and build immunity. However, you must take precautions until your body has developed enough ‘memory’ B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes to build immunity. It is not necessary to dig deeper; gathering basic information will make you realize the importance of social distancing even after getting the vaccine. Since it can take up to a few weeks to build immunity, take proper measures until then.
2. Go Through Safety Monitoring Guidelines
It is possible for people to still get infected right after taking the first shot of the vaccine, as their bodies wouldn’t have had enough time to produce antibodies that can effectively fight the virus and build immunity against it. The FDA and CDC have designed a few monitoring programs that provide information related to the safety of vaccines and monitor their safety across the United States. Facilities like active surveillance and data monitoring are provided for people of all ages, genders, races, and medical conditions. While the healthcare professionals and essential workers are provided with the doses, the activities of the general public are monitored through these programs.
3. Learn About the Benefits and Procedure
By learning the benefits and procedures of getting the vaccine, you can undergo the experience without feeling overwhelmed. It will also keep you motivated throughout the procedure. Currently, three types of vaccines are being distributed, which are protein subunit vaccines, mRNA vaccines, and vector vaccines. These three differ on the basis of composition, ingredients, and their approach to fight the virus. The typical procedure of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is carried out in three stages; the first stage or shot begins forming a protective immune layer and the second shot, which is taken after a few weeks, provides maximum protection. Getting COVID-19 vaccine shots is important to stop spreading the disease to your friends, family, and highly vulnerable individuals with medical conditions.
4. Take Precautions Before and While Entering the Clinic
Before you enter the clinic to get your vaccine shot, take safety measures to avoid contracting the disease as it can question the efficacy of the virus. Wash your hands and wear a mask. The healthcare worker providing the vaccine shot should also wear a mask. When standing in the queue, keep a distance of 6 feet from others.
5. Note Safety Measures Post Vaccination
Getting the first shot of this vaccine doesn’t necessarily make you immune to the disease. You must wait for the second dose and take precautions meanwhile. Note down possible side effects and measures that must be taken once you get vaccinated. Do not use public transportation as the chances of getting infected are high in a crowded place. Keep wearing a mask when you step out, wash your hands regularly, and maintain social distancing. If you experience any side effects, consult the concerned medical facility.
When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine or any medical issue, for that matter, the best way to fight your fears is to follow precautionary measures and educate yourself. If you feel intimidated or overwhelmed, there are many professionals who can help you by explaining the process and keeping you calm. Getting a vaccine is just one of the steps that will help end the pandemic, which can take a lot of time. That is why it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others around you safe.