SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccine FAQ’s

Is COVID different than the flu (influenza)?

Yes, COVID-19 is caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus while the flu is caused by Influenza A and B viruses. Both are contagious and typically cause respiratory symptoms, but are completely different viruses.

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How effective is the vaccine and what are the potential side effects?

The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization program have efficacy of 95% (Pfizer-BioNTech) and 94% (Moderna) after the 2nd dose. Typical side-effects are mild and most commonly include injection site pain, swelling, and redness. Other general side-effects include fever, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain. Symptoms typically occur within 3 days of being vaccinated and usually last for 1-2 days.

How many shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need?

The vaccines currently approved (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization program require two shots in order to achieve full effectiveness. Of the other vaccines currently under investigation, all require two shots except for one which requires one shot.

If I get the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask?

Yes, the CDC currently recommends wearing a mask after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine.

Will the COVID (mRNA) vaccine alter my DNA?

No, the COVID vaccine does not alter your DNA. The new COVID-19 vaccines use what is called mRNA technology which our body uses to produce proteins which then cause our immune system cells (T- and B-cells) to produce antibodies against COVID-19.

Should I get the COVID and flu vaccine?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to get both vaccines. Please consult your primary care provider on your specific situation.

What can I do to protect myself, my family, and my employees from getting COVID-19 while waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and after receiving the vaccine?

The CDC recommends covering your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often.

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