The COVID-19 vaccine has finally arrived and many of us have questions about it. People are definitely interested in getting vaccinated but some are wondering whether the vaccine is safe or effective.
Getting access to the vaccine is another issue people are facing. Many are unsure about when and where they can sign up to get vaccinated.
To help provide some answers, we’ve listed some common questions people currently have about the COVID-19 vaccine and resources available in Los Angeles County. Keep reading below to learn more!
Is It Important to Get Vaccinated?
By now, we all understand the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on people around the world. Millions of lives have been impacted by this pandemic which has caused us to change how we live to stay free from infection.
Fortunately, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available to us. They are an essential tool for our communities in preventing disease and saving countless lives. For this reason, it is incredibly important for people to get vaccinated. Doing so shields both the person with the vaccine and the people around them.
After vaccination, people are less likely to get COVID-19 or pass the germs to other people. When lots of people get vaccinated, it is harder for the virus to spread quickly and infect others. This effect is known as “herd immunity” and is vital for protecting people who may not be able to get the vaccine.
Which Vaccines Can Be Taken Safely?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved and shown to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. These vaccines prevent 95% of cases of COVID-19 disease in large studies that involved a diverse mix of people.
Hopefully, they will be available to the general public by the Spring or Summer of 2021, depending on how distribution efforts go. Visit the LA County COVID-19 Vaccine website for more information and updates by clicking here.
Do I Have to Pay to Get Vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccines are free for all people including those without health insurance. Doctors or pharmacies may charge a fee for giving the vaccine, but this fee should be covered by public and private insurance companies. There are no out-of-pocket payments involved with the COVID-19 vaccine.
How Do the Vaccines Fight COVID-19?
The COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies recognize and fight off germs from the virus. When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds by:
- Identifying the invading germ, such as a virus or bacteria.
- Creating antibodies. Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system to fight disease.
- Recognizing the disease and how to fight it. If you are exposed to the germ after getting the vaccine, your immune system can quickly destroy it before you become sick.
Fortunately, our immune systems are great at remembering. After we get one or more doses of a vaccine, we are protected against the disease for a period of time. This is what makes vaccines so effective. Instead of treating a disease after it happens, vaccines can prevent us from getting sick in the first place.
When and Where Can I Get Vaccinated?
As of now, only Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health is approved to distribute vaccinations at authorized sites. For this reason, Montes Medical Group does not have vaccines to offer our patients right now.
The supply of COVID-19 vaccines is limited at the moment but will be available to everyone eventually. Right now, certain groups of people are eligible to receive the vaccine in Los Angeles County. To find out when you are eligible to receive a vaccine, please click here for more information.
What Should I Do While Waiting to be Vaccinated?
If you’re waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, it’s important to continue following prevention guidelines. For example, cover your mouth and nose with a mask whenever you are around people outside of your household.
Practice social distancing, wash your hands often and stay home whenever possible to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19. It’s also important to note that these prevention guidelines are still necessary to follow even after receiving your vaccination.
Where can I Find More Information About COVID-19?
To learn more about COVID-19 guidelines and vaccination information in California and Los Angeles County, please visit the following websites: