What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

As of January 6th 2021, there are two vaccines — the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine — that have received approval for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration. Inevitably, information from multiple sources about each vaccine is being spread across different mediums, making it essential to highlight the facts and backgrounds of each vaccine.

Background

The approval of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows for both COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed throughout the United States to individuals 18 years of age and older for the Moderna vaccine, and to individuals 16 years of age and older for the Pfizer vaccine. In this case, the approval of EUA prioritizes healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Distribution of both vaccines began in December with administration to workers and residents beginning soon after.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Both versions of the vaccine work by “tricking” your body’s immune system into creating antibodies that fight against the virus. This is the same underlying method used in most modern vaccines, including the flu vaccine distributed to millions each year.

If vaccinated, you may experience mild side effects including redness or swelling near where the shot was administered, fatigue, joint pain, chills, headache, or fever. This is a normal part of the process and simply means the vaccine is doing its job.

A second shot is needed 3 to 4 weeks after your first shot was administered to ensure optimum protection. The goal is for everyone to have the option to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available.

Keep in mind, employer health plans have been required to cover the COVID-19 vaccine, without cost-sharing, regardless of whether you receive the vaccine through an in-network or out-of-network provider.

As outlined on their website, the CDC continues to encourage everyone to do their part by taking precautionary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (i.e. hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, etc.). As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and distributed, it will be important to maintain awareness and understanding of the various vaccines, who is encouraged to receive them, what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness.

Click here to learn more about mRNA vaccines. For additional information regarding the benefits of getting vaccinated, click here.


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