Your First Available Vaccine is the Best Vaccine

There are now three COVID-19 vaccines available, and with them, hope. Some people are scrambling to get the “best” one. We’ve heard from many of our nation’s top experts in the past few weeks including Dr. Fauci, “I would recommend, get the first one you could get. If you go into a clinic and one vaccine is available now, and another one will be available in a month, I would go right for the one that’s available now.  Given the circulation of viruses in the community, you want to get protected as quickly and as expeditiously as you possibly can.”

Vaccinations drastically reduce the danger of COVID-19. While vaccines are not absolutely perfect at preventing COVID-19 infections and transmissions, they are 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The same safety standards apply to all available vaccines. 

All public vaccines have passed scientific efficacy tests. These tests are implemented to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective at reducing COVID-19 infections and transmissions. COVID-19 vaccines reduce infections and transmissions by preparing our body to fight the virus. Without this vaccine advantage, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 will continue to occur putting an unnecessary strain on our healthcare system. 

It is essential we receive the first vaccine made available to us in order to build towards herd immunity as efficiently as possible. Herd immunity refers to our ability to defeat a virus when the majority of a population becomes immune to it. This makes transmission of diseases like COVID-19 almost impossible; the virus cannot travel from person to person and survive. The majority of a population becomes immune to a virus once the majority of a population gets vaccinated against it. 

Not all persons are eligible to receive a vaccine. Factors that make someone ineligible for a vaccine include age (too old or too young), and/or the presence of an immune system disorder (meaning the body’s disease-fighting response is weak). These persons rely on the rest of us to receive our vaccinations and equip our communities to keep them safe. 

When receiving your vaccination, wait at least 14 days before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine until receiving any other vaccines. After this 14-day window, it is totally safe to continue receiving all other routine vaccinations and you should continue to do so. It is not recommended that you take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen before receiving your vaccine. It is not known whether these medications can cause negative side effects or affect the success of the vaccine. 

When you receive your vaccine, you will receive a vaccination card, including which COVID-19 vaccine you received. You will also receive a vaccine fact sheet that gives you more information on the specific vaccine you received. If you receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need two shots total. If you receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, you will get your second shot 21 days after your first shot. If you receive the Moderna vaccine, you will get your second shot 28 days after your first shot. If you receive the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, you will only need one shot.

After you are vaccinated, you may experience some flu-like symptoms as side effects. However, you can be 100% certain that you will not be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. Once you receive your vaccine, it’s important to remember that you may spread COVID-19 to others after being vaccinated and you should continue to practice social distancing and wear masks around persons who have not received their COVID-19 vaccine.

It is important to set these misconceptions straight and make one thing clear: The first vaccine available to you is the best vaccine for you.