COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

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How COVID-19 Vaccines Work 

Vaccines for COVID-19 are important to bring the pandemic under control and getting our lives back to normal. They reduce the risks of getting COVID-19 by working with your natural defenses to build protection. They teach your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after your first vaccination for the body to begin to build protection against the coronavirus.  You’ll see maximum protection two weeks after you get your second shot.  If you are getting the one-shot vaccine, you should see the maximum protection after six weeks.

At this time, all three vaccines recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly efficacious at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.


COVID-19 Vaccines Available Today

The FDA has authorized the use of vaccines for the coronavirus. Millions of people in the United States have already received COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19. These are: 

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson /Janssen 

For Pfizer-BioNTech, it requires two injections which are given 21 days apart. On the other hand, Moderna’s two doses are given 28 days apart. Johnson & Johnson only requires one injection. 


COVID 19 Vaccine Side Effects

After getting your COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience some side effects. These are normal signs that your body’s building protection. The vaccines can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain, redness, or swelling on the area of the shot 
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling unwell
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Once you get your COVID-19 vaccine, the doctor will likely monitor you to see if you have an immediate reaction. 


Is COVID-19 Vaccine Safe and Effective? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The vaccines available today have undergone thousands of participants in clinical trials. Additionally, they have met FDA’s rigorous and strict scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. Plus, these vaccines have been carefully tested and are continuously being monitored. 

The CDC has also developed a tool that could help quickly find any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. This tool is called V-safe. It is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.



There are still many people who have doubts about the vaccine and its effects. However, the use of COVID-19 vaccines is a huge step forward in the fight against coronavirus. 

Dr. Paul Jantzi is an allergist in the Brazos Valley region. He is board-certified in allergy and immunology with prior specialty training in pediatrics and internal medicine. Schedule an appointment with him now. 

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