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Friday, May 7, 2021

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Vaccines

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COVID-19 has placed a dark and ominous cloud over our lives long enough now that it’s become increasingly more challenging to remember those times when it wasn’t leading the news each day and wreaking havoc around the world.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the world’s sharpest medical and scientific minds have been working tirelessly to develop some remedy or method that would help us combat the effects of a contagion that has and continues to cause so much pain, devastation, heartache, and death. 

At this time, frontline health care workers and seniors are currently being inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that each require two separate doses administered to every recipient about three weeks apart. Each vaccine, at this time, has demonstrated effectiveness in preventing symptomative COVID-19 infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and eventually contract COVID-19 because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. Even after getting vaccinated, it’s important to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing until enough people are immune to COVID-19 that it makes its spread unlikely.

As health officials in Indiana continue to expand eligibility to register for a COVID-19 vaccine, when your age group is approved you may go to ourshot.in.gov to set an appointment. Appointments may also be made by calling 211. A caregiver or loved one may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior.

I understand from having talked with my patients that there are many with varying ideas, fears, and opinions on the topics of vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines, and getting vaccinated. It is very important in these times to be informed and to get your questions answered by well established, creditable, and accountable information sources to make the best decision for your health. I use and recommend both the CDC.GOV and IN.GOV websites and always encourage you to talk with a trusted health care professional.   People who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately. If you are ill with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your health center or clinic before coming to your appointment. If you are an Eskenazi Health patient, please call 317.880.7666 before coming to your appointment. Health care professionals are available 24/7 to answer questions on symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate care. It is important to first call before arriving at Eskenazi Health.

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