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Common questions—and answers—about the COVID-19 vaccine

Common questions—and answers—about the COVID-19 vaccine

We know that life is full of decisions. Like many people, you may have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Fortunately, Valley Health has the answers. Here are some common questions our healthcare providers hear from their patients before getting vaccinated.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and have been administered to more than 250 million individuals in the U.S. since becoming FDA-approved. The vaccine is the most effective and safest method to reduce your likelihood of getting COVID-19.

Do I really need a booster?

Although COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection over time against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations. Boosters provide increased protection against the virus.

The recent emergence of variants, such as the Omicron variant, further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.

Do my kids need the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 affects everyone differently, and although most serious symptoms occur among the older population, hospitalizations and deaths have been reported in individuals of all ages, including in children

One rare but serious symptom of COVID-19 in kids is multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which occurs when parts of the body — such as the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin or eyes — become severely inflamed. This can lead to confusion, inability to stay awake, trouble breathing and, in rare cases, death.

We also are still learning more about long COVID. Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. These effects can last weeks, months and years and include ongoing fatigue, brain fog, fever, difficulty breathing, cough, headache and more. These symptoms can occur in individuals who had mild to no symptoms when infected with COVID. People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and become infected may be at higher risk of developing post-COVID conditions compared to individuals who were vaccinated and then got COVID.

The good news is that after rigorous safety trials, a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children, ages 6 months and up. So now, you can keep even your youngest loved ones safe. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age | FDA

For more questions and answers, visit valleyhealthlink.com/vaccineanswers.

Sources:

Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens | CDC

Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC