As we approach the summer, people are rushing to their nearest covid vaccine site to get their vaccination. As of last week, 2,156,940 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated, while 3,497,850 residents have at least received their first dose (1).
These are some impressive numbers compared to some other states, and these numbers are continuing to grow as the new phase allows most of the public to finally be able to receive their vaccine.
As you make your plans and appointments, there are some updates with the covid vaccines that you should know about.
After numerous reports of blood clots and other negative side effects allegedly correlating to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this version of the vaccine is no longer recommended until further notice. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice will be holding a second emergency meeting to discuss the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine on April 23 (2).
Refer to the CDC’s website for more information and for updates on this meeting and its outcomes if you are interested.
It is also important to realize that although it is great we are getting to large numbers of the public, Massachusetts only receives a certain amount of vaccines per week. Therefore, it will take time to get everyone vaccinated. While you wait to be fully vaccinated, it is critical to adhere to social distancing rules and washing your hands regularly (3).
If you are looking to get vaccinated, the Mass Gov website has resources and links posted for pre- and regular registration for the vaccines. You can also use VaxFinder.mass.gov to find possible appointments at pharmacies and medical centers near you (4).
Something important to know is that the covid vaccine is completely free. If you were worried about possible costs and difficulties in your health insurance, you can definitely get your vaccine without having to stress. The two vaccines left require two doses, so it’s important to schedule a second appointment. Preferably, your second appointment will be at the same location as your first (4).
You still need your ID and your health insurance card if you happen to have one. Again, you do not have to be insured to receive the vaccination (4).
Although you may be fully vaccinated, it is best to still try to follow CDC’s social distancing and disinfecting guidelines.
Another thing to be mindful of as you receive your vaccine is that you may possibly feel some side effects. My roommate personally felt nauseous after her latest dose. She was also fatigued, but these side effects subsided after two days or so.
Some other possible side effects include headaches, chills, fever, and muscle pains (2).
You may also experience weakness in your arm, so it’s important to not do anything too physically enduring after getting your vaccination. It is best to go home and relax, so try to schedule your appointment on a day you have little to no responsibilities.
Again, although we see the number of vaccinated individuals growing, we all still need to follow social distancing guidelines to the best of our abilities. It is also recommended to keep crowds and groups to a minimum.
If we all stay responsible, we can see covid cases almost cut in half within the next few months. We are continuously observing these vaccines and any new developments that come from them, so stay informed and stay healthy.