CAN A COVID-19 VACCINE GIVE ME COVID?
No. The vaccines cannot give you the virus. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
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WILL A COVID-19 VACCINE ALTER MY DNA?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine.
Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. back to top
IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IF I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A BABY IN THE FUTURE?
Yes. Vaccine do not threaten women’s fertility or harm the placenta. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cause our immune systems to make antibodies to something called a “spike” protein on the coronavirus. These antibodies cannot attack a similar protein, syncytin, that is made in the placenta during pregnancy.
Evidence from the clinical trials and showed NO effect on fertility, and this is true for all available COVID vaccines. Millions of people have received the vaccines with no adverse effect on fertility. There is NO increased risk of infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or birth defects. This information comes from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which recommends that anyone considering a future pregnancy should get vaccinated. The risks of covid are far greater than the risks of vaccination. The risk of COVID disease to the mother’s health especially during pregnancy makes vaccination that much more important, back to top
ARE THE VACCINES DEVELOPED SO FAST SAFE?
WHAT ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are not only effective, but safe. More than 609 million doses have been given so far in our country alone. These inoculations have undergone the most intense study and follow-up monitoring in history. Prior to authorization, they were tested in humans using scientific medicine’s gold standard of randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials.
This is the same rigorous process that all FDA-approved pharmaceuticals undergo before you and I are allowed to take them. Now, more than one year after their authorization, the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines continue to be monitored extensively, showing clearly, for example, that neither fertility nor pregnancy outcomes are affected.
The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the known and feared risks. As with any vaccination, some people have short-term side effects. Issues like headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and soreness at the injection site can last up to several days before disappearing. Very rarely, there are serious, or “adverse,” health events following COVID-19 vaccination, which can be due to the vaccine or to a coincidental problem not connected to the vaccine, such as an unrelated fever.
Our monitoring systems for COVID-19 vaccine safety have found four serious types of adverse events. They are anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (blood clots and bleeding problems found only with Johnson & Johnson doses, which led to that vaccine’s being relegated solely to cases where Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are not able to be used), myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or its outer lining), and Guillain-Barré syndrome (damage to nerve cells). These conditions sound scary, but the most frequent of them, anaphylaxis, can be treated readily and occurs in fewer than five cases for every million doses administered.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines that do not carry the live virus, Researchers have been studying and working with these vaccines for decades. These types of vaccines were of interest to scientists because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials, making vaccine development much, much faster than traditional methods. This was necessary for fighting this pandemic and is a reason these vaccines were developed so quickly.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine went through similar trials. The blood clots reported with the J & J vaccine are very rare – occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old, but vaccinations of J&J were stopped while the blood clots were investigated.
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CAN COVID-19 CAUSE LONG-TERM DAMAGE?
Yes. It can be a long road to recovery, and many COVID survivors are living with long-term effects. Fatigue, shortness of breath, persistent loss of sense of smell, and damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain are just a few symptoms on a long and wide-ranging list of the lingering effects of COVID-19. back to top
DO I STILL NEED THE VACCINE EVEN IF I HAD THE VIRUS?
Yes. Natural immunity doesn’t last forever, and you can catch COVID-19 again. Although your body builds up natural immunity for a period after infection, researchers warn that you could get the virus again. The vaccine is the safest, fastest way to protect yourself and our loved ones. back to top
WON’T WE ACHIEVE “HERD IMMUNITY” IF WE JUST LET THE VIRUS SPREAD?
No. Herd immunity through natural infection is not possible. Vaccines are the best way to eliminate the virus. Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a community contract and recover from a virus that they develop the natural immunity to protect them from the disease going forward. To reach herd immunity, about 80% of people have be immune to the disease. The only way to reach this number is through vaccination. back to top
CAN KIDS CAN GET AND SPREAD THE VIRUS?
SHOULD KIDS BE VACCINATED?
Yes. Children can both catch and spread the virus. While research is still being conducted, studies show that children catch and spread COVID-19 about half as much as adults — enough to contribute to community spread. That risk goes up as children get older, with high school students three times as likely as elementary students to catch the virus. As of
As of Sept. 2, 2021, over 5 million children had tested positive for COVID-19. By Sept. 9, roughly two weeks after most schools opened, COVID-19 outbreaks had closed 1,400 schools across 278 districts in 35 states. The number of COVID-19 cases among school aged children (between 5-18 years old) is nearly FOUR times greater this year than in 2020. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 5 years and older.
While most children experience mild illness from COVID, severe illness, hospitalization, and death are possible. More than 16,000 children were hospitalized from COVID-19 in the past year. More than 300 children died. Some children who have had COVID-19 have developed a condition known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a rare but serious condition that can affect different body parts and cause serious symptoms. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness. One way to protect the health of children is to ensure that all adults in a household are fully vaccinated. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one available to children 5 years and older. back to top
DO MASKS REALLY WORK?
Yes. Wearing a mask remains one of the most basic ways to prevent the spread of the virus. There is clear evidence that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who is not vaccinated over the age of 2 should wear a mask covering the mouth and nose when out in public. The CDC recommends that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public settings in communities with substantial and high transmission of the virus. Lycoming County and Clinton County are officially red – high transmission – and cases are rising in both counties. back to top