Why Seniors Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine as Soon as Possible
We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States, Vaccine safety is a top priority in the United States, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. The risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk.
For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older.
Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may require:
- intensive care, or a
- ventilator to help them breathe, or
- they may even die.
You can help stop the pandemic by getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
To stop this pandemic, we need to use all our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed (also called “immunity”). COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Experts also think that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. These vaccines cannot give you the disease.
COVID-19 vaccine will be free for you.
The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to people living in the United States. However, your vaccination provider may bill your insurance company, Medicaid, or Medicare for an administration fee.
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects.
These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities. Most of these side effects should go away in a few days. You will still need to wear a mask and socially distance after getting each shot of the vaccine for now. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease, CDC will continue to use the latest science to update the recommendations for protecting communities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINES:
Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
COVID-19 can cause serious illness or even death. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 disease. Even if you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness.
Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?
No, the vaccine does not cause COVID-19. None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain the virus that causes COVID-19. It does take a few weeks after vaccination for your body to build up antibodies to protect you from the virus. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after getting the vaccine and still get sick.
Will the shot hurt or make me sick?
Some people might get sore muscles, feel tired, or have mild fever after getting the vaccine. These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a few days. If you have any concerns, call your doctor or nurse.
Why do I need two COVID-19 shots?
Some COVID-19 vaccines need two shots. The first shot gets your body ready. If you are told you need two shots, make sure that you get your second shot at the time you are told, to make sure you have full protection. Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Should I get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?
Yes, you should still be vaccinated because you can become infected more than once. Although you may have some short-term natural protection (known as immunity) after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have terrible symptoms that continue for months. If you have had COVID-19, ask your doctor, nurse, or clinic when you should be vaccinated.
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
Although CDC makes recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first, each state has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated first and how they can receive vaccines. In Oklahoma, appointments are scheduled through this link: https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/ or by calling 405/245-4489, or the state’s hotline at 211.
Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
No. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States.
Do I still need to wear a mask and socially distance after getting the vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
If you have any questions about your health status and the vaccine, please talk to your doctor.