Do You Need to Get a Coronavirus Vaccine?

As more and more coronavirus vaccines are rolling out, many people are wondering if it is safe to get one. The speed of the vaccine rollout, in particular, concerns some, while others may wonder about the safety of getting a vaccine if they have other preexisting conditions. If you are concerned about whether you should be getting a vaccine, here is a bit more information to consider.

Are the Vaccines Really Safe?

To be declared safe, vaccines must pass rigorous safety tests and go through numerous research studies. For most vaccines, the process of completing these safety tests and clinical trials can take years before organizations like the FDA declare them safe. Despite the speed of coronavirus vaccine development, there is no reason to believe that the research was rushed and should not be trusted. It is important to understand that the portions of this vaccine creation process that were fast-tracked did not include patient enrollment and follow-up after vaccination; rather, it was essentially the paperwork, such as regulatory approvals, funding, and data analysis, that was sped up.

What if I Already Had COVID-19?

Recovery from COVID-19 may bring some form of immune system protection, however, scientists do not yet know how long this immunity lasts. There is some evidence of reinfection among those who have recovered from COVID-19. For this reason, the CDC does recommend that you still get your coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to you, even if you have already been infected.

Should I Be Worried about Allergic Reactions?

If you have a history of allergies, there is no reason to believe you should not get the coronavirus vaccine, unless you have had immediate reactions to vaccines in the past. Individuals who have had previous severe or immediate reactions to vaccines or to any of the ingredients in the coronavirus vaccines should speak to their doctor before scheduling a vaccination. In all cases, you will be monitored after receiving the vaccine for up to 30 minutes.

Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?

For now, the vaccine is not approved for individuals under age 16, though trials for children as young as 12 are underway. Adults with underlying conditions are still encouraged to get the vaccine, though they should consult with their primary care provider first. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding may get the vaccine, though there is not much research on this specific group. Again, it is best to speak with a physician before getting the vaccine.