COVID-19 vaccines are finally being distributed widely around Philadelphia, the nation, and in many parts of the world. As vaccination numbers increase, we will hopefully see case numbers finally begin to decrease permanently and more people stay healthy.

However, there is a lot of false, misleading, and conflicting information floating around about COVID-19 vaccines. It can leave people confused, especially seniors — the population most vulnerable to the disease.

To help out, we’ve put together some important information about COVID-19 vaccinations using information from health authorities such as the Center For Disease Control (CDC).

How Many COVID-19 Vaccines Are There?

There are three COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (two doses, at least 21 days apart)
  • Moderna (two doses, each one month apart)
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (single dose)

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is currently paused until further notice, so you may only be able to get one of the first two.

Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination availability differs between states. In Pennsylvania, adults aged 65 and older were among the first group of people to be eligible for the vaccine. Recently, anyone else who hasn’t yet received the vaccine and doesn’t have a contraindication to it can get it in Pennsylvania.

There are many pharmacies in Philadelphia and Allentown alike that offer the vaccine. Reach out to your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center to see if they will be administering vaccines. Simply schedule and show up for your appointment.

Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Cost Money?

No. COVID-19 vaccine providers cannot charge you for the vaccine, nor can they charge any admin fees, coinsurance, or copays. The same goes for office fees if the only services you received were the vaccine.

You can have additional services performed while getting your vaccine, but the provider cannot make you request additional services.

They can’t turn you away if you do not have insurance or if you’re underinsured, either. 

Vaccine Side Effects

Studies show COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. However, some recipients have experience side effects, such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Tenderness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Aches

These are normal and indicate your body is building up its protection against the virus. Get some rest if you can to minimize the side effects.

When Can I Return to Normal Activities?

Fortunately, you may be able to resume some of your pre-pandemic activities once you are fully vaccinated. Per the CDC, you are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving your second dose of one of the two-dose vaccines. If you received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, you are fully vaccinated two weeks after that single dose.

Experts are still learning how the vaccine affects COVID-19 spread. With that in mind, continue to exercise precautions to minimize the spread to others. Continue social distancing, wearing a mask around others, and avoiding crowds wherever possible.

At Caring Family Home Health, the health and safety of our patients and their families is our top priority. We follow all guidelines for staying safe during the pandemic to make sure your loved ones get the care they need safely. Contact us to learn more.