COVID-19 FAQ

Is the vaccine safe? 

Yes, it is safe.  The technology that has been used to develop the vaccine has been around for many years and dates back to research done initially with the HIV virus.  This is not something that has just been thought up in the last 8 months.

 

Are there side effects from the vaccine? 

So far, they are quite minimal.  Usually soreness at the injection site, achy, fatigue, possible low grade fever.  These are all completely normal and signs that your immune system is reacting correctly to the vaccine.  Most reported symptoms are gone within 24 hours.  A very rare side effect of an allergic reaction has been reported - currently in about 1 out of every 100,000 people getting the vaccine.  This is why patients are required to receive the vaccine in a monitored setting with medical professionals and be watched for 15 minutes following administration.

 

Can I get COVID from the vaccine or give someone COVID? 

Absolutely NOT.  The vaccine is what is called a single-stranded RNA vaccine.  It stimulates your cells to create antibodies.  There is NO live virus in the vaccine.

 

Who should not get this vaccine? 

Almost no one.  The only absolute contraindication to the vaccine is a known allergic reaction to components in the vaccine.  For instance, there is no EGG in the vaccine.  This is something you may discuss with your Mill City Medical provider should you have any questions.

 

I had COVID, do I really need the vaccine? 

Absolutely YES.  We still do not know, for those who have had COVID, if this provides any long term immunity to future infections.  There have been some reported cases of individuals being infected twice.  Therefore, yes you should get the vaccine.  Even if your infection was recent, as long as you are past the prescribed number of quarantine days and without symptoms, you can get the vaccine.

 

How long is the vaccine good for? 
Moderna is currently saying at least 1 year.  Obviously, we do not yet have enough data to say.  It may mean yearly booster vaccines in the future similar to the annual influenza vaccine.  Stay tuned on this one.

I'm pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or nursing.  Should I get the vaccine?

The American College of OB/GYN has recently recommended that all women who fall into these classes get the COVID 19 vaccine.  Yes, it has not been extensively studied in any of these groups.  However, the risk of being pregnant and getting COVID outweighs the risk of the vaccine.  

 

Why would I want to get the vaccine?

It is the only way that we ever get back to "normal" is by having the population become vaccinated.  This will hopefully stop the spread of COVID once and for all.  Also, it is likely that one's ability to travel in the future, attend live sporting events, concerts, etc. may be dependent on the ability to produce proof that you were immunized.  Already this week, a few of the countries in the European Union have made it mandatory that all foreign visitors produce proof of immunization.  It is likely that this practice will become more common, even for flying and domestic travel.

 

I want to be tested for COVID-19 even though I haven’t been exposed.  What can I do?

Though we are all interested to know if we have been exposed at some point in time, currently in Massachusetts, COVID-19 Antigen routine testing is not recommended for the general public.  Right now it is limited to specific scenarios.  This situation is constantly evolving, so please stay tuned for updates.  We are regularly updating our Facebook and Instagram social media accounts with this information as well as our website.

 

Can I get tested for the COVID-19 antibodies?

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested for COVID-19 antigen for contact tracing purposes.  Please call our office to schedule an appointment for testing and a telehealth visit.  

 

If you have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you are just interested to know if you have been exposed at some point in time, please know that in Massachusetts, COVID-19 Antigen routine testing is not recommended for the general public.  Right now it is limited to specific scenarios.  This situation is constantly evolving, so please stay tuned for updates.  We are regularly updating our Facebook and Instagram social media accounts with this information as well as our website.

 

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

Self isolate, check your temperature daily and call our office for a telehealth visit.

 

How do I arrange testing for COVID-19?

Call the office and tell us about your potential exposure.  We will arrange for testing or help direct you to set up testing yourself.  We will also set up a telehealth visit to help manage any questions, concerns or symptoms you may be having.  

You can also go to mass.gov for information about testing sites around you.

 

After testing positive for COVID-19, when can I return to work?

We follow CDC guidelines, but recommend that you check with your employer for all occupational health regulations that pertain to your job. 

 

What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested for COVID-19.  Please call our office to schedule an appointment for testing and a telehealth visit.  After having an exposure to someone with COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you quarantine at home for 14 days.  The 14 day quarantine is recommended even if you continue to be without symptoms and your COVID-19 test is negative in order to prevent the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19.

 

How can I prevent getting infected by COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 is to avoid exposure.  COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.  Not everyone who is infected with COVID-19 has symptoms.  Therefore, you should try to limit your exposure to other people and avoid gatherings.  When you are around others, you should stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask, cover your mouth when sneezing/coughing, frequently wash your hands, and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your home and surroundings. 

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and what should I do if I am experiencing symptoms?

There are many varying symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.  Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people who are infected may not have any symptoms at all.  Symptoms can start 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus.  Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue,  body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend that you quarantine at home and call the office to make a telehealth visit to discuss your symptoms and testing for COVID-19.

 

Source: CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html