Although COVID-19 vaccine supplies currently are limited, that is expected to change in the coming months. The plan is to have thousands of vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and certified public health departments such as the Oak Park Health Department. As of Jan. 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had outlined the following key facts about COVID-19 vaccines:
- COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes the illness. Several different types of vaccines are in development, all intended to teach the immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, which is normal and a sign that the body is building immunity. Typically, it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination, which means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick since the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
- COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests: Vaccines currently in use or clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests.
- People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.
- Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19: While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness or may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available online at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines.