Living with a Global Pandemic for more than a year was certainly challenging for most individuals, especially parents with children at home, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions. Fortunately, now that the COVID-19 virus is better understood and the vaccines are more widely available - there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Here is the information you need to prepare yourself for safe re-entry into the post-COVID world.
COVID-19 vaccines are now available for all individuals ages 12 and up. The vaccine is considered safe and effective by the CDC, and the government encourages all eligible people to get it. The COVID-19 vaccine might:
- Prevent you from getting COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill, or dying from COVID-1
- Prevent you from spearing COVID-19 to other
- Prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, which limits the emergence of new strains that might be resistant to the vaccin
- Add to the number of people in the community who have protection against COVID-19 and help to gain "herd immunity"
Available vaccines in the United States are:
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms in people aged 16 and older. The vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus in children ages 12 through 15. It requires two injections given 21 days apart.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms. This vaccine is for people aged 18 and older. It requires two injections given 28 days apart.
Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is 66% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms — as of 14 days after vaccination. The vaccine is also 85% effective at preventing severe disease with the COVID-19 virus — at least 28 days after vaccination. This vaccine is for people aged 18 and older. It requires one injection. If you are given this vaccine, you should be educated about the possible risks and symptoms of a blood clotting problem.
All three vaccines are free of charge for all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
Vaccine Side Effects
The vaccines could cause mild side effects like:
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the shot site
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes
With the wide availability of vaccines, most restrictions and rules are changing. Here is the latest guidance regarding how the post-COVID-19 world might look like.
Most airlines are asking passengers to fill out a questionnaire certifying that no one in their home is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Passengers are also asked to measure their temperature at home and not travel if they have a fever.
Mask wearing is mandatory on all domestic and international flights for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Passengers can briefly remove masks for eating or drinking.
Even as the pandemic is seemingly winding down, some employers may choose to continue having their employees work from home. This tactic saves gas money and real-estate costs. If your employer chooses to resume in-office work, mask-wearing rules are up to your specific state's mask mandate and your employer's rules.
If you are worried about becoming sick or would like to know how to better protect yourself, it is always best to create a game plan with your doctor.
Most schools are back in session, but the specific rules may differ from state to state. It is reasonable to expect that some activities like recess and PE will be altered in one way or another.
Children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive vaccines, so it's important to keep them healthy and happy by adhering to a recommended annual check-up schedule.
Many businesses are slowly opening with limited patron capacity. The owners and the state/city where the establishments are located will determine the exact rules of re-opening. Most states allow outside dining, and indoor dining is slowly returning with distanced seating.
Some gyms will require masks, while others will allow maskless entry while stepping up their disinfecting routines. Find out more information by contacting your gym/favorite restaurant/store directly.
Life After Covid-19
There is a lot of different information about re-opening and social re-entry out there. One thing is certain: the post-COVID-19 world is here, and it looks promising. According to the CDC:
"Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic."
If you are unsure about your COVID-19 vaccine eligibility or of how to get the vaccine, UAB Medical West is always here to help.
UAB Medical West Is Here For You in The Post-Covid 19 World
Making sure you and your loved ones are healthy and protected is our priority. Here at UAB Medical West, we are prepared to offer you the latest COVID-19 guidance and suggestions. If you'd like to learn more about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines, contact us today.