A DOCTOR’S NOTE ON VACCINES
Dr. Tasha Dixon, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- What are the chances the vaccine has any long-term side effects on my health?
There are no known long-term negative effects of the vaccine. After you receive your COVID-19 vaccine, you may feel some slight side effects, just like you would after the flu vaccine. Some of the most common side effects include arm soreness, a mild fever or a headache. But these symptoms will subside after 24 hours. If you do feel any of these side effects, there’s no need to worry. This is your body’s way of telling you it is building immunity and protecting you against COVID-19. In the end, the only lasting side-effect is protection. The vaccine protects you from getting extremely sick, possibly needing hospitalization or worse.
- How do I know if my vaccines will protect me from new variants that begin to circulate that may be more infections and dangerous?
Scientists are working around the clock to test the COVID-19 vaccines against the new variants that may be more infectious or dangerous. So far, all three of the vaccines have proven to be effective against the variants—keeping you and your loved ones safe and protected against the virus.
- Will I need to get a booster shot and if so, how many months after I have been fully vaccinated?
We don’t know yet if we’ll need booster shots or annual vaccines, but scientists are studying this now. What we do know is that whether it is a booster shot, an annual vaccine or just the initial vaccine, it is important that we all do our part to stop COVID-19 from taking over our lives, our jobs, and our communities.
- What should parents know about the vaccines for those younger than 16 years of age?
If we want to protect all of our loved ones from this deadly virus, we all need to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines, like other vaccines your children get, are safe and effective and help us eradicate disease in our community. Remember that only the Pfizer vaccine is available for those who are 12-17 years old.
Visit Vaccinatelacounty.com to make your vaccination appointment.