We have anxiously awaited the arrival of the COVID-19 Vaccine, and our staff has begun getting immunizations. The currently available vaccines require two injections, so staff will not be fully immunized until late January/early February 2021 (depending on their initial injection). Regardless of vaccination, the staff at NeuroScience & TMS Treatment Centers will continue to practice SAFE care of patients by offering Telehealth visits, and in the case of face-to-face visits, and TMS care, we will require anyone coming to the building to wear a face mask and wash their hands upon arrival and departure from the office.
We encourage all our patients to obtain their vaccinations as soon as they are available not only because the pandemic has caused sickness & death, but more broadly because the pandemic has caused significant disruption in all of our lives and increased everyone’s stress level.
The vaccine supply will increase substantially throughout the next few months of 2021. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. It is true that not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away, so it important to continue taking steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19: wash your hands, wear a face mask, and keep a social distance from others.
We do plan to share updates about vaccine availability as soon as we know. We do strongly recommend you get a COVID-19 vaccine once it is widely available. Dr. Cochran felt so strongly that she received the vaccine on December 28, 2020, as soon as she could.
We know you and your family have questions about the vaccine, and we want to answer those questions so that you feel confident in choosing to get vaccinated.
Is the vaccine safe?
First, the vaccine cannot give someone COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they met safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offered protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviewed all safety data from clinical trials and authorized the emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefit outweighed potential risks. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed all safety data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine for use. FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.
Is the vaccine helpful? I heard getting COVID-19 gives you better and longer immunity than the protection a vaccine can give. Can it actually make my illness worse if I do end up getting COVID-19?
Both COVID-19 and the vaccine are new. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people, particularly in the US. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick and could die. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
How much will the shot hurt? Can it cause you to get very sick?
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. We do understand more about the mild side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine: your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch (these symptoms usually go away on their own within a week); and some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine (these side effects are a sign that your immune system is working and building up your protection to disease). The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
How many shots am I going to need?
Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines being studied in the United States require two shots. The first shot starts building protection, but everyone has to come back a few weeks later for the second one to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.
Only by immunizing as many people as possible will we be able to control this pandemic and save lives. The life you save maybe someone close to you, or even yourself.
Be safe and get vaccinated when you can.
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