What The Elderly Should Know About The COVID Vaccine
After a year full of grief and anticipation, freedom is finally in the air - at least for the elderlies across America. So, to all seniors who are, or nearly are, vaccinated – congratulations! You’re nearing return to normal life. But before the big breakthrough, here’s what the elderly should know about the COVID vaccine.
The vaccine rollouts have an age limit, which varies across the states. The booking process can really test your patience too, and yes, there are some things you need to understand about post-vaccination care. Keep reading to find out more!
What to Do Before Getting Vaccinated
Contact Your Doctor
As a senior, you can’t just rely on one vaccine to protect you against the virus. If you have other medical conditions or are taking ongoing medications, you and your doctor have to make sure you're fit enough to get your COVID vaccine doses.
For this purpose, contact your healthcare or insurance provider and ask them to guide you on getting vaccinated. Currently, three vaccines are being used for mass vaccination: the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, the Moderna Vaccine, and the Johnson's & Johnson's Janssen Vaccine.
If these contain ingredients that may cause a reaction, your doctor might ask you to avoid getting vaccinated at the moment. Though the vaccine has been majorly successful throughout clinical trials, some vaccines have stronger effects on your body than others. Hence, getting personal guidance can ensure you that everything is under control.
Book Your Appointment
Once you've been given the green light by your doctor, it's time to get on the web and find out when and where you can get the COVID-19 vaccination. There are different statewide age limits for each state, determined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If you’re currently eligible for vaccination, go online and find the most accessible vaccination spots near you. Booking an appointment requires you to fill out a somewhat complicated form, gather documents, and upload them.
There’s no denying that this process may be tricky. On top of that, seniors often feel like they're burdening others by asking for help, especially when it comes to technology and the internet. They're afraid to admit that they feel puzzled about signing digital forms and verifying emails.
If you feel like a senior around you is facing the same problem, you can assist them. Or, you can get an appointment booked for them through Ohana Concierge. This free service by Ohana offers over the phone help to seniors who need help booking their vaccine appointments.
Whether you or your loved one needs help with the whole process, some parts of it, or just have queries that need answers – Ohana Concierge will help. Ohana’s team has specifically been trained on the COVID-19 vaccination protocol. So, rest assured, you’ll be in good hands.
When You're Getting Vaccinated
Until you've received the vaccine, make sure you're following all SOPs at all times. However, try not to overthink getting the shot since nervousness and anxiety can cause an entirely different set of physical problems in seniors.
When you get your appointment finalized, set reminders on your phone and notify others. This way, they'll be prepared to help in case you can’t take yourself to the centre or you forget.
Make sure you reach the vaccination center on time and bring along all necessary identification sources. If you're taking any medications at the moment, ask your doctor if you need to skip them for the day to avoid any reactions.
The Vaccines are Safe
One of the biggest pieces of misinformation spreading is about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness. Many people are claiming that the vaccine has been rushed and is not safe for public use.
Though the FDA has granted the emergency permission for the authorized use of the vaccines, they've also ensured the public that no steps have been skipped while assessing and analyzing the safety of the vaccines. While vaccines in the past have taken years to develop, the current vaccine is a high-priority project which has been accelerated due to global demands.
After You've Been Vaccinated
Now that the vaccine is in your system, what can you expect?
The Side Effects
Some people experience the side effects after the first shot, while others experience them after the second dose. As of yet, there are no clear reasons why different people observe side effects at different points during vaccination. However, not everyone will experience side effects with the same severity. In fact, many people may not experience any side effects at all.
Another point that's necessary to keep in mind is that you can't get COVID from the vaccine. Even though the side effects may be similar to the virus's symptoms, they're not an indication of the virus itself. Instead, they imply that your body is building protection against the virus.
Here are the most common side effects the elderly may experience after getting vaccinated:
On your vaccine-receiving arm:
Throughout the body:
- Muscle pain
The side effects should subside a few hours after vaccination, but if they don’t, here’s what you can do:
- Consult your doctor for over-the-counter medication
- Wear light clothes
- Apply clean, wet washcloth to lessen the pain
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Exercise your arm to relieve pain
Now that you’ve been vaccinated:
- You’ve developed immunity against the virus
- You can take off your mask when you’re with other COVID-immune people
Does The Vaccine Prevent The Spread Of The Virus?
One of the most important considerations that individuals should have when deciding to visit their parents is whether the vaccine stops the virus's spread. During the testing phases, there were no tests run on whether vaccinated individuals were still prone to spreading the virus.
The prevailing knowledge is that vaccines can help prevent transmission, but there are no guarantees. It’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions on a vaccinated individual’s propensity to spread the virus.
If you have an underlying condition that makes you prone to COVID-19 complications, we’d advise you to hold off on meeting your parents, even if they’re fully vaccinated.
So, since it isn’t clear if you’re eternally immune or not, you should still follow the SOPs when you’re out in public after getting vaccinated!