COVID-19 Updates: How the Vaccines Work, Staying Careful Once Vaccinated and More.April 20, 2021
With more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine every day, we share a feeling of optimism. But we also remind you to stay careful and strong in the fight against the disease’s spread. Read on for our latest updates about the vaccines and more.
How the Vaccines Work
We hope everyone will commit to slowing the spread of the disease by getting vaccinated when you’re able. The vaccines are safe and effective, and they cannot give you COVID-19.
All vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. help our bodies develop immunity to COVID-19. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use what’s called mRNA technology. Basically, the shots use safe methods to teach our cells how to make a certain protein. This protein is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19, but it’s harmless and isn’t the actual virus. Our bodies recognize that this protein shouldn’t be there, and we produce white blood cells that can spot and fight against the protein – and the actual virus – in the future. To learn more about how each vaccine works, visit this webpage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Staying Careful and Safe Once Vaccinated
We know the sense of relief many people get once they receive their COVID-19 shots. After such a year, we all deserve optimism, hope and celebration. However, we want to remind you to stay careful and safe. You still need to protect yourself and others.
Once you’re vaccinated, it still takes two weeks for your body to reach peak immunity. And it’s still unknown how long immunity lasts – for example, scientists are still researching whether we’ll need to get the shots again on a regular basis, much like we do with flu shots. Finally, we know that getting the vaccine helps protect you from COVID-19, but scientists are still learning whether a vaccinated person can spread the disease to others. Until we know the answers to these questions and more, please keep wearing your mask, social distancing, washing your hands often and following the latest CDC guidance. For more information on what to do – and not do – once vaccinated, visit this CDC webpage.
Keep Up With Your Regular Doctor Visits
It’s as important as ever to continue seeing your doctor for your regular health appointments and checkups. This applies to all of us, whether we’re already vaccinated or not.
Hospitals and healthcare providers are taking extra measures to ensure the safety of all patients. And many are even offering convenient remote options (including virtual visits), letting you get certain types of medical checkups via phone and video from the comfort of your home. The bottom line is to stay current on your health appointments and checkups, and to call your doctor (and us) for advice if you’re considering alternate virtual options. Your doctor will know what’s best in each situation.
Thanks for your continued care for yourself and others. During the pandemic and beyond, we’re here for you and your family. Give us a call anytime at the number on the back of your health plan ID card, and visit our webpage for more information about COVID-19. We’re honored to be your trusted health plan partner.
If you have any questions, you can contact us directly at ClientSupport@healthalliance.org or by calling (217) 902-8151. We’re committed to keeping you and your employees healthy and informed.