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Plan Your Vaccine: Common Vaccine Questions Answered

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahAs we focus on the vaccine and the whole process to make sure Utahns can get the shots – we broke down five frequently asked questions you want answered.

When can I get the vaccine?

Those who are eligible today include:

So far, more than 716,000 Utahns have received at least a first dose of the vaccine, and with a population of more than 3 million, there’s still a ways to go.

The Utah Department of Health anticipates getting at least 1.2 million more doses during the month of March – even more with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

So if it’s felt like a bit of a slow, methodical start to the roll out, get ready because your turn is coming up very soon.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Until you get tapped to get the vaccine, you might not think about the actual process of setting up an appointment.

On Coronavirus.utah.gov, you’ll see a list of Utah’s 13 local health departments that are based on the county and region where you live.

Nomi Health also partners with the state to sign people up for the vaccine.

Your local pharmacy likely offers the vaccine, as well.

Because the vaccines were developed so quickly, how can we know they’re safe?

If it normally takes years to develop a vaccine, how can we be sure that these vaccines are safe? Aren’t we sacrificing something with the speed at which these COVID vaccines rolled out?

Operation Warp Speed took processes that normally take years and compressed them into months by running these processes at the same time. Operation Warp Speed did not need to eliminate any steps of the traditional vaccine development process because the steps were completed at the same time. You can read the specifics at coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.

If you’ve already contracted COVID-19, do you still need to get vaccinated?

The answer is yes. Even if you’ve already had to virus, your natural immunity only lasts about 90 days. Our bodies produce antibodies that protect us, and recent studies showed that even one shot of the vaccines that require two shots provided a big boost to those who’d had COVID-19.

That means protection for yourself and others is an effective step even with just one vaccination.

Experts suggest waiting until three months after you were initially diagnosed.

Do the vaccines have side effects?

The short answer is yes.

You could have mild-to-moderate symptoms that you’d have with a coronavirus infection. Those include fever, chills or body aches. It’s your body’s reaction to creating an immune response to the virus in order to protect you.

Those symptoms show up within a day or two of your shot, and they typically go away in just one day. Some people may not have any symptoms at ll.

If you have questions or concerns about how you might react to a vaccine, talk to your doctor about it. The overall consensus is that the side effects are mild-to-moderate if at all.

For more information on the vaccine, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.

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