Opinion

What to do After Receiving the Coronavirus Vaccine

Although the vaccine protects us from getting COVID-19, we should still stay safe and take necessary precautions 

By: Samantha Bravo

Vaccines are being widely distributed to ensure that everyone is protected from the Coronavirus. Credit: BBC.com

Many people are very excited to be getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We can’t wait to go back to school, visit our family members and do all the things we used to do before the start of the pandemic.

Though the vaccine protects us from the virus, we are not out of the woods just yet. This is because scientists are still trying to determine how well the vaccines prevent people from getting the virus and how much it prevents you from spreading it to others.

There is also a chance that certain vaccines are not 100% safe. Recently, it was reported that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could potentially cause blood clots, and in this case some women have. 

“Immunity is not an on/off switch,” said Eric Lofgren, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Washington State University. “If you’re below herd immunity, the virus is still happily circulating in the population and there’s always a chance the vaccine isn’t working for you.”

The Central for Disease Control and Prevention has stated even if you have received the second dose of the vaccine, it will take up to four weeks until you are fully protected from the virus. They also advise that you should still wear a mask and social distance when you go out in public even if you have been fully vaccinated. 

By complying to easy and safe rules, this will give you the best protection from the virus. It will also prevent others from getting the virus.

You may experience many side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building immunity against the virus. This includes redness and swelling from the arm where you got the shot, tiredness, headache, low fever, muscle pain, nausea and flu like symptoms. 

If you experience pain where the shot was administered you should exercise your arm, take over-the counter medicine such as Advil or Tylenol and apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling. To reduce discomfort from fever, you should dress in less layers and drink plenty of fluids. 

If you have been fully vaccinated, you can visit your family and friends without a mask and without staying six feet apart in a private setting. However, they must be fully vaccinated, and you cannot have large gatherings.

While we can go to public places, keep in mind that some of these places are going to have more of a risk than others It’s still not entirely safe to go to movie theatres, sporting events or concerts, since the capacity of these places are heavily crowded. 

CUNY colleges are hoping to hold in-person classes in the Fall, but they will continue to keep the classes socially distanced. Some classes will still be taken online for those who are not comfortable going back on-campus. 

“It’ll change gradually because you want to accumulate data to make sure there are two elements here: you yourself and the danger to you,” said Dr. Fauci. “What you’re going to be able to do is really going to be reflective of your own degree of safety.”

If you are planning on traveling in the United States, you do not need to get tested for COVID-19. However, you should still wear a mask on busses, planes, trains, or any other mode of transportation. 

If you are traveling internationally, you do not need to get tested unless your destination requires it. You need to have a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the US.

You should also get tested at least 3-5 days after you return to the US even though you have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you spent time with someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to socially distance and get tested unless you have any symptoms. 

However, if you live with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay away from others and get tested even if you do not have any symptoms.

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