By Savannah Brooks and Sahara Portlance
After a long worldwide pandemic, breakthroughs in vaccines give hope for an end and a return to a sense of normalcy. Since vaccines became available for public use in the US, many questions have risen. In this FAQ, we answer common questions that students may have about the COVID-19 vaccine.
If I contracted COVID, do I still have to get the vaccine?
Yes. Although it is rare, it is possible to contract COVID again after you’ve already had it. The vaccine provides “better, longer, and more consistent protection than natural immunity” according to medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. You can get the vaccine 10 days after you first began experiencing symptoms as long as you have minimal to no symptoms.
Which vaccine am I able to get?
Currently, Maryland is only offering Pfizer for those 16 and 17. You likely won’t be able to choose which vaccine you get, and it really doesn’t matter – what matters is that you get the first vaccine you can.
Where can I get it?
Marylanders 16 and up are able to get the vaccine at any location in Maryland offering the shot. Vaccines in Anne Arundel County are available at the following locations:
- Baltimore Convention Center
- Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
- Luminus Health Anne Arundel Medical Center
- M&T Bank Stadium, Six Flags America
- University of Maryland Baltimore-Washington Medical Center
- Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
- Participating Giant Foods, CVSs, Rite Aids, Safeways, Walgreens, and Walmarts
- Arundel High School (and participating AACPS schools) on Wednesday, May 12th from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
If teenagers don’t typically feel affected by the symptoms of COVID-19, why should I get the vaccine?
Even though teenagers are more likely to be asymptomatic, a teenager can absolutely still have bad symptoms. Getting the vaccine makes you less likely to contract and spread the virus to those who may be more at risk, such as parents or grandparents.
How long will any side effects last?
Side effects are rare after your first shot, but even if you have them, they shouldn’t last longer than three days, and they’ll likely be very mild. They are more common after your second shot, but won’t last very long.
How do I make a vaccine appointment?
You can make an appointment through any of the following methods:
- Visit Vaccinefinder.org to look for appointments near you
- Check your local pharmacy’s website for available appointments
- Contact your state health department to find local locations
- Read the local news – many vaccine stories have ways you can get vaccinated.
- Use https://www.aacps.org/covidclinics to find a participating AACPS clinic.
When will people under 16 be eligible?
A pediatric vaccine (a vaccine for those under 16) should be available by late 2021. Until then, kids are much less likely to contract COVID-19 and/or feel any symptoms. Pfizer will likely be the first company with a vaccine available to ages 12-15 – the FDA will likely authorize it soon.
Is every vaccine effective?
Yes. In clinical trials, all three vaccines were effective across variables such as BMI, race, gender, etc.
More information is available on the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html