Count to five … all you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

You could spend hours reading everything there is to read about the COVID-19 vaccine. But when it comes down to it, you can count the most important things to know about the vaccine on one hand.

#1 The vaccine is safe

The three vaccines currently available (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and were shown to be safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA monitor all U.S. vaccines for safety. Based on clinical trial data, the vaccines were determined safe for distribution and use.

#2 You can’t catch the virus from the vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus or infectious matter. They are designed to cause your body to make copies of a harmless piece of the coronavirus to develop an immune response.

#3 Some minor side-effects are possible

The COVID-19 vaccine is designed to prepare the body to fight coronavirus in the future. Side effects can be viewed as validation that the vaccine is working and your body is building protection against the virus. Side effects may include fever, headache, fatigue, and body or muscle aches in the days following vaccination.

#4 You still need to wear a mask

Until herd immunity is achieved (herd immunity occurs when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely), it is essential to continue wearing a mask, avoid crowds, practice social distancing, and hand washing  – even after you have received the vaccine.

#5 How to sign up

BJC HealthCare and Washington University are working quickly to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to those who are eligible in accordance with federal and state guidelines. We strongly encourage the vaccine for anybody who is eligible to receive it.

For more information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine, please visit BJC COVID-19 vaccine information