This year, one of the most important things we can do for our health is to receive a vaccine for COVID-19. L.A. CADA joins with the Office of Minority Health, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and healthcare professionals around the nation to reduce the impact that COVID-19 is having on racial and ethnic populations, including American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The goal this year is to empower communities to proactively practice COVID-19 safety measures, get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, and get vaccinated when the time comes.
How the Vaccine Works. When germs, such as the COVID-19 virus, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion is called an infection, and that’s what causes illness. COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus without having to actually get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a “memory” — T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that remember how to fight the virus in the future. To be fully vaccinated, you will need two shots of some COVID-19 vaccines.
What to Expect from the Vaccine. It takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the COVID-19 virus right before or right after vaccination. In that case, you could get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and they show that your body is building immunity.
Bottom Line. Getting vaccinated is safe. And it’s the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 which has caused severe illness or death in high-risk groups. Research is showing that members of our racial and ethnic communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic, especially older people, individuals with lung problems, heart disease, diabetes, liver or kidney problems, and those who are overweight.
Learn more about: ethnicity and risk for COVID-19