January 27, 2021 2:29 pm
The first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for emergency use in the United States in early December 2020 and have been distributed across the country since then. But are those vaccines safe, and when will you be able to get one?
We know that you have many questions about how to protect yourself against COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines specifically, which is why we’re taking a few minutes today to answer some of the questions we get most often.
Common COVID-19 Questions
Q: How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
A: The COVID-19 vaccines currently available, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than most other vaccines on the market. They’re an innovative type of vaccine known as “mRNA” vaccines, also called “messenger RNA” vaccines.
While most vaccines use a weakened or inactivated version of a germ to help the body build up defenses against a disease, mRNA vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, do not. Instead, they send a message to the body’s cells to produce what’s known as a “spike protein.” Your body then reacts against the spike protein, stimulating a response from your immune system and protecting you from infection.
Both of the currently approved vaccines require two doses for full protection.
Q: When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: When you can get the COVID-19 vaccine will vary due to on a number of factors. In the state of Mississippi, healthcare providers, including those at Magnolia Regional Health Center, received priority access to the vaccine beginning in late December.
As of mid-January, Mississippians age 65 and older became eligible for vaccination. It’s important to note, though, that vaccination appointments fill quickly, so check the state’s COVID Vaccine appointment page regularly to see if you’re eligible and to schedule an appointment. Magnolia Regional Health Center also provides updates regularly about COVID-19 vaccination appointments, so visit our COVID-19 Homepage to learn more.
Keep an eye on Mississippi’s COVID-19 vaccination page for the latest details.
Q: How can I stay safe until I can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Continue taking everyday precautions to limit COVID-19 transmission and stay healthy. Use these tips:
- Schedule your flu shot if you haven’t already.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when in public.
- Avoid large gatherings and crowds.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others outside your household.
- See your doctor as needed for medical issues and concerns.
The COVID-19 vaccine is an incredible step in the right direction toward ending this pandemic—and one we encourage you to take when possible. Until then, do everything you can to stay safe and healthy!
Need to get a flu shot or take other steps to protect your health? Find a primary care provider by visiting care.mrhc.org/primary-care or calling (662) 664-5181.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center