Photo by JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE from Manila Times

First things first

Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others – but these measures are not enough. Vaccines work with your immune system and are ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to protect people provides the best protection from COVID-19.

Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will halt the growing negative impact of the virus on education, the economy, and the health industry.

You can read more about essential details after getting vaccinated in the following sections.


About the vaccines used

Being vaccinated will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Many people experience some side effects, which are typical signs that your body’s natural protection builds up. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people do not experience any side effects.

There is good news and bad news regarding the mRNA vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna). It appears to be safe and effective, and it also seems to be more effective than other vaccines. However, the mRNA vaccine has a higher rate of side effects, including fever, fatigue, muscle pain, chills, diarrhea, headache pain, and swelling at the injection site. It might occur but only for a few days. The most important things to remember are that you should get the second part of the vaccine even if you experience side effects after the first.

You only need one shot if the viral vector COVID-19 vaccine was used (please refer to the table in the next section).


You may have more than one vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are now available in the United States. According to a recent study, more than half of the U.S. population (56.6%), to be exact — has been fully vaccinated.COVID-19 is a virus that can cause severe respiratory illness, and in some cases, death.

See the full list of vaccines below.


Two of the three vaccines require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one.

The vaccines available right now are all two-dose vaccines that we see an excellent immune response after the first dose. The second dose is then needed to boost that immune response and see immunity get even more vital.

When administering the vaccine, you should be very careful. It is not recommended to massage the patient for at least two days, just if they have a delayed and uncomfortable reaction. The vaccines require two doses

a month apart. It is advisable to use the same caution for both doses. The second dose usually triggers an uncomfortable reaction.

Notify your doctor of allergies


COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for people who have a history of intense allergic reactions to vaccines. This is because the reactions happen within a few minutes and are life-threatening.


Immediate allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are rare but can happen. If you had an allergic reaction and it was not severe enough to require emergency care, you should not get a second shot of that vaccine. If the reaction was after an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), you should not get a second shot of either of these vaccines.


The risks and side effects associated with vaccinations

If you experience a “COVID arm” after the first shot, don’t let it stop you from getting the second shot at the recommended interval. Your provider may recommend that you get the second shot in the opposite arm. If the rash is itchy, you can take an antihistamine. If it is painful, you can take pain medication like acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.” December 14, 2020.

Miller, K. “Here’s Why You’ll Still Need to Wear a Mask After Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19.” Prevention. January 4, 2021.

NPR. “What You Need to Know as the First COVID-19 Vaccines Head Your Way.” (n.d.) Accessed December 23, 2020.

Pollard, A. J. and E. M. Bijker. “A Guide to Vaccinology: From Basic Principles to New Developments.” Nature Reviews Immunology, 1–18. 2020.

Zhang, S. “What the Vaccine’s Side Effects Feel Like.” The Atlantic. December 18, 2020.