The CDC Says These 3 Side Effects Mean Your Vaccine Is Working
With the COVID vaccine becoming available to more people by the day, many people are eager to know the vaccine will affect them—and how they can tell the vaccine is working. Luckily, there's an easy way to tell if the vaccine is taking effect, according to experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Feb. 12, Amanda Cohn, MD, CAPT, USPHS, a member of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, announced that there are three specific side effects that people should look out for after receiving their vaccine.
"People should be prepared to have pain, potentially fatigue, and a low-grade fever," Cohn explained, noting that the symptoms should resolve within two days.
While the post-vaccine symptoms may be uncomfortable, Cohn assured that they're nothing to worry about, and they're not signs that you've been infected with the virus itself. "It's not COVID. It's your body building an immune response to the protein that is mimicking the disease." Cohn also noted that even if you don't have a reaction to the vaccine immediately after your first dose, that doesn't necessarily mean you're out of the woods. "People do have mild reactions to the vaccines, especially after the second dose," Cohn explained.
Until you can get a vaccination, prevention is still the name of the game; read on to discover what experts say you should be doing to protect yourself against COVID now. And for insight into how the COVID vaccine will change your daily life, Dr. Fauci Just Confirmed You Can Do This After Getting Vaccinated.
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Wear two masks.
While experts' advice on wearing masks has changed throughout the course of the pandemic, in the Feb. 10, 2021 volume of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the agency indicated that wearing two masks is likely better than one.
In the publication, the CDC explained that double masking with a cloth mask over a surgical mask could reduce a person's exposure to COVID by as much as 90 percent, and that, generally speaking, tightly-fitted masks provided significantly more protection than looser ones. And for the latest COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Socially distance from other people.
Wearing a mask—or, ideally, two—is a good start, but just because you're wearing one doesn't mean social distancing rules don't apply. In fact, according to a Jan. 2021 study published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, individuals who routinely wore masks but had more frequent social contacts were more likely to develop COVID than those who wore masks less often and had fewer contacts. And if you're eager to get vaccinated, If You Live in These States, You Can Now Get Vaccinated at Walgreens.
Eat outdoors if you're with other people.
If you are planning on eating with people who aren't members of your household, stick to outdoor dining.
The CDC recommends that diners eat al fresco whenever possible; when that's not an option, the agency recommends staying at least six feet apart from others during your meal. And for insight into how things will change after COVID, Dr. Fauci Says This Is When You'll Have to Wear a Mask Post-Pandemic.
Wash your hands.
There's one piece of COVID safety advice that hasn't changed since the start of the pandemic: the need to wash your hands thoroughly to reduce person-to-person viral spread.
If you want to adequately protect yourself and others, the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after being in public; after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose; before and after caring for a sick person; before, during, and after food prep; before eating; after touching garbage; after using the toilet; after changing diapers or assisting a child using the toilet; and after touching animals, their food, or waste. And if you want to protect yourself, This Medication Could Slash Your Risk of Dying From COVID, Experts Say.