While COVID-19 affects both young and old, seniors are particularly vulnerable. In fact, eight out of every ten COVID-19 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years-old and over. As you get older, your risk for severe illness from the virus increases.
The vaccines now being distributed to adults 65 and over provide a glimmer of hope in the darkness of the past year, but you probably have questions — Is the vaccine safe? How much does it cost? Are there any side-effects?
In this post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine with a focus on what senior citizens need to know.
Please note that we would like to provide our registered patients with the vaccine. While the state of New Jersey has not yet provided us with vaccines or the ability to distribute them to you, we are available to answer any questions you may have.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. There are two vaccines currently available — one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and one by Moderna. Both of these vaccines have been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Was the vaccine developed too quickly?
While it may seem like the vaccine was rolled out in haste, researchers have actually been working on vaccines for the family of viruses that includes Coronavirus for many years.
According to infectious disease experts, standard operating procedures in addition to newer, more up-to-date methods of creating vaccines were used to develop the vaccines, which enabled the vaccine to become available much more quickly than vaccines of the past.
The global nature of the pandemic created a universal demand for a vaccine. Normally, researchers would have to rely on only a few testing sites, but researchers were able to conduct clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines at multiple sites worldwide who all enrolled participants simultaneously in places where there were high numbers of cases.
How much is it going to cost me?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all who want it in 2021. Medicare will pay for the vaccine, whether you have traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. We advise our patients to be wary of scams charging you the COVID-19 vaccine, asking for your Social Security number, or promising to help you cut the line for receiving your vaccine.
Do we need to keep wearing masks and social distancing?
Yes. Your state authorities will notify you when these guidelines change.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Can the vaccine cause side effects?
A COVID-19 vaccine, particularly the second dose can cause mild side effects similar to those experienced after receiving a flu vaccine, such as redness soreness in the area where you receive the injection, headache or muscle aches, fatigue, fever, chills, and nausea. You may experience a brief period of discomfort, but these side-effects are normal and indicate that your body is building up immunity. While unpleasant, these side-effects will go away within a few days, and the mild discomfort far outweighs the risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19.
Where and when can I get my COVID-19 vaccine?
Senior residents of long-term facilities, such as assisted living and nursing homes, and medical professionals are given first priority. Anyone over the age of 65 and with preexisting medical conditions will also be given preferential treatment.
It is still unknown when Clare Medical of New Jersey will be able to provide you with the vaccine. Right now, the state of New Jersey has not provided home-based medical care organizations like ours with the vaccines or the means to distribute it. We’re staying on top of the latest developments and let you know if the state gives us the green light. Please continue to wear masks when outside or around others. Those under 65 who have contributing health factors or medical conditions are also at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and should be vaccinated at the soonest opportunity.
Meanwhile, if you would like to learn more about Clare Medical of New Jersey or set up an appointment with one of our healthcare providers, please call us today: (609) 474-0120.
The information provided above is intended only for general knowledge. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or medical condition without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider about any questions or concerns about your medical condition before proceeding with any course of treatment or care.