By Hannah Reynolds
Over a year ago, the United States was quarantined as the COVID-19 pandemic surged globally. Now, there are three current vaccines that are open to everyone on April 5th, 2021.
With the new influx of eligible individuals, health officials are advising all to register for their vaccine to prevent a fourth surge as cases continue to rise.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as serving Chief Medical Advisor for the President, said in February that “by the time we get to April, that will be what I would call open season,”
Michiganders above the age of 16 are now able to register for a vaccine and must be by appointment only.
Using this link, individuals are able to find a vaccination center near them to book their appointment. Individuals should also check additional sites that are dispensing the vaccine such as Rite Aid, Meijer, Walmart, and other local pharmacies.
In order to be scheduled, an individual must register for the vaccine through this website. After clicking the distribution tab, a drop down menu appears where you will then click vaccine registration. It will list many providers and once the most convenient location is chosen, you will insert your information allowing you to be contacted when an appointment becomes available.
For more help understanding this process, the Vaccinate West Michigan website walks you through the steps in this video.
Vaccinations are important in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. It not only protects you from the complications that come with this virus, but also the people around you.
A report posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 2nd, 2021 discussed the effectiveness of vaccines. It said, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of symptom status, among working-age adults in real-world conditions. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all eligible persons.”
These vaccines are safe and effective and are needed in order to get back to a state of normalcy. There are some possible side effects that come with each dose, but they are signs that your body is creating protection due to the vaccine.
Redness and swelling in the arm in which the vaccine was administered is a possible side effect while an individual may also experience tiredness, headaches, chills, fever, nausea, and muscle pain throughout the rest of the body. These side effects should only last a couple of days and have many ways to reduce discomfort. Some individuals experience no side effects.
If you are given the Moderna or Pfizer, which have two doses, it is said that the side effects after the second can be more intense, but again should go away after a couple of days.
“You’ll likely be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days,” the Mayo Clinic wrote on March 27th, 2021.
Two weeks after your final vaccination, it is said by the CDC that you are fully vaccinated and are able to take part in activities that were discouraged prior, such as gathering indoors without a mask. Masks and social distancing should still be practiced when interacting with individuals who have not received the full vaccine.
Despite being fully vaccinated, precautions still need to be taken when in public such as wearing your mask, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.
Once you have received your first or final dose, it is important to not post a picture of your vaccination card. Although a very popular trend seen on social media, this card has sensitive personal information that could possibly fall into the wrong hands. It is advised to take a picture of your card then keep the paper copy in a safe place. This picture should not be posted but be kept available to you as a backup copy..
It is important for each of us to register and schedule an appointment for a vaccine. With the new eligibility, waiting times may be extended, so scheduling now is advised.