Now that COVID-19 vaccines are broadly available in Minnesota, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Which vaccine is best?
“If one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.” However, “If one does not really have a choice of vaccine, at least, not without a lengthy delay in immunization that may have serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others … [Johnson and Johnson] would be permissible” (USCCB).
There are many personal and community benefits to vaccination. The following is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- COVID-19 vaccination helps prevent serious illness and death. All approved vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and may prevent you from becoming seriously ill if you do become infected.
- Vaccination helps protect your community. Vaccination may prevent you from spreading the virus to others if you do become infected.
- Getting vaccinated is safer than developing immunity through infection. There can be serious and long-term complications of COVID-19 infection, and there is no way to predict how the disease will affect you.
- Protection from vaccination is more predictable. It’s still unclear how long natural immunity from an infection will last.
- Vaccination will help end the pandemic. Achieving herd immunity is essential to help end the pandemic. Each of us can do our part by getting vaccinated.
- If you are “fully vaccinated” you can start doing things that you hadn’t been able to do because of the pandemic. According to the CDC:
- You can gather indoors without masking or distancing with other fully vaccinated people.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other “household” without masking or distancing (as long as none of the unvaccinated people or anyone they live with is high-risk for complications).
- If you’ve been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or be tested for infection, unless you have symptoms.
What does “fully vaccinated” mean? Fully vaccinated means that it’s been at least two weeks since your last vaccination dose (second dose for Moderna or Pfizer or single dose Johnson & Johnson [Janssen] vaccine). This allows your body time to develop antibodies and provides you with maximum protection from the vaccine.
We’re still learning how vaccines affect the spread of COVID-19. Those who have been fully vaccinated should continue to take precautions in public places including wearing a mask, keeping 6 feet of distance, washing hands, and avoiding crowded or poorly ventilated spaces.