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June 01, 2021

Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? 6 Things to Consider

Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? 6 Things to Consider

The COVID-19 vaccine is an important decision for many Hoosiers. You may have questions about the vaccine or whether it is the right time for you to get the vaccine. You may wonder about the safety or development of the vaccines or the side effects.

Those are important questions to ask for you and your family. We want to support you in thinking through these questions. Talk to your doctor to learn more if you have questions or concerns.

Dr. Lana Dbeibo, an infectious diseases physician with IU Health, shares six things to consider about the COVID-19 vaccines.

1. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective

Each of the vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States have undergone thorough medical and scientific review. This occurred during the clinical trial process and continues to occur as they are being given to patients.

More than 245 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to patients in the United States. In Indiana, 2 million Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered Infographic

What about side effects?

Common side effects after COVID-19 vaccine include swelling or redness at the injection site, fever, headache, tiredness, muscle pain, chills and nausea. Some people have no side effects. Learn more about what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccine.

What should I know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause?

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. During this time, the CDC and FDA did additional review by medical experts. After 10 days, they determined the benefits of the vaccine outweighed its known risks and recommended lifting the pause.

The J&J vaccine has a risk for a rare but serious blood clots. Women younger than 50 years old should especially be aware of their increased risk for this rare adverse event. Find full information about the safety review from the FDA.

2. Why were the vaccines developed and approved so quickly?

The vaccines were developed and approved quickly because of many resources and funds made available during the pandemic. Research from previous coronavirus diseases, such as SARS and MERS, gave scientists a head start on COVID-19 research as well. The technology for the vaccines also already existed.

The vaccines were also made “at risk”. This means the vaccines were manufactured while waiting FDA approval so they could be shipped as soon as they were approved. Typically manufacturing that many doses would happen after approval.

These helped to reduce the time it required for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to receive the vaccine.

3. The COVID-19 vaccines protect you from getting sick

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from a severe case of COVID-19 and death. Each of the vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious disease, hospitalization and death.

Animated people wearing masks

4. The COVID-19 vaccines can help those around you

In addition to protecting you, getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help others around you. This includes older people or those with chronic medical conditions. They may be more likely to get a serious case of COVID-19 if they were to catch it.

5. It will help others in your family and community.

All our lives have been affected by COVID-19. Schools, businesses, and workplaces have been closed. Social activities, sports and celebrations have been limited.

We all want to return to these activities and see things reopen. Every person who gets a COVID-19 vaccine helps get our communities one step closer.

6. It is easier than ever to sign up.

The vaccine is available to everyone 16 and older. Several locations in Indiana are offering walk-in options. To schedule an appointment or find walk-in options near you, call 211 or visit ourshot.in.gov.

IU Health offers free rides to any COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Indiana. If you need help with transportation, call 1.888.IUHEALTH (1.888.484.3258) and choose option 9 (8 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday; 8 am - noon Saturday).

If you have any questions or concerns about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, have a conversation with your primary care doctor. That is a good starting point as you think through this important decision. More information is also available at iuhealth.org/vaccine.

Schedule your vaccine

The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we’ll be able to get back to doing what we love. Get your safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine today.

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