Press release provided by Chisago County Public Health

Understandably, people have a lot of questions when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccines. In order to achieve herd immunity-the point at which a population is sufficiently vaccinated that a spreading virus can’t find enough new hosts-would require at least 60% to 70% of Americans to take the vaccines. Although some hesitancy stems from conspiracy theories centered on the Covid-19 vaccines, the majority of people have questions related to safety, side effects and efficacy. Rightfully so, when putting anything into your body should raise skepticism.

Both of the vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use in the U.S., one from Pfizer-BioNTech and one from Moderna, with high efficacy rates. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine showed efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infection, measured starting from seven days after the second dose was administered. The Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, measured starting from 14 days after the second dose.

Additionally, you may have some side effects from the vaccines, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Federal analyses of both vaccine trials (Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccine) showed few adverse events — which the CDC defines as any health problem that happens after a shot — separate from the less serious side effects were reported. Most commonly, you may have pain or swelling on the arm where you received the shot. Other side effects may include: fever, chills, tiredness, and headache.

Vaccines are one of the great modern triumphs of public health. They have helped add several decades to human life expectancy and are one of the best tools for preventing disease, debilitation, and death. They are also one of the most thoroughly tested and safest products in history. For the COVID-19 vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set up rigorous standards for vaccine developers to meet.

The early stages of the vaccine rollout, masking and social distancing remain the best methods for protecting ourselves and others—and they will be part of our lives for at least many months to come. But slowly, over time, the Covid-19 vaccines will eliminate that need.

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