Answers to Common Questions Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine in Massachusetts

With the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts, Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi want to help our clients with the most common questions we receive from our patients, as well as questions we have asked the authorities on vaccine distribution and administration throughout the Bay State.  Our clients are always welcome to call and discuss these details but publishing them in one location in which patients can access at any time, we feel, is to the most benefit of our clientele.

Question 1:  Can I get the vaccine?

This is our most common question.  This process is evolving over time, but as of today the supply of vaccine is limited.  At some point, likely in the near future, the COVID vaccine will be made available to everyone.   As opposed to listing out who is eligible at the time of this publication, it is best to check the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Information website regularly.  This website is located here.  Currently, Phase 1 and Phase 2 groups can now get the vaccine, which includes, but not limited to people 60 years old or older, first responders, health care workers, educators, and more.

It is important to recognize that eligibility will change over time, so checking the website regularly is important.

Question 2:  Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

This is another prominent question asked from our patients all throughout Massachusetts, and it is a critical one.  It is important to recognize that the Food and Drug Administration is highly experienced in the rollout of many vaccines and medications over decades.  It is critical when an emergency vaccine enters the market that they use this experience to weigh the benefits against the risks.  Today, the FDA clearly sees a huge benefit to the use of the new COVID vaccines over the risks to public health.  All COVID-19 vaccines have gone through rigorous testing prior to approval, inclusive of tests on many different ages, races, ethnicities, and medical conditions.

It is important to also note that there is never a guaranty of safety with any vaccine or medication, but our clients should rest assured that the benefit of the vaccines have proven to outweigh the risks thus far.

Question 3:  Is getting the vaccine safer than achieving immunity by contracting the illness?

This is a nearly impossible question to answer fully.  Getting the COVID virus not only puts you at risk of serious, long term health problems, but also those around you.  There is also questions as to whether immunity by getting COVID-19 lasts long-term.

Nevertheless, there is no perfect solution to immunity from the COVID virus.  Both the vaccine and the illness are new.  Without a time-tested, proven remedy, it is important that each person make this decision for themselves.  What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.

Question 3:  What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Some COVID-19 vaccines have had more adverse reactions than others.  According to the CDC, information about specific side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available when they are approved, which has not been done at the time of this publication.  Nevertheless, the COVID-19 vaccine can have the same common side effects one experiences with most vaccinations and the symptoms typically subside after a week.

Question 4:  Seeing the COVID-19 vaccines are so new, is it possible to know the long-term side effects?

This is another important question and perfectly reasonable.  Because the vaccines are so new, it is true that the long-term side effects are unknown.  Nevertheless, the FDA and the CDC are continually monitoring the effects of the vaccine to ensure that even long-term side effects are identified as soon as possible.  It is again important to stress that contracting COVID-19 can also have long-term effects on one’s overall health.

Riverwalk Dental is here to help you in your decision making regarding COVID-19, preventative measures, and vaccinations.  We hope you find this information helpful, and you are always welcome to call our office and ask further questions.

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