formats

Easing fears about the vaccine

Joan Hatem-Roy, Chief Executive Officer

Question: Some of my friends are afraid of getting the COVID-19 vaccine because they think it will give them the actual disease. What can I tell them to ease their fears?

Answer: This is a common fear among many who are hesitant to get the vaccine. According to healthcare officials, you cannot get COVID from the vaccine.  The vaccine does not contain the virus that causes the disease.

Within hours of receiving the vaccine, you may have mild side effects—perhaps a sore arm where you got the shot, tiredness, maybe a low fever—for a few hours. These are signs your immune system is working. Not everyone gets these side effects, and, if you don’t, the vaccine will still protect you from getting COVID-19, according to health officials.

Remember, some COVID vaccines require two shots for full protection. The vaccine is free for anyone who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts. You can get vaccinated even if you are undocumented. It will not affect your immigration status.

The decision to get the vaccine is yours to make. But it is important that you make this choice after considering all of the facts—knowing that the vaccine protects you from COVID-19 and that it does not contain the virus.

Are you struggling to care for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our staff is available to help. Visit us online at www.ESMV.org for more information. You can also call us at 1-800-892-0890ail ageinfo@esmv.org. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.