VA is listening to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. This blog series answers questions from Veterans.
This entry is the second in a two-part series. Read the first one: COVID-19 Vaccine: Do I Need It? Part I.
I’m receiving a two-dose vaccine and I’ve already got the first shot. Do I really need the second?
Yes, you need the second shot. Both shots are necessary to make sure you have the best level of protection against COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccine works to teach the body to develop immunity against the virus.
The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine may offer some protection, but for the greatest level of protection, the second dose is needed a few weeks later. To best protect yourself and others around you, make sure to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Once I get both doses of the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing?
Yes, you still need to wear a mask and physically distance while in public even after receiving both doses of the vaccine. Experts are continuing to study the virus to better understand when it will be safe to stop wearing masks and physically distancing in specific settings.
The CDC has created guidance for those people who have received both doses of the vaccine, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html. Continuing to wear a mask and socially distance can protect you and those around you in your community.
If I already got the flu shot, do I need to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you still need to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC advises that receiving the flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 and flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.
Just like the flu shot protects you from flu, the COVID-19 vaccine will protect you from COVID-19.
Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three W’s: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others!
To learn more, you can review CDC information about COVID-19 and vaccination.