Most Americans have had one or more shots of the flu and Covid vaccines. New this year is the first shots to protect older adults and infants from respiratory syncytial virus, a lesser-known threat whose toll in hospitalizations and deaths may rival that of flu.
Federal health officials are hoping that widespread adoption of these immunizations will head off another “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses, like the one seen last winter.
For people with insurance, all the vaccines should be available for free.
“This is an embarrassment of riches,” said Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the precision vaccines program at Boston Children’s Hospital and an adviser to the Food and Drug Administration. Here’s what he and other experts say about who should receive which immunizations, and when.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do post-vaccination, according to health experts
by Michelle Crouch, AARP, March 19, 2021 | Comments: 304
En español | If it has been at least two weeks since you received your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, congratulations! You are now considered “fully vaccinated.” You are armed with our best weapon against a virus that has killed more than 2.6 million people worldwide and upended our lives in unimaginable ways.
That is truly something worth celebrating.
But before you toss aside your mask and throw a party, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus is still spreading and the majority of Americans have yet to be vaccinated — so precautions continue to be necessary to protect yourself and the people around you.
The coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are proving highly effective at preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic infections under real-world conditions, federal health researchers reported on Monday.
Consistent with clinical trial data, a two-dose regimen prevented 90 percent of infections by two weeks after the second shot. One dose prevented 80 percent of infections by two weeks after vaccination.
There has been debate over whether vaccinated people can still get asymptomatic infections and transmit the virus to others. The study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggested that transmission may be extremely unlikely, as infections were so rare.
Long-awaited government guidelines loosen restrictions on how people can socialize, and see their grandchildren after they’re fully inoculated.
Federal health officials released guidance Monday that gives fully vaccinated Americans more freedom to socializeand pursue routine activities, providing a pandemic-weary nation a first glimpse of whata new normalmay look like in the months ahead.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are two weeks past their final shot face little risk if they visit indoors with unvaccinated members of a single household at low risk of severe disease, without wearing masks or distancing. That would free manyvaccinated grandparents who live near their unvaccinated children and grandchildren to gather for the first time in a year. The guidelines continue to discourage long-distance travel, however.
The CDC also said fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with those who are also fully vaccinated. And they do not need to quarantine, or be tested after exposure to the coronavirus, as long as they have no symptoms.
Listen to the story audio from NPR (MP3) here, or on the linked page.
The COVID-19 vaccines are here, but if it’s your turn to get vaccinated, how are you supposed to sign up?
The answers vary by place, so NPR created a tool to help you understand how things work in your state and connect you with local resources. And we’re sharing guiding principles and advice for navigating the process below.
Search for your state below. (There are a few large cities with their own immunization plans that you’ll find on our list as well.)