Living among COVID-19 the past few years has meant a lot of research, testing, and confusion for some. With all the information available, you may be asking yourself “Am I eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or COVID booster?”
COVID Vaccines and Boosters
It can be difficult to navigate with information seemingly updated every few days. CheckPoint Urgent Care is here to break down the most updated COVID-19 vaccine information in an easily digestible way.
COVID Vaccine Information
Currently, in the U.S., there are 4 types of approved vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine
- Moderna’s mRNA vaccine
- Novavax’s protein subunit vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson’s Jansen’s viral vector vaccine (can be given in some situations)
These vaccines are given in the upper arm of small children, the upper thigh. The ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe for most people. Nearly all of the ingredients are common ingredients you may find in the food we consume every day- salts, fats, and sugars. Despite misinformation, none of the following ingredients are included in any COVID-19 vaccine:
- Mercury or other common preservatives
- Medicine or therapeutics
- Food proteins- like those from eggs or nuts
- Tissues- no tissues from aborted fetal cells, gelatin, or other animal products
When a person receives a shot, the body produces an immune response. After that, all of the products are discarded in normal bodily functions. Dosage amounts may vary based on the age of the person receiving the vaccine or the type of vaccine being injected.
COVID Booster Information
Boosters are an important piece of the puzzle for protecting yourself from serious illness from COVID-19 infection. It’s important to note that booster information may vary from person-person in your family. Things like age and pre-existing conditions may affect timing and dosages.
Updated boosters are recommended by the CDC for those who:
- Are 5 years of age or older if it has been 2 months since their previous dose
- For children 6 months- 4 years who received the Moderna vaccine and it has been 2 months since their last dose
- There is no booster recommendation for children 6 months- 4 years who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
The updated (bivalent) boosters are called so because they protect against both the “original” COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variant. Previous versions of the booster were monovalent because they were produced to only protect against the original COVID-19 virus.
People with COVID-19 have reported varying symptoms ranging from severe illness to being completely asymptomatic. Possible symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
It’s important to note that COVID can present differently from person to person and this list is not all-inclusive. As the virus keeps mutating, different symptoms have the potential to develop.
At-Home COVID Testing
It can be very simple to test for COVID-19, and you can do it without leaving home. There are several at-home testing kits on the market. You can purchase these at retail stores like Walmart, Target, or your local pharmacy. Currently, each household is eligible to receive 4 free kits from the government. If you purchase in a pharmacy, you may be able to apply for your health insurance and get the kits for free.
At-home COVID-19 testing kits are usually antigen tests that can produce results in as little as 15 minutes. A single negative test does not mean you are negative for infection. At-home antigen tests are best at detecting infection when repeated 48 hours after the first test.
COVID Testing At CheckPoint Urgent Care
If you or your family member think they may be infected with COVID-19, it’s always best to get tested. Prescription drugs are available that may help prevent severe infection, but they must be administered early after the first symptoms develop.
CheckPoint Urgent Care has three convenient locations that are open 7 days a week to help you start feeling better fast. Visit us today in New Iberia, Crowley, or Opelousas, LA for COVID-19 testing, vaccines, or other urgent care needs.