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Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered

Recently, Farron C. Hunt, MDFamily Medicine at ARC Manor, was interviewed by the Austin American Statesman, answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Bottom line: Don't skip your second dose out of fear of side effects. That article also covered other topics related to COVID-19.

Note: As of April 13, Austin Regional Clinic has paused all Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccinations until further review by the FDA and CDC. We will continue administering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Current scheduled vaccine appointments will not change. Click here to read the CDC and FDA joint statement.

Side effects of the vaccine

With all the vaccines, Dr. Hunt said her patients have complained mostly of arm pain and swelling for a couple of days, and some fever, fatigue, or joint swelling.

What to do if you're having symptoms

Most patients can take some pain relief and be fine, and the symptoms go away with a few days, Dr. Hunt said. She has not had to write an extended work excuse note for anyone. One patient did have tingling in their hand a few weeks later, but when she did a physical exam, it looked normal.

Hunt recommends that everyone track their symptoms through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration's VAERS program — which stands for vaccine adverse event reporting system. The CDC also has the V-Safe program that sends you a text message to track your symptoms.

Are you still protected with one COVID-19 vaccine dose?

With the Pfizer and Moderna shots, if you only get the first dose, the vaccine is only 60% to 80% effective at preventing symptomatic disease. That second dose brings that efficacy to 95%. Johnson & Johnson has a 66.3% efficacy rate against getting sick but prevented hospitalization at 100%.

Hunt said some patients want to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because they want to be done with one shot.

How many people have been vaccinated in the U.S.?

In the U.S., 112 million people have had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 66 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

"This could save your life," Hunt said, and it could save money by avoiding expensive medical care because of hospitalization or losing money because of time lost from work.

Mask after vaccine?

"There are still the variants out there, and the vaccine doesn't cover every variant to the same degree of effectiveness," Hunt said. "You still want to wear a mask in large groups and in public to protect yourself against variants."

Vaccines at ARC

As of April 13, Austin Regional Clinic has paused all Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccinations until further review by the FDA and CDC. We will continue administering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Current scheduled vaccine appointments will not change. Click here to read the CDC and FDA joint statement.

Make an appointment with Dr. Hunt

To make an appointment with Dr. Hunt, do so online at ARCBookNow.com or by calling ARC Manor at 512-582-6075.

Check the ARC website to see when vaccine appointments become available.

Read the full Statesman article.

Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccine

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