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Veterans Health Council Report, January/February 2021 -   -  

COVID-19 Vaccination Facts

Veterans Health Council logoIn the previous issue I discussed the importance of members getting flu vaccines and, when available, the COVID-19 vaccines to avoid a twin pandemic (flu and coronavirus infections). Now that there are authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, accurate vaccine information is critical, and I encourage VVA members to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

COVID-19 vaccines cannot not give you COVID-19. None of the vaccines currently used in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19. While many people with COVID-19 have only mild illness, others may get severe illness, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. Unfortunately, many veterans have comorbid medical conditions that may put them at more significant risk.

If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. Approximately 40 percent of people may be asymptomatic but still can spread the coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody without having to experience sickness.

Depending on the vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) you get, a second shot three to four weeks after the first one is needed to get the most protection. You should complete the series with the same COVID-19 product you first received.

The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may include experiencing flu-like symptoms that might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.


You should receive a vaccination card or other information that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. You also will receive a fact sheet with more information about the vaccine and the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. You should be monitored on-site.


It’s important for VVA members to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic: Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least six feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. 

Please review the CDC website for updates: www.cdc.gov




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