News 8 Now Investigates: Answering common questions about COVID-19 vaccine

Mayo Clinic Health System provides clarity to common COVID-19 questions
Mayo Clinic Health System

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A La Crosse doctor is answering the public’s questions and concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. It will take time until the vaccine will be available for the general public.

Pfizer’s vaccine is in the U.S. and anything new and unfamiliar raises questions. Mayo Clinic Health Systems Dr. Daniel DeSimone answered some common questions the health system received.

When I am able to get the vaccine, what will it be like?

“The current vaccine that’s been approved from Pfizer is a two-shot series that’s given 21 days apart,” DeSimone said.

Is it like the flu vaccine?

“The needle’s just going to be a standard shot, a standard vaccine,” DeSimone said. “It’s going to be an injection into the muscle in the shoulder.”

Why should I trust the vaccine?

“Your doctor that’s recommending you to get the shot, he or she is going to be the first one to get the vaccine,” DeSimone said.

Can the shot make you feel sick?

“The most common are going to be pain at the sight,” DeSimone said. “Not surprising a needle into the arm may cause some pain. There may be some redness. Systemically patients may have a fever.”

If I get a fever what does that mean?

“That may be a good sign because the goal of this vaccine is to stimulate an immune response,” DeSimone said. “One of the effects of that is actually having a fever.”

What is in the vaccine?

“Both (Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines) are what they call mRNA vaccines,” DeSimone said. “There’s absolutely no or piece of the virus, inactivated or weakened form of the virus in this vaccine at all.

“This mRNA is basically a message. That message is read by your body. It’s like having a wanted poster with a picture of the COVID on it.”

If I already had COVID-19 should I still get the vaccine?

“Yes, what we’re advising is waiting 90 days to when you were diagnosed,” DeSimone said.

The vaccine is free but health care systems can charge an administrative fee. That is covered by several different insurance policies.