April 16, 2021

Podcast: Are you hesitant to get the COVID vaccine? Dr. John Benson, Mankato Clinic Family Medicine, busts myths, talks safety and effectiveness and explains how the vaccines work. Click here for the KMSU podcast. 
  1. The vaccine is safe and effective. Safety standards for vaccine approval are stricter than other drugs. The approved COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages and races. To speed up the process, red tape was eliminated and vaccines were manufactured during clinical trials. Safety was not compromised. The FDA and the CDC found the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and highly effective.
  2. The vaccine will help protect you from getting sick. The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus and cannot give you COVID or make you sick. Even if you do get infected with COVID-19, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. The vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus.  After your shot, you may notice a fever, fatigue, chills and body aches that can last for 24-48 hours. These symptoms are a normal immune response. However, over 50% of people in clinical trials didn’t experience any side effects at all. Either way, you’re protected!
  3. I have an underlying medical condition. It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have one or more medical conditions. In fact, the vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and cancer. These conditions can make people more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
  4. Reach herd immunity. When more people get vaccinated, we can reach herd immunity which occurs when enough people are immune to the virus making it unlikely to spread. In Minnesota, our goal is to reach a vaccination rate of 80% to help protect us from COVID-19. Early evidence suggests immunity from the vaccine may last longer than natural immunity from infection and offer better protection from COVID-19 variants.  
  5. Return to Normal. The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest, quickest and best way to end the pandemic and return to normalcy. As more people get vaccinated, we can fully open our schools, churches, businesses, restaurants, music and sports venues. When you get vaccinated, you may protect others who can get severely ill from COVID such as older adults. That means we can see our friends, grandparents and extended family again – in person! 

To find your shot, visit Mankato Clinic COVID-19 vaccine information

Hang in there

Even after vaccination, please keep on wearing a mask, stay 6 feet apart, avoid crowded places, wash your hands frequently and stay home when sick. Most COVID-19 vaccinations require a 2-shot series spaced 3-4 weeks apart. It takes the body about 2 weeks after the second shot to reach full immunity – 6 weeks total. We need to use all of our tools right now to take down COVID. As more people are vaccinated, mask and social distancing guidelines are expected to loosen.