COVID-19 Vaccine Wisdom Straight From the South Florida Community
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? Is one vaccine more effective than the others?
The coronavirus vaccines that are currently available — including the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine — are safe and will protect you against a severe case of COVID-19.
You may have heard that one vaccine is more effective than others. But here’s what you really need to know: The FDA-authorized vaccines prevented hospitalization and death from coronavirus 100 percent of time in the clinical trials.
The most important thing is to get any of the COVID vaccines as soon as you can. And remember: whichever vaccine you get for the first dose—that’s the one you have to get for the second dose. There’s no mixing and matching. Check the related question below for more information on where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in South Florida.
Can I get COVID-19 from taking the vaccine?
No, you cannot get COVID-19 from taking the vaccine. However, after receiving it you may feel some side effects, such as soreness on your arm, where the injection was placed, muscle or joint aches, a headache, fatigue, chills or a low-grade fever. These mild to moderate side-effects are short-term and pretty common. They’re just your immune system kicking in, producing specific antibodies and cells so that your body can be ready in case it is exposed to the coronavirus in the future.
Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant?
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it’s important to have a personal discussion with your health care provider so you can make the best health decision for you and your family.
That said, here are some facts to keep in mind: the vaccines are considered low-risk for pregnant women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women who meet criteria for vaccination have access to the vaccine and not be prevented from receiving it.
That’s because pregnant women who do get infected with COVID-19 are at risk of becoming more severely ill than women of the same age who are not pregnant.
The vaccines are also considered safe for women planning to become pregnant. There is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will impact fertility. If you find out that you’re pregnant after a first vaccine dose, it is still recommended to take the second dose.
Keep in mind that getting the vaccine if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant is a personal choice. Among the things to consider is how much exposure you get to people who are or may be infected, and how many cases of COVID-19 there are in your South Florida community.
Do I need to share my immigration status to get vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone, regardless of immigration status.
In fact, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have specifically announced they will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics.
Some personal information might be requested to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and the personal information requested will vary by site, but rest assured that this information is kept private and will not be shared with other entities.
It’s understandable to feel fear. So if you have concerns about sharing personal information, reach out to a trusted source in the community, like Centro Campesino, Hispanic Unity, the Urban League of Broward County or the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center for advice.
Where can I sign up to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in South Florida?
FINDING A COVID-19 PROVIDER IN SOUTH FLORIDA
This State of Florida Vaccine Finderoffers a map with all COVID-19 vaccine sites across both counties and the entire state.
You can also pre-register to “get in line” at MyVaccine.Fl.Gov. You will be contacted to make an appointment.
WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IN BROWARD
To pre-register for a coronavirus vaccination at a site operated by the Florida Department of Health in Broward, use the statewide appointment system at MyVaccine.Fl.Gov or call 866-201-6313 or 844-252-2003 for TTY users.
WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 VACCINE IN MIAMI-DADE
Click this link to pre-register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a site run by Miami-Dade County. You can also call 305-614-2014, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. All County sites require appointments. No walks up are allowed.
And here’s a website that keeps a very up-to-date list of vaccination sites all across Miami-Dade.
PHARMACIES & MARKETS ALSO OFFER COVID-19 VACCINES
The following pharmacies and markets are offering the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge. All require appointments, which must be made online at the links provided below.
How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost? Is it free?
The vaccine is free for everyone! If you do have health insurance, however, the vaccine provider may bill your carrier. But there is no cost to you.
I’m young and healthy. Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 can be severe for anyone. The protection you get from the vaccine is not just for yourself, but for others around you. The more individuals who are vaccinated, the less the virus can continue to transmit and the faster we can get out of this pandemic and back to a normal South Florida lifestyle. We can’t do it without you!
Do I need to continue wearing a mask and social distancing once I am vaccinated for coronavirus?
The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated people can safely gather with other fully vaccinated people indoors, in small groups, for as long as they like—no mask required!
However, it’s important that people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 continue to wear face masks and keep social distance while in public spaces or around others who are not vaccinated. They should also continue to avoid medium and large gatherings and, especially, others who are considered high risk. Here’s why:
- The vaccine takes time to kick in. You won’t reach your peak immunity until at least two weeks after receiving the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The vaccines don’t provide 100 percent protection. While the vaccines are effective up to 95 percent of the time, there’s just no way to tell who might fall into that other 5 percent and be at risk.
- You may still be able to spread the virus. While the vaccines prevent illness, experts are concerned that vaccinated people can still become infected, have no symptoms and then spread it to others who have not been vaccinated.
- We need to protect people who can’t get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine may not be as effective in certain people with chronic medical conditions. And some pregnant women are deciding not to get vaccinated or postponing until after they give birth. So both of these groups can remain at risk.
- There are still a lot of people waiting to get vaccinated! More than 4.5 million people live in Miami-Dade and Broward combined. So far, about 1.7 million people in both counties have been vaccinated. That means we still have a long way to go. Experts say we need to vaccinate at least half of our population for the pandemic to at least begin to end. So stay patient, safe and mask up!