What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Louisiana

(KLFY) News Ten Anchor Tracy Wirtz continues a conversation with Dr. Britni Hebert, a Lafayette doctor who is certified in both geriatrics and internal medicine who hopes to educate people about COVID-19 and what makes it so dangerous.

Dr. Hebert explained, “We are definitely in a spot in our community that, with time, everyone will come into contact with this virus. Everyone will have this virus. There are very few of us that can lock ourselves out completely from the public and be cut off.”

Hebert counsels patients every day about the COVID vaccine, and encourages them to ask themselves the question, “Which one do I think is higher risk for me: getting COVID or getting the vaccine?”

She explains each option poses different risks to consider.

“With COVID, we have the risk for pneumonia, we have a one or two in 100 risk for death, we have the one in 10 risk for having long-term symptoms from covid. So we’re seeing on in 10 of all COVID individuals have symptoms past three months. Then all of the long-term complications that we’re seeing we don’t understand yet. Heart problems, lung problems, people needing lung transplants. All of these things are in that box so you have to decide if the vaccine moves you to a new box that has less risks. It may have different risks. You may have risks for a reaction to a vaccine. You may have risks for an allergic reaction, but the risks should be smaller.”

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination

Arm pain seems to be the chief complaint for some people who have received the vaccine, but Dr. Hebert described other side effects that shouldn’t cause alarm.

“Any time your immune system is activated, you may feel fever, you may feel aches, chills, even shakes. Your body is having the right reaction and that’s what’s gonna give your body the immunity, the memory for when it sees the real thing.”

Recent studies indicate that immunity from having COVID likely doesn’t last more than three months, and people have been infected again. Dr. Hebert hopes most of us make the decision to roll up our sleeves.

“I do hope that enough people get the vaccines because I’d really like to hug my grandmothers.”

The CDC does provide a smartphone-based tool for health check-ins and to help you monitor any side effects you may experience. It will also notify you when the time comes for your second dose.

Click here to find out more about V-Safe.

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