At present, there is a wealth of accurate knowledge available concerning COVID–19 vaccines and which COVID vaccine is the best option in Arkadelphia. But since there is also a good deal of misinformation out there, you have to be careful when selecting your sources. It matters where you get your information. The novel coronavirus (or COVID–19, as it is most commonly referred to) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus–2 (SARS–CoV–2).
However, COVID–19 is a good deal more difficult to treat in comparison with the original coronavirus because of its resistance to the most commonly prescribed anti-viral drugs. The symptoms of COVID–19 range from those resembling the common flu to far more severe and long-term impairments. In the worst-case scenarios, COVID–19 can lead to permanent disability and even death.
While anyone can contract COVID–19, people in high-risk categories are especially vulnerable to symptoms of greater severity. These would include people over the age of 65, individuals who are pregnant, and persons with pre-existing lung conditions or other chronic illnesses. Because seniors often fall into multiple high-risk categories, they are at greater risk and are far more vulnerable than many others in our community.
Being vaccinated can greatly diminish your risk of contracting or transmitting the coronavirus once you have been exposed. Read on to learn more about COVID–19 and whether you and your loved ones should get vaccinated.
Have you ever wondered, “Which COVID–19 vaccine is the best option for me here in Arkadelphia?” We answer that question below. We also define the benefits of booster shots and identify the COVID–19 vaccine best suited for immunocompromised patients.
Common Symptoms of COVID–19 in Arkadelphia
If you or a loved one contracts COVID–19, the symptoms could vary widely in terms of severity. This will depend on the overall state of your health and immune system. For some it is a minor illness, similar to the flu. For others, it can quickly evolve into a life-threatening situation. It can often lead to pneumonia, an extremely dangerous condition for older people. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Excessive coughing
- General malaise
- Abdominal pain
- Aching joints
- Swollen lymph nodes
In addition to these commonplace indicators, some people with COVID–19 may exhibit more unusual signs of infection. These are often the result of complications due to a pre-existing or underlying condition. If you have any of the following conditions, you may be more likely to experience a severe set of COVID–19 symptoms:
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Addiction to cigarettes
- Use of illegal drugs (such as opioids)
If you think you may have COVID–19, please remember that tests are covered by Medicare. Be certain that you are getting tested on a regular basis—and as soon as possible upon noticing any symptoms.
Who Should get Vaccinated for COVID–19?
People who run an elevated risk of either contracting and/or being seriously harmed by COVID–19 should absolutely be vaccinated. A representative sample of such high-risk groups may include:
- Those with pre-existing chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, cancer).
- Those experiencing issues with drug addiction.
- Anyone with a weakened immune system (e.g., cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, persons on certain types of medication).
- The very young and very old.
- Persons receiving long-term treatment in a healthcare facility.
- Those in close contact with people who have COVID–19, including caregivers, healthcare providers, and first responders.
- People with an elevated risk of exposure to COVID–19 (children in day care centers, healthcare personnel, people living in crowded or unsanitary conditions, etc.).
- Women who are pregnant.
Many seniors fall simultaneously into multiple categories, exponentially raising their risk of contracting COVID–19 and experiencing a dangerous set of symptoms. There is also a greater risk of mortality if you fall into one or more of these categories.
Vaccination helps to prevent contraction of the disease. In addition, it activates your immune system and enables it to fight against the COVID–19 virus, lessening the likelihood of an extreme symptomatic response. So even if you fall ill after being vaccinated, you are a lot less likely to display serious symptoms or require hospitalization.
Who Should not be Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that you not be vaccinated for COVID–19 if:
- You are allergic to any component of either the mRNA vaccinations or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- You are allergic to either polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate.
If you are severely immunocompromised, it is possible that your doctor will recommend that you should not get the vaccine. But in 99% of all cases, the CDC and doctors jointly recommend that anyone over the age of 65 be both fully vaccinated and boosted.
Which COVID–19 Vaccine is the Best Option for me?
There are three vaccination options currently available to help prevent the contraction of COVID–19:
- Johnson & Johnson
While all of these vaccination protocols are considered effective, seniors should try to receive either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine if possible.
These, also referred to as the mRNA vaccinations, are comprised of two shots given two weeks apart. They have been verified by multiple studies to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and severe complications from COVID–19.
In point of fact, seniors who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines were found to be 94% less likely to end up in the hospital.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is slightly less effective and is comprised of only one shot. If there are no other options available at any given time, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is certainly far preferable to not being vaccinated.
Which COVID–19 Vaccine is Best for Adults Over 65?
So, which COVID–19 vaccine is the best? The best vaccine for you is the one you can easily access in a safe and secure manner.
Engage your doctor in a thorough and sensible discussion about your options and then get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The effectiveness of your COVID–19 vaccination will wane over time. As with a flu shot, it can only remain effective against the strain circulating this year. Therefore, boosters are extremely important–especially for vulnerable members of the community like our senior citizens.
The CDC recommends that seniors—and those with compromised immune systems—should receive booster shots about four months after an initial vaccination. If a longer period of time has elapsed since your COVID–19 vaccination, you can receive your booster at any time.
Which COVID Vaccine is the Best Option For Me Arkadelphia?
If you’re still wondering which COVID–19 vaccine is best for immunocompromised patients, or if you need help in accessing a vaccination, contact the Area Agency on Aging of West Central Arkansas! We’re happy to connect you with healthcare professionals and immunization services.