How can I best protect myself?
Get vaccinated and get your booster if eligible. As variants — like delta and omicron — emerge, we must also continue taking other important precautions that slow the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others when you’re out in public.
- Practicing social distancing. Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people and avoid crowds.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Throw it in the trash when you’re done.
What are Grady’s mask guidelines?
We require all caregivers, patients, and visitors wear face masks in our facilities at all times. For everyone’s safety, your mask should fit snugly and cover your nose, mouth, and chin. We understand that having different guidelines at various places you go may be confusing, but we touch patients when they are most vulnerable. They trust us to keep them safe, and we thank you for also doing your part.
How Can I Get My COVID-19 Vaccine?
With the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, widespread vaccination is available in the community. Everyone age 5 and up can now get their vaccine.
Grady offers COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters by appointment. Call (404) 616-2900 to schedule an appointment to get your shot.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes, the vaccines are safe and effective and we strongly encourage you to get it.
Given the speed of development of these vaccines, it’s understandable that there have been questions about whether or not there’s been enough research and testing to ensure the vaccines are safe. But all vaccines must go through rigorous clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy, with at least two months of patient follow-up, and report their findings to the FDA.
Millions of people in the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures safety before vaccines are made available. Data from large trials in patients are reviewed by experts who are completely independent from both the government and the manufacturers responsible for creating the vaccines. Additionally, the vaccines were tested in diverse patient groups (age, race, ethnicity, etc.) to ensure safety and effectiveness.
As with many vaccines, you may be sore where it’s injected. You may also develop fatigue, fever, and muscle aches afterward. This seems to be more common with the second dose of vaccine. If this happens, it means your immune system is taking notice of the vaccine and reacting.
How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
When you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, your body builds up the immunity it needs to fight the COVID-19 illness and lessen the mild-to-severe symptoms. It is important to remember that it takes the body a few weeks after vaccination to produce the necessary antibodies to protect you from COVID-19. It is possible to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 just before or just after vaccination and get sick with COVID-19.
Will the vaccines be effective against new variants of the coronavirus?
When more people are vaccinated, there are fewer chances for COVID-19 to spread, regardless of the mutation. Scientists expected that the virus would mutate because viruses change all the time. From the data that are currently available, the vaccines appear to be effective against the new strains of SARS-CoV-2.
Can I test positive for COVID-19 because of the vaccine?
No, it is impossible for any of the vaccines currently authorized by the FDA to cause a positive result from a viral test (a test taken to see if you have a current infection).
Additionally, none of the existing vaccines can give you COVID-19 because they do not use a live virus strain.
Can I stop wearing my mask after I’ve been vaccinated?
No, you need to continue masking when you go out in public until enough people have been vaccinated and “herd immunity” is reached. Herd immunity occurs when a high percentage of the population is immune to disease through vaccination or prior illness. The vaccine is effective at preventing you from getting sick with COVID-19, but we do not know if it prevents you from being able to spread COVID-19 without symptoms. In order to prevent this “asymptomatic spread” to the vulnerable people in your community, continue to wear a mask,
Can vaccinated people still get COVID-19?
No vaccines are 100% effective. In fact, breakthrough cases (when someone tests positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after they’re fully vaccinated) are expected. Breakthrough infections are more common in indoor settings with large groups of people, the elderly, and in individuals with compromised immune systems. However, the vaccines greatly reduce the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. For more information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
If I’ve had COVID-19, should I get vaccinated?
People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness.
Can I get a booster shot?
Everyone age 16 years and older can get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing their 2-dose primary series. Teens ages 16-17 years old can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot.