There is a lot of data—and misinformation—about COVID-19 and the vaccines used to combat it out there. Coronavirus disease (commonly known as COVID-19) is an infectious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has proved resistant to most common antiviral medications, resulting in more complex treatment. Flu symptoms are more severe than normal and may result in serious respiratory problems and even death.
Anyone can get COVID-19, but those with pre-existing medical conditions or other risk factors are especially susceptible to serious symptoms. Seniors (those aged 65 and above) are one of the largest groups of high-risk individuals.
If you are exposed to the disease, being vaccinated can help reduce your chance of getting infected or spreading it. Read on to learn more about this illness and whether you should vaccinate against COVID-19 for your health and that of your loved ones.
So, before you Google “Which COVID vaccine is best for me,” keep reading. This article will discuss which COVID-19 vaccine is the best option for immunocompromised patients and the benefits of booster shots.
Common Symptoms Of COVID-19
An infection caused by COVID-19 can range in severity from a mild illness that resolves on its own to a life-threatening condition, depending on an individual's overall health and the severity of their symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 pneumonia are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Excessive coughing
- General malaise
- Abdominal pain
- Joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
People with certain pre-existing conditions may develop more serious symptoms as a result of contracting COVID-19. If you have one or more of the following conditions, you are more likely to experience serious complications:
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Cigarette smoking
- Using illegal drugs (e.g., opioids and steroids)
If you think you may have COVID-19, make sure you test at home or get tested! Tests are covered by Medicare, and other insurances may cover the cost as well.
Who Should Be Vaccinated For COVID-19?
There are many people who are at an increased risk of serious symptoms or death as a result of contracting COVID-19:
- Those with pre-existing chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, alcoholism, and cancer)
- Illegal drug users
- People with weakened immune systems (e.g., people with cancer, organ transplant recipients, and those on certain types of medication)
- Very young or very old people
- People receiving long-term care in a specialized facility
- Caregivers, healthcare providers, and first responders
- People with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, including children in child care centers, healthcare personnel, and people who live in crowded or unsanitary conditions
- Pregnant women
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens are at an increased risk of mortality or severe symptoms and complications if they contract COVID-19 because they are likely to fall into several of these categories simultaneously.
Who Shouldn’t Be Vaccinated?
There are very few people who shouldn’t be vaccinated. The CDC recommends that the following people not be vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Those allergic to any component of either mRNA vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson vaccination
- Those allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate
Your doctor may advise against receiving the vaccine if you are severely immunocompromised, but the CDC and most healthcare professionals recommend it for people aged 65 and older in most cases.
What Are My Vaccine Options?
Currently, there are three vaccination alternatives available to stop the spread of COVID-19—Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. However, it is suggested that seniors receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.
They are each effective on their own. Senior citizens should only receive one of these vaccinations, as there is no reason to receive two full vaccinations.
An mRNA vaccination has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe damage. Seniors who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine were found to be 94% less likely to end up in the hospital.
Which COVID Vaccine Is Best for People Aged 65 and Older?
But which COVID-19 vaccine is the best? As they are all found to be effective, the best option for you is the one that you can most easily and safely access. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been proven to be more effective than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but if Johnson is your only option, it’s better to take it than wait.
Discuss your options with your doctor and then get your recommended vaccination as soon as possible.
Do I Need Booster Shots?
Your body’s immunities become less effective as time passes after the COVID-19 vaccination. New strains can outsmart your body’s defenses, which is why boosters are so crucial, particularly for those over 65.
For those with weakened immune systems, the CDC recommends that their next vaccination be administered four months after their regular vaccination. You may receive your COVID-19 booster at any time if it has been more than four months since your previous one.
Which COVID Vaccine is the Best Option For Me in Paragould Arkansas
Contact the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging
Still wondering, “Which COVID vaccine is the best option for me?” Contact the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging! We’ll connect you with healthcare professionals who can advise and immunize you.
Whether you need information or transportation, we’re here to ensure that you have access to everything you need to remain healthy and happy. All of our information and assistance programs for seniors are entirely free!