The COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Here are some specific directions from the CDC for everyone following receiving a vaccination, especially important regarding a COVID vaccine for seniors.

Side effects  

You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. On the arm where you got the shot, you may experience pain or swelling. Throughout the rest of your body, you might have fever, chills, tiredness or headache. These side effects are common with the COVID vaccine for seniors. 

Helpful tips

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot:

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area 
  • Use or exercise your arm 

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids 
  • Dress lightly 

COVID vaccine for seniors: When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. The vaccines do not contain any live or inactive virus, so it is impossible to catch COVID-19 from the vaccine. However, it is possible to become infected with COVID-19 just before or after vaccination, before the vaccine has had time to become effective.

About your second shot

For the vaccines that are currently authorized, you must get two doses for the vaccine to be effective. For the Pfizer vaccine, the doses will be spaced 21 days apart. For the Moderna vaccine, the doses will be spaced 28 days apart. Is it important to note that without BOTH doses, you are not protected from contracting COVID-19.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either COVID vaccine for seniors. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval. ​

The CDC urges you to remember:

  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​ Many factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will affect public health officials’ decisions to recommend discontinuing practices like masks and physical distancing. Having a COVID vaccine for seniors is great—but we must all remain vigilant.

The Gables of Brighton Vaccination Plan

On Wednesday, February 3, The Gables of Brighton will be hosting its first round of vaccinations for Residents and Staff, in partnership with Health Direct Pharmacy. The second vaccination round will be held on Wednesday, February 24.

For more information on The Gables of Brighton, our COVID-19 vaccination plan, or to schedule a tour of our independent living community in Rochester, NY,please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!