As of April 13, people aged 16 and older in Delaware are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including all university students regardless of their home state.
Delaware residents and students currently have access to the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, both of which require two doses.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was halted due to a small number of people developing a type of blood clot after getting their vaccine, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)’s website. The reaction is “extremely rare” but “serious,” according to the federal government, also stated on AARP’s website.
Moderna has an efficacy rate of 94.1%, and Pfizer has an efficacy rate of 95%, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website. It is recommended to wait three weeks after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 4 weeks after the first dose of Moderna before getting the second dose, according to AARP’s website.
At the moment, it is unknown how long immunity from the vaccine lasts and whether the vaccine will need to be administered on a regular basis, according to AARP’s website.
Appointments can be made on Delaware Health and Social Services website as they have locations at pharmacies including CVS, Giant, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart as well as other vaccination events and through medical providers and hospitals.
Upon arrival at a scheduled appointment, it is necessary to bring a state-issued ID and insurance card, if owned. Depending on where an individual goes to get their vaccine, they may also need to fill out a form as a proof of identity and eligibility.
After getting the first dose, regardless of which vaccine administered, a card will be given stating the date(s) of your vaccine(s) and the type of vaccine.
Charlotte Revelli, a communications major at the university, received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 4. Revelli said even after receiving the first round of the vaccine, she will still remain careful and follow COVID-19 guidelines.
“I do not feel 100% safe yet, but I do feel protected now that I have gotten the first dose and have the antibodies from when I previously had the coronavirus,” Revelli said. “After I get my second dose, I will feel much better and more comfortable.”
Liz Sabia, a criminal justice major at the university, got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 7. Despite being nervous to get the vaccine and the fact that Johnson & Johnson has recently halted distribution, she said she is happy that she is vaccinated and feels much safer.
“I was a little nervous to get the vaccine because of the safety rumors, but I feel better knowing I can do more and not be as worried,” Sabia said. “I do understand people’s concerns about the vaccine … but I think it is a good thing to get.”
Loren Zinn, a communications major at the university, received her first dose of Moderna on March 15 and her second dose on April 12. Now that she is fully vaccinated, she said she feels much better being around her friends and family, but was hesitant at first because COVID-19 has only been around for about a year.
“I did not really experience any side effects after the first dose, just a sore arm,” Zinn said. “Then after the second dose I got a fever, had muscle aches and felt sluggish.”
Side effects after receiving the vaccine are common and should go away within a few days, according to the CDC’s website. After the second dose, the side effects may be more intense then the side effects from the first dose.
By applying a cool, clean, wet washcloth over the area and using or exercising the arm can reduce pain and discomfort from where you got the shot, according to the CDC. In order to reduce discomfort from a fever, it is recommended to drink fluids and dress lightly.
As of April 20, 683,000 doses have been administered in Delaware, with 269,000 people fully vaccinated, making the 27.6% of the current population of Delaware fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.
As of April 29, 450,711 people or 46% of Delaware have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 276,475 people or 28% have been fully vaccinated, according to USA Facts website.
Even after receiving the vaccine, it is still a requirement to social distance, wear masks and follow guidelines to ensure the safety of others and to slow the spread of COVID-19.