Top Ten Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines by the ‘Average Joe’

Joseph R. Anticaglia MD
Medical Advisory Board

“Kindly roll up your sleeve, I’m going to clean the area with an alcohol swab. You’ll feel a pinprick and it’ll be all over. I just want you to remain here for 15 to 30 minutes before leaving.” We’ve heard this spiel many times in the past before getting an injection.

“Please, wait a minute. Before you get started, I have a few questions about the COVID vaccine. Is that OK?”

“Sure. What are the questions?”

People often know the answers to questions they ask health care workers. However, COVID-19 vaccines are in uncharted waters in the minds of many Americans. So they ask what’s on their mind:

1) Have you been vaccinated with this vaccine?

Yes, I have and I recommended it to my family and friends

2) How did you feel after being vaccinated?

My arm was sore for a while and I had a slight headache. No big deal. It was less bothersome than the Flu shot.

3) How long will it take before I’m protected against the virus?

It’ll take about a month. The vaccine I’m about to inject into your arm is the first of two injections. The second one is administered 21 days from today. So, you need to return 3 weeks from today to get the second shot. A week after the second shot you’ll be protected-immunized against COVID-19.

4) I read about the two English health care workers who had a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine injection. As you can tell, I’m nervous!

Those health care workers have a history of severe allergic reactions. They carry around with them EpiPens to be used in case of a breathing emergency.

Everyone with a history of severe allergic reactions should speak to their doctor prior to getting any vaccinations. By the way, as I mentioned, we ask you to remain with us for approximately a half an hour before going home to make sure you’re OK.

5) I’m 67 years old, I heard the vaccine will not pump as many protective antibodies into my body compared to people half my age. Any truth to that?

The scientists say that the two vaccines that were approved by the FRA in December of 2020 work equally well in both the younger and older group of people.

6) My granddaughter’s pregnant. Should she get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

I don’t have the answer to that one. She should speak to her Obstetrician or Family Doctor to get the latest information about the vaccine and pregnancy.

7) What happens if I can’t get the second dose on time? Do I need to Start Over?

No. The second dose can be given, according to the experts, sometime after the first injection. Remember, both doses give you the best protection against the virus. And, it’s best to keep to the regimen outlined by the drug companies.

8) As I understand it, this vaccination is not going to cost me any money. Right?

Right, it should not cost you any money.

9) Do I still have to wear a mask after the second injection?

Yes. In addition, you need to practice social/physical distancing, washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings, especially indoors. There’s a possibility a vaccinated person can spread the disease to another person. Scientists need to look into this possibility down the road. For the time being, wear the mask.

10) How long will the antibodies protect me against the virus?

We don’t have the answer right now. Time and research will give us the answer. Are you ready to be vaccinated?

“Yes. And thank you for answering my questions. You’ve been great. OUCH! Just kidding!”


  1. CDC; Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination; Dec.13, 2020
  2. WHO; Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines; Oct.. 28, 2020

This article is intended solely as a learning experience. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.