COVID-19

These Groups Should Wait Before Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Learn what groups of people should wait before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Drs. Shahzad Mustafa and Nadia Kousar.

Jan. 22, 2021 3   min read

Who shouldn't get the covid vaccine

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against coronavirus for adults over the age of 16 and the Moderna vaccine offers protection for adults over the age of 18 (studies on the effectiveness for children are in progress.) But there are a small group of people who should wait before getting the vaccine. 

Which Groups Should Wait 

People infected with COVID-19

A person who is currently infected with COVID-19 should wait until they have received a negative test and their symptoms have subsided before getting vaccinated.

“The vaccine protects people from future infection and people who have had COVID-19 from reinfection, but the vaccine is not a cure for COVID-19,” said Dr. Nadia Kousar, Medical Director of Infectious Disease for the Eastern Region of Rochester Regional Health. “Those who are currently sick should stay isolated and follow guidance from their primary care provider.”

Which High-Risk Groups Can Get Vaccinated?

Immunocompromised

The CDC recommends that the decision to get vaccinated for people with suppressed immune systems should be left up to the individual.

“Vaccines can be administered to people with a weakened immune system who have no history of allergic reactions to vaccines or the ingredients found in the vaccines. However, they should understand that there are unknowns in terms of effectiveness as well as the potential for reduced immune responses,” explains Dr. Kousar.

Elderly

Seniors over the age of 65 are among the first groups to receive the vaccine. Eligible Rochester Regional Health patients will be called by our central team to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of our indoor or drive-thru clinics. 

Read more about the first groups to get the vaccine

Pregnant

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding individuals who meet the criteria for vaccination.

*Please remember, if you have an underlying immune-compromising illness or if you are unsure about whether you should get the COVID-19 vaccine, discuss with your physician for individual recommendations. 

Side Effects

If you get the first dose and experience side effects

Side effects from both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can be expected and are common among most vaccinations. If you experience side effects after the first dose, you should still get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you otherwise. Side effects are your body’s way of preparing your immune system, and they should go away after a few days.

Common side effects:

  • pain at the injection site
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever

If you experience pain or discomfort, ask your doctor about which safe over-the-counter medications you can take.

NEXT STEPS COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

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Syed S. Mustafa, MD
Pediatrics - Pediatric Allergy/Immunology, Allergy And Immunology
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Nadia Kousar, MD
Infectious Disease
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