It’s completely normal to have questions, concerns, and worries these days about COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. At Somerset Family Medicine SFM in Troy and Sterling Heights, Michigan, caring physician Neil Jaddou, MD, and his dedicated team are here to support you through this difficult time. For compassionate and effective medical care in the Detroit area, reach out to the office nearest you or click the online appointment maker for help today.
COVID-19 symptoms typically include:
Because COVID-19 is new to humans (it previously only affected animals), the symptoms list is evolving. This means that you may have other symptoms caused by the disease, as well.
Everyone should practice preventive and protective measures, including:
For your personal safety and that of those around you, it’s important to closely follow all guidelines from the state of Michigan and the CDC.
There are two basic tests that look for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 antibody test checks for past infection. Antibodies are a type of protein that wards off infection. They develop around 1-3 weeks after you have an infection.
Antibodies can potentially provide immunity, which means protection against reinfection, for at least a limited period of time. Antibodies work differently with each disease.
A positive COVID-19 antibody test may mean that you’ve had the disease, or another disease in its family, in the past. This past exposure left you with antibodies that may protect you from the disease, at least to some degree.
But, because COVID-19 is a new disease in humans, it’s unknown how long that protection lasts. Even if you have a positive antibody test, you should still take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19.
A viral test checks for a current COVID-19 infection. This test involves an anterior nasal swab, a quick test that you may need if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you’ve had close exposure to an infected person.
If you’re currently showing COVID-19 symptoms, avoid contact with others until you can get tested. Test results can take anywhere from a few hours to a week, depending on the current situation.
Somerset Family Medicine SFM doesn’t perform COVID-19 testing, but the team can help if you have questions about testing or COVID-19 in general.
If you’re looking for compassionate care during this time of anxiety and stress, call the office nearest you or use the online scheduler for compassionate care.
Will COVID-19 vaccination help keep me from getting COVID-19?
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Stopping the pandemic requires using all the tools we have available.
Is there a cost to get vaccinated?
No fees will be charged to get vaccinated. There will be no cost sharing from insurance plans. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. COVID-19 providers agree to administer vaccine regardless of an individual’s ability to pay and regardless of their coverage status, and may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from a vaccine recipient. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Will more than one dose of COVID-19 vaccine be required?
Yes. The current vaccines need two shots to be effective. It is very important that you receive the vaccine from the same manufacturer both times and get the doses within the required time frame to ensure the best protection from COVID-19. If you receive the Pfizer vaccine the second dose needs to be 21 days after the first dose, and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine needs to be 28 days after the first.
How will I be reminded to get the second dose?
MDHHS plans to use multiple ways to notify you of your second dose. COVID-19 vaccination record cards (reminder cards) will be provided when you receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The card provides room for a written reminder for a second-dose appointment. If you have a smartphone, consider taking a photo of your vaccination record and entering the date the next vaccine dose is due in your calendar. MDHHS is also developing text messaging reminders that will be sent prior to your second dose. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC has the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker” application for your phone that can send you a reminder.
To ensure the best protection from COVID-19, it is very important to not skip the second dose. The second dose must be from the same vaccine manufacturer, so it will be important to ensure that where you receive your second dose has the right vaccine. If you can, it would be best to follow up with the same provider who gave you your first shot.
Can any doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy offer the COVID-19 vaccine?
Initially, the federal government will distribute a limited supply of vaccine to each state. Michigan has allocated this limited supply to hospitals and health care settings where workers have contact with patients. Long term care facilities where some of the most vulnerable people live will also receive supply, which will be distributed through pharmacies and local health departments with support from the Michigan National Guard.
Doctor’s offices, clinics, and pharmacies who are enrolled in the vaccination program can offer the vaccine when the vaccine becomes available to them. As supply increases, doctor’s offices, clinics, and pharmacies will be able to obtain the vaccine directly, hopefully in late Spring 2021.
Will people who have already had COVID-19 be able to get vaccinated?
Yes. People who have had COVID-19 can still get a vaccine. CDC recommends getting it after you have recovered. You should check with your health care provider if you have questions.
If I already had COVID-19, should I get vaccinated? Shouldn’t I be immune?
Yes, you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine, even if you have had COVID-19. There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.
Do I need to keep wearing a mask after I get vaccinated?
Yes. Michiganders should continue to wear masks, social distance from those not in their household and wash their hands, even after receiving vaccine. More information is available on the CDC website in their FAQ document.
Is the vaccine safe?
We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated. Safety is the first priority. The process used to approve the COVID-19 vaccines is the same proven process that was used to create safe and effective vaccines for the flu, polio, measles, whooping cough and more. While the COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine authorized or approved for use.
More information about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is available at the CDC and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) website:
• CDC Vaccine Benefits website
• CDC Vaccine Safety website
• CHOP website
How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?
Vaccine development typically takes many years. However, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with COVID-19. No steps were skipped in the development of this vaccine but modifications to the process were made to shorten the timeline without sacrificing safety, such as:
• Overlapping phase I and phase II clinical trials. Phase I studies include a small number of people and evaluate whether the vaccine causes an immune response and is safe. Scientists looked at data from a group of people in phase I as phase II was progressing to make these evaluations.
• While completing large phase III trials, manufacturers began producing the vaccine, so that if it were shown to be safe and effective, they would have large numbers of doses ready.
• While waiting for a vaccine to be ready, many other aspects of vaccine delivery were prepared (e.g., developing plans for how to distribute the first, limited quantities available, ensuring adequate supplies for distributing and administering vaccine.)
Can this vaccine give me COVID-19?
No. This vaccine gives your body a code which helps it recognize the virus, so your body can fight it off in the future.
Can I get other vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?
CDC recommends that no other vaccine be given 14 days before or after you get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can women who are pregnant get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC has recommended that pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant may be offered the vaccine, if they are in one of the vaccine priority groups and in consultation with their health care provider.
Are there any tests people have to get before getting the vaccine?
The CDC is not recommending a routine pregnancy test or an antibody blood test for COVID-19 before you get the vaccine. You should talk with your health care provider about any questions you have due to your personal, specific medical history.
Does the vaccine have any side effects?
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some mild side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. You may experience a low-grade fever, headache, and just a general feeling of “not yourself”. These are signs that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to, which is produce an immune response for you to have protection against this disease.
Can people with a history of allergic reactions get the vaccine?
Most people who have food or environmental allergies can still get the vaccine. Prior to getting vaccinated, talk to your health care provider if you have had any severe reactions to medicines or vaccines in the past. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare and severe allergic reactions.
How are side effects being tracked?
The CDC runs the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a national system to detect any possible symptoms or side effects that occur after someone has had a vaccine. Anyone who has had a vaccine can report concerns to VAERS.
What is V-safe?
When you get your vaccine, you will get a link to access the “V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker” for your phone. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. CDC may follow up by phone to get more information. V-safe will also remind you to get the second COVID-19 vaccine dose when needed.