The COVID-19 Virus and the Vaccine Explained

As much as many of us hoped the start of a new year would bring some relief from the pandemic, we find ourselves still in its center. As a service provider to people with disabilities – many of whom are at high-risk of complications from COVID-19 – Reimagine has adapted to safely continue services and programs, as many of our participants have shifted to online activities and learning.

It can be difficult for many of our participants to understand the lingering threat of the coronavirus. They may not grasp the concept of a vaccine and how it will work; or that it will still be necessary to wear a mask after getting the vaccine. To help people with cognitive disabilities better understand COVID-19 and the vaccine, Reimagine offers the following simplified questions and answers.

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a short way of saying Coronavirus Disease 2019. Its nickname is the coronavirus. It is a virus that is very easy to get and it can make you very sick. So, it is important to protect yourself by wearing masks when you leave your homes, washing your hands regularly and keeping six feet away from people who don’t live with you.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine and how does it work?
The COVID-19 vaccine is a medicine that helps protect you from getting COVID-19. It requires two shots in the arm. After you get your first shot,  you will need a second shot 3 to 4 weeks later. After your second shot, it will take a few weeks before you build up protection from the virus. Your arm may be sore after getting the shot, or you may feel slightly tired or even have a fever. This is all normal!

Do I have to keep wearing a mask after I have had the COVID-19 vaccine?
YES, even after you’ve had both of your shots, it is important to keep wearing a mask when you are out in public or around people who don’t live in your home. It will take many months before everyone who wants the vaccine can get it, so we need to make sure we all stay protected while we wait for everyone to have their turn!

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and availability in Orange County, visit the OC Health Care Agency website or talk to your healthcare provider.

Take care and stay safe!