The Better Health Advisors team has received many questions about the Covid-19 vaccination process and what level of protection each dose provides. To keep you updated, we’re sharing this Q&A with our BHA Senior Advisor. Adrienne Blassberg-Milich, MSN, FNP-BC is a Family Nurse Practitioner with more than 25 years of experience in primary care and home care.

I received the first dose of the vaccine. What’s next?

You are on the road to protection but not quite there. It is vital to follow up and receive the second dose, so be sure to keep your scheduled appointment for the second vaccination.  Both Pfizer and Moderna require a second vaccination, because you will not achieve maximum immunity from the first dose alone. Continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

How effective is the vaccine? Will it really protect me?

Right now, Israel is leading the world in vaccinating people against Covid-19, so we can learn from what’s happening there. The news is very encouraging. Preliminary data shows that two weeks after the first dose was rolled out, there was a decrease in the number of severe Covid-19 cases.

According to the New York Times and other media sources, out of more than 428,000 Israelis who received the second dose, only 63 people, or 0.014 percent, had contracted the virus a week later.

Once I’m vaccinated, can I travel? Can my kids see their grandparents?

It takes at least two weeks after your second vaccination for you to approach the 95% level of immunity.

Even then, be vigilant and take precautions. You can take comfort in knowing that you are protected, but scientists studying the vaccines don’t know for sure whether or not vaccinated people can still spread the virus to others. Look at those around you—have they received the vaccine? It will take time for multigenerational families to all be vaccinated. Those who have not yet received the vaccine may still be at risk, and they can still transmit Covid-19.

Adrienne and the rest of the BHA team encourage you to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you, and continue to follow the CDC guidelines. Wearing a mask and social distancing protects you, your loved ones, and other members of your community. Let’s work together to keep each other healthy.