Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Spring 2021

2 New Mexico is continuing to fight against the COVID-19 virus. The shot is finally here! Here are the answers to your important questions. Who needs the vaccine? All New Mexicans should get the COVID-19 vaccine (or shot), especially those at high risk. If you have any serious allergies or health concerns, talk to your doctor first. Anyone who has a serious reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 shot should not get a second dose. Why should I get the vaccine? While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get very sick or die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get COVID-19, you can spread it to friends, family, and others around you. The shot will help protect your body without you having to get sick. The sooner most people get the shot, the sooner New Mexicans can get back to normal life. Where can I get the COVID-19 shot? The goal is for everyone to get the COVID-19 shot. Many places all over the state, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals, community locations, and health centers, have the vaccine. Presbyterian follows the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) plan to give vaccines. We encourage you to register for the vaccine through the NMDOH registration tool Whymasks andmore still matter Once I get my COVID-19 vaccine, can I take off my mask and stop social distancing? Not quite yet. Health experts are urging everyone to continue taking precautions not to spread the virus, even after they’ve received their shots. Why is that? It may take a while before everyone has had a chance to get a vaccine. In the meantime, people can still get the virus. And because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, you may still be at risk too. So we need to continue using every tool we have to fight the spread. When can I stop wearing a mask? We don’t know enough about the vaccine or the virus yet to say when it’ll be safe to stop wearing a mask or social distancing. But at least two things need to happen first: 1. A large number of Americans need to get the shot. 2. We need to be sure the vaccine offers long-term protection. Once those things happen, we may begin to see herd immunity. Getting to herd immunity Herd immunity occurs when enough people are protected against a virus that it’s unlikely to spread widely anymore. It’s not yet clear how many people will need to be vaccinated before we reach herd immunity. But once we do, we should be able to stop wearing masks and socially distancing. Until then, help keep your community safe by masking up and staying six feet apart from others. Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Johns Hopkins University at . When the vaccine is available for you, NMDOH will send you a message to schedule your appointment. Will it be free? The shot is free. You do not need health insurance to get it. Is it safe? Yes. A vaccine must be safe and work before it can be given to the public. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses data from thousands of people in clinical trials to study and approve all vaccines. The FDA will only approve something if it helps more people than it harms. They watch the safety of the vaccine after it’s approved too. Visit and the NMDOHwebsite for the most up-to-date information. SHOT OR NOT? Five things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine