The Congresswoman took to Instagram for an impromptu COVID-19 vaccine FAQ.
The COVID-19 vaccine is finally here. Well, one of them is, at least. The Pfizer vaccine for the coronavirus has begun to be administered, the first step in what governments and health officials around the world hope is the beginning of the end of this devastating pandemic. President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence and even the likes of Ian McKellen (Gandalf himself!) have gotten the first dose of the approved vaccine and used the occasion to tout its safety, in hopes of inspiring confidence in the population at large about its efficacy.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also received the first shot of the vaccine recently, took to Instagram to similarly dispel rumors and misconceptions about it. In addition to chronicling the process during one of her signature Instagram Live Q&A sessions, the Bronx native opted to use her vaccination appointment as a kind of COVID-19 vaccine FAQ.
"Just like wearing a mask," she said, while opening the floor to any questions, "I'd never advise you to do something I wasn't willing to do myself."
Many of the queries she answered had to do with basic facts like "Why two shots?" (an all too common dosage for certain vaccines like HPV, for example) and "What about the lady who fainted, is that a common side effect?" which she answered by referring to information she received from the House Physician (Congress, as AOC explained, has a dedicated doctor on hand). Side effects are mild and happen roughly for a few days after the first dose, she shared. They're often evidence, in fact, that your immune system is responding as expected rather than something bad.
She even shed light on more pressing questions like, "Is it worth getting if you were already COVID positive?" Short answer, per AOC: "YES. You should still get the vaccine even if you already got COVID before/have COVID antibodies. This is because we do not know how long natural immunity lasts (some studies suggest people may get it twice) and the vaccine can not only extend your immunity but also make your immunity stronger."
Others had more to do with AOC's personal experience. In case you were wondering, she felt no pain on her arm, she didn't faint nor had any other side effects, though she shared some info and stats on what to expect — including info on getting the vaccine if you're pregnant, are under 16, or have certain allergies, often deferring to studies and the data she'd gotten from the House Physician.
In addition to her Insta post you can find the rest of her COVID-19 vaccine answers in her Stories Highlights which we hope will get updated when the New York City Congresswoman gets her second shot in early January.