COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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What is COVID-19?
A new coronavirus that had not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the other common coronavirus that can cause mild illness, like the common cold.
How can I protect myself and my community?
Get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others, avoid crowds, cover your coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces, wash your hands often, and monitor your own health for symptoms.
Who is at increased risk of severe symptoms?
People at increased risk include:
  • Older adults
  • People of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions
Pregnant people are also at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths). It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What is the Delta Variant?
The Delta variant is a new type of the COVID-19 virus that is much more contagious than the initial virus. The number of cases in Maine is increasing and the Delta variant is contributing to this.
What can we do to stay safe from these new variants??
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent COVID-19 and to stay safe. Masks help us stay safe and keep our communities safe as well. It is again being recommended that counties with high increases in community cases return to wearing masks. It is important to maintain safety anywhere though, such as wearing masks in large gatherings indoors, or if you are using public transportation. Also, unitizing hand sanitizers and getting vaccinated.
Can vaccinated people get the delta variant?
Yes, BUT vaccines are working. People that are vaccinated are much less likely to get it at all and when they do get it, they often have no symptoms and do not get severely sick. There is some evidence that people that are vaccinated but get infected with the Delta variant could still pass the virus even if they are not sick. Masks will help us prevent this spread and getting vaccinated remains the best way to keep yourself and family safe. Almost all cases of severe disease are people that are not vaccinated.

To stop these variants, we must stop the virus. The best way to do that is to get vaccinated. Please reach out to the health centers listed below or Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness to find out how to schedule yours. COVID-19 can stop with us, protect your loved ones and be a good relative.


Can the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID?
No, none of the approved vaccinations contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Do I need to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing after I receive the vaccine?
Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when the CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
If I already had COVID-19, do I need the vaccine?
Yes, Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, a vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from getting sick?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
I got a vaccine and have some side effects from it. Wasn't it supposed to keep me healthy?
This is actually your immune system going to work. Your body saw something different inside it and it started the process of getting rid of it. Your own body helped to start this process and will also help you develop antibodies, which is great! Antibodies will fight the COVID19 virus if you see it in the real world.
How did they develop these vaccines so fast?
These did come out fast, but only because they are built on many, many years of research! We fought other Coronaviruses in the past, one called SARS which happened in 2002 (almost 20 years ago, crazy!). We made great advancements fighting and learning from this. We didn’t start from scratch on this one, the cake just needed some frosting. There were also mass amounts of funding being provided to stop this virus like never before.
This is messing with my genetics/DNA, isn't it?
Nope! Vaccines do not alter your genetics in any way. In fact, the mRNA never even goes to where your DNA is held. You will still be you! It is way more dangerous to let COVID19 into your body.
How many people have gotten the vaccine?
3.73 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. 338 million in the United States. For comparison, 3.73 billion seconds is about 111 YEARS. That is a lot of people!
How do we know this is safe?
The vaccines were found to be safe and effective by the CDC and FDA through the use of clinical trials just as any other vaccine would be. The CDC uses the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System to track any adverse events that arise. Adverse events can happen with any medication, vaccine or procedure. Serious adverse events have happened and are looked into quickly. There is always the possibility of an allergic reaction or extremely rare disorders but these are extremely small. It is important to know that many events are reported to the VAERs systems and although these may have occurred around the time of a vaccine being delivered, public health officials look at every angle to see what is the truth! They do not mean the vaccine caused a health problem. If these were not safe they would be pulled for investigation.
Should I get a vaccine if I had COVID-19?
You should. Many people who have had the virus are running into long term symptoms like tiredness and pain, and headaches. There is some evidence to suggest getting a vaccine could help!
Where can I find more info?
If you are interested in receiving a vaccine, or learning more about the vaccine, please call your local health center and they will be able to provide any information you may need. You can also look at the additional resources below to learn more about COVID-19 and the vaccine.