Vaccines

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19? So, what can you safely do?

What can you safely do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? Many people are eager to resume normal activities and see their family and friends. Some situations are lower-risk than others, and whether or not the other people you will be interacting with have also been vaccinated matters, too.

You got the COVID-19 vaccine? I have vaccine envy

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Got vaccine envy? Not only has the pandemic upended our lives, differing state priorities and restrictions on eligibility for highly effective COVID-19 vaccines are fueling feelings of jealousy and unfairness that encourage questionable actions and ethics.

My COVID-19 vaccine story –– and what happened next

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to become more widely available, some people wonder what it’s like to receive one. One doctor shares her story –– including what happened when close family members became sick with COVID.

Grandparents and vaccines: Now what?

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

Grandparents tired of pandemic video calls are eager to hug grandchildren, and as seniors receive COVID-19 vaccinations, many want to know what their vaccination status means with regard to family and friends. Here are responses to some common questions.

Why won’t some health care workers get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccination rates among health care workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been lower than expected. Is this an information problem or does it stem from other issues –– and what can be done?

COVID-19 vaccines: Safety, side effects — and coincidence

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As the pandemic rages on, rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is welcome news since widespread vaccination is essential to help contain it. But while many are scrambling to get a vaccine, others hesitate due to concerns about effectiveness and safety.

Shingles of the eye can cause lasting vision impairment

There are about one million cases of shingles in the US each year, and up to 20% of those involve nerves in the head, where the infection can affect various parts of the eye. If a case of shingles involves the upper face, forehead, or scalp, it is important to see an ophthalmologist promptly, because complications can lead to eye damage and possible vision impairment.

Wondering about COVID-19 vaccines if you’re pregnant or considering pregnancy?

If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, you may have questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get informed by consulting trusted health sources, and talk with your medical providers about your options.

Shingles: What triggers this painful, burning rash?

If you have chickenpox as a child, the virus stays in your body, and can emerge later in life as a painful, burning rash called shingles. It’s not fully understood what triggers a resurgence of the virus, but factors that weaken the immune system increase the risk of developing shingles, and it is more common in people over age 60.

Why are mRNA vaccines so exciting?

Anthony Komaroff, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that could soon be available to treat COVID-19 are mRNA vaccines, which have never before been approved to treat any disease. How do these differ from other types of vaccines, and how were they developed?