Now that the first COVID-19 vaccine has become available to those in New York's Phase 1a and 1b, Bassett Healthcare Network has information to share about this FDA approved vaccine.

First thing's first. Here's how the vaccine works for those who get it according to Bassett:

"The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA). This small piece of the coronavirus's mRNA orders the cells in your body to make copies of a distinctive but harmless spike protein that appears on the surface of the coronavirus. These spike proteins trigger an immune reaction. Your body creates antibodies, which then protect you from getting sick if you're exposed to the real virus later."

Those who receive the vaccine need to have it twice, taken about 3 weeks apart. It takes about 14 days for the first vaccine to start providing immunity against the coronavirus since your body needs a chance to build up the antibodies to protect itself.

With that said, you may have had a hard time getting an appointment to receive the vaccine if you are currently eligible. At this time, Otsego County health officials reports that all appointments to receive it are full. However, you can sign up to get on a list through New York State. Start by visiting am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov and check it frequently for available appointments. You may have to do some traveling to get your vaccine.

When vaccines become available locally again, the Otsego County Department of Health will notify residents on their facebook page.

To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine visit www.bassett.org.

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