Understanding how COVID-19 vaccines work

February 8, 2023

Understanding how COVID-19 vaccines work

MOBILE, Ala. — Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. With all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

The body typically takes a few weeks after vaccination to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

“Sometimes, after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer of Mobile County. “These symptoms are normal signs the body is building immunity.”

Vaccinations and rapid testing for COVID-19 are available at Mobile County Health Department’s Festival Centre location (3725 Airport Boulevard, Suite 101-A, in Mobile) and the Southwest Public Health Center (5580 Inn Road in Tillman’s Corner). These in-clinic services from the COVID-19 Response Team are available on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are no out-of-pocket costs.

While no appointment is required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, individual appointments must be made for rapid testing online at this link — https://appointments.mchd.org.

“All should be encouraged to get their annual influenza and COVID-19 booster,” Dr. Michaels said.

To receive the influenza vaccine, please make an appointment with Family Health – MCHD’s primary care division – by calling 251-690-8889.