Should You Take Off Work For the COVID Vaccine?

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The spread of misinformation around vaccines has cost us thousands of lives so far

For the last year, residents around the world have taken precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Plastic table products with three sides, masks, sanitizing wipes, and soap are all important parts of protecting you and your children during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one of the most important weapons we have against the novel coronavirus is inoculation.

Of course, many people do have questions regarding the safety and after-effects of these vaccinations. As you plan your appointments to get vaccinated, it’s important to keep the following questions in mind.

Should I Plan to Request a Day Off After My COVID Vaccine?

Slips and falls are the leading cause statistical cause of workers’ compensation claims, but this type of accident isn’t the only reason you may need to take time off of work. If you have an appointment scheduled to get the COVID-19 vaccination, you may want to plan to request a day off after your second shot. Many people getting the vaccination find that their immune response is strongest after the second dose. As such, they’re widely experiencing arm discomfort, low-grade fevers, headaches, and general fatigue. Taking time off to rest may help you recover from these symptoms more easily and is an investment in your health.

Does My Employer Have to Grant Time Off to Receive the Vaccine?

Around two-thirds of millennial employees had planned to move on from their current positions to other jobs by the end of 2020. But if you’ve remained gainfully employed throughout the pandemic, you may be entitled to paid leave to receive your vaccine. However, this isn’t guaranteed if it isn’t mandated statewide. While your employer would ideally provide you with time off specifically to receive the vaccine, if they don’t, you can opt to use your paid time off to attend your appointment. If your employer has no paid time off policy, check with your state or province to see whether you might be eligible for this.

Can I Go Right Back to Work After Getting My Vaccine?

While you can technically go back to work immediately after receiving your vaccine, you may want to take some time off to rest, especially if you’re experiencing an immune response. You can go back to work while masking and social distancing, but you may not feel as well as you would on a normal day. In addition, you may have some pain and inflammation around the site of the injection. This can be especially uncomfortable if your job requires lifting or manual labor, so be prepared for this discomfort if you immediately return to work.

How Long Does it Take for the Vaccine to Work?

After you receive your second vaccination dose, it takes approximately two weeks for your body to fully develop its immunity to COVID-19. Once you’ve built up this immunity, you’ll be less likely to catch COVID if you’re exposed to the virus. This means that you’ll want to wait two weeks after you receive the vaccine before being around non-vaccinated people while unmasked.

Should I Still Wear a Mask Even if I’m Vaccinated?

After vaccination, you may still be able to spread COVID-19 to non-vaccinated individuals, although you’re far less likely to catch the virus yourself. It may be safe for you to be around other vaccinated individuals unmasked. However, if you’ll be spending time with people that are non-vaccinated or individuals whose vaccine status is unknown, it’s best to mask to avoid spreading COVID.

Your employer may or may not provide you with paid time off in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Many employers are providing their employees with PTO time in order to get their vaccine, but so far, it is not a requirement. Even if your employer doesn’t provide you with paid time off, you can still schedule a vaccination appointment for your day off or use your existing time off to attend a vaccination appointment. You may also want to try to take the day off after your second vaccine dose, as this is when you will likely feel the strongest immune response symptoms.