Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes. It is strongly recommended that persons 16 years of age and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?
No. The COVID-19 vaccine will also not affect the results of viral tests. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination and efficacy is higher after the second dose. This means it is possible to be infected with the virus just after vaccination. Continue to wear your mask, social distance, and practice good hand hygiene.
How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?
Both Pfizer and Moderna showed a vaccine efficacy of 95% after dose 2.
If I currently have or have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Vaccination is recommended to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. Vaccination should be deferred until recovery from acute illness and criteria to discontinue isolation have been met.
There is no minimal interval between infection and vaccination, however, current evidence suggests reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. Persons with documented acute infection in the preceding 90 days may defer vaccination until the end of this period.
What are the possible side effects?
The most common side effect of the vaccine is a sore arm and injection site redness. Other common side effects that occurred in the trial were headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and chills. These were mostly mild/moderate symptoms and lasted on average of 2 days after the first injection and 3 days after the second injection. There were no anaphylactic or severe hypersensitivity reactions related to the vaccine in the trial. If symptoms last longer than 72 hours, or you have more serious symptoms, contact your doctor.
Do I need 2 doses?
Yes. The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses 28 days apart. Both doses are necessary to provide the best protection.
Can my 2 doses be with different vaccines?
No. These vaccines are not interchangeable with each other or any other brand of COVID-19 vaccine. You should receive the same vaccine for dose #2 that you did for dose #1.
I am immunocompromised, can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Specific guidelines stating who should not receive the vaccine have not been released yet. Until specific guidelines are published we suggest you reach out to your primary care provider or specialist for guidance.
I received my vaccine, can I stop wearing my mask now?
No. The best protection will not occur until a couple weeks after the second dose. It is also important to understand that no vaccine is 100% effective. Vaccinated persons should still follow all guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety.
I have a history of allergies; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you know you have a severe allergy (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any component of any of the COVID-19 vaccines do not get the vaccine at this time.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable therapy, you may still receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please alert you vaccinator if this is the case.
If you have a history of environmental, food, oral medication, latex, etc. allergies you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Are there any long-term side effects?
Since all COVID-19 vaccines are new, more time will be needed to determine possible long-term effects. However, current findings do suggest that the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks of getting infected with the virus itself.
Some of the long-term concerns with developing Coronavirus include (but are not limited to): inflammation of the heart muscle, lung function abnormalities, acute kidney injury, Blood clots and strokes, rash or hair loss, loss of smell and taste, sleep abnormalities, or depression.
How do I report side effects?
All recipients of the vaccine should to enroll in v-safe. This is a smartphone tool you can use to tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you report serious side effects, someone from CDC will call to follow up. Information on v-safe can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html. Side effects can be reported online through a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
I previously received monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19, can I get vaccinated?
Vaccination should be deferred for at least 90 days to avoid interference of the treatment with vaccine-induced immune responses.
Can I get another vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?
Current information suggests not getting other vaccines within 14 days of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.