COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

We know there are lots of questions around the COVID-19 vaccine, so we've compiled the answers to help keep you informed. This page will be your home for timely and important information on the vaccine so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. 

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General Vaccine Information

Current data from the manufacturers for the vaccine, validated by the FDA, strongly indicate that the vaccines are safe and effective. These vaccines are undergoing the same rigorous clinical trial protocols and safety evaluations that have been used for years and that have been proven effective for other vaccines we commonly use in the U.S. There are no reported serious safety concerns from the current vaccines. As is their practice, the CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the vaccine.
No, it is not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines. The vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) only use a gene from the virus while other vaccines being studied use an inactive virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
To-date no significant safety concerns have been reported and the side effects have been considered mild to moderate such as fatigue or headache. We know there is a small risk of side effects associated with all vaccines, but the side effects are often less serious than the diseases themselves. We believe the vaccines are safe and effective and only move forward according to the rigorous review of our well-established clinical protocols.
Yes, the current COVID-19 vaccines are not considered completely effective unless the second dose is received.
No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not alter human DNA. The vaccine offered is a messenger RNA vaccine. Messenger RNA works by giving the body instructions to produce a protein on the surface of the cell. That protein teaches the immune system to recognize the protein and produce antibodies against the protein. Once the immune system can produce antibodies against the protein, immunity to COVID-19 is present.
The vaccine will be rolled out in phases to ensure the most vulnerable and high-risk populations, including healthcare and essential workers, have access to it first. Public health authorities indicate it will be made available to broader population over time and as the vaccine supply increases.
Protection against COVID-19 begins 14 days after receiving the first vaccine. That protection is even greater and longer lasting once the second vaccine is given.
Mild to moderate pain at the injection site was seen within 7 days after the injection. This was the most common side effect reported in the study. The number of patients reporting pain at the injection site, did not increase with the second dose. Side effects such as fatigue and headache occurred in 50% of patients and occurred more commonly after the second dose. These symptoms occurred in the first 24-48 hours after the vaccine. Fever was reported in some participants, more commonly after the second dose and was more common in younger participants than older (age >55) participants.


Pregnancy and the Vaccine

The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) shared that pregnancy is not a contraindication for the vaccine. Pregnant or lactating patients are encouraged to discuss the benefits of vaccination and the risks of a COVID-19 infection with their physicians during pregnancy.

More information and guidance is available from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG), by clicking here.


Allergies

We are waiting on final directions from the FDA on who should not receive the vaccine. If you have had severe allergic reactions to other medications or vaccines, please consult with your doctor before signing up to receive the vaccine. If you have a history of anaphylaxis to injectable medication or vaccines, you are adverse.
Patients with a history of Guillian Barre are more likely to develop similar symptoms with other vaccines. Please consult with your physician before deciding to receive this vaccine.


Moderna vs. Pfizer

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both mRNA vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine is the first vaccine to go through the FDA approval process and hospitals have been determined to be the first in line to receive the vaccine.
Yes, similarly to the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine requires two doses to be considered effective and offer protection against the virus. The difference is that the Moderna vaccine requires the second dose be administered four weeks after the first, where Pfizer’s requires three weeks in between doses.

Resources

As details continue to emerge, please refer to the resources below for the latest information.