Interact for Health Logo

As thousands in our region become eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, many may have questions about the vaccine. We’ve compiled the following comprehensive list of common questions. It is not intended to be individual medical advice. If you have questions specific to your situation, contact your health care provider.

Find a vaccine

For shorter overviews about COVID-19 vaccination, read our fact sheet in English, Spanish, French, Arabic or Nepali. Have a general question not addressed here? Email it to us at webmaster@interactforhealth.org. You can also watch Dr. Owens’ virtual community forum about the vaccines. 

Last updated:  June 10, 2021

 

Safety/Side Effects

    • What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

      Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vaccine/art-20484859

      COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get COVID-19, you could spread the disease to family, friends and others around you. 

      Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without your having to become sick with COVID-19.

      A COVID-19 vaccine might prevent you from getting COVID-19. Or, if you get COVID-19, the vaccine might keep you from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications.

      Getting vaccinated also might help protect people around you from COVID-19, particularly people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

    • How will we know if a COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

      The U.S. has a long history of assuring vaccines are safe through the use of specific, detailed, and time-tested protocols. Before any new vaccine is brought to market, it has been given to thousands of people under stringent monitoring for safety. Sometimes, very rare side effects are recognized only after the vaccine is licensed because they occur so infrequently, but such side effects are very rare and must be weighed against the good the vaccine will do.

    • How did the process for approving a vaccine move so quickly?

      Source: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/vaccines/vaccines-faq

      Traditionally, it has taken many years to develop a vaccine, confirm its safety and efficacy, and manufacture the vaccine in sufficient quantities for public use. This timeline was substantially shortened for COVID-19 vaccines. There are several ways this has been made possible. First, some clinical trials combined phases 1 and 2 to assess safety and the immune responses. Second, because of the high number of new cases of COVID-19 in many places, differences in disease risk between those who received the viral vaccine and those who received the placebo or comparison vaccine were measured more quickly than in the absence of a pandemic. Third, the United States government and others heavily invested in building the manufacturing capacity to produce large numbers of vaccine doses before the findings of the phase 3 trials are available. Typically, vaccine manufacturers wait until the phase 3 trial is completed and shows safety and efficacy before making such a large investment in manufacturing capacity. None of these factors that contribute to the accelerated development of a vaccine for COVID-19 imply that safety, scientific or ethical integrity were compromised, or that short-cuts were made.

    • What kind of reaction will I have to the vaccine?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

      Severe side effects for the COVID-19 vaccine are extremely rare. When minor side effects occur, they are a normal sign your body is building protection to the virus, and most go away within a few days. These include soreness in the arm, fatigue, headache or a slight fever that lasts a day or two. If you have questions about whether the vaccine is safe for you, you should talk to your health care provider.

    • What is the risk of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faqand https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

      The risk of a medically significant adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is extremely low and the CDC and FDA are closely monitoring the safety of all approved vaccines. It’s important to distinguish between mild and expected reactions, like some soreness in the arm, fatigue, headache or a slight fever that lasts a day or two, and medically significant reactions, which are very rare. Cases of anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction) were occurring between 2 and 5 times for every 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

      If you have a question about whether the vaccine is safe for you, you should talk to your health care provider.

    • How long after I get vaccinated will I experience side effects?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

      Allergic reactions, which can be severe, typically happen within 15 minutes of vaccinations. Feelings of light-headedness and/or fainting, which are possible, also typically occur within 15 minutes of vaccination. For this reason, the CDC recommends that people be observed by health care personnel for 15 minutes after getting vaccinated. Side effects like sore arm, fatigue and headache are most common the day after vaccination, but most often occur 1 to 3 days after vaccination.

    • Can people who have had allergic reactions to vaccines in the past get the COVID-19 vaccine?

      Source: https://acaai.org/news/acaai-updates-guidance-risk-allergic-reactions-covid-19-vaccines

      The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends the following:

      • Anyone receiving the vaccine should be asked if he/she has a history of a severe allergic reaction to any prior vaccine. If the answer is yes, individuals should be referred to an allergist/immunologist for further evaluation prior to COVID-19 vaccination.
      • According to the CDC, if you have had a severe or an immediate allergic reaction of any severity within 4 hours after getting the first COVID-19 shot, you should not get the second shot.
      • Additionally, patients who experience a severe or an immediate allergic reaction of any severity (hives, swelling, wheezing) or who have questions related to risk of an allergic reaction, may be referred to an allergist/immunologist to provide more care or advice.
      • People who have had allergic reactions should receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a health care setting where anaphylaxis can be treated and be observed for at least 15-30 minutes after injection to monitor for any adverse reaction.
      • The mRNA and adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines should not be administered to individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of a particular vaccine.
    • I heard the vaccine can cause paralysis. Is that true?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

      There is no definitive link between the vaccine and paralysis. Severe side effects for the COVID-19 vaccine are extremely rare. If you have questions about whether the vaccine is safe for you, you should talk to your health care provider.

    • How much testing has there been on people of color?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ and https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/general-resources/frequently-asked-questions+covid-19-vaccine

      Everyone is susceptible to infection by the coronavirus. Therefore, it’s important to have diversity among participants in clinical trials that measure a potential vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Safety and effectiveness for all groups of people is particularly important for a COVID-19 vaccine because of the virus’s disproportionate impact on people of color, people with underlying medical conditions and the elderly. A vaccine that is not sufficiently tested in a diverse clinical trial pool could lead to unexpected effects that didn’t appear in a trial with a more general population.

      Approximately 42% of participants in Pfizer BioNTech’s worldwide clinical trials, and 37% of the Moderna study population were from communities of color, which is similar to the diversity of the U.S. at large.

    • What is the difference between emergency use authorization and ‘normal’ authorization?

      Source: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/public_health/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQs.pdf

      Emergency use authorization is a process by which the FDA can authorize use of a medication or vaccine with less data if the benefit of the vaccine has been shown to outweigh the risk. EUAs can be issued only during a declared emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines issued an EUA will continue to be studied and have additional safety monitoring and informed consent and education associated with them.

    • How was it approved without meeting the minimum FDA testing period requirements?

    • I’m suspicious of the technology used to make the vaccine. It’s like something from science fiction.

    • Are there any pre-existing conditions that would prevent someone from receiving the vaccine?

      Source: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/public_health/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQs.pdf

      • Children and adolescents under age 12 are not eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those under age 19 are not eligible to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
      • Immunocompromised individuals should talk with their health care provider about the vaccine.
      • Anyone who has a fever or other symptoms may not be able to get the vaccine until their symptoms resolve. This includes those who have symptoms or are positive for COVID-19.
      • People with documented anaphylactic reactions to vaccines and individuals with a known allergy to any of the vaccine components should not be immunized.
    • Are there any conditions that would cause someone to delay receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/pre-vaccination-screening-form.pdf

      In some instances, a person may need to wait to be vaccinated for COVID-19. These include:

      • People who are moderately or acutely ill with something other than COVID-19. People who have mild respiratory symptoms (I.e. head cold, diarrhea) can still be vaccinated. People who are taking antibiotics but are not currently feeling ill can be vaccinated, too.
      • People who have gotten another vaccination within the last 14 days.
      • More specific circumstances should be discussed with your health care provider.
    • If someone has a severe reaction to COVID-19 vaccine, does it show that they had the virus in the past?

    • Are women more likely to experience side effects from the vaccine?

      Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/well/live/covid-vaccine-side-effects-faq.html

      An analysis from the first 13.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses given to Americans found that side effects were more common in women. And while severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, nearly all the cases of anaphylaxis, or life-threatening allergic reactions, occurred in women.

      The finding that women are more likely to report and experience unpleasant side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine is consistent with other vaccines as well.

    • If I get a fever after getting vaccinated for COVID-19, should I stay home?

    • I have a rash where I got vaccinated. Should I be concerned?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html

      Some people have experienced a red, itchy, swollen or painful rash in the arm where they got the COVID-19 vaccine. These rashes can start a few days to more than a week after the first shot and are sometimes quite large. These rashes are also known as “COVID arm.” If you experience a rash after getting the first shot and you are getting a two-dose vaccine, you should still get the second shot at the recommended interval, but you may want to get the second shot in the opposite arm. If the rash is itchy, you can take an antihistamine. If it is painful, you can take a pain medication like acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

    • I’ve heard that some people have swollen lymph nodes after vaccination. Should I be concerned about that?

      Source: https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2021/03/03/why-lymph-nodes-may-swell-after-covid-19-vaccine/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/health/covid-vaccine-lymph-nodes.html

      A small number of people have reported swollen lymph nodes about two to four days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The swelling is almost always on the side of the body in which the person was vaccinated and goes away within a couple of weeks. The swelling may show up on imaging scans, including mammograms. Some experts suggest waiting a few weeks after COVID-19 vaccination to schedule imaging, including mammograms. Others recommend telling the provider about your recent COVID-19 vaccination and working with him/her to follow up as needed if swollen lymph nodes are detected.

    • Can I drink alcohol after getting the vaccine?

    • How long does someone shed the vaccine?

    • I haven’t had any side effects after the vaccine. Does that mean it's not working?

      Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/well/covid-vaccine-questions.html

      Just as some people experience side effects from medications and some don’t, people have varied reactions to vaccines. While we tend to hear only about the unpleasant reactions after the vaccine, a lot of people experience only mild discomfort or no symptoms at all after getting the shot.

    • I heard a nurse say she would not get the vaccine. If health care workers are not getting, why should I?

      Source: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/12/08/health-care-workers-can-decline-a-covid-19-shot-for-now and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

      Some health care workers are skeptical about the vaccine. They have concerns about the technology and the speed at which it was developed—the same issues that many in the community wonder about. It’s important to note that all the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Systems that allow CDC to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country.

    • Are there any side effects that are different between races?

      Source: https://www.fda.gov/media/144434/download

      Clinical trial data for the vaccines did not find specific safety concerns by age, race, ethnicity, chronic health conditions or prior coronavirus infection.

    • There have been reports that the vaccine may be related to new cases of Bells Palsey--are there any other long lasting side effects related to the vaccine?

      Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

      Severe side effects for the COVID-19 vaccine are extremely rare. When minor side effects occur, they are a normal sign your body is building protection to the virus, and most go away within a few days. There is no definitive link between the vaccine and paralysis, a symptom of Bell’s Palsey. If you have questions about whether the vaccine is safe for you, you should talk to your health care provider.

    • If I or someone in my family has a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, what should we do?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html and https://www.hrsa.gov/cicp/faq#covid

      If someone has a severe allergic reaction after getting vaccinated, their provider will send a report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the national system that collects reports from health care professionals, vaccine manufacturers and the public about adverse events that happen after vaccination. Reports of adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected or have unusual patterns are followed up with specific studies.

      Benefits for those who have serious physical injury as a direct result of the COVID-19 vaccine may be available through the federal Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program within one year. Individuals or their family members must make a claim within one year and provide proof that a qualified injury was directly caused by the vaccine.

    • How do we know the vaccine is safe long-term?

      Source: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions/

      The safety follow-up for COVID-19 vaccines is essentially the same that it is for all vaccine trials. The expectation for the adult phase 3 trials is 2 years of safety follow-up - longer than for most vaccines during development. It is impossible to know the very long-term safety profile of vaccines that have only been in humans for about 6 months. That said, no vaccines licensed have been found to have an unexpected long-term safety problem.

 

Supply/Demand

  • How are the vaccines being distributed?

  • What can I do to protect myself until I can get COVID-19 vaccine?

    Can any pharmacy, clinic or hospital offer the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Source: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine

    To receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine and supplies, providers must enroll in a federal vaccine distribution program, coordinated through the state immunization program (unless they are part of a national chain that registered directly with the CDC). The federal government will procure and distribute the vaccine at no cost to enrolled providers.

  • If I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I need vaccine?

    Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

    Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.  If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should also wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your health care provider if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If I receive a first vaccine dose, how will I know when to get the second dose?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

    Two of the three available vaccines are based on a two-dose regimen and the great majority of public health officials and vaccination experts believe it is important to stay with that two-dose regimen because that’s what was shown to be effective during the clinical trials. Most providers will notify you when it’s time to schedule your second dose. If you don’t hear, check with the provider who gave you your first dose. 

  • Will we need to get the vaccine yearly like the flu vaccine or just once?

    Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know

    Experts aren’t sure yet. A few people who have had COVID-19 have apparently had a second, often milder case of the disease, and researchers are exploring what this means in terms of how long immunity from the coronavirus lasts. Vaccine developers are looking at ways to boost the effectiveness of a vaccine so that it provides longer immune protection than a natural infection with the coronavirus.

  • Could you discuss the differences between the vaccines?

    Source: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/public_health/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQs.pdf and https://khn.org/news/article/when-your-chance-for-a-covid-shot-comes-dont-worry-about-the-numbers/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/02/28/johnson-and-johnson-covid-vaccine/ and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

    Three vaccines are currently licensed: One developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, one by Moderna and one by Johnson & Johnson. Having different types of vaccines available for use, especially ones with different storage and handling requirements and dosing recommendations, can offer more options and flexibility for jurisdictions and vaccine providers. 

    The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines that have a piece of mRNA specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. They have similar efficacy and safety profiles.  

    The main differences between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines include the ages of individuals eligible to get the vaccines, the length of time between doses, the requirements for storage and the preparation of the vaccine. 
    The factors above will be different for other vaccines that may be authorized soon. One important difference is that some vaccines may only require one dose.

    Johnson & Johnson is an adenovirus vector vaccine.  

    In clinical trials, people reported fewer and milder side effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

    The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to administer as well—it only requires one dose and can be stored in regular refrigerators. Unused doses have a longer shelf life as well. Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused in April while federal health officials investigated a small number of blood clots reported after vaccination. A panel of experts decided that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks and cleared it for use again.   

  • Is one manufacturer's vaccine better than another?

    Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/health/Covid-vaccine-explainer.html

    The most crucial piece of data about a vaccine is its ability to prevent severe illness and death; and all vaccines approved for use in the U.S. meet similar standards for severe illness/death. Comparing how well vaccines prevent mild illness is more difficult, experts caution, because the vaccine trials were done during different timeframes and in different parts of the world, meaning that the amount of virus circulating and the variants were different. A final factor is distribution of the vaccine, some require only one dose and can be stored at regular temperatures, while other require multiple doses and extreme cold storage.

  • What is the current status of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    On April 23, a CDC panel recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions resumed use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    The CDC and FDA will provide monitoring and treatment information to health care providers and vaccine recipients.

    If I’ve received the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine, am I at risk?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    If you received the Johnson & Johnson shot and have not developed any of the side effects associated with the blood clotting disorder (severe headache or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, neurological symptoms, leg swelling) within three weeks of being vaccinated, the risk of an adverse reaction is unlikely. If you have questions or concerns, consult your health care provider.

  • Should I be concerned about the safety of other COVID-19 vaccines?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    The identification of what is approximately a less than 2-in-a-million risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a sign that the nation’s safety monitoring system for COVID-19 vaccines is working. After any vaccine is successful in clinical trials and approved for use, the FDA continues to monitor it for safety. The pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allowed scientists to evaluate each incidence of the clotting disorder. They determined that the level of risk was very low and that the benefits of continued use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine greatly outweighed any risk associated with it.

  • What was learned during the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    The 10-day pause gave health officials time to review additional data to better understand the degree of risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a blood clotting disorder. It also gave federal agencies and the medical community time to determine and share information on the most appropriate treatment response. During that time, nine additional cases of the clotting disorder were identified, bringing the total number of known cases to 15 (among the nearly 7 million people who received the vaccine). 

    The decision to lift the pause is based on the experts’ determination that the benefits of again administering the vaccine greatly outweigh the very small degree of risk associated with its use, particularly now that the risk and treatment protocols are better understood. The risk of blood clotting is much higher for people who contract COVID-19 than it is for people who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

  • Who is at risk for the blood clotting disorder associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    The likelihood of the blood clotting disorder resulting from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare. The risk varies by age and gender. There have been fewer than 1 case per million for men and for women who are 50 years or older; the risk is estimated to be about 7 cases per million for women age 18 to 49. If you have questions about the Johnson &Johnson vaccine or other vaccines, talk to your health care provider.

  • If I’m offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I wait until I can get either Pfizer or Moderna?

    Source: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/

    For most people, getting the first available COVID-19 vaccine is the best thing you can do to safeguard your health. Your odds of contracting a possibly life-threatening case of COVID-19 are much higher than your odds of serious side effects from the vaccine. The risk of blood clots from COVID-19 illness is 165,000 per million cases. More than 90% of the vaccine supply in the United States is either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. However, for some settings, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be the one that is available. And some people prefer the option of a single-dose vaccine. If you have additional questions about which vaccine is best for you, check with your health care provider.

  • If a vaccine requires two doses, can they be from different manufacturers?

  • How can I keep myself safe while getting vaccinated?

    Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect.html

    When going to get vaccinated, be sure to take the following precautions:

    • If you think you have COVID-19, notify the health care provider before your visit and follow their instructions.
    • When you get the vaccine, you and your health care worker will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you have to go out in public.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
  • Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had another vaccine or am scheduled to get another vaccine soon?

 

How vaccine works

  • How will a COVID-19 vaccine work in my body?

    Source: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine

    The COVID-19 vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize the coronavirus. When you get the vaccine, your immune system makes antibodies (“fighter cells”) that stay in your blood and protect you in case you are infected with the virus. You get protection against the disease without having to get sick.

    When enough people in the community can fight off the coronavirus, it has nowhere to go. This means we can stop the spread quicker and get a little closer to ending this pandemic.

  • Does the vaccine prevent infection or just symptoms?

    Source: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/Cv19VaccineFAskedQ.pdf

    While the vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease, they might not prevent asymptomatic infection, meaning vaccine recipients might still be able to be infected, but not have symptoms and, therefore, unknowingly spread the virus. The vaccine manufacturers are conducting additional studies to clarify.

  • I heard that the COVID-19 virus is mutating rapidly. Are the current vaccines still effective against the new strains?

    Source: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/general-resources/frequently-asked-questions+covid-19-vaccine and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html

    Viruses frequently change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Most variants do not change how the virus behaves, and many disappear. According to the CDC, scientists are still learning how effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants. 

  • How do they know the amount of dosage my body needs?

    Source: https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-schedule/other-schedule-issues

    When authorizing vaccines, age is more important than weight. The COVID-19 vaccines are currently not approved for those under age 12.

    Immune cells, called T cells and B cells, must be able to recognize the component of the vaccine, so that if a person comes into contact with that virus or bacteria again, these educated cells can become active and protect the person from an infection. Since these cells are present throughout the body, they are usually educated near where the vaccine is given and then the cells, not the vaccines, travel throughout the body.

  • Do you have to have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency to receive the vaccine?

  • Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 before receiving either dose of vaccine?

    Source: https://health.ri.gov/publications/frequentlyaskedquestions/COVID19-Vaccine.pdf

    No, you do not need to get tested for COVID-19 prior to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have known current COVID-19 infection, you should not get vaccine until after you have completed your isolation requirements. This recommendation applies to persons who develop COVID-19 infection before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who develop COVID-19 infection after the first dose but before the second dose.

  • Can I take my routine medications (I.e. blood pressure, cholesterol) the day I’m scheduled to get my COVID-19 vaccination?

  • Who can’t get the vaccine?

    Source: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/public_health/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQs.pdf

    • Children under age 12 are not eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those under age 19 are not eligible to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
    • People who are immunocompromised are able to determine if they wish to receive the vaccine. These patients are encouraged to have a discussion on the potential benefits and risks with their health care provider.
    • As with other vaccines, anyone who has a fever or other symptoms may not be able to get the vaccine until their symptoms resolve. This includes those who have symptoms or are positive for COVID-19.
    • There is also caution for people with documented anaphylactic reactions to vaccines. Individuals with a known allergy to any of the vaccine components should not be immunized.
  • If I live with someone who has a health concern (I.e. pregnant woman, someone with cancer), can I still get vaccinated?

 

Cost

  • Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccines?

    Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

    Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving someone the shot. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for this by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.

  • What is a vaccine administration fee?

    Source: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine

    The vaccine administration fee is the fee a health care provider charges to give you the vaccine. This is separate from the cost of the vaccine itself, which the federal government will cover.

 

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Fertility

 

Children

 

After You’re Vaccinated

    • If I get vaccinated, can I stop wearing my mask in public places?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

      Fully vaccinated people (those who are at least two weeks after their final dose) can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

    • Does getting sick with COVID-19 provide better protection than the vaccine gives?

      Source: https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-12/covid-19-vaccine-patient-faqs.pdf

      Both COVID-19 and the vaccines are new. We do not know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice. 

    • Which lasts longer, immunity from vaccine or from getting COVID-19 virus?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

      The protection someone gains from having an infection (called “natural immunity”) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Because this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Current evidence suggests that getting the virus again (reinfection) is uncommon in the 90 days after the first infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

      We won’t know how long immunity lasts after vaccination until we have more data on how well COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

    • If the vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, how will I know when to get the second dose?

      Source: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccine_FAQ.pdf and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

      When you receive the vaccine, you will receive a card with the date of your first dose, the name/manufacturer of the vaccine received and the date on which you should receive your second dose. Your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine must be from the same product name/manufacturer as the first dose. Most providers will notify you when it’s time to schedule your second dose. If you don’t hear, check with the provider who gave you your first dose.

    • What happens if you don't take the second dose?

    • After the required doses, how long until it takes effect and provides protection?

    • Are there any pre-existing conditions that would prevent someone from receiving the vaccine?

      Source: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/public_health/COVID19-Vaccine-FAQs.pdf

      • Children under age 12 are not eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those under age 19 are not eligible to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
      • Immunocompromised individuals should talk with their health care provider about the vaccine.
      • Anyone who has a fever or other symptoms may not be able to get the vaccine until their symptoms resolve. This includes those who have symptoms or are positive for COVID-19.
      • People with documented anaphylactic reactions to vaccines and individuals with a known allergy to any of the vaccine components should not be immunized.
    • What should I do with my vaccination card?

      Source: https://www.nytimes.com/article/covid-vaccine-card.html

      • Keep the card in a safe place. If you lose it, contact the provider who vaccinated you to see about obtaining a replacement.
      • Protect your card. It includes personal information, like your birthdate, that could be used to steal your identity. Some people recommend laminating the card, but others say that could make it difficult to record any booster shots you receive.
      • If you plan to travel, find out if the card (or other proof of vaccination) is needed
    • Do I need to quarantine after exposure to a case after I’ve been fully vaccinated?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

      Recent guidance from the CDC is that people who are vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID-19 may not have to quarantine if the vaccinated person: 

      • Is fully vaccinated (more than 2 weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after the second dose of a single-dose vaccine).
      • Has received the last dose within the last 90 days.
      • Does not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
    • I am planning a trip outside of the U.S. What should I do?

      Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

      The CDC currently recommends that you avoid international travel, even if fully vaccinated.

      If you must travel, health experts recommend that you get vaccinated prior to your trip, with your final dose occurring at least two weeks prior to your trip. Measures like wearing a mask and frequent hand washing can also protect you while traveling.

    • If I’m vaccinated, can I begin to travel without having to quarantine upon arrival to a destination?

    • If I get symptoms shortly after I’ve been vaccinated, should I get tested?

    • If I get sick with COVID-19 after the first dose of the vaccine that requires two doses but before getting the second dose of the vaccine, what do I do about the second dose?

      Source: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccine_FAQ.pdf

      You should still plan to receive the second dose after you recover from your COVID-19 illness and after you finish your isolation period for COVID-19 infection (for most people, this will be 10 days after symptoms started or positive COVID-19 test, and no fever for 24 hours). Note that the second dose of vaccine should still be no sooner than the recommended waiting period for the second dose (21 days for the Pfizer vaccine, 28 days for the Moderna vaccine).

    • Is it possible to get COVID-19 after I am fully vaccinated? 

      Source: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccine_FAQ.pdf and https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/02/24/if-i-get-shot-can-i-still-get-covid-19-answers-common-vaccine-questions

      None of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. can cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. It’s possible to be infected with COVID-19 once you’re vaccinated, but unlikely. Early evidence suggests that in the rare case that someone is infected after being fully vaccinated, they experience a milder course of illness than they would have otherwise. Additionally, the first dose of vaccine only gives a partial amount of protection.

    • Once I am fully vaccinated, is possible to still spread COVID-19 to others?

      Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/mask-distance-vaccine-safety-covid/2021/01/20/f80eeab6-55ce-11eb-a08b-f1381ef3d207_story.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

      Experts are still studying whether people who are fully vaccinated may still be able to transmit COVID-19, even if the vaccinated person doesn’t have symptoms. Further, the vaccines currently available take time to reach their full efficacy (up to 2 weeks after the last shot is received). 

    • I’ve heard that taking a pain reliever after getting a COVID-19 vaccine could blunt its effectiveness. Is that true?

 

Miscellaneous

      • Does either vaccination contain blood products or stem cells?

        Source: https://health.ri.gov/publications/frequentlyaskedquestions/COVID19-Vaccine.pdf

        The use of stem cells is a concern for many people of the Catholic faith. None of the vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses. Fetal cell lines were used in development and testing of the vaccines, but the Vatican stated that while the vaccines have some connection to cell lines that came from tissue taken from fetal cells, the cell lines have been modified so much that it is not immoral to receive a vaccine developed with human cells. Further, Catholic leaders consider vaccination coverage a moral obligation; vaccines protect health and save lives. By getting vaccinated, you can protect those who cannot be vaccinated due to underlying conditions.

      • I refuse blood transfusions or other products with blood fractions to be used in my own body, it was of great concern to me if the vaccines contained any of those?

      • What percentage of people need to be vaccinated to have herd immunity?

        Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

        Experts do not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. CDC and other experts are studying herd immunity and will provide more information as it is available.

      • Should people with HIV infections or who have other immunocompromising conditions, or who take immunosuppressive medications get vaccinated?

      • Do I need to be vaccinated for work?

      • Will Ohio make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

      • Can I donate blood after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

        Source: https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/news/article/covid-19-vaccination-guide-blood-donation.html

        Yes. People who have received the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. from Pfizer, Modern and Johnson & Johnson will not be deferred from donating blood. However, donors must be symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation. If an individual is experiencing any side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, they should postpone their donation until they are feeling better.

      • Why is there such a focus on minority populations, especially Black communities, when it comes to the vaccine?

        Source: https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/how-are-states-addressing-racial-equity-in-covid-19-vaccine-efforts/ and preliminary research report from Cohear

        Black rates of death and serious illness as a result of COVID-19 are higher than those of some other demographics, in large part due to existing health inequities. Public health officials have placed a focus throughout the pandemic on protecting those who are at highest risk of serious illness--that would include Black Americans, based on the statistics we have seen so far. Additionally, the national focus on racial justice which has arisen over the past year has called attention to the ways in which Black communities have been mistreated by the health care system.

      • If people believe in the vaccine so much, why are they paying people millions of dollars to get it?

        Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2107719  and preliminary research report from Cohear

        Rates of vaccination among eligible individuals have been declining for a number of weeks, as it seems most people who were certain they wanted to receive the vaccine as soon as possible have already done so. Some states and localities have begun associating monetary incentives with vaccination drives in order to increase vaccination rates. There is some preliminary evidence that these incentives are an effective use of funds which otherwise would have been used for other vaccination drive efforts, such as marketing materials. However, many individuals have legitimate questions and health concerns and people should have access to reliable information about the vaccine to make an informed decision about whether to receive it.

      • Some are trying to take advantage of people looking for the vaccine. What can I do to avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams?

        Source: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/coronavirus-advice-consumers/20199_covid_vaccine_scams_infographic_8-5x11_v3.pdf and https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/23675-bbb-tip-dont-share-your-vaccine-card-on-social-media

        •  
        • Nobody legit will call about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam. Ignore any vaccine offers that say differently, or ask for personal or financial information.

        The Better Business Bureau also recommends that you don’t share photos of your vaccination cards on social media. It can make you a target for identity theft.

      • I have an appointment for vaccination, but don’t have transportation. What should I do?

        Source: https://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/covid19/ and https://chfs.ky.gov/News/Documents/nrvaccinationsitesexpanding.pdf

        In Southwest Ohio: Call United Way 211. The Council on Aging’s Home52 program can book transportation to vaccine appointments. Details are available at https://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/home52-Transportation-COVID-19.pdf. Ohio residents who are enrolled with a Medicaid Managed Care Organization may be eligible for transportation via the MCO. Learn more at https://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/Ohio-Medicaid-COVID-Testing-and-Vaccination-Transportation-Support-002.pdf.

        In Northern Kentucky, call the statewide COVID-19 hotline at (800) 722-5725.

      • Will a vaccine end the COVID-19 pandemic?

      •  

  • Jun 03, 2021

    Trip Advisor: How to travel safely this summer

    Read More
  • Jun 03, 2021

    Nearly 1 in 4 adults experienced financial difficulty during pandemic

    Read More
  • May 27, 2021

    Funding available to improve quality, availability of recovery housing

    Read More
  • May 18, 2021

    How the pandemic has affected lead poisoning in kids

    Read More
  • Mar 17, 2021

    COVID-19 information page shares resources and data.

    Read More