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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

UK HealthCare is proud to serve you – and our community – by helping to end this pandemic. We are vaccinating thousands of Kentuckians each week against COVID-19 at the UK Kroger Field vaccination center, which is being managed by UK HealthCare Pharmacy Services and UK HealthCare Retail Pharmacies. See answers below to some frequently asked questions.

  • Requesting a vaccination

    Q: Do I need an appointment to get the vaccine?

    A: The vaccination clinic at Kroger Field is by appointment only. Request an appointment at ukvaccine.org.

    Q: Once I request a vaccination, how long will it take before I get an invitation to schedule?

    A: Following the state of Kentucky’s phased vaccine distribution plan, we will send you an invitation through email to set up a vaccination appointment as vaccine supplies and appointment availability allow. Invitations will go out on a rolling basis based on your risk group and where you fall into the phased plan. Patience will be key. It could be weeks or even months before you are invited to get a vaccine if you are in the plan’s later phases. But everyone who registers will get an invitation.

    Q: If I don’t live in Kentucky, am I still eligible to receive a vaccine at UK’s Kroger Field Clinic?

    A: To be eligible to receive your vaccine at our Kroger Field clinic, you must be in a current phase (per Kentucky’s guidelines) and you also must be a Kentuckian, work in Kentucky or be a student in Kentucky. If you reside outside of Kentucky and receive an invitation to schedule an appointment at our clinic, you are required to bring proof that you are an employee or student (ID, letter from supervisor, etc.) in Kentucky.

    Q: Is there a charge for the vaccination?

    A: Although the federal government allows us to charge an administration fee for providing the vaccine, UK HealthCare has chosen to provide the vaccine for free.

    Q: What if I have registered with UK HealthCare but I get an opportunity to get my vaccination somewhere else?

    A: Our goal is to see that everyone who wants a vaccination gets one as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, we are encouraging people to take the first opportunity to be vaccinated that becomes available to them. If you get another opportunity before you get your invitation to sign up at UK HealthCare, simply ignore our invitation or call 859-218-0111 to have your name removed. If you have a scheduled appointment at UK HealthCare that you do not need to keep, please cancel by calling 859-218-0111 so that we may offer that appointment to someone else.

    Q: I got my first dose somewhere else. Can I get my booster shot at UK HealthCare?

    A: No. You should get your booster shot from the same sponsoring entity or organization that provided your first dose.

  • Clinic location

    Q: Is this an indoor or a drive-thru clinic?

    A: All vaccinations are being given inside the Kroger Field facility, within the Central Bank Club. We have 28 vaccination stations set up to keep indoor traffic flowing. Our socially distanced lines move quickly, but you may still have a wait. The line starts outside the facility. You will walk through a series of tents until you get inside

    Q: Where should I park?

    A: You can enter from Alumni Drive and park in the Blue Lot of Kroger Field. (Look for the signs.) The Blue Lot can also be accessed from University Drive through the Red Lot. You will enter the building near Gate 11.

    Q: Is the Kroger Field clinic accessible?

    A: Our vaccination clinic is all on one level and is accessible. It may be helpful to bring a companion, and our team is also available to assist individuals who have mobility restrictions. We have plenty of parking, and closer spots will be reserved for those who need additional assistance.

    • Curbside dropoff is available and recommended for those with mobility issues.
    • Handicap accessible parking is available. Even so, distance from car to vaccination station and back to your car is significant.
    • You are invited to bring a wheelchair, walker or companion to assist you.
    • If walking a distance is difficult, we recommend bringing a wheelchair. If you do not have a wheelchair, please ask for one. A limited number of wheelchairs are available at the entrance.

    Q: How is the vaccination clinic set up to minimize risk of exposure?

    A: We are following social-distancing guidelines, and masks are required. We also are asking that individuals not arrive more than 20 minutes before a scheduled appointment so that we can maintain social distancing. If you arrive more than 20 minutes early, please wait in your car. UK HealthCare is committed to creating the safest environment possible while managing the many people who are moving through our vaccination process each day.

    Q: What should I bring to my appointment?

    A: Identification is required. This can include a government ID such as a driver’s license, an ID from your workplace or any other form of identification that clearly shows who you are. If you are a teacher or a first responder, please bring your work ID.

  • About the vaccines

    Q: How do COVID vaccines work?

    A: As is the case with other illnesses such as influenza, the COVID vaccination will help your body create antibodies to prevent contracting severe COVID disease. Even if you do become infected, chances are that you will not experience symptoms, or they will be mild.

    Q: Is it possible to contract COVID-19 from the vaccines being produced?

    A: No. None of the vaccines currently in development use a live virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has more information.

    Q: Is the vaccine safe for those who have been COVID-positive and still have antibodies?

    A: The recommendation is to get the vaccine due to evidence that COVID reinfection is possible.

    Q: If I’m pregnant or nursing, should I get the vaccine?

    A: Please discuss vaccination with your provider. For more information, you can go to the following resource sites:

    Q: If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I need a vaccination?

    A: Yes. There is not enough evidence to indicate how long your existing antibodies would be protective.

    Q: If I’m immunocompromised, should I be vaccinated?

    A: Please discuss vaccination with your provider. Every immunocompromised patient is different, and your particular circumstances should be taken into consideration when making that decision.

    Q: Is UK using both of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines? Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

    A: At this time, UK HealthCare is receiving allotments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as they are available. It will be clearly indicated at our clinic which vaccine formulations are being offered. However, you will NOT be able to choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive. Both vaccines have similarly high rates of efficacy (~95%) and, in most cases, only mild to moderate side effects.

    Q: Will UK HealthCare provide BOTH vaccine doses required for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines?

    A: Yes. If you receive your first dose at UK HealthCare, we will provide your second dose, also known as a booster. See below (“How do I get my second dose?”) for the process for requesting your booster.

    Q: What happens immediately after I get my first vaccination?

    A: You will receive a vaccination card telling you which vaccine you received and when you will need a booster shot. You will be asked to sit in our waiting area for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine in case of a medical reaction. We have televisions and some fun activities for you to do while you wait.

    Q: Is a second shot always required?

    A: Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses – an initial shot that will be followed by a booster shot after a waiting period. UK HealthCare is prepared to provide individuals with both doses. •

    • The second dose for Pfizer is given at least 21 days after the first dose.
    • The second dose for Moderna is given at least 28 days after the first dose. 

    The second dose of the vaccine you receive must come from the same manufacturer as the first dose. For instance, if your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine, your second dose must also be the Pfizer vaccine.

    Q: How do I get my second dose?

    A: A few days before your second dose is due, you will need to sign up again via ukvaccine.org to request the required booster vaccination. Our system is not able to send reminders, so you may want to set a reminder on your calendar or smartphone. When you sign up, be sure to mark that you want the booster dose. The recommended time for your booster depends on the vaccine you were given (see previous question above). Booster shots do not have to be given at exactly 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna). Any time after this waiting period is fine. But remember, your vaccination will not be fully effective until 14 days after you receive the second dose.

    Q: How long will the vaccine last? Will we have to be revaccinated each year like the flu shot?

    A: Currently, we do not know. As more time goes by, more data will emerge and more information will be available.

    Q: Can I stop taking safety precautions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

    A: Experts want to learn more about the protection that a COVID-19 vaccine provides and how long immunity lasts before changing safety recommendations. Factors such as how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities will also affect these recommendations. In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following these precautions for avoiding infection with the COVID-19 virus:

    • Avoid close contact.
    • Wear cloth face coverings in public places.
    • Practice good hygiene.
    • Stay home if you're sick.
  • Reactions and side effects

    Q: What if I have an allergic reaction after the first dose?

    A: If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of one of these vaccines, you should not get the second dose. An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.

    If you had a non-severe allergic reaction within four hours after being vaccinated (known as immediate allergic reactions), such as hives, swelling and wheezing (respiratory distress), you should not receive the second dose of any of the currently available mRNA vaccines. Talk to your doctor; he or she may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology.

    If you are unsure whether your reaction was considered serious, or if you have any concerns about the side effects you experienced, talk to your doctor before receiving the second dose.

    Visit the CDC website to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and allergic reactions.

    Q: What are the side effects of vaccination?

    A: Mild side effects such as fever, headache, muscle aches and chills are normal within the first 24 hours of your vaccination and are a sign that your immune system has been activated. However, if you experience side effects that are severe or that last longer than 24 to 48 hours, please contact your doctor. Many report experiencing side effects more strongly after the second dose.

    Q: If I experience side effects or an adverse reaction to the vaccine, how can I report this information?

    A: You can use these two resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to report your experience with the vaccine:

    • V-safe is a smartphone-based tool from the CDC that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call to check on you and get more information. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
    • The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety surveillance program run by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its primary users are health care professionals, but any U.S. resident may use it to report an adverse event. VAERS serves as an early warning system to detect possible safety issues with U.S. vaccines by collecting information about adverse events (possible side effects or health problems) that occur after vaccination.