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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 now offering vaccination to anyone age 12 and over at locations managed by 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 UK HealthCare vaccination clinics are by appointment only. As of May 2021, invitations to make an appointment are generally received within a day or two of the request. Request an appointment.

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

    A: COVID-19 vaccination is now open to anyone over age 12. Invitations will be issued in the order they are requested. Please be patient if you do not receive an invitation right away. 

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

    A: To be eligible to receive your vaccine at UK HealthCare, you 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: No. 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: We strongly encourage you to get your booster shot from the same sponsoring entity or organization as your first shot. However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Please call our help line at 859-218-0111 to discuss.  

  • Clinic location

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

    A: Vaccinations are now being given at several locations around Lexington. There are options for indoor vaccination, curbside and drive-thru. You will be able to select your preferred location when you make your appointment.

    Q: Where should I park?

    A: Please refer to ukvaccine.org for information on the parking available at each of our locations.

    Q: Are the clinic locations accessible?

    A: For those with mobility issues, we recommend the drive-thru at 2317 Alumni Park Plaza or curbside vaccination at Turfland Retail Pharmacy, 2195 Harrodsburg Road. 

    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 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 coming to receive your second or third vaccine doses, please bring your CDC vaccination card. Immunization staff cannot supply replacement cards.

  • 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. The CDC recommends COVID vaccination for pregnant, breastfeeding, those trying to get pregnant or those who might become pregnant in the future. 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. If you have received your vaccination at our drive-thru, you will be asked to park nearby and wait for 15 minutes. 

    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: After you receive your first dose, 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 we recommend you do this as soon as is feasible after your first dose. When you sign up, be sure to mark that you want the booster dose. A few days before your booster is due, you will receive an email invitation to make your appointment. 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.
  • Third-dose booster shots for immunocompromised individuals

    This section taken from the CDC website.

    Q: Who needs an additional COVID-19 vaccine?

    A: Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
    •  Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system. 
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

    People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

    Q: How long after getting my initial COVID-19 vaccines can I get an additional dose?

    A: CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

    Q: Can you mix and match the vaccines?

    A: For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

    Q: What should immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine do?

    A: The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation.

    Emerging data have demonstrated that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection following two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.

    Q: What are the benefits of people receiving an additional vaccine dose?

    A: CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks (28 days) after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

    Q: What are the risks of vaccinating individuals with an additional dose?

    A: There is limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy, and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated. So far, reactions reported after the third mRNA dose were similar to that of the two-dose series: fatigue and pain at injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate.

    However, as with the two-dose series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.