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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.

  • Pediatric Vaccination Questions

    Q: Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?

    A: COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 12 years and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is the only one available to children 5 years and older.

    COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 5 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.  The most common side effects are soreness or redness at injection site, headache, fever, or tiredness. 

    Related pages:

    Q: Does COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility or puberty?  

    A: Unfounded claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility have been scientifically disproven. There is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility. While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies. Similarly, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects puberty. 

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/planning-for-pregnancy.html

    Q: What are the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in this age range due to the COVID vaccine?

    A: Studies have shown that risk of myocarditis in the 5-11-year-old population was 6-34 times higher post COVID infection than after COVID vaccination. Since April 2021, rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in adolescents and young adults (under 30 years of age) following receipt of mRNA vaccines – most often following the 2nd dose. Post vaccine myocarditis is milder, requiring shorter hospital stays (1-2 days) vs. myocarditis caused by COVID infection which has been more severe requiring a hospital stay of 5 days on average.

    CDC and its partners are actively monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. Active monitoring includes reviewing data and medical records and evaluating the relationship to COVID-19 vaccination.

    Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis. Seek medical care if you or your child have symptoms of these conditions within a week after COVID-19 vaccination.

    Both myocarditis and pericarditis have the following symptoms:

    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
    • Most patients with myocarditis or pericarditis who received care responded well to medicine and rest and felt better quickly.
    • Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve. Those who have been diagnosed with myocarditis should consult with their cardiologist (heart doctor) about return to exercise or sports. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

    Seek medical care if you or your child have any of these symptoms, especially if it’s within a week after COVID-19 vaccination.

    If you have any health problems after vaccination, report them to VAERS.

    Healthcare Providers: For additional recommendations and clinical guidance, visit Clinical Considerations: Myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

    Q: Which COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for my child?

    A: Research trials have shown COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. Those who are 5-17 years old should receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; while those 18 years of age or older may receive what is recommended and available in their community. Each was developed and evaluated at different points in time against different strains of COVID-19 within distinct geographic regions and populations, and all three vaccines were found to have comparable vaccine efficacy. Women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, and that other COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.

    COVID-19 vaccines are life-saving vaccines. Individuals should receive the first vaccine they are eligible to receive and that is available in their community. Delaying immunization leaves an individual vulnerable to infection for a longer period of time, placing them at greater risk of serious illness and death. AAP recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all adolescents 12 years of age and older who do not have contraindications using a COVID-19 vaccine authorized through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or Biologics License Application (BLA), recommended by CDC, and appropriate for their age and health status. AAP also supports coadministration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines on the immunization schedule. See AAP policy.

    • Ages 5-17 years old – Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms). 

    Q: Which COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and/or authorized for use in the US? 

    A: The US has two mRNA and one viral vector COVID-19 vaccines with good safety and efficacy profiles recommended for use in response to the pandemic.

    Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA Vaccine

     

    Q: If my child is turning 12 years old, but started the pediatric Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at age 11?

    A: Notwithstanding the age limitations for use of the different formulations and presentations described above, individuals who will turn from 11 years to 12 years of age between their first and second dose in the primary regimen may receive, for either dose, either: (1) the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine formulation authorized for use in individuals 5 through 11 years of age (each 0.2 mL dose containing 10 mcg modRNA) (orange cap); or (2) COMIRNATY or one of the PfizerBioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine formulations authorized for use in individuals 12 years of age and older (each 0.3 mL dose containing 30 mcg modRNA) (gray and purple cap).

     

    Q: Should I give adolescents 12 – 17 years old who are immunocompromised an additional dose of COVID -19 vaccine after completing the primary series?

    A: Yes, adolescents who have completed a 2-dose series of either of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) and who are immunocompromised should receive a third dose of the same vaccine. On August 12, 2021, the FDA amended the EUA for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals | FDA. On August 13, 2021, the CDC recommended an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (12 yo and over) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (18 yo and over) for immunocompromised people following the 2-dose schedule. Pediatricians who care for adolescents with certain immunocompromising medical conditions and adolescents who are receiving treatments that induce moderate to severe immune suppression should encourage their patients to be vaccinated with an additional dose of the mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after completion of the primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series (see CDC Clinical Considerations for a list of conditions). The same product should be used for all 3 doses. Prior to and following additional dose administration, infection prevention measures should continue such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, as immunocompromised individuals may still be at increased risk for COVID-19. Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are eligible should receive COVID-19 vaccination to provide additional protection. Separate guidance for immunocompromised individuals who received one dose of the Janssen(J&J) COVID-19 vaccine will be forthcoming.

    Information on immunization and immunocompromised children and adolescents can be found in the:

    Red Book: Immunization and Other Considerations in Immunocompromised Children | Red Book® 2021 | Red Book Online | AAP Point-of-Care-Solutions

    CDC Clinical Considerations: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html 

    Talking with Patients Who Are Immunocompromised: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/immunocompromised-patients.html

    Q: What is the current status of COVID-19 vaccine research in children and adolescents? 

    A: 

    • Pfizer-BioNTech is in the process of testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12 years down to age six months and has a recently endorsed EUA (emergency use authorization) for ages 5-11 years.
    • Moderna has started a clinical trial to test its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12, including babies as young as six months and is expecting to enroll 6,750 healthy children in the US and Canada. The company has filed an EUA with the FDA for use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents 12 to 17 years old and filed a BLA for use in 18 years and older in June.
    • Novavax completed enrollment of its pediatric clinical trial looking at their recombinant protein vaccine candidate against COVID-19 in adolescents 12 to 17 years old. This study will include 3,000 adolescents aged 12-17 across up to 75 sites in the United States.
    • Janssen and Astra Zeneca also have plans to study their vaccines in younger age groups.

    The AAP actively advocated for the inclusion of children and pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine trials, and sent multiple letters and comments to FDA, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the White House COVID-19 Response Team; and has also issued multiple press statements.

    Q: Is it safe for pregnant or lactating women to receive COVID-19 vaccine? 

    A: Participants who report pregnancy following COVID-19 vaccination are enrolled in the V-SAFE pregnancy registry. Participants are contacted once per trimester, after delivery, and when the infant is 3 months old.

    Safety data showed that no major safety concerns have been reported in pregnant persons. Over 30,000 pregnancies have been reported to V-SAFE (safety monitoring system). Safety profiles comparing persons 16-54 years reported similar findings among both pregnant and non-pregnant persons who received Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. The CDC has issued a Health Alert Network Advisory strongly recommending urgent action to increase COVID-19 vaccination before or during pregnancy as the benefits outweigh known or potential risks.

    Guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that

    • All eligible persons greater than age 12 years, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series.
    • Pregnant people receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months following the completion of their initial Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series.
    • Women under age 50, including pregnant individuals can receive any FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine available to them; however, they should be aware of the rare risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome after receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and that other FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines are available.

    Q: How quickly after immunization do the vaccines protect the recipient, and how long does immunity last?

    A: For the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, studies reported vaccine efficacy at 7 to 14 days after the second dose, which is likely how long it takes to get very high levels of neutralizing antibody. Studies to date have shown that both mRNA vaccines maintain high efficacy levels over a six-month period (eg 91% PfizerBioNTech, 90% Moderna). For the Janssen viral vector vaccine, one dose is recommended and immunity is shown 2 to 4 weeks after vaccination. More research will be conducted to monitor vaccine efficacy over time.

    In September 2021, the FDA and CDC recommended use of a single Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose, to be administered at least six months after completion of the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series in certain high risk populations. The FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will be meeting in October 2021 to evaluate booster doses in individuals who received Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccine as their primary series, as well as in evaluating “mix-and-match" boosters.

    Q: What is the safety testing that has been done on COVID-19 vaccines? How do we know it is safe long-term?

    A: Bringing a new vaccine to the public involves many steps including vaccine development, clinical trials, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization or approval, manufacturing, and distribution. Many different public organizations and private companies have worked together to make COVID-19 vaccines available to the public. While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/distributing/steps-ensure-safety.html

    Q: What vaccine safety surveillance programs are in place?

    A: All COVID-19 vaccines approved and/or granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and vaccines on the Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, including co-administered vaccines are monitored through robust FDA and CDC systems that monitor vaccine safety in the United States. This vaccine safety system includes the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccine Safety Data Link (VSD), Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA), and V-SAFE, a new smartphone-based system added to the safety monitoring system specifically to monitor for side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. These systems have proven that they work in picking up a safety signal for an extraordinarily rare complication with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. VAERS and VSD are specifically designed to monitor safety signals from simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines (i.e. co-administration).

    Q: What vaccine safety surveillance programs are in place?

    A: All COVID-19 vaccines approved and/or granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and vaccines on the Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, including co-administered vaccines are monitored through robust FDA and CDC systems that monitor vaccine safety in the United States. This vaccine safety system includes the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccine Safety Data Link (VSD), Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA), and V-SAFE, a new smartphone-based system added to the safety monitoring system specifically to monitor for side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. These systems have proven that they work in picking up a safety signal for an extraordinarily rare complication with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. VAERS and VSD are specifically designed to monitor safety signals from simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines (i.e. co-administration).

    Post-Vaccination

    Q: Would you still recommend continuing full precautions after vaccination until community immunity is reached?

    A: Per CDC guidance, face masks are recommended while indoors in public for fully vaccinated persons in an area with substantial or high transmission. Face masks are no longer needed for persons who are fully vaccinated and in an area with low to moderate levels of SARS-CoV-2 transmission unless it is required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local businesses, and workplace (eg. health care settings) guidance.

    For health care settings, the CDC continues to recommend universal source control measures (use of well-fitting masks by all), physical distancing, and universal use of personal protective equipment by health care personnel, regardless of vaccination status.

    Q: If I have already been fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine, do I have to quarantine if I have a prolonged exposure to a person who is confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2?

    A: In addition to preventing serious illness and death, growing data show that individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can still transmit the virus to others. Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they are tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. If the test is positive for COVID-19 or if they are experiencing symptoms in the past 10 days, vaccinated persons should isolate. Vaccinated persons can resume normal activity usually 10 days from the onset of symptoms and (1) 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and (2) If their other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Note: Loss of taste and smell may persist weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).

    Persons who are vaccinated should follow any applicable guidance from the CDC or state/local authorities.

    Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

    Q: Can COVID-19 vaccines cause variants?

    A: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

    New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change.

    COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging. As it spreads, the virus has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends that everyone 12 years of age and older get vaccinated as soon as possible.

    Learn more about variants.

     

    Q: Can COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or magnetic particles?

    A: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.

    Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.

    Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States.

    Q: Can COVID-19 vaccines change my child’s DNA?

    A: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.

    Learn more about mRNA and​ viral vector COVID-19 vaccines.

     

  • 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 859-218-6221 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 859-218-6221 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 859-218-6221 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.