COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What COVID-19 vaccines are available?
  • Moderna – given in 2 doses 28 days (4 weeks) apart
  • Pfizer – given in 2 doses 21 days (3 weeks) apart 
  • Johnson & Johnson – given as a single dose 
What are mRNA vaccines?
  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) is genetic material that gives instructions to your body on how to make proteins. 
    • Coronaviruses have crown-like spikes on their surfaces called spike proteins. 
  • The mRNA found in the COVID-19 vaccines teaches the body’s cells to make copies of the spike proteins so that when you are infected with COVID-19, your body will recognize it and have an immune response
How is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine different from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines?
  • The J&J vaccine uses a modified vector virus, called an adenovirus, which can enter the cell but cannot replicate or cause any illness. This provides double stranded DNA with instructions for immunity building against the coronavirus. 
  • The adenovirus is not related to the coronavirus. It cannot infect you with COVID-19. 
What can I expect after receiving the vaccine?
  • Similar to other immunizations, the Covid-19 vaccines may cause side effects or minor symptoms. These are normal and should go away a few days after receiving the injection.
  • Some common side effects
    • Pain and swelling at the injection site
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
  • If side effects do not disappear after 3-5 days or worsen, please contact your doctor. 
  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any other vaccine, you should speak with your doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Who should get the vaccine?
  • Do you need the COVID vaccine if you already had COVID?
    • If you have had a COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days, you do not need to receive the vaccine now.
      • You will still have antibodies circulating, or natural immunity, during this time; and it is uncommon to get COVID-19 again within the 90 days. However, after 90 days, vaccination is recommended. 
    • You can choose to get the vaccine sooner than 90 days after COVID-19 illness but you should wait until you are cleared from isolation (10-14 days after your first related COVID symptoms) in order to protect those around you. YOU MUST NOT BE UNDER QUARANTINE AFTER A COVID-19 EXPOSURE.
  • Should you get the COVID vaccine with other vaccines?
    • The COVID-19 vaccines should be given alone with at least 14 days either before or after you get any other vaccines, including a flu vaccine.
  • Should you get the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
    • Currently, experts believe that the mRNA vaccine is unlikely to be a risk to those who are pregnant as well as the fetus. The mRNA vaccines are not live vaccines. 
    • If you are pregnant and become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is advised that you discuss this with your doctor before getting vaccinated.

Do you want to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccines only became available to the public after clinical trials proved their safety.
  • The three available vaccines were able to be developed and tested quickly because researchers have been studying and working with mRNA and adenovirus vaccines for several decades.
  • It is also vital to note that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines went through the 4 different stages of clinical trials, which all new vaccines must pass before they can be administered to the U.S. public. 
    • These stages included testing at least a thousand or more diverse volunteers differing in race/ethnicity, age, gender, and health.  
  • The FDA and CDC can only approve a vaccine after the results of the clinical trials show that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the potential risks of side effects.
    • The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the effects of the vaccine years after they are administered to ensure their continued safety and effectiveness.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is quickly broken down over time
    • These vaccines can not give someone COVID-19 because they do not include a live version of the virus. 
    • Your cells break down and get rid of the injected  mRNA and DNA strands soon after it is finished giving instructions to the cell.
  • There is only a small risk of blood clots induced by the J&J Vaccine, and the danger of COVID-19 is much greater 
    • On April 12, the CDC and FDA decided to give a 10 day pause to the J&J vaccine, after 6 women were reported having serious blood clots that were caused by the J&J COVID vaccine. 
    • Blood clots are a serious medical condition that if not properly treated can cause significant health complications and even death. However, the risk of developing a blood clot caused by the vaccine is still very low; it is about a .1% likelihood of this happening. 
      • It is important to remember that the risk of developing a blood clot if you are critically ill from the COVID-19 infection, is very high: “approx. 20% of COVID-19 patients in the ICU develop blood clots.”
    • The distribution of the J&J vaccine was briefly paused to give scientists and medical professionals time to better evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. 
    • While the risk for a rare blood clot is low, everyone who gets the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should know the early signs that one may be forming. You should seek immediate medical care if you develop any of the symptoms outlined below:
      • Severe headache or stomach pain
      • Tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)
      • Shortness of breath
      • Leg swelling
      • New or easy bruising
What are the possible side effects?
  • As your body builds immunity from the vaccine, it may cause minor symptoms, like a fever or sore arm, from a couple minutes to days after getting the shot. This is normal. 
  • These mild or moderate symptoms are often signs that your body is reacting to and building immunity against the vaccine.
  • If after a few days (3-5 days) these side effects do not go away or get worse, please contact your doctor. 
What are the possible severe reactions?
  • In rare cases, where an individual had severe reactions, these reactions were often experienced in the first 30 min after receiving the vaccine. Most clinics or hospitals will have you stay for 15-30 min longer, after getting the injection to ensure that you do not develop an extreme reaction.
  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any other vaccine you have received, you should speak with your doctor before getting the vaccine.
Want to learn more?

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