Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. We will be updating these periodically as more information becomes available.
Can I get Covid-19 from the vaccine?
No, you cannot get Covid-19 from any of the vaccines available.
What are the differences between the different types of vaccines available?
Currently, there are three main types of Covid-19 vaccines that are or soon will be available – mRNA vaccines, Protein subunit vaccines, and vector vaccines. None of these vaccines can give you Covid-19. You may also be hearing a lot about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both vaccines are genetic or mRNA vaccines.
Why do I need to get two shots?
According to very well health, “the first dose of a vaccine jump-starts this immune response by spurring the production of antibodies. This is the body’s first opportunity to recognize and defend against the virus. B-cells and memory T-cells can then recognize the virus for weeks, months, or even possibly years.
The second dose helps the body to create even more antibodies, thereby strengthening the immune response. There is no difference between the doses; you just need two of them.
Furthermore, the current research on the Covid-19 vaccines shows that the immune response after the first dose isn’t strong enough to provide robust or lasting protection.
In addition, there are some people who may have underlying medical conditions, which means that they may not develop full immunity by receiving the vaccine. For this reason, it is important that a large percentage of our community receive the vaccine in order to help protect those people who may not build up immunity after receiving the vaccine.
How long will immunity last? Will these be annual?
At this time there is not enough scientific information readily available to understand how long immunity will last and how frequently folks may need to receive the vaccine. As the science evolves, so too will the recommendations.
I have young children. Should they get the vaccine?
Vaccine trials in children are currently underway. Right now, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people as young as age 16 and the Moderna vaccine is approved for people age 18 and older.
As we learn more and the trials in children end, we expect the vaccines to be approved for use in young people.
If you are concerned or uncertain about your specific situation, please call your provider for guidance.
I am pregnant, should I get the vaccine?
The CDC has posted guidelines and recommendations for pregnant women. Remember, everyone’s situation is different. If you are concerned or uncertain about your specific situation, please call your provider for guidance.
Should I get the vaccine if I’ve already had Covid-19?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, you should get the vaccine regardless of whether you have already had a COVID-19 infection. The CDC provides recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
How long will I have immunity from COVID-19 after I receive the vaccination?
We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.
Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
I’ve heard a lot about herd immunity. What does this mean, exactly?
Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection—either from previous infection or vaccination. Herd immunity means that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause additional disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.
Do you cover the Covid-19 vaccine?
Yes, if you have our coverage, we will cover the cost of the administration of any of the COVID-19 vaccines. U.S. taxpayer dollars have been used to distribute the vaccine at no cost to Americans. However, providers will be able to charge an administration fee.
Why do vaccines make some people feel unwell?
Vaccines can make some people feel slightly ill or under the weather for about 1-2 days after receiving the injection; this is because your immune system is working as it should to protect you! Feeling feverish or achy after the Covid-19 vaccine is very common, as is pain at the injection site. Remember, while this is uncomfortable, it does mean your body is responding as it should and is protecting you from future infections should you come into the actual Covid-19 virus.
Should I be concerned if I don’t feel well after I receive the vaccine?
Everyone’s situation is different. If you don’t feel well after the vaccine and you are concerned, please call your provider for guidance.
Now that I’m vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing?
No. First, there is not enough information readily available to say if or when the CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others. While the Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to be 94 percent effective in preventing people from becoming ill with the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. Additionally, not everyone will have had the Covid-19 vaccination so by practicing masking, washing your hands, and staying six-feet apart when in social situations you can save a life and help keep each other well.