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Vaccination Information & Distribution

COVID-19 vaccines help protect people who are vaccinated from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and may also help protect people around them. Get a vaccine as soon as you can and a booster as soon as you are eligible; widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.

Adults ages 50 years and older, people ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, and people who got 2 doses (1 primary dose and 1 booster) of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine are recommended to receive a 2nd booster dose four months after receipt of their first booster dose.

Contact your primary care provider to discuss personal health concerns and qualifications regarding the vaccination via MyChart or by scheduling an appointment.

Vaccination & Booster Opportunities

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are readily available through local pharmacies or may be available from your primary care provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters safe? Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are safe. Currently the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and authorized the use of both the Moderna mRNA vaccines and the Johnson & Johnson-Janssen viral vector vaccine.
    Though the COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, the approval process for these vaccines followed all necessary safety steps. The standard research process was followed, but expedited due to increased federal funding of the clinical trials. Additionally, it was easy to meet the required sample sizes since COVID-19 was so widespread throughout the country.
    • Is it safe for children and teens? Yes, scientists have conducted clinical trials with about 3,000 children and the FDA has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the safety and efficacy standards for authorization in children.
  2. What are the different types of vaccines currently available?
    • Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology, which is different from typical vaccines in that they don't inject particles of live or altered virus. Instead, these vaccines send a 'code' into your cells so your immune system learns how to recognize a spike protein found on the outside of coronavirus-19. Your immune system is not making the actual virus. Instead, your immune system learns how to make antibodies against the spike protein. Both vaccines require two doses plus a booster for maximum protection; Pfizer recommends the second dose 21 days after the first; Moderna recommends the second dose 28 days after the first. You must get your second dose from the same manufacturer as the first. Boosters are recommended five months after the second dose and it is allowable to receive either Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of which brand you receive for the second dose.
    • Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is a one dose viral vector vaccine plus a booster; it uses a cold virus like a Trojan horse to carry the spike gene into the body, where cells make harmless copies of the protein to prime the immune system for the real virus. The booster is recommended two months after the first dose.
  3. What are the side effects? Common side effects include redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site, as well as feeling tired, developing lymph node swelling (most commonly in your armpit), a headache or fever and chills, while less common symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Side effects are more common after the second dose, with over 75% of vaccinated people developing at least one side effect. Nearly all symptoms lasted less than three days (72 hours) and most improved with Tylenol or ibuprofen. This response is your immune system activating, not an indication that you are infected with the virus.

    People should be aware that a risk of a rare condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. TTS is a serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelet counts. This problem is rare, and most reports were in women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of any age, this problem is even more rare. There are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen (Pfizer or Moderna).

    Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 12–17 years. These reactions are rare; in one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech in the week following vaccination was around 54 cases per million doses administered to males ages 12–17 years.
  4. Are the vaccines effective against variants? The vaccine is effective against all COVID-19 variants, especially if you have received a booster within the last six months. It protects against severe illness, hospitalization and possible death. While a vaccinated individual may still contract COVID-19, it's at a lower rate and they are usually asymptomatic or have symptoms similar to a cold. 
  5. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine? No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine nor will your COVID-19 screening tests become positive due to receiving the vaccine. Additionally you are not contagious once you’ve received the vaccine.
  6. Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA? No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. 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. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
  7. Does the vaccine contain a microchip? No, the vaccine does not contain a microchip. The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), composed of clinicians and scientists who are not part of or paid by the pharmaceutical companies, reviewed the vaccine and deemed it safe and effective.
  8. When will I be immune to COVID-19? Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after their second dose of Pfizer/ Moderna or two weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  9. Does the vaccine keep me from getting or giving COVID-19? A vaccinated and boosted individual may still contract COVID-19, though it's at a much lower rate and they are usually asymptomatic or have symptoms similar to a cold. A vaccinated individual may still transmit COVID if infected and should take steps to protect others including wearing a face mask indoors or when you are in close contact with others whose vaccination status is unknown.
  10. If I am vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask and social distance? Vaccinated people are able to come together outdoors without masks in most circumstances. If you are in an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, wear a mask indoors and consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and when you are in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. Restrictions vary by state, county and city; check with local public health officials in your state or when you travel.
  11. If I’ve had COVID-19 should I get the vaccine and/ or booster? Yes, even if you have had COVID-19, we recommend the vaccination as there have been cases of patients being infected with COVID-19 more than once and evidence suggests people get better protection by being fully vaccinated (including boosted) compared with having had COVID. It is recommended you are not contagious with the virus and are cleared by healthcare provider prior to receiving the vaccine.
  12. How long should I wait to get the booster if I've recently had COVID-19? If you have recently had COVID-19 and are eligible for a booster, it's recommended that you get your booster after your symptoms have resolved and the recommended time has elapsed since your primary series of either Pfizer (5 months), Moderna (6 months) or J&J (2 months). People who received monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID-19 treatment plan will need to wait 90 days before getting a COVID booster.
  13. If I am pregnant/ breastfeeding should I receive the vaccine? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as Barton’s OB/GYN physician group, recommends the current vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should discuss their options with their healthcare provider if they have further questions.
  14. Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day? Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
  15. When can I be vaccinated? Any individual 6 months and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. California residents should sign up for MyTurn to find vaccination opportunities and Nevada residents may use Immunize Nevada's vaccine locator tool.
  16. How much does the vaccine cost? The COVID-19 vaccine is paid for by the U.S. Government and provided at no charge, however vaccine administrators may charge a fee for giving the vaccine(s).
  17. Can the CDC mandate that I get a COVID-19 vaccine? No; whether a state or local government or employer, for example, can require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or other applicable law. Please contact your state government or employer if you have other questions about COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Pre-Vaccination Questions

  1. What about my history of anaphylaxis? The incidence of anaphylaxis is similar to that after all vaccinations. Any allergic reactions related to the vaccine should occur within four hours of receiving the vaccine, but most commonly within 30 minutes.
  2. What if I get symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or catch COVID-19 around the time I am supposed to get my vaccination? Please do not come in for your vaccine if you are suspected of having COVID-19, or are supposed to be isolating or under quarantine.
  3. What if I have already had COVID-19 and/ or get COVID-19 between my first and second dose and/ or booster? What if my antibody test is positive?
    • Complete your isolation period and recover from the illness prior to considering a vaccination/ booster dose. Please speak with a healthcare provider to get clearance to receive your vaccination/ booster if you had COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
    • It is recommended that you still be vaccinated/ boosted because current information indicates you lose immunity about 60-90 days after your coronavirus infection. It is believed that the vaccine and/ or booster will protect you significantly longer than 90 days.
    • Your positive antibody status should not impact the vaccine efficacy. Your vaccine-related symptoms may be more severe than someone who has not had COVID-19.
    • If you received monoclonal antibody treatment, you should not receive the vaccine/ booster for 90 days.
  4. I just got another vaccine for another reason- when can I get my COVID-19 vaccine/ booster? You can get a COVID-19 vaccine/ booster and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
  5. What if I have a procedure (radiology, joint injection or surgery) planned around the time of my vaccination/ booster? Because side effects from the vaccine are common, and procedures occasionally have complications, we recommend that you separate your procedures from your vaccine/ booster by about two weeks so that vaccine reactions and procedure complications are not confused.

Questions About The mRNA Second Dose or Booster

  1. Do children ages 5-11 need a second dose? Yes, your child will need a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
  2. What if I miss my second dose? The CDC recommends that you get your second dose within four days after your “target” date of 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna). However, if you cannot make this window, you are still eligible to get your second dose at its earliest availability for up to six weeks (42 days) after your first dose.
  3. I had a reaction to the first dose vaccine. Should I get my second dose? In general, you can expect to get similar symptoms after your second dose of vaccine, but often they are more severe. If you experienced any allergic reaction such as facial swelling, difficulty breathing, hypotension, numbness or tingling or itching, you should not proceed with the second dose until discussing the risks with your care provider.
  4. Can I get a different type second dose than my first? No, you must get your second dose from the same manufacturer as the first.
  5. Do I need to get a booster? Anyone age 5 and older are recommended to receive a booster vaccine (bring your vaccination card with you to your booster vaccination). Kids ages 5-17 must receive the Pfizer booster.

Post-Vaccine Questions

  1. If I get COVID-19, will I be a monoclonal antibody candidate if I am vaccinated? Your vaccination should not impact your candidacy for monoclonal antibody; however, hopefully your own immune system is making antibodies and fighting the infection itself. More science and time is needed to know if the monoclonal antibody infusions are necessary/ impactful for those who have been vaccinated.
  2. I have been vaccinated and boosted. Has anything changed for me? If I get sick, do I have to get tested? Can I get together with my parents/ others? After receiving both doses of the vaccine and booster, you are well protected from severe illness and death from COVID-19. While you are less likely to get symptomatic COVID-19, you still can get COVID-19 and transmit it. Please continue to take precautions and follow public health guidance regarding masking and social distancing. If you have symptoms, do not ignore them. While your risk of COVID-19 may be lower, it is certainly possible to test positive after vaccination. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who tested positive, please call your health provider's office for guidance.