COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 RNA Vaccine FAQ

Updated 5/14/21

We will continue to update the public as often as possible to provide the most factual and current information. The information below can change rapidly and frequently. We will periodically be updating this page to reflect the current information.

How can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine and where do I get vaccinated?

Visit the webpage here for more information on how to get vaccinated.

Schedule Vaccine

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

It is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine, there is no virus given to you in the vaccine.

How long will my immunity last after I get the vaccine?

At this time, it is unknown as to how long the immunity will last from the injection of the vaccine. It will definitely vary among patients. They continue to study this, with many hopeful that it will last for a year or longer. At this time it does appear that a booster will be needed approximately 12 months after you were fully vaccinated. The booster will help deal with the variants that have appeared, and will also add longevity to the immunity effects.

Will I have to continue to wear my mask and social distance if I receive the vaccine?

Recent guidelines from the CDC state that you will no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors if you have been fully vaccinated. By definition, fully vaccinated is 2 weeks after your second dose of RNA vaccine or 2 weeks after your single dose of Johnson & Johnson. The health orders for the state of Ohio are to be lifted June 2 per governor Dewine.

The state orders supersede the CDC orders on any mask guidelines. There are exceptions to the changes in mask guidelines which include, but are not limited to, hospitals and nursing homes. Businesses have the right to enforce a mask rule if they individually deem it necessary.

Who can get the vaccine?

Visit the Ohio Department of Health for further guidance as this is an evolving process.

ODH Website

Who should not get the vaccine?

If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, or if you have had a severe allergic reaction to an injectable vaccine in the past, you should consult an allergist before receiving the vaccine.

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or considering becoming pregnant, multiple obstetric societies have encouraged this population to receive the vaccine. The vaccine is considered safe in the pregnant population. COVID-19 infection poses a risk to both the fetus and the mother. If you have any questions or concerns, should discuss your options with your primary or obstetric physician.

How many COVID-19 vaccines are under development?

There are currently three vaccines that have received emergency use authorization in the United States. The 2 mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, and also the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus vaccine. All 3 have been shown to be 100% effective against severe illness and death from COVID-19. Large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for several additional COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Is one vaccine better than another?

All three vaccines available (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) are extremely effective for preventing death and severe illness requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19. Because the vaccines were studied at different times and with different groups, small deviations in reported effectiveness are expected and caution should be advised when comparing studies to each other. In addition, both Pfizer and Moderna were studied at a time when COVID-19 variant strains were not prevalent and this may further change reports of effectiveness slightly.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

All three vaccines in the United States under emergency use authorization have been given to tens of thousands of people in clinical trials. Those trials not only confirmed that the vaccines are safe but also showed them to work very well at preventing you from becoming ill from coronavirus. As the vaccines have been rolled out to the public, they have continued to show an excellent safety profile.

Do COVID-19 vaccines have egg, embryo, or other ingredients not commonly found in other vaccines?

The COVID-19 RNA vaccines are made synthetically in the lab, they are not grown in anything. Eggs and human embryos are not utilized. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use any egg or embryo ingredients

Because the COVID-19 vaccine is an RNA-based therapy, are there any anticipated genetic effects or other long-term effects based on current published literature?

The vaccine sends a message to your cells to instruct them to create a protein. Your immune system will then react to that protein that your body made. The message then goes away. There is no affect or integration into your DNA/genetic sequence.

How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?

Vaccine development typically takes many years. However, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for the rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The messenger RNA technology allows the vaccine to be mass-produced at a much faster pace than older, conventional vaccine technology.

Will more than one dose of COVID-19 vaccine be recommended per patient?

Yes, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines require two doses, 21 days later for the Pfizer vaccine, and 28 days later for the Moderna vaccine. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires 1 dose. It does not appear that a booster dose will be required approximately 12 months after you are fully vaccinated.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects because of the natural response of your immune system activation. These are typically minor, such as a sore arm or low-grade fever, or possibly fatigue, chills, or body aches. These fade away after a day or two. Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people show they worked as intended with no serious side effects.

Why do I have to wait 15 minutes after vaccine administration before I leave?

The recommended 15-minute observation period after vaccination is related to an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for all vaccines. Patients that develop lightheadedness or that may faint and fall usually occurs within 15 minutes after vaccine administration. Allergic reactions are extremely rare, although most significant allergic reactions to any medication occur within seconds or minutes after receiving it. Therefore the recommended 15-minute observation period has been put in place to allow for maximal safety. Post-vaccination observation is not associated with the COVID-19 vaccine specifically, but rather, is a broad recommendation for all vaccine types. A location that has enough space to allow for appropriate social distancing will be used for this purpose.

Can other vaccines help prevent me from getting COVID-19?

Other vaccines, such as those for flu, measles, or other diseases, will not protect you from COVID-19. Only the vaccines designed specifically to protect you from COVID-19, once approved for use by the FDA, can prevent COVID-19. While a flu vaccine will not prevent you from getting COVID-19, it can prevent you from getting influenza (flu) at the same time as COVID-19. Because the flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading during this time, getting a flu vaccine is more crucial than ever.

Should people who have already had COVID-19 get the vaccine?

Yes, it is advised that people who have already had COVID-19 get the vaccine. The vaccine may cause a better and longer immune response than the natural infection. If you have had the disease already, the vaccine will act as a booster for your immune system. Therefore, there is no need to check for antibodies to COVID-19 before getting the vaccination.

How much will it cost to get vaccinated?

The federal government pays for the cost of the vaccine itself. Institutions giving the vaccine will charge an administration fee which will be billed to insurance. No out-of-pocket expense will be charged to any patient, regardless of ability to pay. . Further information is available here.

Who is planning on offering the vaccine outside of Firelands Regional Health System?

Firelands regional health system will continue to offer vaccine access, please refer to the website for times and locations.  The health department, as well as many local pharmacies, continue to offer vaccine access as well.  Please refer to their individual websites for details.