COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Can I get a COVID 19 vaccine at the same time as another vaccine? +
Yes. In fact, public health officials are recommending vaccination with both COVID-19 and Influenza during this “respiratory season”.
I am recovering from COVID 19. When can/should I get my COVID vaccine? +
You should wait until you are fully recovered from the disease. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19. You may consider delaying your vaccine by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you received a positive test. Please see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect.html
I am immunocompromised. Should I get the COVID vaccine? +
Yes. Please consult with your physician. The COVID vaccine is not a live virus and should not represent a significant risk to you. It should provide you some protection though your immune response may not be as robust as someone with a normal immune system.
Is the COVID vaccine safe for pregnant or breastfeeding moms? +
Yes, and it is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Vaccination prior to pregnancy or during pregnancy will protect you from severe disease. Additionally, antibodies will pass to your infant and help protect him/her from disease during the first months of life.
Are there serious allergic reactions to the COVID vaccine? +
The rate of anaphylaxis to COVID vaccine is 2-11 per million doses. Observation for 15-30 minutes post vaccine for anyone known to have serious allergic reactions is recommended.
I have multiple other drug allergies. Should I take Benedryl prior to vaccination? +
That is not recommended.
What is the rate of common side effects to the vaccine? +
10-15% of individuals will have minor side effects from the vaccine. Most commonly these are redness, swelling, soreness at the site of the injection, vague malaise, joint pain, or headache.
What is an mRNA vaccine and how does it work? +
Please see: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/vaccines/COVID-19-mRNA-infographic_G_508.pdf. mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna contain small portions of COVID 19 which will cause antibodies to be formed that protect from future infection and severe disease.
How many doses do I need? +
This varies by age and the presence of immunocompromise ( weakened immune system). . COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19. There is currently no FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than age 6 months. For details, please see: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/COVID-19-immunization-schedule-ages-6months-older.pdf
Will the current vaccines give me lifelong protection? +
Protection from acute infection will wane with time. Protection from severe disease and death is much longer. It is not yet known what the recommendations will be regarding further boosters. New variants may prompt the development of new vaccines.
Are you able to transmit the disease after your vaccination? +
If you develop a breakthrough infection, you may indeed be contagious to others.
Should I get an antibody test to prove my vaccine “took”? +
That is not necessary.
Do I need to get the same brand of booster as my primary vaccine? +
No. You are welcome to “mix and match” the vaccines.
Going forward, where should I get solid COVID-19 advice? +
The CDC is a reliable source within the United States.