COVID-19 Vaccines FAQS
FAQs – Updated Jan. 15, 2021
How many vaccines are available?
As of right now, there are two vaccines being administered. One is produced by Pfizer and the other by Moderna. Other COVID-19 vaccines are currently available. Clinical trials for a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson are currently underway.
Are the vaccines effective in protecting the new strains of COVID-19?
Yes, the U.S. Food and Drug administration suggests that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations are against the variations of the virus, which have popped up in the United States and United Kingdom.
Is it true I will need two doses? Why?
The vaccines currently administered will require two doses to be effective. This is not unusual for highly infectious diseases. Vaccinations for both chickenpox and Hepatitis A, for example, require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if approved by the Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA), will only require one shot.
I’m allergic to eggs. Can I get a vaccine?
You can get a vaccine. None of the vaccinations currently under development contain egg components.
When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available?
First and second doses of both vaccines are already being administered. Essential workers, those over the age of 65, individuals living in long-term care facilities, and those with underlying conditions (type 2 diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders, etc.) are receiving it first. More doses will continue to be available, and all adults should be able to receive it. Clinical trials are underway on a vaccine that is safe and effective in children.
Will there be enough vaccines available to everyone?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away. Because the federal government invested in several vaccine manufacturers early in the pandemic response, they can quickly make vaccines and distribute them in large amounts. The goal is for everyone to receive a vaccination as soon as these larger quantities are available.
Can I get a vaccine at Community First ER?
No, Community First ER will not be administering vaccinations. However, if you need to be tested for COVID-19, we are offering polymerase chain (PCR) testing. After we collect a sample of fluid or mucus from your nose, we can test the sample using the BioFire® Respiratory 2.1 (RP2.1) Panel to obtain results quickly in comparison to other testing methods. We are also treating COVID patients who are experiencing symptoms.
Where can I get a coronavirus vaccine?
While Community First ER is not administering vaccinations, you should be able to quickly receive one at your doctor’s office, at retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers when they become readily available. Health care facilities and city/county entities across the greater Houston area are setting up distribution sites where you’re able to pre-register and put your name on the list. At this time, however, you need to meet one of the following criteria:
- You are an essential health care worker.
- You are a resident of a long-term care facility.
- You’re over the age of 65.
- You have an underlying health condition.
Will I feel any side-effects?
Based upon the information we have at the current time, individuals will experience some mild, short-term side-effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. These side effects may include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
These side-effects are said to resolve on their own after a couple of days. People who participated in the clinical trials for vaccine development said they experienced these symptoms after receiving the vaccine’s second dose.
If you do have side-effects, it means the vaccine is working. Your immune system is responding as it should.
Won’t I contract COVID-19 if I get the vaccine?
No, you will not come down with COVID-19 after receiving a vaccination. You may have some of the same symptoms, such as fever and fatigue, but you cannot contract the virus. The CDC reports that none of the vaccines developed in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccines are designed to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus.
Should I take the vaccine now or wait six months until others have received it?
This is a personal decision and encourage you to discuss this with your physician in greater detail to feel confident about your decision.
Do I need to wear a mask when I get the vaccine?
Yes, the CDC strongly recommends you wear a mask while receiving the vaccine. The CDC also suggests masking, staying at least six feet from others, and washing your hands after receiving the vaccine since not everyone will be receiving it at once.
Will everything return to normal after I receive a vaccine?
No, not everything will return to normal. Masking, social distancing, and vigilant hand hygiene are going to be part of our daily lives for a while. It’s difficult to pinpoint when life will return to “normal” and exactly what that will look like.
Do I have to keep wearing a mask and social distancing even though I received a vaccination?
Yes. Because it will take time to distribute vaccinations effectively, mitigation measures including mask-wearing, physical distancing, handwashing, and social distancing will continue to be essential to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Will my children be able to get this vaccine?
Children’s immune systems differ significantly from those of adults. For this reason, the COVID-19 vaccination will not be administered to children under the age of 16, at least in the early days of its availability. The vaccine needs further testing to make sure it’s both safe and effective for the pediatric population.
How will this vaccine be different from the flu vaccine?
The most significant difference between the two vaccines is that the COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses. It will be necessary to closely follow instructions on when to receive the second dose. Some of the vaccines also require storage in extremely cold temperatures, which could impact where you receive your immunization.