Frequently Asked Questions
Holzer Health System is prepared to play an important role in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our employees, at risk populations, and the public once distribution becomes available. Are you curious about the vaccine and want to learn more? Below you will find the answers to your questions and learn about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as independent medical experts, through rigorous evaluation, have worked to ensure that the vaccine is safe and effective. While this vaccine is new, technology used in mRNA vaccines have been studied for decades by companies such as Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.
Can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. Thanks to the mRNA technology used in the COVID-19 vaccine, there is no live part of the virus that is used. It is important to note that it takes a few weeks for your body to build up immunity to the virus, so it is possible to become infected with COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine within the first few weeks.
Once I am vaccinated, should I be worried about spreading the virus in my household?
Since the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any live parts of the virus, individuals should not worry about spreading the virus. However, you may still be a carrier of the virus even if you are vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body produce antibodies to fight infection but following guidelines and remaining socially distant only better your chance of not becoming infected or spreading the virus to others.
How is the vaccine administered?
The vaccine is given in two doses that are either 21 or 28 days apart, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Shots are administered into the muscle of your arm, similarly to how a person would be vaccinated for the flu.
Will I experience any side effects after being vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccine may cause some mild side effects which include:
- Injection site pain
- Muscle Pain
Side effects were more commonly reported after individuals received their second dose. If you have severe allergies or have experienced a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, talk with your doctor about whether the vaccine and its ingredients are safe for you.
What should I do if I am experiencing side effects?
If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital. Call your healthcare provider if you have concerns of other side effects that do not go away.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause any long-term effects?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the vaccine with the use of mRNA will not interact or alter an individual’s DNA. The makeup of the vaccine is broken down quickly in the cell and never enters the nucleus and, as a result, does not cause any long-term effects.
Am I eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Currently, federal and state guidelines will dictate who can receive the vaccine. Ohioans will receive the vaccine based on the speed at which doses become available. Beginning the week of January 18, individuals age 80 years and older can begin scheduling their vaccines for Phase 1B of deployment. To find out when you are eligible and to learn more about availability, visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program.
If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, should I still get the vaccine?
At this time, there is no evidence indicating that it is unsafe for those who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant to receive the vaccine. Vaccine studies in individuals who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant are ongoing. Talking with your healthcare provider and hearing their recommendations may help you weigh the benefits and risks associated with being vaccinated.
How long am I protected following vaccination?
We are still learning about duration of protection for an individual that has received the vaccine. How frequently an individual should receive the vaccination has not yet been determined. Researchers are continuing to monitor and follow participants from phase 3 clinical trials to determine length of protection and whether the vaccine will need to happen on an annual basis.
If I have already had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?
If you have been infected and recovered from COVID-19 you have built up some natural immunity. The duration of protection for an individual is not yet known. You may want to consider waiting for at least 90 days until receiving the vaccine. Both natural immunity and vaccine immunity are crucial in fighting the virus.
Is there anyone who should not receive the vaccine?
There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine for individuals under the age of 16. Individuals who have certain health conditions may also not want to receive the vaccine.
Should I get the flu vaccine as well as the COVID-19 vaccine?
The flu or any other vaccine will not increase your chance of getting sick. In fact, it decreases your chances of getting sick. A flu vaccine will not prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it will protect from contracting both viruses at the same time. It is recommended to wait 14 days between shots.
How much does the vaccine cost?
Individuals receiving the vaccine should experience no out-of-pocket expense. An administrative fee may be billed to insurance, but the patient will not be charged for this vaccine. If you are uninsured, please speak with your local health department or health care provider.
I’ve read that the vaccine will track me after administered. Is this true?
No vaccines or nasal sprays contain microchips or any form of tracking device that would alter or control your body.
I received the first vaccine shot. Is it important to receive the second?
Yes. It is required to receive the second dose (at the same location) within the timeframe suggested. If you did not schedule your second dose when receiving your first, call 740-446-5566 to schedule.
I am vaccinated – I can stop wearing my mask and socially distancing myself from others, right?
No. An individual will still need to mask to protect oneself, others and follow state and local guidelines. Even though you are vaccinated, you may still carry the virus and could be a risk to others. It is important to continue practicing habits of masking, social distancing, and good hand hygiene.