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COVID-19 Vaccines: Frequently Asked Questions

Important Vaccine Information from Cameron Hospital
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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

With COVID-19 vaccines now being available to all Hoosiers 5 years of age and older, many individuals in the Angola community and beyond have questions. Here, we have compiled a variety of frequently asked questions and answers to help the public understand crucial information regarding the vaccines’ distribution, safety, and risks.

All of the information on this page is dynamic and subject to change. For questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your healthcare provider or refer to the CDC or Indiana State Health Department. 

 

Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Cameron will be hosting a weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinic out of our Immunization Clinic every Thursday from 8:00am – 4:00pm. To sign up, please visit ourshot.in.gov, or you may call the Immunization Clinic to schedule (260-667-5622).

Are you eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine? Read the latest eligibility documents here.

The COVID-19 Vaccines

Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccines
Q. What are the different COVID-19 vaccines?

A. Currently, there are 3 COVID-19 vaccines available: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

According to the CDC, Phase 3 clinical trials are in progress or being planned for two additional COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Q. Are the COVID-19 vaccines in development all made the same way?

A. No. Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines; Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are vector vaccines.

The mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19. When the vaccine is delivered into the body, it teaches the cells how to make a protein –or a piece of a protein – that triggers an immune response. The body recognizes that the protein should not be there and builds specialized white blood cells to destroy it. These cells then remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if the body is exposed or infected in the future.

Vector vaccines contain a weakened version of a live virus. This is a different virus from the one that causes COVID-19 but it contains a small amount of genetic material from the coronavirus. Once this virus, called a viral vector, is inside the body’s cells, the genetic material helps to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. The body’s cells then make copies of this protein, which prompts the body to build specialized cells when exposed to the virus in the future.

Q. How was a vaccine for COVID-19 developed so quickly?

A. Scientists did not start from scratch. They built on many years of research into other respiratory viruses such as the viruses that cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). These are other coronaviruses in the same family as COVID-19. Researchers also were assured of immediate funding for vaccine development.

In addition, because COVID-19 was widespread in communities and spreading easily, research trials were speeded up, although no steps were skipped. If a virus is not common in the population, it can take years to develop and test a vaccine on people. Researchers often must wait for a certain number of people in studies to get sick and then compare the response of vaccinated groups with that of placebo groups. The COVID-19 vaccines were tested for safety and effectiveness in the same way that all vaccines are.

Q. What changes once I am fully vaccinated?

What you can start to do If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can do things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Visit the CDC’s website here for recommendations that can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

Safety & Clinical Trial Information Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines
Q. How do we know COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

The Pfizer vaccine recently received full FDA approval for children and adults over the age of 16 and the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccinations have both received emergency use approval. All three vaccinations are safe and effective options for Steuben County residents. If you remain hesitant, we suggest visiting the CDC’s website to find detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions about the available COVID-19 vaccines.

Q. Will the findings of the COVID-19 vaccine trials be made public and reviewed by independent experts?
A. All Phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are overseen by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board. This board acts across all trials of all of the sponsors. The FDA and vaccine manufacturers are releasing data from their trials publicly.
Q. Are COVID-19 vaccinations safe for pregnant people?

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. To learn more about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women, and the antibodies passed along to baby when vaccinated, visit the CDC’s website here.

Q. What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. To learn more about potential side effects, visit the CDC’s website here.

Q. I am allergic to the flu vaccine. Do you think there will be a problem with getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Unlike most flu vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are not made using egg-based products. If you are allergic to any vaccines or you are concerned about other conditions that may influence your response to the COVID-19 vaccine, you should talk with your healthcare provider before signing up to receive one.
Q. Will the vaccine affect future fertility?

If one is eligible to receive the vaccine, it should not be withheld for concerns of adverse effects on fertility.

According to the American College of OB/GYN, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the CDC, studies for both Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines are encouraging and do not indicate any adverse effects on female reproduction, fetal/embryonal development, or breastfeeding.

COVID-19 Vaccine & Your Health

Current Information Regarding How COVID-19 Vaccines May Impact Your Health

If you are moderately immunocompromised and have completed a two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination more than 28 days ago, you are now eligible for a third dose. This additional dose will help supplement your original Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, the effectiveness of which may wane over time. Schedule an appointment for your third dose, here. To learn more about the booster shot, we suggest you visit the CDC website.

Q. Once a person gets a COVID-19 vaccine, how long are they protected? Will yearly vaccinations be needed like the flu?
We do not know yet. But it is possible it will end up becoming a seasonal vaccine like the flu shot.
Q. How much will a COVID-19 vaccine reduce the risks or complications of COVID-19?

A. While this is hard to compare between each vaccine due to differences in the clinical trials, experts believe the vaccines may also help to keep you from getting very sick if you become infected. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

To learn more about the effectiveness of all three vaccines and more, visit the CDC’s website.

Q. Should I receive the vaccine if I am ill on the date of administration?
A. If you are acutely ill, you should wait until you feel better to receive the vaccine.
Q. Is a COVID-19 vaccine safe for me? Could it interfere with any of my medications or medical conditions?

A. Any approved COVID-19 vaccine will have gone through clinical trials with tens of thousands of people. Trial volunteers include people with lots of different medical conditions, and their responses to the vaccine are collected to ensure safety and effectiveness across many people. If you have any concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider, or visit the CDC’s website here.

Q. Who should not get the vaccine?

A. Do not get this vaccine if you experience a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine. You also should not get it if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any component of this vaccine.

Q. If I already had COVID-19 and have recovered from it, do I need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

We don’t have enough information yet to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. We suggest visiting the CDC website for the most up to date information.

COVID-19 Booster Shot

FAQ Regarding the Booster Shot
Q: Am I still considered ‘fully vaccinated’ if I don’t get the booster?

A: Yes. You are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose in a 2-shot series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Please visit the CDC’s website for more information.

Q: Who is currently eligible for the booster?
  1. A: Currently, COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago and are:

  2. 65 years and older

  3. Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings

  4. Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions

  5. Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings

  6. Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings

  7. Please visit the CDC’s website for the most up to date information.

Q: What is the difference between a booster shot and an additional dose?
  1. A: A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine series and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Additional doses are administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose of an mRNA-COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series. Please visit the CDC’s website for more information.

Other COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for hospital workers?

A. Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is mandated for hospital workers including Cameron Hospital employees.

Q. Where can I find more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

We will continue to share more information here as it becomes available. More about the COVID-19 vaccines also can be found on the CDC’s website or the state of Indiana’s.

Q. What is Monoclonal Antibody Therapy?

Monoclonal antibody therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. The therapy has been shown to help high-risk COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalization and recover at home. It is also authorized by the U.S. FDA to prevent COVID-19 following exposure to the virus in some cases.

Hoosiers who are interested in receiving the treatment can call 211 (866-211-9966) to learn more.

CDC Vaccine Information

 We are following recommendations from the federal and state governments, the CDC and our own medical ethics guidelines to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about the vaccine from resources provided by the CDC.

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