Is there a Covid-19 Vaccine?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization (EUA) to two COVID-19 vaccines: one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and another produced by Moderna. The distribution of both vaccines began in the United States in December.
A third vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, received EUA on Feb. 27, 2021 and began nationwide in March. On April 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Please click on the link below for an update.
Other potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development and could seek authorization later.
Does Hamilton Health Have The Vaccine?
Hamilton Health began to receive doses of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines in December, and we continue to receive them. At Hamilton Health, we are committed to the safety of our communities in our vaccination efforts. We are following federal guidance in the distribution of the J&J vaccine and paused any distribution of the J&J vaccine on April 13, 2021, pending the CDC investigation. Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, with the supply available to us.
Which of the Covid-19 Vaccines is Hamilton Health Offering?
Hamilton Health is distributing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at this time. We are vaccinating people with the available supply we have.
Hamilton Health is following federal guidance in the distribution of the J&J vaccine and paused use of the J&J vaccine on April 13, 2021, pending the CDC investigation.
Should I Contact My Doctor About Receiving The Covid-19 Vaccine?
Hamilton Health recommends that every individual contacts their doctor prior to receiving the vaccine. Please call 717-230-3991 9am-3pm, 5 days a week to speak to your health care professional.
When Can I Get The Vaccine?
Schedule an appointment at 717-230-3991 or fill out our vaccine contact form.
What Is The Cost of the Covid-19 Vaccine?
At this time, there is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.
What Should I Do Before Getting The Vaccine?
We strongly encourage everyone in our communities to take other COVID-19 prevention actions, including:
- Wearing a facemask in public
- Maintaining social distancing
- Avoiding large crowds
- Practicing good hand hygiene
These activities can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and save lives.
I Got My First Dose Of The Vaccine Somewhere Else. Can I Get The Second Dose At Hamilton Health?
No. You must get your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from the same provider where you got the first. Second doses are given to vaccine sites based on the first doses, so your vaccine provider will have your second dose.
For the same reason, if you received your first dose of the vaccine at Hamilton Health, you must return to Hamilton Health for your second dose.
Can I Get The Vaccine If I’m Sick?
You should not get the vaccine if you are currently infected with COVID-19, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have another respiratory illness. If you have symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not get vaccinated until you meet the CDC’s guidelines for ending isolation. Talk to your provider about rescheduling.
If you have another respiratory illness, talk to your provider about when it is safe for you to receive the vaccine.
Does The Vaccine Work?
According to data reported by Pfizer and Moderna, both vaccines are more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19.
The vaccines exceed the efficacy benchmark for emergency use authorization. All are highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death. The effectiveness of the vaccine will continue to be monitored as distribution continues.
Can We Trust That The Covid-19 Vaccine Is Safe?
The FDA has reviewed the safety and efficacy of these vaccines before issuing an emergency use authorization, which authorizes their use in the U.S.
Even after the EUA, these vaccines are undergoing additional studies to confirm the vaccine’s safety, effectiveness, or possible side effects.
Does The Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?
The most common side effects to the vaccines include pain and swelling where you received the shot, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. These are common for many vaccines because a vaccine triggers an immune response. The side effects should go away within a few days.
What If I’m Allergic To The Vaccine?
There have been some reports of isolated allergic reactions to the vaccine, which scientists are investigating. Allergic reactions to vaccines are not common and are typically mild.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA-based. If you previously had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the vaccine. If you had an allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC does not recommend that you get the second dose.
If you have a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, vaccine component, or injectable medication, you should consult your primary care physician or allergist before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Do Covid-19 Vaccines Contain A Live Virus?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. mRNA is genetic material our body naturally makes, and in this vaccine, this tiny piece of genetic material teaches our cells how to make a virus protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what helps to protect us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies. The mRNA and protein quickly disappear after they have taught our body to respond to the virus.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and mRNA, read our article.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, meanwhile, is a viral vector vaccine. A viral vector vaccine uses a different virus as the “vector” – i.e., the mechanism that delivers instructions to your body. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses an adenovirus – a common virus that typically causes the cold or flu symptoms. Scientists added a piece of the coronavirus’ genetic material to the adenovirus. When you receive the vaccine, your body recognizes the coronavirus’ genetic material and creates antibodies against it. Although the adenovirus can enter your cells, you cannot get sick from it.
For more about viral vector vaccines, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Note: Following the guidelines from the CDC, FDA, and Allegheny County Health Department, Hamilton Health has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. If you have an appointment scheduled at the Pittsburgh Mills drive-up clinic on April 14 or 15, or at the Hamilton Health Northwest regional vaccine clinics, these clinics will now be using the Pfizer vaccine in place of J&J for all scheduled appointments. Please note: The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to be considered fully vaccinated.
Should Pregnant Women Get Vaccinated?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that pregnant and lactating women should be able to get the vaccine if they fall into one of the distribution groups. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and are wondering if you should get the vaccine.
Do I Need To Get The Vaccine?
Like any vaccine, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is your personal choice. You can choose to get it or not when it becomes available to you. However, getting the vaccine can protect both you and the people around you, including our most vulnerable individuals. The vaccine is a crucial step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Should Children Under 16 Recieve The Covid-19 Vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available for patients under 16. Clinical studies of these vaccines focused on those 16 and older, so additional data is needed.
Who Should Not Recieve The Vaccine?
- People with a history of certain health conditions should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Had a severe or immediate allergic reaction after a previous mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
- Received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 within the last 90 days
- Is currently sick with COVID-19
- Is currently under quarantine after exposure to COVID-19
- Has received or is planning to receive any other vaccine within 14 days
I Took Part In A Covid-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial. Can I Receive the Vaccine At Hamilton Health?
If you participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, contact the study coordinator, who can tell you if you have received a vaccine or placebo. If you received a placebo (not active vaccine), the study coordinators will let you know the next steps to get vaccinated. The trial may offer the vaccine as part of the study or recommend you receive the vaccine at Hamilton Health.
Do Questions About Your COVID-19 Vaccine Status Violate HIPAA? Click to learn more. Information courtesy of UPMC.
Vax Facts for Parents and Guardians – Virtual Conversation.pdf” at: