HNI FYI

Answering Your Patients’ COVID-19 Vaccination Questions

Our clinical team has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases - largely made up of unvaccinated individuals. Here's how to address your patients' questions.


As told by NPR, “since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on December 14, more than 370 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 173 million people or 52.4% of the total U.S. population.”

While these statistics are promising, “researchers have estimated that around 70% to 85% of the country needs to be immune to the coronavirus for COVID-19 to stop spreading through communities and peter out.” (NPR)

There is still work to be done to encourage vaccinations across the country. We invite you to use the following information to help educate your community, staff, and patients about the efficacy and importance of COVID-19 vaccinations.

 

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a treatment that prompts your immune system to produce antibodies as if you were exposed to the disease. The vaccine will provide you immunity to the disease without having to get the disease first.

 

What will the vaccine do for me?

The vaccine may prevent you from getting COVID, from becoming seriously ill, or from dying of COVID.

 

Who is eligible for the vaccine?

Adults and 12+ year old children are eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine. People must be 18+ years old to receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

 

If I already had COVID do I still need to get the vaccine?

Yes. People who are vaccinated are twice as protected from a second COVID infection as people who have natural immunity from a previous infection.

 

Is the vaccine free?

Yes! According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to all individuals in the United States at no cost — with or without insurance.

 

Will the vaccine give me COVID?

No. The vaccine cannot give you COVID.

 

Is the vaccine safe during pregnancy?

A recent large study found that the vaccine is safe and well tolerated by individuals who were pregnant, lactating, or planning pregnancy.

 

If I have no serious diseases and I take care of my health, can I protect myself against COVID by taking vitamins and supplements?

No. There are no clinical trials that demonstrate that vitamins and supplements are protective against COVID. Even if you are healthy the vaccine is recommended.

 

Will the vaccine change my DNA?

No. None of the authorized vaccines alter your DNA.

 

What are the possible side effects of the vaccine?

You may experience pain, redness, and swelling in the vaccinated arm. You may also have generalized. symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle ache, chills, fever, and nausea. The symptoms generally occur one to two days after receiving the vaccine.

 

Does the vaccine contain preservatives, antibiotics, or products of human or animal origin?

No.

 

Why should I trust a vaccine that was created so quickly?

The vaccine was developed quickly because a large number of volunteers enrolled in the vaccine studies which helped scientists get data very quickly.

Even before the pandemic, advances in vaccine technology had been made that allowed for pharmaceutical companies to respond quickly to the need.

The approval trials for the vaccine were standard in structure but the overall timelines were reduced by overlapping portions of the trials.

 

Should I get the booster if I am already vaccinated?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide good protection against the worst outcomes, including hospitalization and death. But scientists know that the immunity provided by the vaccine wanes over time, so a booster is recommended.

 

When should I get the booster?

The booster is recommended 8 months after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot.

 

What if I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

You will likely need a booster, but further study is needed before that recommendation is given.

 

Can I get the Pfizer booster if I received the Moderna vaccine or vice versa?

There is no data on the mixing and matching of the vaccines so that option is not currently recommended.

If you received the Pfizer vaccine, then get the Pfizer booster. If you received the Moderna vaccine, then get the Moderna booster.

 

Should I get the booster if I am immunocompromised?

Yes. The FDA and CDC have both already approved the booster for immunocompromised individuals.

   

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