COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Are side-effects worse with the second round of vaccine?

Clinical trials have shown that most Covid-19 vaccine recipients who had noticeable side effects from their first dose, tend to have stronger side effects after the second dose. As with the first dose, the side effects are an indication that the vaccine is working, and your body is responding as intended.

Should I take over-the-counter medication when I get the vaccine?

Medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil) may be taken for the treatment of side effects AFTER the injection; however, taking these medications prior to your vaccination just to prevent side effects is not recommended at this time by the CDC. This is due to a lack of information on how these medications may affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.

If you only experienced mild discomfort after the first dose, it is recommended to wait and see if anything is needed after the second dose. If your discomfort was significant after the first dose, consider pre-treating before the second dose if desired, with the understanding that the impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine is unknown.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine have an effect on mammogram results?

Yes. After receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, some patients experience short-term changes in the size and consistency of armpit lymph nodes. Because this can mimic an abnormal finding on breast imaging, the American Society of Breast Imaging recommends scheduling a screening mammogram or screening breast MRI prior to your COVID-19 vaccine or 4 to 6 weeks after your second injection. For more information, click here

How did the vaccines get approved so quickly?

During a public health emergency, the FDA can use its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority to allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products, to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life- threatening diseases when certain criteria are met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. COVID-19 vaccines have been made available using an EUA.

Should I make sure that I get the vaccine with the best reported efficacy?

The efficacy rates for all three of the vaccines that are currently EUA approved are very effective in preventing severe COVID-19  and nearly 100% effective in decreasing your need for hospitalization or severe illness including death. If you have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, it is recommended that you take advantage. Supply is limited and all versions of the vaccine will provide the benefit needed.

Vaccine Efficacy Overall Severe COVID-19 Deaths
Pfizer 95% 89% 0 due to COVID
Moderna 94% 100% 0 due to COVID
J&J 72% USA (66% overall) 85% 0 due to COVID

Will Vitamin D help me avoid COVID-19?

It is true that patients admitted with COVID are frequently Vitamin D deficient. Keeping your Vitamin D levels in the normal range is certainly appropriate, but it’s not clear if Vitamin D treatment will improve clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether or not you already had COVID-19. You will not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated. However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and they have met the criteria to end their quarantine.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, which have been granted emergency use authorization, require two doses. Ohioans who receive a dose of either of these vaccines must receive a second dose of the vaccine from the same manufacturer, as they are not interchangeable. The Johnson & Johnson/Jannsen vaccine requires a single dose.

I’ve seen a lot of rumors on social media about vaccines. How can I tell what is true?

The internet is rife with dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, and it can be difficult to know what to trust. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the vaccines with information from trustworthy sources. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health.

What are normal side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

When you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you can expect mild side effects, including soreness or redness at the injection site. Other common side effects are fever, chills, headache, tiredness, and muscle or joint pain. These side effects are normal as your body creates an immune response to protect you from COVID-19, and may increase with the second dose.

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have received 2 doses of the vaccine?

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.

Can children and the elderly receive the vaccine?

The current vaccines are available for people 16+. People aged 65 years and older will receive prioritization with the vaccine because they are at higher risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19.

How will you decide if I am higher risk even if under age 65?

TriHealth is following the plan established by Governor DeWine, identifying Ohioans born with or who have early childhood conditions that are carried into adulthood which put them at a higher risk for adverse outcomes due to COVID-19. For details, refer to coronavirus.ohio.govUpdate: As of March 28, 2021, all Ohioans 16+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Can I get COVID-19 between the 2 vaccinations?

The CDC said it can take weeks for a person’s body to build up immunity after getting vaccinated. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

If I have egg allergies or have had Guillain-Barre, can I get the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccine or injectable medications, such as food, pet, venom, environmental or latex allergies get vaccinated. Those with a history of allergies to oral medicines or a family history of severe allergic reactions are also in the clear. But the agency cautions against vaccination for individuals who have had any kind of immediate allergic reaction — when treatment with an epinephrine pen or a hospital visit is necessary — to any ingredient in the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine. These “immediate” reactions can include hives, swelling and wheezing. The same advice goes for people who have had a severe allergic reaction to their first dose of either vaccine. The CDC says this group should not get the second dose, which is required for full protection.

If I had another vaccine recently can I still get the vaccine for COVID?

The vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine. Currently, there is insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for three COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID-19.

After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This continued monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. They then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.

The CDC has expanded safety surveillance with new systems and additional information sources, as well as by scaling up existing safety monitoring systems.

How are vaccines being distributed to community members with developmental disabilities?

Governor DeWine’s vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B includes Ohioan’s with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders. A representative from the local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a developmental or intellectual disability. Update: As of March 28, 2021, all Ohioans 16+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

J&J/Janssen FAQ

I only want the (JJ/Pfizer/Moderna) vaccine? Can I pick the brand that I want to receive?

When you have the opportunity to get any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, you should schedule an appointment. All three vaccines have been thoroughly tested and have been found to be safe for the prevention of COVID-19 and are highly effective in preventing severe illness and death.

Has the J&J/Janssen vaccine been approved?

On February 27, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The EUA allows the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.

What are the benefits of the J&J/Janssen?

The J&J/Janssen vaccine requires just one dose. Its effectiveness in eliminating severe COVID-19 symptoms is comparable to the other options (85% vs. 89% and 100%), Vaccine storage is also a benefit of the J&J/Janssen version which will remain stable at standard refrigeration temperatures for up to three months.

What is the difference between an mRNA (Pfizer & Moderna)and viral vector (J&J/Janssen) vaccine?

All three vaccines deliver genetic instructions that help prime our immune systems to fight off coronavirus. RNA enters healthy cells where it helps generate the production of spike proteins that will trigger the immune system to product antibodies that will recognize the virus if later infected. While the viral vaccine introduces antibodies that can identify COVID-19 and help neutralize it.

Is the J&J/Janssen vaccine as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

Efficacy varies with the three vaccines, with the two dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offering overall efficacy near 95%. The one dose J&J/Janssen vaccine offers 72% efficacy in the USA. All three have been shown to be 100% effective at preventing death from COVID-19.

Vaccine Efficacy Overall Severe COVID-19 Deaths
 Pfizer 95% 89% 0 due to COVID
 Moderna 94% 100% 0 due to COVID
J&J 72% USA (66% overall) 85% 0 due to COVID

Are there differences in the side effects between the three vaccines?

Mild side effects have been reported with all versions of the vaccines, but the J&J/Janssen version has a lower incidence of overall side effects.

  Pfizer  Moderna J&J/Janssen
Local pain  77.8% 90.1% 58.6%
Swelling 6.3% 12.6%  7%
Fatigue  59.4% 67.6% 43.8%
Chills  35.1% 48.3% 2%
Fever  15.8% 17.4% 12.8%
Overall Side Effects  36% 46% 27%

If I have had allergic reactions to any previous non-COVID vaccines, should I ask for a specific COVID vaccine?

No, not unless there was a specific component of a vaccine that was identified as having caused your reaction that may also be a component in one of the COVID vaccines. If no specific component was identified, you may receive any of the COVID vaccines, but your period of observation should be 30 minutes instead of the standard 15 minutes as an added precaution.

If you have a known allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate, you may not be eligible for any of the currently available vaccines. If you have a known allergy to citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, or2-hydroxypropyl-cyclodextrin (HBCD), you may not be eligible for the J&J/Janssen vaccine. In those cases, it is best to check with your medical provider or allergist on the best course of action.

Is the J&J/Janssen vaccine approved for all age groups?

The J&J/Janssen vaccine is approved for those 18+. Distribution of the vaccine will follow the roll-out plan from Governor Mike DeWine.

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