If you’re concerned about getting vaccinated for COVID-19, we are here to provide you with the most recent and accurate information to help you feel confident in your choice.
What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Many COVID-19 vaccines are being made. Most require two shots. You get the second shot a few weeks after you got the first one. The second shot is like a booster shot. You need to get both shots for the vaccine to work. Talk to your health care provider about what could happen when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. There are some side effects. For example, your arm might be sore where you get the shot (just like when you get a flu shot).
Were COVID-19 vaccines rushed? How do I know they are safe?
COVID-19 vaccine development and clinical trials were thorough, and thanks to decades of research and a strategic scientific effort to streamline processes, could be developed more efficiently. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as independent medical experts, have ensured that every detail of the COVID-19 vaccines is thoroughly and rigorously evaluated, as outlined in the 50-plus page briefings of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRPAC) detailing the findings from the clinical trials about effectiveness, safety and side effects of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective, and the Moderna vaccine has been shown to be 94% effective in phase three clinical trials with more than 70,000 participants between the two studies, and no serious safety concerns were observed. Read more about how safety is a top priority of the U.S. vaccine safety development and approval process here.
Can I receive my vaccine at my primary care provider’s office?
Visit vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov to find a list of organizations and locations administering vaccinations.
Will I need to wear a mask after I get a vaccine shot?
Yes. You must wear a mask and follow social distancing rules after you get the vaccine. It takes time for the vaccine to build up in your body. We all must keep wearing masks. Medical experts will tell us when it is safe to be in public without a mask.
What if I need transportation assistance to my vaccine appointment?
Chillicothe Transit System is offering transportation service to individuals at increased risk/vulnerability to COVID-19. Pre-registration 24 hours in advance is required and trips must originate and end within the city limits. If you are at an increased risk/high vulnerability, they will provide a single rider trip for you. This service will be free, but spots are limited. To determine eligibility, pre-register and schedule, call 740-773-1569.
Adena also offers transportation services to our vaccination clinic.
What if I had COVID-19 and recovered - do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. People should not get vaccinated while in quarantine or while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Is it safe to get the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding were not part of the clinical trials for the vaccines, so data is limited. Women who are pregnant may choose to be vaccinated, but the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging pregnant women to speak with their health care provider before making a decision and has made information on the topic available online on its website. Likewise, while the CDC reports that mRNA vaccines are not thought to pose a risk for a breastfeeding infant, women who are breastfeeding may wish to consult with their doctor about any concerns prior to taking the vaccine.
Are there any side effects?
After a COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is doing what it is supposed to in order to boost immunity. The reported side effects from COVID-19 vaccinations, however, are mild and similar to those from the flu shot, including injection site soreness, fatigue, low-grade fever, chills and some body aches. Generally, those side effects go away on their own within 24 to 36 hours and normally are more prevalent when taking the second of two doses. In the millions of doses administered thus far, more serious side effects have been very rare and generally involve allergic reactions. Those with a history of allergic reactions to vaccines or injections should consult with their doctor before being vaccinated.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. The vaccine contains messenger RNA that encodes for just a piece of the virus (the spike protein) not the entire virus. By injecting the body with the messenger RNA, the vaccine prompts the body to make very specific antibodies which counteract that protein and neutralize it should you ever come in contact with it.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
No. None of the vaccines can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
What is the difference between the vaccines?
Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are administered 21 days apart, while the two doses of the Moderna vaccine are given 28 days apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. The vaccine from Pfizer was approved for patients 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine age range is 18 and older.
What are the long-term effects?
There is not enough data available to evaluate any long-term effects of the vaccines. Those who were among the first to receive them as part of clinical trials are being followed and monitored with regard to gauging any long-term effects and to determine the long-term effectiveness of the vaccine and whether booster shots will be needed at some point in the future to ensure lasting protection.
The information on this page was compiled from the most recent available data from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and other trusted health sources.