How do the vaccines work?
When we are vaccinated, the messenger RNA (mRNA) goes within our cells, prompt our bodies to make antibodies, that then recognizes the virus when exposed and attacks the virus to prevent it from going inside the cells – thereby preventing illness.
How much will a COVID-19 vaccine cost?
The federal government has said any coronavirus vaccine will be provided to the American public for free. While the vaccine itself will be provided at no charge, facilities may charge administrative costs associated with providing the vaccine-- these will be charged to your insurance if you are covered.
What happens to my personal information when I sign up to receive the vaccine?
All facilities providing COVID-19 vaccines must follow strict privacy policies called HIPAA. Your personal information will be protected. Medical providers are required to report every vaccine administered within 24 hours to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR). This site provides de-personalized, demographic information to the California Department of Public Health for data analysis purposes.
Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
Yes, there are enough vaccines for everyone ages 12 and older to get vaccinated!
To search for an appointment near you, register at myturn.ca.gov.
When were the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines approved?
o The FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals age 16 years and older on December 11, 2020.
o The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine in individuals age 16 years and older on December 12, 2020.
o The FDA approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals age 18 years and older on December 18, 2020.
o ACIP recommended the used of the Moderna vaccine in individuals age 18 years and older on December 19, 2020.
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine
o The FDA approved the J&J COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals age 18 years and older on February 27, 2021
o ACIP recommended the used of the Moderna vaccine in individuals age 18 years and older on March 2, 2021; and again April 30, 2021-- following the temporary suspension of J&J vaccines.
What are the age limitation for the vaccine? Should my child or elderly parent get the vaccine?
Everyone 12 years and older is eligible to get vaccinated. Those under 18 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have recommended that pregnant and lactating women are offered the COVID-19 vaccine.
If vaccines prevent people from getting "sick" with coronavirus, can they also prevent people from "carrying" the virus and infecting others?
In clinical trials, both vaccines have shown high effectiveness in preventing people from getting sick with Covid-19. However the data hasn’t shown whether the vaccines can prevent people from carrying the virus and infecting others. This is the reason that after getting the COVID-19 vaccine (even after the second dose), you should continue to wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, and stay home when ill.
To read the updating mask guidance, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx
How safe are the vaccines that are coming out right now? What are the side-effects?
COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offers protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.
Both this disease and the vaccine are new. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
The most common adverse effects reported so far have been short term (2-3 days) of fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia (muscle pain) or pain at the injection site. Low-grade fever can also occur but more common after the second dose.
How can I report any side-effects or adverse reactions I may experience possibly from the vaccine?
Any adverse events should immediately be reported to your primary care provider or the clinic where you received the vaccine.
CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Healthcare providers will be required to report certain adverse events following vaccination to VAERS. This national system collects these data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns of occurrence. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority.
CDC is also implementing a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When you receive your vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will receive regular text messages directing you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Is is possible to get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, none of the currently available vaccines will give you a coronavirus infection.
The current vaccines available contain a small piece of viral RNA which means the vaccine does not contain live virus, and cannot alter your DNA.
Can people decide which vaccine to take?
Initially, there might not be a much of a choice as vaccine availability and allocation is limited. As the months go by and other vaccine manufacturers receive authorization to distribute the vaccine, our community might have more choice in what vaccine they get.
Can my boss/employer force me to get the vaccine? Could the COVID-19 vaccine be made mandatory?
--At this time, there is no Federal or State mandate requiring individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. You should reach out to your employer or Human Resources Department to understand their stance on the vaccine in the workplace.
--No, but we hope that the strong safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available will be strong encouragement for all eligible individuals to take it when offered.
If the vaccines prevent people from getting "sick" with the coronavirus, can they also prevent people from "carrying" the virus and infecting others?
In clinical trials, both vaccines have shown high effectiveness in preventing people from getting sick with Covid-19. However, the data hasn’t shown whether the vaccines can prevent people from carrying the virus and infecting others. This is the reason that after getting the COVID-19 vaccine (even after the second dose), you should continue to wear a mask, socially distance, and stay home when ill.
How can I prove that I received the COVID-19 vaccine?
Every dose of the vaccine that is distributed will come with a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. This card will provide proof of your initial dose of the vaccine and stand as a reminder to receive your second dose.
If I get a fever as one of the side-effects of the vaccine, should I self-quarantine?
Staying home when you do not feel well is always the best practice to limit the spread of possible infectious diseases. While you will not get COVID-19 from the vaccine, it is a good idea to stay home until you feel better and any adverse reactions have subsided. Post-vaccination symptoms have usually been mild, occurring 1-3 days after vaccination. You can consider taking Tylenol or ibuprofen for your fever, muscle aches, and other post-vaccination side effects. For pregnant women, please take Tylenol and not ibuprofen.
In the two-dose series for the vaccines, can I get one from one manufacturer and the second dose from a different manufacturer (Pfizer and Moderna)?
No, you must get both vaccine doses from same manufacturer to get full protection from the vaccines. Providers are required to report vaccine administration with 24 hours to the immunization registry (CAIR) which will help prevent this from occurring.
How long before a coronavirus vaccine takes effect?
The COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose series. You will need to receive both vaccines in order to be most protected from the virus.
The two currently approved vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have their doses spaced 3 weeks and 4 weeks apart, respectively. That mean that your body may not have the most protection from the vaccine until a week or so following your second dose.
Can I stop wearing a mask once I am vaccinated?
No! It is important to continue to take precautions like washing hands, and wearing masks in public, even after you have had any of the COVID-19 vaccines. This is because we don’t know how well the vaccine stops the actual virus from being spread. Getting the vaccine stops the disease from making you feel sick, but you might still be able to spread it to others.
• It takes up to 2 weeks after the last dose to get the best protection.
Stopping this pandemic is going to take all our tools.
Should I get tested for COVID-19 before I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
No, the CDC does not recommend testing for COVID-19 infection prior to vaccination.
How long will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me? Will I have to get a COVID-19 shot every year?
The evidence is still unclear. Scientists are looking into whether "booster" doses are needed every season/year. Right now though, the CDC states that the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are adequate.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine work on the new strains?
Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated, but the illness should be milder if you are vaccinated versus if you were not vaccinated at all.
Evidence is limited on how the new COVID-19 variants will affect how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women? Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy? Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am trying to get pregnant?
--Changes to your body during pregnancy put you and your baby at risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Pregnant women who have COVID-19 and show symptoms are more likely to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), to need a ventilator (for breathing support), or to die from the illness. Having COVID-19 may also increase your chances of pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
--So far, the vaccine studies have not enrolled pregnant women, so risks to pregnant women and their unborn babies are not known for sure. However, based on what is known about how these vaccines work and the ingredients they contain, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk to a pregnant woman or her fetus. Volunteers in vaccine studies who did not know they were pregnant when they got the COVID19 vaccine are also being followed for birth outcomes. Like other vaccines given during pregnancy, it is possible that getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy may help protect your baby from COVID-19 disease after birth.
--Yes. If you are planning to get pregnant, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to delay getting pregnant after you get a vaccine.
Can breastfeeding women get a COVID-19 vaccine?
CDC recommends breastfeeding women be given the option to be immunized. There are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding women, the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production. However, mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the baby. There is no need to stop breastfeeding if you choose to get immunized.
Can my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Everyone ages 12 and older are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Children under the age of 18 are only eligible for a Pfizer vaccine, and must have written parental consent, or be accompanied by a parent.
How will I know when to get my second dose?
After receiving your first dose, everyone will receive a paper immunization card that will be completed at the time of vaccination. It will include the vaccine you received, date and location.
By texting ENROLL to 1-833-VaxText (829-8398), you can opt in to receive a weekly text reminder for your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine or a reminder for when you are overdue for their second dose, in English or Spanish.
For those who receive the Pfizer vaccine it is recommended to receive the second dose 21-42 days after the first dose (3-6 weeks).
For those who received the Moderna vaccine it is recommended to receive the second dose 28-42 days after the first dose (4-6 weeks).
Currently the Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines are a 2-dose series.
It is recommended to complete both doses for the vaccine to be ~95% effective in preventing you from becoming ill with COVID-19.
If you received a vaccination at a County-sponsored clinic, please check the county website for the next 2nd dose clinic that will be posted every Wednesday at 9 a.m – suttercounty.org/vaccine or yuba.org/vaccines
If you received your first COVID vaccination elsewhere (not at a County-sponsored clinic), please reach out to that provider for further information about scheduling your 2nd dose.
CDC guidelines state it is okay to receive the second dose after 28 to 42 days (4 to 6 weeks). Even if you get the second dose after 42 days, the CDC does not recommend restarting the entire series.
Will there be a required observation period after vaccination?
For most people who do not have a history of allergic reactions, the post-vaccination monitoring time is 15 minutes. For those persons with a history of severe allergic reactions to other vaccines, they are monitored for 30 minutes post-vaccination. If you somehow had a severe allergic, anaphylactic reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, then you should not receive the second dose.
Will people who already had COVID-19 be able to get vaccinated? If someone already had COVID-19, should they still get the vaccine?
Yes, you can get the vaccine even if you have been infected with COVID-19. To prevent the risk of infection to the clinic staff who will be vaccinating you, please do not come to get your vaccination until you are no longer infectious/out of your isolation period for your COVID-19 infection.
Previous SARS-coV-2 Infection (COVID-19), whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, is not considered a contraindication to vaccination. You also do not need to get a COVID-19 test (whether it is the rapid test, the PCR test or the antibody test) before you get the vaccine.
What if a person gets COVID-19 in between vaccine doses 1 and 2?
If you were to get COVID-19 in between doses of the vaccine, you should wait until you are no longer infectious from COVID-19. This usually takes 10 days from your diagnosis.
Where can I find credible vaccine information?
Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. For example, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) ’s vaccines and immunization web content is researched, written and approved by subject matter experts, including physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, and analysts. Content is based on peer-reviewed science.