COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently asked questions
Why should I take the COVID-19 vaccine?
By receiving the vaccine when it’s available to you, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 and help our community, state and nation recover from the pandemic.
Who is eligible to receive a vaccine?
Anyone 12 and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina.
I'm eligible, and I want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. What do I need to do to?
At Tidelands Health, it’s easy to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Simply walk in during regular hours at one of our three conveniently located vaccination sites. Click here to learn more.
I've been vaccinated. What can I do now?
The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be both safe and remarkably effective, prompting the CDC to give fully vaccinated people the go-ahead to resume some activities that stopped because of the pandemic. Click here to read the CDC's guidance for fully vaccinated people.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Yes, in clinical trials the COVID-19 has been shown to be safe. You can learn more information about the vaccine approval process by clicking here.
How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?
Although vaccine development typically takes many years, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The vaccine development process has also benefited from unprecedented levels of public and private financial support and scientific collaboration.
Are there any temporary symptoms?
It’s common to experience benign temporary symptoms from a vaccine, such as soreness or fatigue, which indicate the body is responding the way it’s supposed to. Because of the rigorous vaccine safety measures in place, serious adverse reactions to vaccines are rare.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?
In clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccine has been found to be highly effective in protecting against the COVID-19 virus.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. The COVID-19 vaccine is not a live virus. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 use inactivated virus or bits of genetic code from the virus to train the body's immune system to create antibodies and memory cells to protect against an actual SARS-CoV-2 infection.
How many doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will I need to take?
You will need to take one or two doses, depending on the vaccine. When a vaccine requires two doses, they are typically given three to four weeks apart.
How long does it take for the vaccine to take effect?
The CDC considers people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of vaccine.
I already had COVID-19. Do I need to get vaccinated?
The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have had COVID-19. Because we don’t yet know how long people are protected after having the virus, vaccination could be of benefit.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
No. There's no evidence to suggest the vaccine affects fertility. Rather, the vaccine has been shown to help protect pregnant women and their children.
Can people with an egg allergy receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines do not contain egg.
What is the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine?
There is no out-of-pocket cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Will receiving an mRNA vaccine alter my DNA?
Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA. mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
Do we still need to wear masks and practice social distancing?
Individuals who are fully vaccinated can resume many normal activities without wearing a mask or social distancing. Please click here to read the CDC's guidance for fully vaccinated people.
Do I need an ID to be vaccinated?
No. We’ll request an ID when you arrive, but we do not require one.
Do I need an insurance card to be vaccinated?
No. If you have insurance, we’ll request a copy of your insurance card. But insurance is not required. Whether you have insurance or not, there is no out-of-pocket cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Which COVID-19 vaccine can children receive?
Anyone ages 12 and older can receive the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older. For children ages 12 to 15 to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Tidelands Health, a consent form is required. Download patient forms by clicking here.
Why should children receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Although children are less likely than adults to suffer serious complications from COVID-19, they can – and do – become ill from the virus. Public health experts are also studying whether children are more susceptible to illness from the emerging COVID-19 variants than the original strain.
Another major benefit of vaccination is that vaccinated children are less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others, including family members who may be more likely to suffer from serious – and potentially life-threatening – complications from the virus.
Plus, by having your child vaccinated, you can help protect the health of our community. Even if a child doesn’t experience symptoms after being infected by COVID-19, each infection provides an opportunity for the virus to mutate and create a new and potentially more dangerous variant.
Can children younger than 12 receive the vaccine?
Although studies are underway to determine the efficacy and safety of the vaccine among children younger than 12, children in that age group likely won’t be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine until later this year or early next year.