COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently asked questions
Why should I take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Click below to download or print this helpful COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet.
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?
With supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine limited, the state has established guidelines that determine when certain groups of people will become eligible to receive it.
Currently, the state is in phase 1a of its vaccination plan, which allows for distribution of the vaccine to health care workers, individuals ages 70 and older, certain hospitalized patients, staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities and state and local government employees essential to COVID-19 vaccination and testing operations.
For more information about who is included in each phase of the state's vaccination plan and the timelines for each phase, please click here.
I'm 70 or older and want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. What do I need to do to?
Vaccination is available to individuals ages 70 and older by appointment only. To request an appointment, please click here.
Vaccinations will take place at centrally located vaccination clinics; please do not call our hospitals or physician offices to request a COVID-19 vaccination. The only way to request an appointment and receive the vaccine is to complete this online request form.
At Tidelands Health, our goal is to safely administer the vaccine to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. However, the pace at which we can establish appointments and vaccinate people is dependent upon vaccine supply, which remains limited.
With more than 70,000 people ages 70-plus in our region, we ask for your patience and understanding as we undertake this major public health initiative.
I'm a Phase 1a-eligible worker. How do I get the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination is available to community-based Phase 1a health care workers by appointment only. Employers must complete the form here to enroll their organization.
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, small pieces of the virus or a gene from the virus. None of these fragments of RNA are capable of causing infection.
How many doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will I need to take?
The number of doses will depend on the vaccine. Some vaccines are testing one or two doses. 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 amount of time varies based on the vaccine. Many vaccines require two doses to provide protection. Once you receive a vaccination, it generally takes one or two weeks after the last dose to develop maximum immunity.
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.
Can people with an egg allergy receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Neither the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines contain egg.
What is the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. Normal physician office visit fees may apply.
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?
We will still need to follow precautionary measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing our hands and avoiding large crowds until a large portion of the population is vaccinated and we are sure the vaccine provides long-term protection.
Can I pay to put my name on a list to receive the vaccine?
No. If you receive a call, text message, email or knock on your door from someone who promises you early access to the vaccine, suspect a scam and contact local law enforcement.