COVID-19 Vaccine | Sturdy Memorial Hospital | Attleboro | MA

COVID-19 Vaccine

image of covid vaccine in vial

Vaccine Availability and Eligibility

WHO CAN GET THE VACCINE?

The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years old and older get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are now widely available. In most cases, you do need an appointment. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and reduce your risk of severe illness. The CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.

WHERE CAN I GET THE VACCINE?

We encourage all eligible individuals to get the vaccine. Use the COVID-19 vaccine finder and enter your zip code to find a vaccination site near you. Individuals can also text their ZIP Code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233.

You can also check our events page under Vaccine Clinic's for Sturdy affiliated clinics.

WHAT VACCINE'S ARE AVAILABLE?

Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

Who can get this Vaccine?

Individuals 5 years old and older

Who can get this Vaccine?

Individuals 18 years old and older

Who can get this Vaccine?

Individuals 18 years and older

Number of Shots

2 shots

Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart

Number of Shots

2 shots

Given 4 weeks (28 days) apart

Number of Shots

1 shot

When Are You Fully Vaccinated?

2 weeks after your second shot

When Are You Fully Vaccinated?

2 weeks after your second shot

When Are You Fully Vaccinated?

2 weeks after your first shot

Additional Primary Dose

Recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised people
Given 4 weeks after second shot

Additional Primary Dose

Recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised people
Given 4 weeks after second shot

Additional Primary Dose

Not recommended at this time

Eligibility for Booster Dose

Who should get a booster:

  • Everyone 18 years or older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster should you get?

*Currently, individuals under the age of 18 are not eligible for a booster dose.

Eligibility for Booster Dose

Who should get a booster:

  • Everyone 18 years or older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series

Which booster should you get?

*Currently, individuals under the age of 18 are not eligible for a booster dose.

Eligibility for Booster Dose

Who should get a booster:

  • Everyone 18 years or older

When to get a booster:

  • At least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination.

Which booster should you get?

*Currently, individuals under the age of 18 are not eligible for a booster dose.

COVID-19 DOSING TERMINOLOGY:

- Primary series: 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or a single dose of Janssen vaccine

- Additional primary dose: a subsequent dose of vaccine administered to people who likely did not mount a protective immune response after initial vaccination. An additional primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose is recommended for moderately and severely immunocompromised people who received a 2-dose mRNA vaccine primary series.

- Booster dose: a subsequent dose of vaccine administered to enhance or restore protection by the primary vaccination which might have waned over time.

IS THE VACCINE SAFE FOR MY CHILD?

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted intensive clinical trials. Children and adolescents ages 5–17 years old are recommended to receive the age-appropriate formulation of a COVID-19 primary vaccine series. At this time, the 2-dose Pfizer-BioNTech primary series is the only FDA-approved or FDA-authorized vaccine for children and adolescents aged 5–17. Although many children and adolescents may have experienced prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 primary vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 5 years old and older, regardless of a history of underlying medical conditions, symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, or seropositivity.

COVID-19 vaccines are being closely monitored for safety with the most comprehensive and intense safety monitoring program in U.S. history. CDC monitors the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines after the vaccines are authorized or approved for use, including the risk of myocarditis in children ages 5 through 11 years.

  • Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including flu vaccine, at the same time.
  • Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Learn more about how mRNA vaccines, like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, work.
  • Serious health events after COVID-19 vaccination are rare.
  • Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 12–17 years. These reactions are rare; in one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech in the week following vaccination was around 54 cases per million doses administered to males ages 12–17 years.
  • severe allergic reaction, like anaphylaxis, may happen after any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, but this is rare.
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Get a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 years and older as soon as you can.

SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE BASED ON MY MEDICAL HISTORY?

If you have questions or concerns related to your personal medical conditions, you should discuss them with your primary care physician to determine the risk versus benefits related to vaccination. Below is a chart highlighting who can receive the vaccine based on the data available.

Proceed with Vaccination

Precaution to Vaccination

Contraindication to Vaccination

Conditions

  • Immunocompromising conditions
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation
  • Moderate/severe acute illness
  • None

Allergies

  • History of food, pet, insect, venom, environmental, etc. allergies
  • History of allergy to oral medications (including the oral equivalent of an injectable medication)
  • Non-serious allergy to vaccine or other injectables
  • Family history of anaphylaxis
  • History of severe allergic reaction to another vaccine
  • History of severe allergic reaction to an injectable medication
  • History of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccines

About the Vaccine

PFIZER AND MODERNA VACCINES ARE mRNA VACCINES. WHAT IS AN mRNA VACCINE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

An mRNA vaccine teaches your body how to create a harmless "Spike protein" which then initiates an immune response in your body. This immune response produces antibodies in your body to fight against future infection. An mRNA vaccine does not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, which means you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

The mRNA also DOES NOT affect your own body’s DNA as it never enters the nucleus of your cell where your DNA is kept. This means that the mRNA does not come into contact with your DNA which means it cannot change or alter your DNA in anyway.

THE JANSSEN/JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE IS A VIRAL VECTOR VACCINE. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

A viral vector vaccine is made from an inactivated adenovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, and contains a piece of DNA that instructs the body to make the COVID-19 spike protein.

This in turn triggers an immune system response, giving you protection should you ever be exposed to the real virus in the future.

HOW CAN A VACCINE HELP?

Sometimes our body's natural defense system needs a boost to help protect it from a bacteria or a virus. Vaccines work by helping your immune system develop antibodies to fight off an infection, much like it would if your body were exposed to the virus or bacteria naturally.

HOW WERE COVID-19 VACCINES DEVELOPED SO QUICKLY?

Researchers and developers used cutting edge approaches to develop these vaccines. Vaccines that require obtaining the virus and weakening or inactivating it are longer processes. New approaches being used, such as mRNA technology require scientists to only know the virus's genetic sequence, which was identified early in the pandemic, helping to accelerate the process of vaccine development.

Safety and Side Effects

SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT SAFETY OF THE VACCINE?

Like all vaccines, the FDA ensures that all COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States and will continue to be monitored. All vaccines must successfully complete three phases of clinical trials which includes monitoring the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines administered to thousands of people. The speed at which COVID-19 vaccines are being developed is due to unprecedented funding for the research, development, and study of them.

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE VACCINE?

Mild to moderate side effects have been reported including; local injection site reactions, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, body aches, and headache. These are all signs of a successful immune response and antibody production which are good. Most were reported to resolve within a few days.

IS THE VACCINE EFFECTIVE?

Data from Pfizer and Moderna showed high efficacy of 90-95% for prevention of COVID-19 infection compared with placebo.

In the single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the primary goal of the vaccine is prevent severe critical COVID-19 illness and associated death. The vaccine is:

  • 85% effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19
  • 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization
  • 100% effective in preventing death from COVID-19

All three authorized vaccines are proven to be safe and effective.

CAN I GET THE VACCINE IF I AM PREGNANT, TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT, OR BREASTFEEDING?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant and have received a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s smartphone-based tool that provides personalized health check-ins after vaccination. A v-safe pregnancy registry has been established to gather information on the health of pregnant people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine: Testing and Prevention

WILL I GET A POSITIVE TEST RESULT AFTER I GET THE VACCINE?

No, the vaccine will not result in you testing positive on a viral COVID-19 test which tests for active infection. However, if you have an antibody study done, the results may show that you have antibodies present. This is a result of your body having an immune response to the vaccine and developing the appropriate antibodies to help you fight of the COVID-19 infection, which is the goal. This continues to be studied.

DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK AND PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING ETC...?

Yes. You will still need to practice the safety measures put in place such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and good hand hygiene while experts learn more about how the vaccine provides protection in real-life situations. Vaccination and following the recommended guidelines put out by the CDC on how to protect yourself provides us with the best defense against the pandemic at this time.

WILL THE VACCINE PREVENT ME FROM GETTING SICK WITH COVID-19?

Yes, vaccination works by teaching your body how to develop an immune response and fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, this protects you from developing COVID-19.

References:

CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/mrna-vaccine-basics.html

Joseph A. A Huge Experiment: How the World Made so Much Progress on a COVID-19 Vaccine so Fast. https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/30/a-huge-experiment-how-the world-made-so-much-progress-on-a-covid-19-vaccine-so-fast/

Li, F. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Coronavirus Spike Proteins. Annu Rev Virol. 2016 September 29; 3(1):237–261.

Pardi N, Hogan MJ, Porter FW and Weissman D. mRNA vaccines- a new era in vaccinology. 2018. Nature reviews/drug discovery. 17: 261.

PHG foundation in University of Cambridge website: https://www.phgfoundation.org/briefing/rna-vaccines

Slaoui M and Hepburn M. Developing safe and effectively covid vaccines-Operation Warp Speed’s strategy and approach. 2020. NEJM, 383: 18.

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