Community Virtual Town Hall Q&A
Side effects for Pfizer and Moderna are very similar and include injection site pain, muscle aches, headache, chills and fever. However, less than 10% of those who have received the vaccine experience these symptoms. Note: you are more likely to experience these symptoms after your second dose than your first dose.
In the United States there are 17 COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials. Seven of these are currently in (or have completed) Phase 3. The next vaccines we expect to become available are from Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca as early as April.
Yes- it is safe. There are no disease conditions that are indicated to conflict with the vaccine. In fact, those conditions are considered to be high risk for COVID-19 and should be vaccinated for that reason. Note: if you have any specific concerns regarding your medical history, we suggest that you consult with a physician regarding the vaccine.
In the clinical trials with both Pfizer and Moderna, there was a very small percentage of patients that developed Bell’s palsy after getting vaccinated. We have not identified a correlation that the vaccine results in Bell’s palsy. However, it’s important to emphasize that if you’re experiencing Bell’s palsy, you should wait for your symptoms to resolve before getting vaccinated.
Being prescribed an EpiPen doesn’t exclude you from receiving the vaccine. Concerns arise if you’re known to have an allergy to a specific vaccine component, like polyethylene glycol. If you think you may have a similar allergy, please check the Pfizer and Moderna websites for a list of ingredients. If you have concerns about other allergies or carry an EpiPen, we recommend consulting with your provider first.
It is also important to note that at Inspira’s distribution sites (Inspira Medical Center Vineland and Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill) monitor each patient for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine. We have EMS onsite and readily available to handle any reactions or symptoms.
No. There is no scientific evidence that you should be at the front of the line or at the back of the line based solely on blood type. We look at comorbidities as a factor in prioritizing that list. We consider conditions like diabetes, COPD, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. However, blood type is not a factor to be considered.
In New Jersey, vaccines have been made available to health care organizations, county health departments and other providers. Additionally, six mega sites have been established across NJ with the goal of vaccinating large volumes of people. The best source of information for a current listing is www.covid19.nj.gov where you can access information regarding pre-registration, who is eligible, how to get vaccinated, and scheduling appointments.
Yes. You will be provided with a card, which is your vaccination record. This will be issued when you receive your first dose. It’s important for you to bring that back when you receive your second dose. The card serves as your proof of vaccination.
Yes, the vaccine is covered by insurance. We will collect your insurance information for administrative purposes. However, there is no copay associated with the vaccine. If you don’t have insurance, you are still able to get the vaccine.
No. There is no guidance that requires quarantine after receiving the vaccine.
Not at this time. When the CDC authorized us to receive the vaccine, one requirement is that we distribute only at our authorized sites, Inspira Medical Centers Vineland and Mullica Hill. Furthermore, these are not like a flu shots where they can be distributed anywhere. Pfizer specifically requires a subzero freezer -100 degrees below Fahrenheit.
First, log onto www.covid19.nj.gov to access the NJ Vaccination Scheduling System and enter your demographic information. Then, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail that you have been pre-registered. When your phase of vaccination comes due, you’ll receive another e-mail notification. We are currently vaccinating Phase 1a. As additional populations become eligible, you will receive e-mail notification that it’s time to schedule your appointment. You can select your location, day and time based on availability. Finally, once you complete the scheduling process, you’ll receive a confirmation with the details of your appointment.
The recommendation is to get it as soon as possible. There are no additional requirements beyond getting it as soon as you can.
There are no current oral medications that interact or interfere with the COVID-19 vaccine. The same goes for food allergies. The concern is for people who have had a previous reaction to an IV medication or allergies to polyethylene glycol.
Also, if you’re taking immunosuppressant drugs for your disease, you are able to receive the vaccine. However, you may not receive the full benefit. For example, you may only receive 70% immunity as opposed to the full 95% immunity.
It takes about one month after your second vaccine dose, to develop your immunity of 95%. There is potential you could be an asymptomatic carrier, even if you don’t contract the virus yourself. This is why we need to continue social distancing and wearing masks until we achieve herd immunity.
We don’t have all the answers to this. It has been 6 months since the first clinical trial began with Pfizer and Moderna, so right now we know that we have about 6 months’ worth of immunity. The patients in the clinical trials will continue to be monitored for up to two years for safety and efficacy. As this information evolves, we will share that with the public. We still don’t know if it will be an annual vaccine.
As far as those who have contracted COVID, studies have shown immunity from 90 days all the way to 7 months. In some rare circumstances, patients have contracted it a second time. The information varies, and everyone’s immune system is different.
No. There is no recommendation to stop your medications prior to vaccination. It’s important that if you’re on medications for any of the comorbidities we have discussed, you continue to take the medications that you need.
The vaccine would not give a false positive test, because the COVID test is testing for active and current infection. There is no need to wait until after the surgery for your first dose, unless you think your surgery would impact or conflict with the 21-28 day schedule for your second dose.
No. Not unless you are pre-registered and have a standing appointment.