COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Please refer to the FAQs available below to help you make an informed decision about the COVID-19 Vaccine:

Planning for a Vaccine

Why should I get vaccinated?

  • Vaccination is one of the most effective public health measures available to stop the spread of disease and will be crucial to stopping the current pandemic.
  • The COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19 and help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do get it.
  • Not only do you protect yourself, but you also protect those around you.
  • Those who recover from COVID-19 gain some natural immunity, but it is unknown how long this protection may last. The vaccination creates an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • Vaccines are some of the safest drugs available.

Who is coordinating the vaccination efforts in our communities?

Our state and local health departments are coordinating in collaboration with local health care partners like Aspirus to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.

Can I make a future appointment or get on a wait list?

Aspirus will only begin scheduling appointments based on whatever eligibility phase we are in as directed by our state public health agencies. Appointments will be limited to the groups identified within these phases and we will expand our schedules in coordination with state and federal guidance. We will make announcements when eligibility changes occur.

Where can I find out more information about COVID-19 vaccines?

The vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are the first to receive Emergency Use Authorization. Each has provided a fact sheet on its vaccine for recipients and caregivers:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a wealth of information about vaccines available on its website.

I had antibody treatment for COVID-19. Do I need the vaccine?

Yes. It is recommended that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 and received antibody treatment because you can catch it more than once. The current guidance is to wait 90 days after antibody infusion before being vaccinated.

How long should I wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I recently got another vaccine?

You should wait 14 days from any vaccine, like flu or shingles, before you get the COVID-19 vaccine.

What can I do now to help protect myself from getting COVID-19 until I can receive a vaccine?

You should cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. Get more information about these and other steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Where can I get the vaccine?

This may vary depending on where you fall within the eligibility phases. Community health care workers and essential workers have the option to receive their vaccine through some Aspirus Occupational Health locations. Everyone else will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine through your Aspirus primary care clinic once state health departments begin expanding eligibility. It is anticipated vaccinations may be able to begin more broadly for community members in the spring or early summer of 2021.

I already had COVID-19. Do I need the vaccine?

Yes. It is recommended that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once.


When can my Family or I get the Vaccine?

Who can get vaccinated?

Vaccination efforts are being directed by the CDC and public health departments according to specific eligibility phases. The timing of these phases can vary by state and it is expected that vaccines will not become widely available to community members until spring or summer 2021. 

Aspirus will make an announcement when we begin accepting appointments for people to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why can’t I get vaccinated now?

COVID-19 vaccines are in short supply right now. Health systems are following the eligibility phases established by federal and state agencies. The first group of people to be eligible for the vaccine are in Phase 1A, which includes health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities and Emergency Medical Services staff. 

Can my family member in a nursing home get a vaccine?

All nursing homes, skilled nursing and long-term care facilities are managing vaccinations for staff and residents through partnerships with pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. Appointments are not necessary for residents at these facilities as they will be offered the vaccine when it becomes available at their location.

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19?

No. More studies are needed before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people ages 16+. Moderna’s vaccine is approved for use in people 18+.

What if I am pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant?

There are currently no long-term studies on women getting a COVID-19 vaccine if they are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. There were no areas of concern among this group during clinical trials. Additional studies and monitoring are ongoing as more people receive the vaccine. 

The CDC recommends that if a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding chooses to be vaccinated, she should engage in medical decision-making with her provider, and may decide to participate in the vaccine program. 


Getting Vaccinated

How is the vaccine administered?

COVID-19 vaccination requires two doses. Shots will need to be administered within a specified number of days within each other. This can vary based on the type of vaccine you may receive, so you will receive specific instructions when you receive your first dose.  

How long does the vaccine last and is it effective?

Clinical trials have shown the vaccination to be effective in preventing COVID-19. Given that COVID-19 is a new novel coronavirus, there is not enough data to say with certainty how long the vaccine provides protection from COVID-19. Assessment will be ongoing as more people get vaccinated outside of clinical trials. 

Does immunity after getting COVID-19 last longer than protection from COVID-19 vaccines?

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Some early evidence—based on some people— seems to suggest that natural immunity may not last very long.

Regarding vaccination, we won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

How much does it cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is provided free of charge by the federal government. There is an administration fee associated with the vaccine that will be billed through your insurance. If you do not have insurance, the charge will be processed through the federal government for possible coverage through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act.

The cash price for the vaccination charges are shown below for all Aspirus entities and care settings where the vaccine is provided.

COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna): No Cost

  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – First Dose: $66.00
  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – Second Dose: $41.00

 

It is always best practice to contact your insurance provider to verify the cost or coverage of services.


Safety & Side Effects

Is the vaccine safe?

Yes. The two vaccines – one from Pfizer and another from Moderna – are the first of many in development that will be available. Both have been put through strong and robust testing, trials, and vaccine safety protocols. The vaccine results seen in trials have been consistent across the different manufacturers.

The effects most reported by participants are the expected immune responses after receiving a vaccination. These responses can include short-lived fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches, all of which are indications the body is producing the desired immune response. In most cases, these responses don’t last more than 24 hours.

The vaccine is a strand of genetic code from the virus – not the actual virus. Therefore, you will not get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

What is in the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain mercury or “Thimerosal,” is not egg-based and there is no latex in the vials. These fact sheets from Pfizer and Moderna contain a list of all ingredients in their vaccines.

Are there side effects? 

Some people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine have reported side effects. These side effects, or immune response, are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects reported are short-lived and include:

  • Pain or swelling in the area at injection site.
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

This handout from the CDC provides some additional information on what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Should I get my second COVID-19 vaccine dose if I had a reaction to the first dose?

If you experience anaphylaxis, no. If you experience any other immune response, yes.

It is recommended that you do not receive additional doses if you experience anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction – that requires the use of an EpiPen following your first vaccine dose.

For all other reactions, it is recommended that you receive the second dose. The following short-lived immune responses to the vaccine are commonly reported and include:

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle and joint pain

These immune responses typically resolve within 1-3 days and may vary by individual. Immune responses may differ after each dose.

If I get vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes. Masking is still recommended for anyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccination anytime you are around others. Masks, vaccines, social distancing and washing our hands are all tools that help prevent COVID-19. Using all these tools together remains the most effective way to protect yourself and those around you.