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 is crucial to stopping the current pandemic.
  • 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.

Can I make an appointment?

Yes. You can schedule an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination through the MyAspirus app or at Appointments can also be made by calling our Call Center at 1-844-568-0701 or 715-843-1454. The vaccine is abundantly available and offered at Aspirus locations throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

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

The vaccine developed by Pfizer received full FDA approval on August 23, 2021. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have received receive Emergency Use Authorization, just as the Pfizer vaccine did prior to full approval. 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?

Current guidance is that you do not need to wait to receive your COVID-19 vaccine if you have received another vaccine. The COVID vaccine can also be administered at the same time as other vaccines, including influenza.

Where can I get the vaccine?

The vaccine is abundantly available and offered at Aspirus locations throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. COVID-19 vaccinations may also be available through some county health departments and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.

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 and it is unknown how long "natural immunity" following infection may last.

When can my Family or I get the Vaccine?

Who can get vaccinated?

Everyone age 12+ is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Everyone age 12+ is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people ages 12+. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are approved for use in people 18+. The FDA is reviewing data and expected to make additional recommendations related to vaccinating children in the future.

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

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to the rest of the population. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you receive a COVID-19 vaccine unless you are specifically advised not to by your physician based on your personal health situation. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your health care provider might help, but is not required for vaccination.

If trying to get pregnant now or in the future, would-be parents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Getting Vaccinated

How is the vaccine administered?

COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine requires two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose. Second doses of Pfizer or Moderna 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 and ongoing data have shown the vaccination to be effective in preventing COVID-19 and protecting against severe illness. Federal health experts recently announced the eligibility requirements to receive a booster shot for those who received the Pfizer vaccine series. Recommendations regarding potential boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected soon.

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.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect the timing of a mammogram?

The Society of Breast Imaging recommends, if possible – and when it does not unduly delay care – to consider scheduling mammograms prior to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccines of all types can result in temporary swelling of the lymph nodes, which may be a sign that the body is making antibodies in response as intended. However, swollen (enlarged) lymph nodes may result in a patient being 'called back' for additional imaging and evaluation.

How much does it cost?

There is federal legislation known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act, mandates most health insurance carriers to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccine and administration. Federally funded program(s) are also available to help cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccine and administration for patients without insurance. There may be some exceptions to this coverage. It is always best practice to contact your insurance provider to verify the cost or coverage of services.

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
  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – Second Dose: $41
  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – Third Dose: $41
  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – Booster Dose (Pfizer Only): $41

COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen): No Cost

  • COVID-19 Immunization Administration – $66 (one dose only)

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 three vaccines currently available have all 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.

  • Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
  • CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get vaccinated as soon as possible to help protect against COVID-19 and the related, potentially severe complications that can occur.
  • CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal agencies are monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

What is in the vaccine?

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are made with mRNA technology. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which means that it contains just a part of the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted into the backbone of an adenovirus vector. This vector poses no threat of causing illness in humans.

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, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson contain a list of all ingredients in their vaccines.

Are there side effects? 

Some people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine report 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

Side effects, or immune responses, can vary by individual and differ from the first shot to the second.

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.

Are the vaccines effective against COVID-19 variants?

Yes. Data continue to indicate that the vaccines are effective against COVID-19 variants.

Learn more about new COVID-19 variants at the CDC website.

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.