COVID-19 Vaccination – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. I am still considering the COVID-19 vaccine and whether it is safe because of how new it is. How do I know it is safe?
The COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all other vaccines. The federal government has been working since the pandemic began to make COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible while ensuring they are safe and effective through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority. COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large studies that included thousands of adults of varying ages, racial and ethnic groups, and health status. The study results showed that the vaccines met rigorous safety criteria and provided protection from COVID-19 in the study populations. The most common side effects were pain at the injection site and symptoms like fever and chills. These side effects tended to be mild to moderate and went away quickly on their own. Many had few or no severe side effects. In addition, adults over 55 had fewer and milder side effects than younger people.
2. After employees have been vaccinated, can they stop practicing other preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks?
No. We have a large percentage of individuals served who chose to not be vaccinated and we must do all we can to keep them healthy. The vaccination is one layer of protection. CDC recommends that people continue to take these and other preventive measures after they are vaccinated. Even if employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it will be important for them to continue other preventive measures such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, and cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently. It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination, and the COVID-19 vaccine may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot (dose). Together, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Caregiver offices will still continue everyone to wear a mask at the office regardless of their vaccination status and require social distancing practices.
When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. What things can they now do?? The CDC is still learning how the vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions as noted above.
How do I know if I am Fully Vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated:
2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, OR
2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If it has been less than 2 weeks since your 1-dose shot, or if you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.
What We Know and What We’re Still Learning
• The CDC knows that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
The CDC is still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
• The CDC knows that other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed and Caregiver employees return to work.
The CDC is still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.
Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
• The CDC is still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.
• As the CDC knows more, they will continue to update recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people as they return to work
Until the CDC knows more about those questions, everyone — even people who’ve had their vaccines — should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
• World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
• PWNHealth: COVID-19 FAQs
• FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Serological Tests
• OSHA: Guidelines for Workers and Employees
Where can I get a vaccine in my area?
For all states you can log visit: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/. This website will allow you to type in your zip code and choose a location and register. It shows which vaccines are available.