As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, newly developed vaccines show promise as new safety tools in the fight against the pandemic.
With vaccines receiving authorization for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, vaccinations among healthcare workers are already taking place across the country and here in Polk County, and we are hopeful that sometime in 2021, we will receive enough vaccine doses to administer to high-risk members of our community and then the general public. Please refer to this website and our Facebook page for further, up-to-the-minute information about public vaccinations.
We understand you have questions about the vaccines, and Lakeland Regional Health wants to provide you with as many answers as possible.
In addition to Frequently Asked Questions below, we’ve also made available Fact Sheets provided by Moderna and Pfizer, manufacturers of the vaccines.
We will continue to update these Frequently Asked Questions as more information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccines
These COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines that received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). mRNA vaccines cause a protein to be created that can recognize the virus and cause the immune system to create antibodies to keep people from getting infected by the real virus.
Emergency Use Authorizations are used by the FDA to authorize medical products more quickly during public health emergencies. The FDA employs strict guidance that needs to be met before a vaccine receives an EUA. For effectiveness, this includes at least a 50% reduction in COVID-19 infection. For safety, this means a strong track record through at least a median of two months of follow-up time.
The vaccine may seem like it was very quick in the discovering, making and studying; however, the research that these vaccines are based on took place many years prior. Indeed, in the last nine to 12 months, scientists worked around the clock to create these vaccines and conduct studies to assure they were safe and effective. All the standard requirements for emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were met.
In addition to staying home, avoiding large gatherings, wearing masks and keeping your hands clean, vaccines are one extremely significant way to prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19. There are also other vaccines available.
Supply availability for the future is not clear. We are told that the U.S. government has contracts to purchase millions of doses of COVID vaccines; however, there are circumstances that could interrupt the supply chain, such as logistical problems, manufacturing problems, and the like, which are possible but uncertain.
The Moderna vaccine is for those 18 years and older.
The Moderna vaccine should not be given to anyone who has experienced severe allergic reaction to any of the vaccine’s components. The Moderna vaccine includes the following ingredients:
a total lipid content of 1.93 mg (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])
This Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two (2) different inoculations separated by a few weeks. You must receive both injections for the vaccines to be fully effective. The second dose serves as a booster. Try to schedule your doses so that you will be around for the second dose. When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to return for your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Remember to bring your card when you return.
Please allow for 30 to 45 minutes for your appointment. The actual injection takes only about 5 minutes. The screening process prior to receiving your vaccine will take several minutes. Medical teams will monitor each vaccine recipient for at least 15 minutes to observe any adverse reactions.
Beginning May 13, 2021, those ages 12 years and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Keep in mind that the majority of children and adolescents experience no symptoms or mild symptoms with COVID-19, though there are children with medical conditions that place them in a high-risk category. Children’s immune systems are very different from adults’ immune systems. Moderna is also performing vaccine trials in those as young as age 12. If they are successful, the data will go to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review.
You should consult a healthcare provider as appropriate, based on your symptoms. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital. Call the vaccination provider or your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form. In addition, you can report side effects to ModernaTX, Inc. at 1-866-MODERNA (1-866-663-3762).
You may also be given an option to enroll in v-safe. V-safe is a new voluntary smartphone-based tool that
uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with people who have been vaccinated to identify potential side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe asks questions that help CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe also provides second-dose reminders if needed and live telephone follow-up by CDC if participants report a significant health impact following COVID-19 vaccination. For more information on how to sign up, visit: www.cdc.gov/vsafe.