The first shipments of the COVID-19 Vaccine have arrived in Oklahoma and with that, many questions. Read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below. You may also visit the Oklahoma State Health Department's website.
Will I be able to get the vaccine at Variety Care?
Patients will eventually be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Variety Care, however this will be dependent on the phases of vaccine distribution. It is possible that Variety Care will not have access to the vaccine until late phase 2 or early phase 3 of vaccine distribution. It could be several months before Variety Care has the vaccine for patients. Please watch our website for updated information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
When can I get the vaccine?
The vaccine will be distributed by the Oklahoma State Health Department in phases. Phase 1 will include frontline and critical care healthcare workers. Phase 2 will likely be for patients with high risk medical needs and essential workers not in healthcare. Phase 3 will include the general population. The amount of time it takes to move to a new phase will depend on vaccine availability, which will be unpredictable. Please watch our website for updated information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Who should get the vaccine?
Every eligible patient should receive the vaccine when it becomes available. The vaccine has only been approved for patients age 16 years or older at this time. The vaccine has not yet been approved for children. Eligibility will be based on the phase of vaccine distribution. Phase one will include frontline healthcare workers, phase two will include patients with medical risks, and phase three will include the general patient population. It may be several months before the vaccine is available to the general population. Please watch our website for updated information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
What if I am a frontline healthcare worker or have conditions that put me at increased risk COVID?
Phase one distribution of the vaccine will likely be managed by the OKSHD. Frontline healthcare workers or patients at increased risk for COVID-19 may be directed to the OKSHD for vaccination. Please contact your local health department for more details.
How do I know if the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks. COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews all safety data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine for use.
FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.
I heard getting COVID-19 gives you better and longer immunity than the protection a vaccine can give. Can it actually make my illness worse if I do end up getting COVID-19?
A COVID-19 infection puts you at risk for long-term health issues after recovery from COVID-19 disease. It is best to avoid contracting the disease.
Scientists are still learning more about the virus that causes COVID-19 and it is not known whether getting COVID-19 disease will protect everyone against getting it again, or, if it does, how long that protection might last.
Is the vaccine that helpful?
The vaccine was tested in large clinical trials and is known to be effective in preventing COVID-19 infections.
While the vaccine is up to 95% effective. You will still need to practice precautions like wearing a mask in public, social distancing, and frequent hand washing.
How much will the shot hurt? Can it cause you to get very sick?
Side effects typically occur 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine and resolve within a week. Side effects were more common following the second injection. The most common side effects of the vaccine were fatigue, headache, fever, muscle pain, chills and injection site. These side effects are a sign that the immune system is working. If these symptoms do not resolve within a week, you should contact your primary care provider. Severe reactions were uncommon and included anaphylaxis. Severe reactions should be reported to your primary care provider. The vaccine cannot cause the COVID-19 disease.
Questions about Unknown, Serious, Long-term Side Effects
How do we know that these vaccines are safe when they are so new? Couldn’t they cause problems that we don’t know about yet? What about long-term problems?
The FDA and CDC are continuing to monitor safety, to make sure even long-term side effects are identified.
COVID-19 vaccines will be continuously monitored for safety after authorization, and action will be taken to address any safety problems detected.
The risk of developing COVID-19 disease is consider higher than the risk of the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines are being tested in large clinical trials to assess their safety. However, it does take time, and more people getting vaccinated before we learn about very rare or long-term side effects. That is why safety monitoring will continue. CDC has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates. If a safety issue is detected, immediate action will take place to determine if the issue is related to the COVID-19 vaccine and determine the best course of action.
How Many Doses Are Needed and Why?
All but one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently use two shots. The same vaccine brand must be used for both shots.
How many shots am I going to need?
Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines being studied in the United States require two shots. The first shot starts building protection, but everyone has to come back 3 weeks later for the second one to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.
Two shots are generally needed to provide the best protection against COVID-19 and that the shots are given 3 weeks or 21 days apart. The first shot primes the immune system, helping it recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response.
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Variety Care clinics are FTCA deemed facilities and are a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n). HRSA Notice. Additional Funding and/or Support Provided By: The United Way of Central Oklahoma, the United Way of Norman, Community Foundations and individual donors. To donate to Variety Care Foundation, please click here. © Variety Care 2020 All Rights Reserved.