COVID-19 Vaccine Information
COVID-19 Vaccine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Information about COVID-19 vaccines is rapidly changing as we learn more about authorization, prioritization and distribution plans. CUHCC patients can find the most up-to-date details here. We'll keep this page constantly updated so you have the latest facts about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Updated as of February 23, 2021.
When will I be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
As of the most recent update, CUHCC has limited vaccines available for established CUHCC patients who are age 50 and older with chronic health conditions or social determinants that put them at higher risk for COVID-19. Talk to your provider to learn more about when the vaccine will be available to you. If you are in one of these categories, you may get a call when it is available to you. Once you are confirmed, you can schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. You must wait at least 14 days if you have received another vaccine (Shingles, Flu, Measles, etc.) to get your COVID vaccine.
Is there a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list? How do I get on it?
CUHCC does not have a waiting list for a COVID-19 vaccine. Check back soon for more information on which individuals are able to receive the vaccine. You can also check the Minnesota Department of Health website here for updates on who can get a vaccine and where. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/basics.html#get
What can I expect when I get the vaccine at CUHCC?
You will get the vaccine during an appointment at CUHCC clinic. The vaccine will be given by a nurse or medical assistant. You will be asked a set of questions before getting the vaccine to make sure you do not have any conditions that prevent you from getting the vaccine. You should not come in for your vaccine if you are feeling sick or have a fever on the day of your scheduled appointment. If you have any questions or concerns, please make an appointment to discuss the vaccine with a healthcare professional before your vaccine appointment. Once you receive your vaccine you will be required to wait between 15 to 30 minutes to be sure you do not have any allergic reactions to the vaccine. You will be given a card with your vaccine information and an appointment date for your second vaccine.
I'm at high risk for developing COVID-19. Will I be prioritized to get the vaccine sooner than others?
We know that there will not be enough vaccines for everyone right away but people who have certain COVID-19 risk factors will likely be able to receive a vaccine sooner than people who don’t have risk factors.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will CUHCC have? Can I pick which one I want?
CUHCC patients will be offered whichever vaccine we’ve been given by the US and Minnesota health authorities. Right now, we have been getting the Moderna vaccine. Check back for more information.
So far both vaccines have shown similar side effects. They both work in the same way to create immunity (protection) to COVID 19.
Why do I need 2 doses of the vaccine?
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, several weeks apart. The first dose introduces the vaccine to your immune system so your body can start to build some immunity (protection) to COVID 19. The second dose builds on the first to increase protection against COVID-19 and provide longer lasting immunity. After the first dose you may have 50-80% protection; after the second dose you will have ~95% protection. There is data that supports protection against severe effects of COVID-19, although there is still a small possibility you can become infected after being vaccinated.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?
Your CUHCC provider wants you to be as safe as possible. Our providers have read the research about the COVID-19 vaccine and they trust that the vaccine works well and is safe for you, your family and our community. If you have concerns or more questions, please talk to your CUHCC provider. They can help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Will I have side effects?
Side effects are always possible, meaning not everyone gets them but some people do. The most common side effect of the vaccine is soreness of the arm or at the injection site. This soreness may not start until later in the day or the next day. Other side effects you may experience are headache, low-grade fever, body aches, and chills. This is normal, and means the vaccine is working! Your body is creating the immune response necessary to fight COVID-19. Vaccines are safe and effective, and severe side effects are extremely rare. If you have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, or know/suspect you are allergic to the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine, consult your provider.
Will I be able to go out in public without a mask after I get my vaccine?
Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing after vaccination. To keep others safe, COVID-19 safety precautions are still necessary after vaccination since there is a slim chance you may still contract the virus and spread it to other people around you who may not have been vaccinated yet. This is called “asymptomatic spread” of COVID. You don’t get sick but you can pass it to others. Asymptomatic spread can happen whether or not you have been vaccinated.
Will I have to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine? Is it covered by insurance?
You do not have to pay. At CUHCC, your vaccine will be free. It will be covered by your insurance or be free of charge.
Is the vaccine safe for pregnant people/nursing parents?
There is currently no evidence that suggests COVID-19 is unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding people. Please consult your provider for more information about whether or not being vaccinated for COVID-19 is the right choice for you.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
Children ages 16 and above can get the Pfizer vaccine if they are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Children younger than 16 years of age should not get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
Children younger than 18 years of age should not get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
Should I get the vaccine if I've already had COVID-19?
Yes. While data is limited on this matter, it may be possible to contract COVID-19 again if you have already had it. To avoid becoming sick again and spreading the disease to others, vaccination is the best choice.
If I get vaccinated, can I still get COVID-19?
No vaccine is 100% effective. The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective. That means there is still a slim possibility (5% and 6% respectively) that you could contract COVID-19 after being vaccinated. Furthermore, the vaccines require two doses, several weeks apart. If exposed, you could possibly become infected in the time between the two doses. This is why even if you are vaccinated, it is important to continue social distancing, vigorous hand hygiene, and masking in public or when gathering with others. In the event that you are vaccinated and still contract the disease, the vaccine will help keep you from getting seriously ill. The majority of a population needs to be immunized against a disease in order to reach what is called herd immunity, the point at which spread of the disease becomes unlikely. Getting vaccinated helps in the effort to fight the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines will change my DNA
Fact: The first COVID-19 vaccines to be approved are called RNA (mRNA) vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mRNA vaccines work by telling cells in the body how your immune system can fight Covid-19. Injecting mRNA into your body will not do anything to the DNA of your cells. Human cells get rid of the mRNA soon after they have finished using the instructions.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or miscarriage
Fact: No, COVID-19 vaccines have not caused any infertility or miscarriage. There is a lot of untrue information online that says some ingredients in the vaccine attack embryo cells and prevent pregnancy. This is not true and not possible for the vaccine to do. And, COVID-19 infection has not caused infertility. Other vaccines that are similar have not caused infertility.
Providers know this because of what has been seen from women who got sick with COVID-19 while pregnant.
While It is true that pregnant women might get more sick with COVID-19, it has not caused more miscarriages. If someone gets COVID-19, they get protection from antibody cells. The vaccine gives the body these same cells. If getting sick with COVID-19 caused more miscarriages, this would be known.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine was made to control the general population either through microchip tracking or "nanotransducers" in our brain.
Fact: There is no microchip in the vaccines. The vaccines can not track people or get your personal information. This myth started because Bill Gates from The Gates Foundation talked about a way to know if you got the vaccine using technology. This has not happened and this technology he talked about is not a microchip. This is not part of the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.