Generations Family Health Center | Willimantic, Norwich, Putnam and Danielson CT

Vaccine

 

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COVID VAC STICKER

"TAKE TWO. ONE FOR ME & ONE FOR YOU."

VACCINE NEWS AT GENERATIONS

 

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Generations Family Health Center is offering the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here is the info you need to know:

 

WHO IS CURRENTLY ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

 

Everyone 5 years and older

 

WHO IS GENERATIONS CURRENTLY VACCINATING?

 

Currently, Generations is only vaccinating OUR PATIENTS ages 5 years and older. You are considered a Generations’ patient if you receive any form of care here, have been tested or vaccinated for COVID-19 at Generations in the past.

 

WHAT VACCINES DOES GENERATIONS OFFER?

 

1. Johnson and Johnson for ages 18+

2. Moderna for ages 18+

3. Pfizer for ages 5- under 18 years of age

 

ARE YOU OFFERING THIRD DOSES FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED INDIVIDUALS?

 

Yes, Generations is offering third doses to patients or those who have been tested or vaccinated for COVID-19 at Generations in the past whose immune systems may not have received sufficient protection against COVID-19 from the primary vaccine series. Some people — due to a health condition that suppresses their immune system — need a third full dose for them to get to a level of immunity that’s protective.

 

ARE YOU OFFERING BOOSTER SHOTS?

 

Generations is now offering COVID-19 Boosters to eligible patients 18 years and older by appointment only.

 

CAN I MIX AND MATCH VACCINES?

 

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC support individuals to receive a booster dose that is a different vaccine type than they originally received for their primary series if they choose.

 

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR AN APPOINTMENT AT GENERATIONS?

 

Call the site where you would like to schedule your appointment.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT COVID-19 AND THE COVID-19 VACCINE

 

Generations has created a Frequently Asked Questions List on topics related to COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine. Please click on the topics below to learn more.

 

COVID-19 BASICS

 

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WHAT IS COVID-19?

 

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This type of coronavirus was not detected before 2019. You can get COVID-19 through contact with another person who has the virus. It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID- 19 have experienced a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include:

 

fever or chills

cough

shortness of breath

fatigue

muscle or body aches

headache

new loss of taste or smell

sore throat

congestion or runny nose

nausea or vomiting

diarrhea

 

BASIC CARE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

 

COVID-19 VACCINE BASICS

 

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WHAT IS A VACCINE?

 

Think of a vaccine as a way for your immune system to practice for a virus. Vaccines give the body a preview of one or more key features of a virus before you get the actual virus. The immune system then develops antibodies or “memory” of how to react and stop the virus once you are exposed to it. Vaccines allow you to have immunity to a disease without having to get the disease first.

 

HOW WAS THE COVID-19 VACCINE MADE SO QUICKLY?

 

Scientists were able to begin developing the vaccine before there was a known case of COVID-19 in the U.S. by using the viral genome as a template. These vaccines also do not require time-consuming steps, such as growing ingredients in chicken eggs, which is necessary for flu shots. Under normal circumstances, from pre-clinical testing to distribution, a vaccine takes roughly 72 months, or six years, to develop. Under the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the timeline to develop a COVID-19 vaccine was reduced to only 14 months.

 

According to the CDC, OWS provided the resources and funding needed from the federal government to create highly coordinated efforts, which accelerated development while maintaining standards for safety and efficacy.

 

Specifically, clinical protocols that show the safety and efficacy of the vaccine were aligned, which allowed the vaccine trials to proceed more quickly. Additionally, the protocols for the trials were overseen by the federal government, as opposed to traditional public-private partnerships, in which pharmaceutical companies decide on their own protocols.

 

Rather than eliminating steps from traditional vaccine development timelines, the steps outlined under OWS advanced simultaneously, such as starting manufacturing of the vaccine at an industrial scale well before the demonstration of vaccine efficacy and safety, as typically happens under normal vaccine development. These steps increased the costs associated with development of the vaccine, however it did not compromise the safety or efficacy of the vaccine. Further, these steps compressed the overall vaccine development timeline, but not the clinical study timeline.

 

WILL I GET COVID-19 FROM THE VACCINE?

 

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal of the vaccines is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever.

 

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible a person could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. But any infection would not be the result of receiving the vaccine.

 

WILL COVID-19 VACCINES CAUSE ME TO TEST POSITIVE ON COVID-19 VIRAL TESTS?

 

Neither the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

 

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently researching how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

 

TYPES OF VACCINES

 

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WHAT VACCINES ARE CURRENTLY BEING USED TO VACCINATE AGAINST COVID-19?

 

Three vaccines, one from Pfizer, one from Moderna, and one from Johnson & Johnson.

 

WHAT ARE THE AGE RESTRICTIONS FOR EACH VACCINE?

 

The current FDA authorization applies to people in the following age categories:

 

Pfizer: 5 years and older

Moderna: 18 years and older

Johnson & Johnson: 18 years and older

 

WHAT IS THE DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION FOR EACH VACCINE?

 

Pfizer: Two shots, 21 days apart.

Moderna: Two shots, 28 days apart.

Johnson & Johnson: One shot.

 

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY

 

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HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM CURRENTLY ELIGIBLE FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINATION?

 

The State of Connecticut has created a website where you can learn about your eligibility.

 

CLICK HERE: Phases (ct.gov)

 

WHO SHOULD GET THE VACCINE?

 

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WHO SHOULD GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

 

Because SARS-CoV-2 virus can affect all people in all age groups, most people should get the COVID-19 vaccine

 

SHOULD I GET A VACCINATION IF I HAVE ALREADY HAD COVID-19?

 

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

 

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from reinfection after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

 

We will not know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well it works.

 

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are currently researching. The CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

 

ARE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN?

 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 5 and older. Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can

 

Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19

Get very sick from COVID-19

Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19

Spread COVID-19 to others

 

Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to children without underlying medical conditions. Children who get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

 

Vaccinating children ages 5 years and older can help keep them in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

 

SHOULD WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT, PLANNING TO BECOME PREGNANT IN THE COMING MONTHS, OR BREASTFEEDING RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

 

Pregnant and breastfeeding women may be at increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection, so it is strongly recommended that you receive the vaccine. Please discuss with your doctor.

 

CAN PEOPLE WHO ARE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

 

While these vaccines have not been specifically studied in individuals who are immunocompromised/immunosuppressed, and it is not known exactly how efficacious they will be (if immunocompromised individuals mount the same response as others receiving the vaccine), immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19 illness. There are no recommendations that patients who are immunocompromised should not get vaccinated.

 

The clinical trials contained individuals with immunocompromising conditions.

The vaccine does not contain live or weakened virus, and therefore, it cannot cause a COVID-19 infection in someone with a weakened immune system.

It is important that immunocompromised individuals practice other strategies to reduce transmission (hand washing, mask use, social distancing) even after vaccination.

 

WHAT IF I AM SICK WITH COVID-19 OR ANOTHER ACUTE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS DURING THE TIME PERIOD THE VACCINE IS OFFERED?

 

You should wait until you are fully recovered before receiving the vaccine. Please discuss with your doctor.

 

WHAT IF I AM IN QUARANTINE WHEN I AM OFFERED THE VACCINATION?

 

To protect others, you must wait until after your quarantine period ends to get vaccinated.

 

WHO SHOULD NOT GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

 

A few groups should not get the vaccine, and some others should consult with their doctor or follow special procedures.

People who should NOT get the COVID-19 vaccine include:

Anyone with a severe allergy to an mRNA vaccine component (i.e., one that causes anaphylaxis or requires medical intervention).

People currently isolating or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. These individuals can get vaccinated once they have finished isolation and their primary symptoms have resolved.

 

If you fall into any of the categories below, you should consider the risks and benefits and consult with your healthcare provider:

 

People with certain immune-compromising or autoimmune conditions

People on anticoagulants

 

THIRD DOSES AND BOOSTERS:

 

THIRD DOSES

 

Third doses are for those people who are immune compromised. Examples include:

 

people with HIV/AIDS

people with cancer, organ transplant, or autoimmune conditions taking certain immunosuppressive medications

those with inherited conditions that affect the immune system, among others

 

It is now believed that people who are immune suppressed never really responded fully to the initial 2 dose (for mRNA vaccines) series of COVID vaccines. These individuals require 3 doses to achieve a better immune response. The 3rd dose should be given at least 28 days after completion of the original series. So, if you got your COVID vaccines back in January, for example, you are due as soon as possible for your 3rd dose. But remember, this is a FULL dose 3rd dose.

 

BOOSTER DOSES

 

Booster doses are now recommended because we are seeing the vaccine immune response, in even those with a healthy immune system, wear off over time. Partly because of this waning immunity, and because the Delta variant is SO much more transmissible, we are seeing greater numbers of breakthrough infections.

 

This does not mean the vaccines are not working. In fact, for the purpose of preventing the most dire COVID related-outcomes, our vaccines are still HIGHLY effective. People now being hospitalized and dying of COVID are almost entirely those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A BOOSTER?

 

Everyone 18 and older

 

WHEN SHOULD I GET A BOOSTER?

 

If you received one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) you should get a booster at least 6 months after completing your primary series (the first two shots).

 

For Johnson & Johnson, you should get a booster at least 2 months after your first dose.

WHAT BOOSTER CAN I GET?

 

 

If you received one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) you should get a booster at least 6 months after completing your primary series (the first two shots).

For Johnson & Johnson, you should get a booster at least 2 months after your first dose.

 

 

AT YOUR VACCINE APPOINTMENT

 

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WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING TO YOUR VACCINE APPOINTMENT?

 

You should bring your ID as well as your cell phone to your vaccination appointment.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU MENTION TO YOUR VACCINATION PROVIDER BEFORE YOU GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

 

Tell your vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including:

 

If you have any allergies

If you have a fever

If you have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner

If you are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant

If you are breastfeeding

If you have received another COVID-19 vaccine

 

HOW IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE GIVEN?

 

The COVID-19 Vaccine is an injection into the muscle.

 

HOW MANY DOSES OF THE VACCINE DO I NEED?

 

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series are 2 doses.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination is only one dose.

 

HOW FAR APART SHOULD THE VACCINES BE GIVEN?

 

Pfizer: Two shots, a priming dose and a booster shot, 21 days apart.

Moderna: Two shots, a priming dose and a booster shot, 28 days apart.

Johnson & Johnson: One shot

 

DOES THE 2ND DOSE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE HAVE TO BE BY THE SAME MANUFACTURER?

 

If you receive a first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine to complete the vaccination series. If you receive a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine to complete the vaccination series.

 

CAN I GET THE SECOND VACCINE DOSE AT A DIFFERENT LOCATION THAN WHERE I RECEIVED THE FIRST DOSE?

 

The vaccine manufacturer MUST BE THE SAME but the location does not have to be the same if you are unable to return to the original location. However, we strongly suggest that you go to the same location.

 

AFTER YOU GET THE VACCINE

 

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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I GET THE VACCINE?

 

After receiving your vaccination, you will be asked to sit in a waiting area for observation for a pre-determined amount of time, varying from 15 to 30 minutes. This waiting period

will allow clinical staff to observe you and make sure you do not experience an allergic reaction to the vaccine. You will be asked to sign up for the V-Safe app.

 

WHAT IS 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

 

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS WITH THE COVID-19 VACCINES?

 

There is the risk of possible side effects from all three COVID-19 vaccines. The most common side effects from vaccines are:

 

Injection site reactions:

 

Pain

Tenderness

Hardness

Redness

Swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection

General side effects:

Fatigue

Headache

Muscle aches

Low-grade fever

Chills

Joint pain

 

NOTE: There is a remote chance the COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to remain at the location where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

 

Difficulty breathing

Swelling of your face and throat

A fast heartbeat

A bad rash all over your body

Dizziness and weakness

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS?

 

If you have already left the facility where you received your COVID-19 vaccine and 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 through V-safe.

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BREAKTHROUGH INFECTIONS

 

Do people who’ve been vaccinated fully still die of COVID breakthrough infections? Yes, but rarely. Vaccinations make illness much less serious. When deaths from breakthrough infection do happen, they tend to be in people who are elderly or have underlying conditions that put them at greater risk for complications.

 

Breakthrough infections are expected and can occur with all vaccines. However, the risk of infection depends on two things – the individual’s immunization status and the immunization status of those around them. We need to increase the total number of people immunized to decrease transmission. And we need for those at greatest risk of breakthrough infections to receive boosters when they are eligible.

 

BEFORE AND AFTER THE VACCINE

 

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WHAT TO DO BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER YOU GET THE VACCINE?

 

ONCE VACCINATED, HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE BEFORE I DEVELOP IMMUNITY?

 

It takes two weeks after your FINAL dose.

 

ONCE I’VE BEEN VACCINATED, DO I NEED TO CONTINUE TO WEAR A MASK AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING?

 

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all of the tools currently available to help end this pandemic, such as covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.

 

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

 

We do not know whether the vaccine prevents you from transmitting the virus to anyone else. We know the vaccine prevents someone from getting a severe infection, but scientists still do not know whether someone who is vaccinated can still transmit the virus to someone else. This is another reason why we all need to continue wearing masks, social distance, etc.

 

 

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including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. For more information see https://bphc.hrsa.gov/ftca/