COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update: CDC Recommends Use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Resume 4/23/21

  • CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause.
  • Reports of adverse events following the use of J&J/Janssen vaccine suggest an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.
  • A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
  • However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of this adverse event and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.
  • CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Seek medical care right away if you develop any of the symptoms below after receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic.

Click here for more information from the CDC

When can I get a vaccine?

Marion County Public Health is no longer hosting PRIME Dose or SECOND Dose clinics on a weekly basis. Going forward, they encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at their locally participating pharmacy. If there are groups of 10 or more who would like vaccination, please call Marion County Public Health at 641-828-2238 to make arrangements for your group.

Pella Regional's Retail Pharmacy on the Square in Pella has the J&J vaccine available. Please call 641-628-1612 for more information or Walk-in for a vaccine on a Friday between noon and 6:00 pm. J&J vaccine is for people 18 and older.

If you are looking for information about a COVID-19 Vaccine for children you can check with your local Hy-Vee or Walgreens Pharmacy for participation and availability of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for people 12 years and older.

Information about vaccine availability may also be available through other County Public Health Departments.

Wapello County Health Department posts information here: https://www.facebook.com/wapellocounty.org/

Can I schedule a vaccine appointment?

Marion County Public Health is no longer hosting PRIME Dose or SECOND Dose clinics on a weekly basis. Going forward, they encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at their locally participating pharmacy. If there are groups of 10 or more who would like vaccination, please call Marion County Public Health at 641-828-2238 to make arrangements for your group.

Pella Regional's Retail Pharmacy on the Square has the J&J vaccine available. Please call 641-628-1612 for more information.

Information about vaccine availability may also be available through other County Public Health Departments.

Wapello County Health Department posts information here: https://www.facebook.com/wapellocounty.org/

Who decides when the vaccines will be available to the general public?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Iowa determine who gets the vaccine.

The vaccines will be made available in phases. People who need the vaccine sooner will be included in earlier phases. The CDC and the State of Iowa will provide guidance on who will belong to each phase of vaccinations.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to the general public for those ages that have been approved.

Who is the COVID-19 vaccine approved for?

The FDA has authorized emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 12 and older. The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine to individuals 18 years and older. The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to individuals 18 and older. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their doctor about the vaccine.

I am pregnant, can I get the vaccine?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should talk with your provider about the vaccine.

I am immunocompromised or have a specific medical condition. Should I receive the vaccine?

Discuss the vaccine with your provider.

For Rheumatology Patients: To improve patient care and improve the chances of rheumatology patients responding to Covid vaccines the American College of Rheumatology provides recommendations here.

How many vaccine doses will be needed?

Two doses are needed to provide the most protection with both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. One dose is needed for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to allow an additional dose to be administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems after an initial 2-dose series.

Once I get the vaccine, when will I develop immunity?

Immunity takes some time to develop, at least two weeks after the second injection of Moderna and Pizer and two weeks after the dose of the Johnson & Johnson. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

According to the CDC, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are 95% effective after 2 doses.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me the virus?

No. The vaccine is not made with a live virus and cannot give you COVID-19.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get the vaccine?

People may be advised to get the vaccine even if they already tested positive for COVID-19. Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

Will enough COVID-19 vaccine be available to everyone who wants it?

Everyone is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as long as you meet age requirements for the vaccines listed above.

Will there be a cost for the vaccine?

It is anticipated the vaccine will be provided at no cost in most cases. In some cases, there may be a small fee to you or your health insurance for the administration of the vaccine.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days. Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. Common side effects from vaccination include pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given, a mild fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches. These side effects were also noted in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people showed it worked as intended with no serious side effects.

How long will immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine last?

It is not yet known how long immunity from COVID-19 infection lasts. The duration of immunity from COVID-19 vaccines are currently being evaluated. Data from clinical trials will be used to determine how long immunity will last and if it will be necessary for people to receive a booster dose of vaccine each year. Additional information will be forthcoming as vaccine studies continue.

How will the COVID-19 vaccines work?

The COVID-19 vaccine gives your immune system a preview of the coronavirus, so it learns how to stop it. It triggers antibodies in your blood to attack the virus’s unique spike protein. (Did you know, coronaviruses got their name because they have protein spikes that look like a crown?) Your immune system learns from the vaccine how to quickly recognize the actual virus and stop it from multiplying. The idea is to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from getting into cells, replicating itself and making you sick.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are mRNA vaccines, which are a new type of vaccine. Instead of using a weakened or dead version of the COVID-19 virus, they use a small strip of genetic code — the mRNA. This code teaches the body to make the spike protein that’s found on the COVID-19 virus. Once the immune system recognizes the spike protein, it creates antibodies — which are proteins that fight infections. These antibodies will stay in your body, and if the COVID-19 virus enters your body, the antibodies will fight it.

I’ve seen a lot of rumors on social media about vaccines. How can I tell what is the truth?

The internet has a lot of dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, and it can be difficult to know what to trust. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the vaccines with information from trustworthy sources. The CDC has a page that separates myths from facts.

Where can I find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC’s FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine is a great resource that has updated answers to common questions.

What does it mean when I am fully vaccinated?

Click HERE for information from the CDC.

On May 13, the CDC announced updated guidance rolling back mask usage for adults. Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear as mask of physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. The CDC also updated that fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible