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What: Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) Fact Sheet: www.cvdvaccine.com
Where: Main MDG campus, Bldg 5525, 30 Nightingale Road
When: By appointment. Sign up at https://health.mil/dap.html
Who: All AD/Beneficiaries/DoD & NAF Employees
OFF-BASE: Free and readily available to everyone at all pharmacies/vaccine centers
For Digital Vaccine Record Request:
If you got your COVID-19 vaccine through the state, public health department or pharmacy, you may be able to request a Digital Vaccine record through the California Immunizations Registry (CAIR) by visiting https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/
If you got your COVID-19 vaccine through the 412th MDG/Edwards AFB, you may request your record be sent to CAIR in order to obtain a Digital Vaccine Record, using the following steps:
1. Log into MHS Genesis Patient Portal (use DS Login or CAC card): https://patientportal.mhsgenesis.health.mil/
2. Send a message to “USAF EDWARDS PHARMACY COMMUNICATION” with phone number and/or email to associate with your vaccine record request.
3. Wait for a reply to your message before requesting through CAIR site (above).
**Note – it is taking a few weeks to process requests due to overwhelming numbers and backlog. This is a manual data entry push, so please be patient.
1. Vaccine Safety: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html
2. Vaccine Booster information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html
3. Link for Parents on COVID vaccine from AAP: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/The-Science-Behind-the-COVID-19-Vaccine-Parent-FAQs.aspx
Q. Can I get the vaccine if I am pregnant?
A. Yes, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future, the CDC, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Society for Maternal-Fetal medicine (SMFM) recommends that you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s smartphone-based tool that provides personalized health check-ins after vaccination. A v-safe pregnancy registry has been established to gather information on the health of pregnant people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. (Source: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC)
Q: What if I get pregnant after receiving a first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses?
A: If you get pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot to get as much protection as possible. (Source:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/planning-for-pregnancy.html)
Q. Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect puberty or fertility in an individual?
A. Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men. Rumors related to COVID-19 vaccines affecting puberty or fertility are unfounded. The mRNA vaccines are processed by your body near the injection site (usually upper arm) and activate immune system cells travelling through the lymph system to nearby lymph nodes. In this manner, they are not affecting hormone levels, nor are they traveling throughout the body to other parts of the body. As such, there would not be a biological reason to expect that maturation or reproductive functionality of either males or females would be negatively affected by COVID-19 vaccination now or in years to follow. (Source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby | CDC)
Q. My partner and I are trying to get pregnant. Should we wait to get the vaccine?
A. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years of age and older, including people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners. There is currently no evidence that antibodies made following COVID-19 vaccination or that vaccine ingredients would cause any problems with becoming pregnant now or in the future. (Source: COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby | CDC)
Q. I am breastfeeding. Should I be worried about the vaccine affecting the baby, myself, and my ability to produce breast milk, or any combination of these concerns?
A. The CDC, ACOG, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommend that lactating women receive the vaccine and that breastfeeding should not be stopped around the period of vaccination. Here’s why: Neither the mRNA nor the adenovirus-based vaccines contain live virus, so they do not replicate in the body. Based on how these vaccines are processed, there would be little reason to believe they would negatively affect lactating women or their breastfeeding babies. The bottom line is that breastfeeding moms can safely be vaccinated against COVID-19. More information is needed to determine whether vaccine- or disease-induced antibodies transmitted in breast milk can protect breastfed infants. (Source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
Q. Should a woman be worried about scheduling the vaccine around her period?
A. Given that COVID-19 vaccines are processed near the site of injection, a biological basis for changes to one’s menstrual cycle would not be expected. While formal studies to evaluate changes in menstrual periods in vaccinated women have not been completed at this point, changes in menstrual periods or vaginal bleeding were not reported in the large-scale clinical trials of the vaccines approved for use in the U.S. Changes to menstrual cycles following vaccination may be explained by increased perceptions of or attention to pain, flow, or timing of one’s cycle; stress-induced hormonal changes that lead to changes; concurrent undiagnosed infections of any type; or other health-related concerns. Women who experience changes in their menstrual cycle following vaccination should discuss their observations and concerns with their healthcare provider. The bottom line is that there is no reason for a woman to delay or schedule vaccination around her period. (Source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
Q. Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
A. Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html)
Q. V-safe and the V-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry: What’s the Difference?
A. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry is for v-safe participants who self-identify as pregnant at the time of vaccination or shortly thereafter (within 30 days of vaccination). The registry activities are in addition to the v-safe after vaccination health check-ins that participants receive via text message. Pregnant participants in the registry will be contacted to answer questions about their pregnancy and medical history. Participants will also be asked for permission to contact their healthcare provider(s). (Source: CDC
Q: What is Comrinity (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and how is it related to the Pfizer- BioNTech
A: COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series. (Source: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers (fda.gov))
Q: How did the FDA arrive at the decision to approve COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine mRNA)? What is
different now when compared to the December 2020 authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?
A: FDA conducted a thorough evaluation of the data and information submitted in the Biologics License Application (BLA) for COMIRNATY before making a determination that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. (Source: Q&A for COMIRNATY(COVID-19 Vaccine mRNA) | FDA)
Q: How is COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) related to the PFIZER-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?
A: They are the same. The FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns. Therefore, providers can use doses distributed under EUA to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine. For purposes of administration, doses distributed under the EUA are interchangeable with the licensed doses. The Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers provides additional information about both the approved and authorized vaccine. (Source: Q&A for COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine mRNA) | FDA)
Q: Will the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine remain in effect
after the approval?
A: Yes. The EUA remains in effect for the two dose primary series in individuals 12 years of and older and as a third primary dose for individuals 12 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise. Additionally, the FDA authorized the vaccine for emergency use to allow for a single booster dose administered at least 6 months after completion of the vaccination primary series in certain populations. (Source: https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/qa-comirnaty-covid-19-vaccine-mrna)
Q. If I received one manufacturer for Dose 1, can I receive a different manufacturer for Dose 2 and be considered complete? Ex: Dose 1 was Moderna, but can Dose 2 be Pfizer/COMIRNATY?
A. Yes, Mixing the vaccines will result in a completed/compliant series. It is recommended to make EVERY EFFORT to immunize the patient with the same product, when giving a series. There is little to no safety data to support the use of mixed series. It is in the patient’s interest to receive a single manufacturer for their vaccination series to ensure the best response (as has been studied to date). A VAERS report should be completed if a mixed series is performed for any reason. Reference the following website for the latest information as recommendations have been changing with each CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid- 19-vaccines us.html. The following is a useful poster on deviations: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/covid19-vaccine-errors-deviations- poster.pdf
Q. Are the COVID-19 vaccines rigorously tested?
A. Yes. Clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA. (Source: Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Explained | FDA)
Q. How is it that COVID-19 vaccines have been developed so quickly?
A. In public health emergencies, such as a pandemic, the development process may be atypical. Efforts to speed vaccine development to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have not sacrificed scientific standards, integrity of the vaccine review process, or safety. Recognizing the urgent need for safe and effective vaccines, the FDA is utilizing its various authorities and expertise to facilitate the expeditious development and availability of vaccines that have met the agency’s rigorous and science-based standards for quality, safety, and effectiveness. Early in a public health crisis, FDA provides clear communication to the pharmaceutical industry pertaining to the scientific data and information needed to ensure development of vaccines and works quickly to provide advice on their proposed development plans and assessment of the data that are generated.
(Source: Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Explained | FDA)
Q. What are the plans for continued monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by FDA for emergency
A. FDA expects vaccine manufacturers to include in their EUA requests a plan for active follow-up for safety, including deaths, hospitalizations, and other serious or clinically significant adverse events, among individuals who receive the vaccine under an EUA, to inform ongoing benefit-risk determinations to support continuation of the EUA. FDA also expects manufacturers who receive an EUA to continue their clinical trials to obtain additional safety and effectiveness information and pursue licensure (approval). Post-authorization vaccine safety monitoring is a federal government responsibility shared primarily by FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other agencies involved in healthcare delivery. The U.S. government – in partnership with health systems, academic centers, and private sector partners – will use multiple existing vaccine safety monitoring systems to monitor COVID-19 vaccines in the post-authorization/approval period. Some of these systems are the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Biologics Effectiveness and Safety (BEST) Initiative, and Medicare claims data. (Source: Emergency Use Authorization for
Vaccines Explained | FDA)
Q. What is V-safe and how do I participate in it?
A. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers to the web surveys, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. Once you get a COVID-19
vaccine, you can enroll in v-safe using your smartphone. Your healthcare provider will give you an information sheet on v-safe that explains how to register and get started. V-safe is free to use — you will need a smartphone with a modern browser and access to the internet to participate. Participation is voluntary and you can opt out at any time. To opt out, simply text “STOP” when v-safe sends you a text message. You can also start v-safe again by texting “START.” Note: V-safe cannot schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments, nor serve as an official record of being vaccinated against COVID-19. You will receive a COVID-19 vaccination card at your vaccination appointment. V-safe does not provide medical advice. If you have symptoms or health problems that concern you at any time following COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your healthcare provider. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html)
Q. How do we know the vaccine is safe given the speed of vaccine development and rollout?
A. Key Points about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine from the CDC:
• Millions of people in the United States and around the world have received COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
• The United States is using established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
• Results from U.S. and global monitoring efforts are reassuring. No unexpected patterns of reactions or other safety concerns have been identified during early vaccine safety monitoring. And, if they show up, we have systems in place to quickly identify them and take action.
• All of the currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines, have been carefully reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA is responsible for reviewing all safety data from clinical trials to determine if the expected benefits of vaccination outweigh potential risks.
• The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed all safety data before recommending the current COVID-19 vaccines for use.
(Source: Answering Patients’ Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC)
Q. If I experience medical complications from the COVID-19 vaccine, will the VA cover it?
A. If the vaccine caused a chronic disability in active service, the VA would consider that under the general principles for service connection. Whether the vaccine is only approved for emergency-use is not a factor the VA would consider. (Source: VA SME)
Q. Can I get multiple vaccines in one visit to the doctor?
A. The COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines may be administered on the same day with exception of the live smallpox vaccine. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/adolescent-easyread.html) Per the updated 7 Oct 2021 Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs Co-Administration Guidance memo, the available U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccine products (i.e., Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY®) vaccines) may be co-administered with other vaccines without regard to timing, with the exception of the live smallpox vaccine (ACAM2000™). Members should always check with their provider on which tests they can get before, during or after an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination. The TB test is authorized before, during or after a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
Q. How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine information sources are accurate?
A. Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Can COVID-19 vaccines cause variants?
A. No. New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change. COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging. As it spreads, the virus has more opportunities to change. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Are all events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) caused by vaccination?
A. No. VAERS data alone cannot determine if the reported adverse event was caused by a COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone can report events to VAERS, even if it is not clear whether a vaccine caused the problem. Some VAERS reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. These adverse events are studied by vaccine safety experts who look for unusually high numbers of health problems, or a pattern of problems, after people receive a particular vaccine. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Is the mRNA vaccine considered a vaccine?
A. Yes. mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body. This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been under way for decades. The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Do COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips?
A. No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?
A. No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals. Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States shed or release any of their components?
A. No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus. mRNA and viral vector vaccines are the two types of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines available. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
A. No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
A. No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines 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 to vaccination, which is the goal, 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. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
A. No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work. (Source: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)
Q. Will COMIRNATY or the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine give me COVID-19?
A. No. The vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19. (Source: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers (fda.gov))
Q. Were fetal cells used in the COVID-19 vaccine's development?
A. None of the vaccines contain fetal cells. All of the vaccines have used fetal cell lines at some point, but there is a difference between fetal cells and fetal cell lines. Fetal cell lines have been grown in labs since the 1960s. These cells have multiplied, creating generations of fetal cell lines. This means that the cells we have today no longer contain fetal tissue. Several religious groups and bioethics institutes have issued statements and guidance about the COVID-19 vaccines. For instance, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states that getting vaccinated is morally justifiable given the circumstances. The Charlotte Lozier Institute has information available for those who want to learn more about this topic. (Source, from the CDC: The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines: Parent FAQs - HealthyChildren.org)
Q. Will individuals be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series who completed or partially completed a COVID-19 vaccine series with a vaccine that is not authorized by FDA or not authorized for emergency use by WHO?
A. Administration of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in these people should comply with all conditions of use specified under the EUA for the vaccine being used. The minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA authorized vaccine and an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days. CDC Link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html#Interchangeability. People who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is listed for emergency use by WHO do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine but may be offered a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. Check the WHO website regularly to see any updates to the approved WHO list. (Source: CDC, WHO)
Q. Do COVID-19 tests check for the delta and other variants?
A. There are no authorized COVID-19 antigen or molecular tests that specifically report the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. Currently, COVID-19 tests are designed to check broadly for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. It is common for all viruses to change and mutate over time, resulting in different virus strains. The FDA works closely with test developers to identify potential impacts of virus mutations on FDA authorized COVID-19 tests and help ensure there is minimal impact on test performance. (Source, FDA: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions)
Q. Applicable to Air Force Service Member personnel only: Is there a DNIF period for flyers who receive the J&J vaccine? If so, is it the same as the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer), or will it be similar to other more traditional vaccines?
A. Same as the mRNA vaccines for now. The AFMS Flight Operational Medicine community has been very helpful and provided recommendations which will be published in the DHA-IPM 20-004. Local BOMC/FOMC (clinics) have the most up to date information as well. (Source: **AFMRA SME)
Q. If a member has an anaphylactic/allergic reaction to the mRNA vaccine can they receive the Janssen vaccine since they cannot receive a 2nd dose of the mRNA vaccine?
A. Because of potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity between ingredients in mRNA and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines, consultation with an allergist-immunologist should be considered to help determine if the patient can safely receive vaccination. If you are allergic to PEG, you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get the J&J/Janssen vaccine. If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. For more information about allergies associated with vaccinations, go to the CDC site here.
Q. Will children ages 5-11 be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine data will be reviewed for ages 5-11 years during the month of October 2021. Although critical analysis of the safety & efficacy data is still needed, it may be helpful to understand the public health rationale for COVID-19 vaccination in this age group and discuss with parents. Pediatric populations may be at lower risk of COVID-19 complications, but they are not at no risk. As more adults become vaccinated, children make up a greater proportion of total cases.
Q: What vaccine does the CDC recommend for children and for what ages?
A: CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. CDC continues to recommend the use of the newly FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 Vaccine. (Source: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC)
Q. What about side effects of the vaccine impacting my child?
A. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, but there are some short-term side effects your child may experience. In clinical trials, some adolescents had no side effects, and some had side effects similar to those reported by adults. Call your Pediatrician or Primary Care Manager and ask about medicines that can reduce these symptoms, which usually go away in a day or so. While also rare, some people have had serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. This is why your child will need to wait for 15 to 30 minutes after they have a vaccination. If your child has a reaction, there are medications to quickly treat it. (Source, from the CDC: The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines: Parent FAQs - HealthyChildren.org)
Q. Are COVID vaccines linked to cardiac issues?
A. There have been a small number of adolescents and young adults who experienced mild cases of heart inflammation (called myocarditis) after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. However, ongoing research shows that people who became infected with COVID-19 have a greater risk of developing this potential side effect than those who receive the vaccine. (See "Post-COVID Conditions in Children and Teens.")
Q. Does my child have to get both doses of the vaccine?
A. Children and adolescents receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no patient weight requirements for COVID-19 vaccination, and COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html)
Q. Can my child get multiple vaccines at one time?
A. Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html & https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/adolescent-easyread.html)
Q. What boosters are available and authorized at this time?
A. Only certain populations initially vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can get a booster shot at this time. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. Who should get a booster vaccine?
A. CDC recommends:
1. People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;
2. People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;
3. People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks;
4. People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of PfizerBioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. So, what are some of examples of workers who may get Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots?
A. At this time, the CDC recommends: First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff); Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers); Food and agriculture workers; Manufacturing workers; Corrections workers; U.S. Postal Service workers; Public transit workers; Grocery store workers. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if I am NOT in one of the recommended groups?
A. Additional populations may be recommended to receive a booster shot as more data becomes available. The COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the United States continue to be effective at reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly evolves. Experts are looking at all available data to understand how well the vaccines are working for different populations. This includes looking at how new variants, like Delta, affect vaccine effectiveness. (DAF/PAG: Myth vs Fact)
Q. If we need a booster shot, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
A. No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. What should people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine do?
A. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC’s recommendations are bound by what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization allows. At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization only applies to people whose primary series was Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or J&J/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster shot. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots are expected in the coming weeks. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. What are the risks to getting a booster?
A. For many who have completed their primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the benefits of getting a booster shot outweigh the known and potential risks. So far, reactions reported after the third Pfizer-BioNTech shot were similar to that of the 2-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the 2-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. Does this change the definition of “fully vaccinated” for those eligible for booster shots?
A. People are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine. This definition applies to all people, including those who receive an additional dose as recommended for moderate to severely immunocompromised people and those who receive a booster shot. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. Can you explain these “permissive” recommendations related to people 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions, and people 18 to 64 who may be exposed due to occupational/institutional setting? How are these different from the other two recommendations?
A. Adults 18–49 who have underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as are people 18-64 are in an occupational or institutional setting where the burden of COVID-19 infection and risk of transmission are high. However, that risk is likely not as high as it would be for adults 50 years and older who have underlying medical conditions, or people who live in long-term care settings. With the lower risk, the data do not support that everyone who falls into this group should get a booster shot. Therefore, CDC’s recommendation is not as strong for these populations, but still allows a booster shot to be available for those who would like to get one. People 18 and older who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions or their occupation should consider their individual risks and benefits when making the decision of whether to get a booster shot. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available. (DAF/PAG: Myth vs Fact)
Q. Will providers accept anyone who says they’re eligible to receive a booster shot? Will people need to show a doctor’s note/prescription or other documentation?
A. It’s important to note that individuals can self-attest (i.e. self-report that they are eligible) and receive a booster shot wherever vaccines are offered. This will help ensure there are not additional barriers to access for these select populations receiving their booster shot. (DAF/PAG: Myth vs Fact)
Q. What is the data supporting the need for a booster shot?
A. Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms. Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated (e.g., waning immunity) as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant. Data from a small clinical trial show that a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their primary series 6 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. (Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html)
Q. Where can I view the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions?
A. Link: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC
Q. Where can I view the FDA’s Frequently Asked Questions?
A. Link: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
Q. Where can I view the World Health Organization’s Frequently Asked Questions?
A. Link: Question and answers hub (who.int)
Q. Where can I find more information about official leave policies for Civilians for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
A. Below are URLs with information regarding ‘Leave’ for civilian employees and the COVID-19 vaccination.
• USD(P&R) Memorandum, “Administrative Leave for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Employees,” April 14, 2021
• Link: https://www.dcpas.osd.mil/Content/documents/OD/DCPAS%20Message%202021031%20-%20Admin%20Leave%20for%20COVID-19%20Vaccinations_v3.pdf
• Office of Personnel Management (OPM), "Federal Employee Coverage under the Leave Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)," 07 Apr 2020
• Link: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/opm-fact-sheet-federal-employee-coverage-under-the-leave-provisions-of-the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-ffcra/
• DCPAS Message 2021031 – Admin Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations, April 19, 2021
• Link: https://www.dcpas.osd.mil/Content/documents/OD/DCPAS%20Message%202021031%20-%20Admin%20Leave%20for%20COVID-19%20Vaccinations_v3.pdf
Q. I’m a Commander. Where can I find Commander focused materials about the COVID-19 Vaccine and Implementation?
A. The DAF COVID-19 Commander’s Tool Kit serves as the Department's central hub for reporting and sharing the latest policies and guidance related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and DAF mandates.