CHAS Health encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We recognize this is a personal decision and that many people have questions about the vaccine. We encourage you to educate yourself about the vaccine and will provide more information as it comes out. You can also visit your state’s website for updates.
Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Deb Wiser discusses reasons to get the COVID Vaccine, her personal experience, and dispels common myths and rumors about the vaccine.
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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Who is currently eligible to receive COVID vaccines?
All people age 12+ are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. CHAS Health can schedule vaccination appointments for anyone age 18+. The vaccines currently being administered by CHAS Health have only been authorized for use in adults 18 and older.
Which vaccines are CHAS Health administering?
CHAS Health is currently administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Available now for people 18 and older
- Two doses, 28 days apart
- Very important to get both primary and second dose
- Approximately 94–95% effective for those who receive both doses
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
CHAS Health is currently administering the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Available now for people 18 and older
- One dose
- The Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials
You should wait 14 days between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine. However, if you happen to receive another vaccine within 14 days, you don’t need to restart your COVID-19 vaccine cycle.
Vaccines work best if everyone gets one as soon as they can. Plus, they can help protect against variants.
Does the COVID-19 vaccination cost me anything?
No, you will have no out-of-pocket costs to get your vaccine.
Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Vaccination helps reduce the spread of a virus and protects the people around you, including people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines. The new COVID-19 vaccines use inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus, parts of the virus, or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
How do I know the vaccine is safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are carefully evaluated in clinical trials and are only allowed for use if the FDA considers them safe and effective. Safety and efficacy (how well the vaccine works to protect you) are determined by clinical trials. After clinical trials, medical experts examine test results and any side effects. If the vaccine works and is safe, it will get approved for distribution to the public.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, since we’re in a pandemic, developing a new vaccine can go faster than normal. No steps are skipped, but some steps happen at the same time, like applications, trials, and manufacturing. See the helpful video below to learn more about this process.
How does the vaccine work?
The COVID-19 vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize the coronavirus. When you get the vaccine, your immune system makes antibodies that stay in your blood and protect you in case you are infected with the virus. You get protection against the disease without having to get sick. When enough people in the community can fight off the coronavirus — something called herd or population immunity — it has nowhere to go. This means we can stop the spread quicker and get closer to ending the pandemic.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA vaccines essentially give your body instructions on how to recognize the COVID-19 virus and how to fight it off. It does this by using messenger RNA, or mRNA, to send these instructions to your body. After those instructions are delivered, your body naturally breaks down the mRNA.
The mRNA vaccines do not contain the COVID-19 virus, so you can’t get COVID-19 from your vaccine. The vaccine also cannot change your DNA. You may experience mild symptoms after getting vaccinated, like mild fever, headache, or chills. This means the vaccine is working!
Is one vaccine preferential to others?
The preferred vaccination is the one you can get. Most of them are similar in efficacy against the “original” COVID-19 strain, although there are slight variations in how effective they are against different variants. Even with variants, vaccines drastically reduce the severity of infection, keeping people out of the hospital.
If you would like to read more about vaccine comparisons, check out this article from Yale Medicine.
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
After receiving the vaccine, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. Some people report getting a headache or fever afterward. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a few days. The mild side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: developing antibodies to protect against COVID-19.
You should get the second dose even if you experienced mild side effects from the first dose unless your health care provider instructs you otherwise.
You may see some rumors about untrue side effects online or on social media. Make sure any time you see a claim about a side effect that you check the source of that claim.
What if I have an autoimmune condition?
COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended even for people with autoimmune conditions, or who have had Guillain-Barré syndrome. If you have concerns, talk with your provider to make an informed decision.
I’m pregnant. Should I get vaccinated?
Patients who are pregnant have an elevated risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published guidelines for vaccination. They recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should NOT be withheld from pregnant individuals who otherwise meet the criteria for vaccination.
If I have had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
The short answer is yes.
One of the most troubling things about this virus is its unpredictable nature. Some people get very sick, some people barely have a sniffle. We are still finding out more about this situation as we go along, but the CDC has found that people who were infected with COVID-19 and recovered can be re-infected, although this is rare. With a vaccine, you’re safeguarding yourself from a more aggressive re-infection.