Do I need to have a third dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended to receive this third dose 28 days after receiving your second dose.
This includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. See our Press Release regarding the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for those with immunocompromised conditions.
How common is anaphylaxis after COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur after any vaccination. Anaphylaxis after COVID-19 vaccination is rare.If this occurs, vaccination providers can effectively and immediately treat the reaction.
Anaphylaxis after COVID-19 vaccination occurred in approximately 2 to 5 people per million vaccinated in the United States based on events reported to VAERS. This kind of allergic reaction almost always occurs within 30 minutes after vaccination. After you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to stay for 15 minutes, so you can be observed in case you have a severe allergic reaction and provided treatment in the rare case it is needed. Fortunately, vaccination providers have medicines available to effectively and immediately treat patients who experience anaphylaxis following vaccination.
Can kids get other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say other routine vaccinations can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 shots. It previously advised against other vaccinations within a two-week window so it could monitor people for potential side effects.
- COVID-19 and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 and other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.
- It is unknown whether reactogenicity is increased with co-administration, including with other vaccines known to be more reactogenic, such as adjuvanted vaccines.
- When deciding to co-administer with COVID-19 vaccines, providers should consider whether the patient is behind or at risk of becoming behind on recommended vaccines and the reactogenicity profile of the vaccines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with the position.
Q: Is breakthrough infection data reported anywhere?
A: Yes, the state of Idaho is reporting breakthrough case data on their COVID-19 data dashboard on coronavirus.idaho.gov.
Q. Is it really true that COVID-19 vaccines can protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
A. Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
A. Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward. The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now and will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines.
The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine. People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.
Will individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine “shed” mRNA or spike protiens?
A. Claims that individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccines then “shed” mRNA or spike proteins are circulating widely on social media. Anti-vaccine organizations and other groups that embrace conspiracy theories and pseudoscience are asserting that this “shedding” puts unvaccinated individuals at risk of harm. One of several debunked claims includes the belief that an unvaccinated woman’s menstrual cycle can be altered simply by their being in proximity to a vaccinated individual. In reality, those vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine cannot and do not shed mRNA or spike proteins, or any other elements associated with these vaccines.
Are people dying after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Over 230 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through April 26, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 3,848 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths. CDC and FDA will continue to investigate reports of adverse events, including deaths, reported to VAERS.
What is a ‘breakthrough’ case?
A. A breakthrough case is someone who has been fully vaccinated, but tests positive for COVID-19 more than 14 days after receiving their second dose or their first dose of J&J. Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness.
Can I donate blood or plasma after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Yes. If you receive the vaccine, you can still donate blood, platelets and AB Elite plasma. If you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll most likely need to provide the manufacturer name when donate. In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation.
Should I receive the vaccine if I have allergies?
A. CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.
If you have had an immediate allergic reaction to other types of vaccine—even if it was not severe— ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.
What does ‘fully vaccinated’ mean?
A. People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.
Q: I heard the COVID-19 vaccines were developed with or contains controversial substances. Is this true?
A: The first two COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to be authorized by the FDA contain mRNA and other, normal vaccine ingredients, such as fats (which protect the mRNA), salts, as well as a small amount of sugar. These COVID-19 vaccines were not developed using fetal tissue, and they do not contain any material, such as implants, microchips or tracking devices.
The vaccine formula for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine also does not contain aborted fetal tissue. Rather, virologists created J&J’s vaccine — and many other immunizations to fight viral outbreaks — in part by growing a modified virus in cells originally derived from embryonic tissue from an abortion performed decades ago. However, that human cell line is physically and chemically separate from ingredients that end up in the final vaccine product. Historical fetal cell lines were derived in the 1960’s and 1970’s from elective abortions that have been used to create vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis A, rubella, and rabies. Abortions or spontaneous miscarriages from which fetal cells were obtained were elective and were not done for the purpose of vaccine development.
If I test positive for COVID-19 after I get vaccinated, do I still need to isolate?
A. You should isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 even after you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
If I get symptoms of COVID-19 after I get vaccinated, do I still need to get tested?
A. If you have not received 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested. Talk to a doctor or a healthcare provider if you have COVID-like symptoms after getting 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID-19?
A: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.
Q: Do I still need to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve already had COVID?
A: Yes. Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again 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.
Q: Can’t we build natural immunity against COVID-19?
A: Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
How much will the vaccine cost?
A. The vaccine is free. Enrolled providers can charge insurance an administration fee, but the consumer should not be billed.
Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccine change my DNA?
A: The COVID-19 vaccine’s currently seeking authorization are mRNA vaccines. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
- mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
- The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
Q: Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause Bell’s Palsy?
A: The FDA briefing documents show that it is true that there were four cases of Bell’s Palsy among those who received the vaccine. Bell’s Palsy is a sudden weakness or freezing of muscles on one side of the face, which in most cases is temporary.
The briefing says that the frequency of Bell’s Palsy in the vaccine group is “consistent with the expected background rate in the general population”, adding there is “no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time”. The FDA said it would, however, recommend “surveillance” for cases of Bell’s Palsy as the vaccine is sent out to larger groups of people.
You can read the full FDA briefing here: www.fda.gov/media/144245/download
Q: Since both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses (Pfizer 21 days apart, Moderna 28 days apart), could an individual receive one dose of Pfizer and one dose of Moderna?
A: That is not recommended. If you receive the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, then you need to receive the Pfizer vaccine for your second dose. This is the same for the Moderna vaccine.
The 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine needs to be administered 21 days after the first dose and the Moderna vaccine 28 days after the first dose, but my second dose is scheduled earlier. Will this still be effective?
For the Moderna vaccine, persons age 18 years and older should receive 2 doses at least 28 days apart.
- Second doses administered up to 4 days before the recommended date (24 or more days after first dose) are considered valid. However, doses administered earlier do not need to be repeated.
For the Pfizer vaccine, persons age 16 years and older should receive 2 doses at least 21 days apart.
- Second doses administered up to 4 days before the recommended date (17 or more days after first dose) are considered valid. However, doses administered earlier do not need to be repeated.