Are any of the vaccines approved by the FDA?
A. The Pfizer vaccine received full approval by the FDA for those 16 years and older on August 23, 2021.
I need a COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Form. Can the health district provide me one?
A. The State of Idaho nor the health districts have any such forms. At this time, the only forms available are the current school and childcare exemption forms, but those do not have a spot for covid or other vaccine. Refer the individual back to their employer as they would be responsible for letting the employee know of what documentation is needed.
Can I make an appointment to discuss a potential medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. If the individual is a current patient, pass down to clinic. If the person is not a PHD patient, please direct them to their primary care physician. If the individual does not have a PCP, let them know that we are not writing medical exemptions.
Do reports of COVID-19-related side effects in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) means the reported problem was caused by a vaccine?
Co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), VAERS is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines. VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences to CDC and FDA. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients who believe they may have experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine. Reports of adverse events (possible side effects) after vaccination do not mean that the reported problem was caused by a vaccine. Reports are used as signals to alert scientists of possible cause-and-effect relationships that need to be investigated.
How common are breakthrough cases?
A. 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 in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19. It’s possible a person could be infected just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. It typically takes about 2 weeks for the body to build protection after vaccination, so a person could get sick if the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. As of 10/27, there have been a total of 13,285 breakthrough cases in the entire state of Idaho. Breakthrough cases make up approximately 0.63% of those fully vaccinated statewide. This data can be found on coronavirus.idaho.gov and click on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard and look under the Statewide Demographics tab. In the Panhandle, there have been a total of 1,431 vaccine breakthrough cases as of 10/27/2021.
Where can I find data on vaccinated and unvaccinated cases, hospitalizations, and deaths?
A. We don’t track this data locally, although some local hospitals have reported that the large majority (over 95%) of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. The state does report vaccinated and unvaccinated cases, hospitalizations, and deaths here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/idaho.division.of.public.health/viz/DPHIdahoCOVID-19Dashboard/Home. Click on the Case Characteristics tab.
Is it possible to become infected with the Delta variant after you have been fully vaccinated?
A. The Delta variant can, in rare cases, infect a fully vaccinated individual. That being said the individual may experience no or very mild symptoms, but is still able to carry the virus and potentially spread it to others. This is why it’s important for everyone to mask again indoors, we need to protect the unvaccinated. The CDC described Delta as more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause Ebola, smallpox, MERS, and SARS—and called it as contagious as chickenpox. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths have been among the unvaccinated, the CDC says.
Are the vaccines effective against the variants, in particular the Delta variant?
A. A Public Health England analysis (in a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed) showed that at least two vaccines are effective against Delta. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease and 96% effective against hospitalization from Delta in the studies.
Moderna has also reported on studies (not yet peer-reviewed) that showed its vaccine to be effective against Delta and several other mutations (researchers noted only a ”modest reduction in neutralizing titers” against Delta when compared to its effectiveness against the original virus).
Is it safe for me to receive the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding?
A. Based on new evidence about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, CDC is strengthening its recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. A new analysis of current data from the v-safe pregnancy registry assessed vaccination early in pregnancy and did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were similar to the expected rate of miscarriage. Additionally, previous findings from three safety monitoring systems did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or for their babies. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine make you magnetic?
A. No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t give you magnetic properties, including at the site of vaccination (your arm). There is nothing in the vaccines that can produce an electromagnetic field. All COVID-19 vaccines don’t have any metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys. They also don’t have any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or nanowire semiconductors.
How do people declare residency status for what state their vaccination is counted in?
A. Vaccination coverage rates are based on Idaho county of residence (declared by the patient, but usually verified by some form of identification and/or proof of public/private insurance) as long as the vaccine was administered in Idaho. If an Idaho resident gets vaccinated in another state, it’s not going to show up on the state’s dashboard, but it will be in IRIS if the person requests that their vaccination record be shared with Idaho’s IRIS. Their vaccination status WILL show up for Idaho’s coverage rates on CDC’s Data Tracker. Conversely, if someone from another state gets vaccinated in Idaho, it doesn’t affect our coverage rates in our dashboard, but does get reported in Total Doses Administered on the Coronavirus home page.
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.
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.
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.
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’m exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated, do I still need to quarantine?
A. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others: CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Get tested 5-7 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations
- 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 symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested.
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. If someone is uninsured, the administration fee will be waived. If an individual receives a bill, please ask them to contact the provider who administered their vaccine.
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.