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COVID-19

What you need to know before you get this vaccine

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This type of coronavirus has not been seen before. You can get COVID-19 through contact with another person who has the virus. It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

Which lasts longer, immunity after getting COVID-19 or protection from COVID-19 vaccines?

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called “natural immunity”) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Because this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Current evidence suggests that getting the virus again (reinfection) is uncommon in the 90 days after the first infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

We won’t know how long immunity lasts after vaccination until we have more data on how well COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

What are the ingredients in the Moderna COIVD-19 vaccine?

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

What are the ingredients in the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

Vaccine Safety

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines.

No data are available yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated.

To make sure that more information is gathered regarding the safety of these vaccines when administered during pregnancy, pregnant people are encouraged to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s new smartphone-based tool being used to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If pregnant people report health events through v-safe after vaccination, someone from CDC may call to check on them and get more information. Additionally, pregnant people enrolled in v-safe will be contacted by CDC and asked to participate in a pregnancy registry that will monitor them through pregnancy and the first 3 months of infancy. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is it safe for me to get a vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?

People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines provided they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for persons with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Is there a risk of a severe allergic reaction if I receive the vaccine?

Serious problems from vaccination can happen, but they are rare. CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and allergies.

How do I report it if I have a problem or bad reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

​If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

You can report side effects and reactions using either v-safe or the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS.)

  • V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is the national system that collects reports from healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the public of adverse events that happen after vaccination; reports of adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns are followed up with specific studies. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. If experts detect an unexpected adverse event, they quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.

Healthcare providers will be required to report certain adverse events following vaccination to VAERS. Healthcare providers also have to adhere to any revised safety reporting requirements according to FDA’s conditions of authorized use throughout the duration of any Emergency Use Authorization; these requirements would be posted on FDA’s websiteexternal icon

You can expect normal side effects after you are vaccinated. Refer to What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19. for additional information.

Getting Vaccinated

Who is NOT eligible to recieve a COIVD-19 vaccine?

You are not eligibile for the COVID-19 vaccine if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components

  • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components (including polyethylene glycol [PEG])*

  • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to polysorbate (due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredient PEG)*

  • Acute moderate to severe illness at time of vaccination

  • Received any vaccine within the past 14 days

  • Received treatment for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma within the past 90 days

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 30 days

  • Currently in quarantine for COVID-19 exposure

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts do not yet 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. It is rare for someone who has had COVID-19 to get infected again. It also is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection. We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are working to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of the vaccine?

Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.

To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?

Moderna doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

How is the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given?

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine will be given to you as an injection into the muscle.

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 1 month apart.

If you receive one dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine 1 month later to complete the vaccination series.

How is the Pfizer-Biotech COVID-19 vaccine given?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be given to you as an injection into the muscle.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 3 weeks apart.

If you receive one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as another vaccine?

Wait at least 14 days before getting any other vaccine, including a flu or shingles vaccine, if you get your COVID-19 vaccine first. And if you get another vaccine first, wait at least 14 days before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

If a COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently given within 14 days of another vaccine, you do not need to restart the COVID-19 vaccine series; you should still complete the series on schedule. When more data are available on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, CDC may update this recommendation.

After Getting the Vaccine

What are common side effects?

For the most updated information please visit What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Remember

  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

On the arm where you received the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
Helpful Tips

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you received the shot:

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Dress lightly.
When to call the doctor?

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

More Information

How Can I Learn more?
  • Ask the vaccination provider
  • Visit CDC
  • Visit FDA
  • Contact your state or local public health department
Where will my vaccination information be recorded?

The vaccination provider may include your vaccination information in your state/local jurisdiction’s Immunization Information System (IIS) or other designated system. This will ensure that you receive the same vaccine when you return for the second dose. For more information about IISs, click here.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against CBRN threats by facilitating the availability and use of MCMs needed during public health emergencies.

Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), the FDA Commissioner may allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by CBRN threat agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

Section 564 of the FD&C Act was amended by the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 and was further amended by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PAHPRA), the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, and Public Law 115-92 of 2017.

Please note: a determination under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act that a public health emergency exists, such as the one issued on January 31, 2020, does not enable FDA to issue EUAs. A separate determination and declaration are needed under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to enable FDA to issue EUAs, provided other statutory criteria are met.

For More information on Emergency User Authorization

Who can register right now?

Any eligible member can pre-register online.

When vaccine is available, those who qualify under Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) guidelines will be notified to schedule an appointment.

**Please note that eligibility does not guarantee an appointment will be available to you. Appointment availability is solely dependent on vaccine supply.

What is the difference between pre-registration and scheduling an appointment?

Pre-registration allows any eligible member to register their contact information with the State Employees' Insurance Board (SEIB) and indicate that they would like to be notified when the vaccine is available to them.

After you enter your information, if you’re eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your appointment.

Does registering allow me to move forward in line to get the vaccine?

No, registering will not change when you receive your vaccine.

However, registering and providing your contact information will make it easier for the State Employees' Insurance Board (SEIB) to notify you when it is your turn.

What happens once I enter my information?
When you use the portal to enter your information, a message will be sent to the email address you provide to let you know that we have received your pre-registration.
What happens if I miss or need to cancel my appointment?

Unfortunately, if you miss your appointment you will have to reschedule and book another appointment at the next available time slot.

As these time slots are high in demand, please remember to mark your calendars and set reminders in order to avoid missing appointments.

What happens after my first appointment?

The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use require a second dose. You need both doses in order for the vaccine to work correctly.

You will be scheduled for your second appointment during the check-out process after receiving your first dose.