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Frequently Asked Questions
There is a lot of information swirling around about the COVID-19 vaccines. Here you’ll find answers from healthcare providers at Beacon Health System and Saint Joseph Health System.
Don’t see your question here? Give us a call at (574) 647-1350 or fill out the form below! We’re here to listen to you and discuss your questions and concerns.
Anyone age 5 or older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Persons 18 years or younger can only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at this time. It is the only vaccine to have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for this age group at this time. Proof of age will be required at the time of vaccination.
There are vaccination clinics all around the Michiana region and COVID-19 vaccines are available at many retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. To search for a vaccination clinic and schedule an appointment see our Clinic Calendar, visit vaccine.coronavirus.in.gov or call 211 (866-211-9966). Walk-ins are also accepted at most vaccination clinics.
Anyone age 18 or younger will need to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as it is the only vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for that age group. Proof of age will be required at the time of vaccination.
Beacon Medical Group and Saint Joseph Health System primary care offices offer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters by appointment for their patients. Call your provider’s office to make an appointment.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 12 years and older get a booster shot after they have completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
Those between the ages of 12-17 years old can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot. If you are age 18 or older, either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred.
Right now, a booster shot is not recommended for those under 12 years of age.
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. How do we know this? Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. Since scientists weren’t starting from the ground up, the current COVID-19 vaccines could be developed faster.
Additionally, all vaccines in the United States must go through three phases of clinical trials to make sure they are safe and effective. During the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, phases were overlapped for speed, but all phases were completed as required.
Finally, the safety monitoring around the COVID-19 vaccine has been the most intense and comprehensive in U.S. history. Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. Through several monitoring systems, the CDC and FDA continue to provide updated information on the safety of these vaccines.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve already had COVID-19. Why? Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from a COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system.
There isn’t currently a test available that can reliably determine if a person is protected from COVID-19 infection after having had COVID-19. People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated after recovery.
All vaccines have side effects. They are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include: fever, headache, fatigue, and pain at the injection site. All side effects should go away within a few days.
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or who might become pregnant in the future.
There is no current evidence that any vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, cause problems trying to get pregnant in women or men.
While vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer, none of the vaccines contain eggs, gelatin, latex, or preservatives. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys. The vaccines are also free from manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or nanowire semiconductors.
You can learn more about the ingredients of each specific COVID-19 vaccine at the CDC website.
COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children ages 5 years and older. Getting your child vaccinated can help protect them from getting COVID-19, spreading the virus to others, and getting sick if they do get infected. While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children than adults, it can make children very sick, including needing hospitalization. Some children have even died.
Scientists have conducted clinical trials with thousands of children and the results show that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine and there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.
This is still unclear. Scientists continue to monitor how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. There are recent studies that show protection against the virus may decrease over time. It is this reduction in protection that has led the CDC to recommend everyone ages 12 years and older get a booster shot after their primary vaccination series.
Disclaimer: The resources shared here are for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. As with all pharmaceuticals, a patient’s response to a vaccine is unique to their own body and medical history. We encourage all patients to discuss the vaccine with their physician before administration if they have concerns.
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