Vaccine Experts Dedicated to You
Nothing is more important to us than you. And with something as important as a coronavirus vaccine, we want to make sure you’re informed at every step, hearing from health care experts who put you first.
At AdventHealth, you have a team of medical experts and scientific community members dedicated to providing you with accurate, timely and easy-to-understand information about a coronavirus vaccine.
Composed of infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, researchers and other health care leaders, the AdventHealth Scientific Committee regularly reviews the latest vaccine data and findings from state and local authorities and the scientific community as a whole. Our goal is to distill this information into easily-understandable updates that ease your mind — all with your health and safety as our top priority.
Is the Coronavirus Vaccine is Safe for You?
Dr. Vincent Hsu and Dr. Steven Smith answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the vaccine including safety, efficacy and prioritization.
Coronavirus Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can receive the vaccine?
The first round of available vaccines are being distributed according to the CDC’s recommendations. This means they will first given to health care workers and first responders, who are at the highest risk for exposure to the virus.
- Who is considered a frontline worker?
Health care personnel who may be vaccinated include people serving in a clinical setting with direct patient contact. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, and other community providers.
- I am not 65, but am at high-risk and have comorbidities/am immunocompromised. When can I get the vaccine?
The current administration of vaccines is being delivered based on CDC and state government guidelines. For more information about when the vaccine will be available to the public, we encourage you to sign up for email alerts at www.CoronavirusVaccineAlerts.com.
- I want to receive the vaccine. Is there a waitlist I can sign up for?
AdventHealth has been tapped by the state of Florida as one of the first sites to store and administer the new COVID-19 vaccine – or vaccines – as they come online for use. Stay tuned to this page as details come available in the weeks and months ahead, as we're committed to remaining a trusted resource for our community.
- How is the vaccine given?
Most COVID-19 vaccines require two shots but one particular vaccination will require one shot. We recommend reaching out directly to your provider as he/she will be able to provide you with more information about when vaccines will be available in your area and which vaccine will be available to you.
- Is the vaccine safe? What if I’m immunocompromised, have a chronic condition, am pregnant or breastfeeding:
The vaccine has been determined to be safe according to federal guidelines and review by our internal Scientific Committee. Vaccine safety is determined based on when a patient experiences a negative effect after receiving the dose. If there are too many or severe effects during the trial, the vaccine is terminated. By the time a vaccine reaches consumers, the risk of a negative outcome is very low.
There's only a small amount of experience in the clinical trials of the vaccines regarding its use in pregnant or nursing mothers. However, the American Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has endorsed use of the vaccine in these situations. If you have questions, we recommend contacting your provider directly so he/she can better answer this question based on your medical history.
- Is the vaccine 100% effective? Am I guaranteed I won’t get COVID-19 if I have the vaccine?
While the approved COVID-19 vaccines have been determined to be effective by federal guidelines, there's no way to guarantee someone will not contract the virus. Just like it's not guaranteed you won't get the flu after receiving the flu shot, the same is true for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those who have already had COVID-19 may not have long lasting immunity from the virus and therefore should receive the vaccine. However, we encourage speaking with your physician, as he or she can provide you with a personalized recommendation.
- What can I do right now to protect myself until I’m eligible to receive the vaccine?
While you're waiting for the vaccine to become available for your group, we recommend following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. You can do this by continuing to cover your mouth and nose and wearing a mask when around others. Avoid close contact with those who develop symptoms, practice social distancing, and continue washing your hands often. Read more tips about protecting yourself here.
- I heard there’s different kinds of vaccines – how do I know which one to get? Which one is best? Safest?
You're right that there are multiple COVID-19 vaccines. While efficacy varies slightly, each has been determined to be safe through the testing process. To learn more about which vaccines are available in your area and which might be best for you, we recommend calling your physician. He or she can talk through any questions you may have and provide a personalized recommendation.
- What’s in the vaccine?
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine that protect against infectious diseases. Because they can be made in a lab using readily available materials, scientists can use a standardized process to develop these vaccines more quickly than with traditional methods.
The vaccine does not use a live virus. Instead, some coronavirus vaccine candidates essentially work by using synthetic mRNA to direct the body to produce a small amount of the spike protein. Once the vaccinated person’s immune system detects this protein, their body begins producing protective antibodies to defend against coronavirus. You can learn more about mRNA vaccines here.
- What are the possible side effects of the vaccine?
Some people have reported mild side effects after receiving the vaccine like irritation at the injection site, headaches, fever and chills. However, these symptoms usually go away on their own within a week of receiving the vaccine. Learn more about the safety and side effects of the coronavirus vaccine.
- Will I feel sick after the vaccine like some people do after the flu shot?
Most people do not have serious reactions after receiving the vaccine. Some people, however, experience mild side effects like irritation at the injection site, headache, fever or chills. These side effects are a sign that your body is doing what it's supposed to do, working to build up protection from the virus. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.
- Can my child/older loved one get the vaccine? Is there an age limit?
At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children. However, the groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future. We recommend looking out for news from your local Department of Health for a trial that could include children.
- Are there other vaccines I can get that will protect me from COVID-19? Will the flu vaccine prevent COVID-19?
Right now, there aren't any available vaccines that will completely prevent COVID-19. However, much like the flu shot, the upcoming coronavirus vaccines will help reduce your risk of contracting the virus in the event of exposure.
- I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get the vaccine?
At this time, the CDC does not have an official recommendation for those who have already had COVID-19. At AdventHealth, we encourage speaking with your physician, as he or she can provide you with a personalized recommendation.