FAQ'S

RESOURCE GUIDES

 
  • What are the possible side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine? ​

Everyone, including pregnant persons who get a COVID-19 vaccine may experience side effects, such as a soreness at the site of injection, feeling tired, body aches, chills, and fever. This is normal! It means that your body is responding and producing protective antibodies. LEARN MORE about caring for yourself & family after getting vaccinated HERE.

  • Why is information about who should wear a face covering and when so confusing?

  • Why are the other vaccines not FDA approved?

The FDA has fully approved both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,
meaning they both meet the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and quality. Pfizer’s vaccine for the prevention of severe COVID-19 disease in those aged 16 and older received full approval in August 2021. Moderna’s vaccine for the prevention
of severe COVID-19 disease in those aged 18 and older received full approval in January 2022. Pfizer’s vaccine has FDA’s emergency use authorization to prevent severe COVID- 19 illness in those aged 5-11 and 12-15. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is also permitted
through the Emergency Use Authorization.

  • Where are the vaccines made?

The Moderna vaccine was produced by the American biotech company Moderna and is currently being produced primarily in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Pfizer vaccine is being produced at BioNtech and Pfizer facilities mostly in Germany and Belgium. Johnson & Johnson produced their vaccine in Leiden, Netherlands. 

  • What are the differences between the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccine?

Learn how mRNA Vaccines Work

All three vaccines are safe & effective. Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines.

mRNA vaccines gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Johnson & Johnson is a Vector vaccine. Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Our cells make copies of the protein and remembers how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future.

  • What if I miss my second dose?

If you’ve missed your appointment for your second dose, go ahead and reschedule and get that second dose as soon as possible, even if it is outside of the timeframe. You're considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after your second shot (Pfizer & Moderna), “The second shot of two-dose vaccines along with booster doses when available is essential for reaching full immunity against COVID-19”.

  • Is the vaccine going to give me COVID-19?

NO! COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Sometimes vaccines may have side effects, such as feeling tired or experiencing a headache. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Can you die from the vaccine?

There are no known deaths that have been caused solely by the COVID-19 vaccine. 0.0017% of people who received the COVID-19 vaccination has died. However, these reports of deaths following vaccination do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records, has not established a direct connection to COVID-19 vaccines and death.

  • Is your natural immune system stronger than the vaccine?

NO! The COVID-19 vaccine helps you immune system fight the virus faster and better than natural immunity.  The COVID-19 vaccines create more effective and longer-lasting immunity than natural immunity from a previous infection. Did you know? More than a third of COVID-19 infections result in zero protective antibodies. Bottom line: Get vaccinated, even if you've had COVID-19. Vaccine immunity is stronger than natural immunity.

 
  • Do you need a booster every six months?

The CDC recommends that everyone aged 12 and older should get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. You can get a booster 5 months after your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or 2 months after your single dose of J&J's vaccine. It is essential to get a
booster dose of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible to stay protected against the virus. California has ample vaccine supply, so don’t wait – get your booster today.

  • Who is eligible for booster vaccinations?

Everyone ages 12 and up are eligible for a booster dose 5 months after your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or 2 months after the single J&J's vaccine. You can choose to get whichever vaccine for your booster dose no matter which vaccine you initially received.

  • Which vaccines are covered by the emergency use authorization for booster doses?

Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are available and authorized for a single booster dose for all individuals 12 years of age and older after completion of primary vaccination.

  • What if someone received a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine initially? Should they get a Pfizer vaccine?

“Yes! You can choose to get either the Moderna or Pfizer booster dose no matter what vaccine you initially received”

  • How do I receive a COVID vaccination?

Visit myturn.ca.gov to find a walk-in clinic or make an appointment for your COVID vaccination.

  • When should I receive a booster dose?

You should receive a booster dose 5 months after your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or 2 months after your J&Js dose.

  • Will digital vaccine records be updated to show that individuals have received a booster dose?

Yes, the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record has been updated and will show that a booster vaccine dose has been administered. Your vaccine record will not automatically update, so a new version will need to be downloaded to reflect that you have received a booster dose. We recommend waiting 14 days for your new dose to show up in the California Immunization Registry.

  •  Is a booster dose the same amount of vaccine as doses in the original vaccine series?

Yes, the booster doses are the same dosage as the first and second in both the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccine series.

  • Does receiving a booster eliminate the need for further harm-reduction precautions?

No, even with an extra dose of a mRNA vaccine, harm reduction precautions, such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and avoiding large crowds is still important to keep you, your baby, and family safe.

  • How do we know booster doses are safe?

Booster doses went through the same thorough scientific review process as the initial vaccine series, with trial data from all over the world being reviewed and considered when making a recommendation. The vaccines, including booster doses, are safe. CDC has published additional data on the safety of additional doses given in the U.S. during August and September.

  • What side effects should be expected after receiving a booster dose?

The side effects from booster doses should be the same mild side effects experienced when receiving the initial vaccine dose. A sore arm at the injection site and mild flu-like symptoms are normal and demonstrate that your body is rebuilding immunity to COVID-19.

  • How do we get people to understand the importance of getting the vaccine?

Many factors influence vaccine decision-making, including cultural, social, and political factors; individual and group factors; mistrust in medical establishments; and vaccine-specific factors.

 

However, confidence in the vaccines, the vaccinator, and the system all support the decision to get vaccinated. It is important to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and have vaccine-hesitant people build confidence in the vaccine from trusted friends and family.

 

Some ways to help people become more willing to get the vaccine is to educate people about the vaccines, listen to their concerns, and most importantly make your decision to get vaccinated visible and celebrate it!

 

MALE FERTILITY

 
  • Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause male fertility problems. Research has found no significant changes in sperm characteristics after vaccination.

  • Professional societies for male reproduction recommend that men who want to have babies in the future get a COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Men who are not vaccinated and become infected with COVID-19 are at an increased risk of experiencing fertility problems. Learn about the negative impacts on male fertility for men who are not vaccinated HERE.

  • Evidence shows that the vaccines do not cause infertility or adversely affect sperm count or egg production. However, contracting COVID-19 is harmful and has negative impacts. Watch the Mount Sinai Health System video to learn more HERE.

  • A recent study of 45 healthy men who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) looked at sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination. Researchers found no significant changes in these sperm characteristics after vaccination. Learn more HERE.

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GETTING PREGNANT

 
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older, including people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners.

  • There is no recommendation for routine pregnancy testing before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are trying to become pregnant or may want to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit MyTurn to schedule your vaccine today.

  • Those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after COVID19 vaccination.

  • If you get pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot on schedule to get as much protection as possible.

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PREGNANCY 

 
  • There is no evidence that shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men. Many people have become pregnant after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, including some who got vaccinated during COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. 

  • Science tells us that vaccines are SAFE & EFFECTIVE if you’re trying to conceive. 

  • Recent report using the v-safe safety monitoring system data showed that 4,800 people had a POSITIVE pregnancy test after receiving a first dose of an mRNA COVID19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). 

  • Pregnant women are more vulnerable to illness. Contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy increases risk of severe illness, hospitalizations, and a 70% increased risk of death compared to non-pregnant women.

  • Current data on the safety of vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding persons indicates there are no increased risks of miscarriage or other adverse outcomes. CDC recommends pregnant and breastfeeding persons receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If you get pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot on schedule to get as much protection as possible.

  •  If eligible, pregnant persons should follow the same guidelines as non-pregnant persons for booster shots.

PREMATURE BIRTH

 Preterm birth: Delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy often results in babies born too small, with complications that can last a lifetime. Complications from preterm birth is the leading cause of an infant dying before their first birthday.

 

  • Preterm birth is an emotional and economic hardship on families. Preterm birth is estimated to cost $26 billion per year in the U.S. The cost to care for preterm babies in Fresno County is estimated at $78 million per year. 

  • The risk of preterm birth is 160 percent higher among people infected with COVID-19 and have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.

  • Research has shown mothers that tested positive for COVID-19 experienced greater rates of preterm birth and low birth weight. Preterm birth and low birth weight is less common among babies born to mothers who received the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more HERE.

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BREASTFEEDING

 
  • Can my child receive antibodies from my breast milk? Yes! Mothers who have received a COVID-19 vaccination or previously had COVID-19 can pass along antibodies through breast milk. Since babies are not yet able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the protection they get from their mother’s breast milk is important to keeping them safe and protected against COVID-19. 
    Antibodies are special proteins in our body that are produced by our immune system to protect against diseases and infections.

  • Should lactating individuals receive a booster dose?  If a person is recommended for a booster dose, lactation does not change that recommendation.

  • Current data on the safety of vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding persons indicates there are no increased risks of miscarriage or other adverse outcomes.

  • If you are breastfeeding, get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do not wait. CDC recommends pregnant and breastfeeding persons receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed:

    • Wear a mask whenever you are within 6 feet of your newborn.

    • Keep your newborn more than 6 feet away from you as much as possible.

    • Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can protect your newborn, such as using a physical barrier (for example, placing the newborn in an incubator) while in the hospital.

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

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UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS

 
  • Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

  • Many Black women suffer from pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. Underlying health conditions increases the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 for pregnant persons not vaccinated.

  • Pregnant Black women are more likely to live in unfinished neighborhoods with concentrated levels of air pollution, which makes respiratory viruses worse.

  • The Central Valley has the lowest rates of vaccination overall in the state of California, with the lowest rates of vaccination among Black people. Vaccination among Black pregnant persons is critical, since Black women are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions

Funding is provided by WeVAX+, a program  of the Public Health Institute, through funding from the State of California Government Operations Agency.