FAQ'S

RESOURCE GUIDES

 
  • Who should get the primary-series of COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone ages of 6 months and older, including pregnant persons should get the primary-series of COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • 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?

  • What are the FDA approved vaccinations?

Four COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized in the U.S. to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen). 

It’s recommended that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only be considered in some situations.

  • 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.

Novavax was developed in the United States.

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

Learn how mRNA Vaccines Work

COVID-19 vaccines are safe & effective.

Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines give 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.

Novavax is a vaccine contain harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus pieces are the spike protein. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine contains another ingredient that helps our immune system respond to that spike protein. This way our immune system will be able to respond quickly to the actual virus spike protein and protect against COVID-19.

  • What if I miss my second dose of my primary series-doses?

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.

 

Currently you are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if you received your second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine primary series or one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine primary series. 

  • 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. In the U.S., more than 610 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered from December 14, 2020, through August 31, 2022.

0.0027% 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: Everyone ages 6 months and older should get vaccinated, even if you've had COVID-19. Vaccine immunity is stronger than natural immunity.

 
  • Do you need a booster every six months?  What is bivalent booster?

The CDC recommends that everyone aged 5 and older should get the type of booster (original/monovalent or updated /bivalent  recommended for them. 

 

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.

If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

  • Who is eligible for booster vaccinations?

Your booster recommendation from CDC depends on your age group, the primary-series you received, and health status,

  •  5 years and older should get all primary series doses, and the booster dose recommended for them by CDC, if eligible.

  • 5 - 11 years are currently recommended to get the original (monovalent) booster.

  • 12 years and older are recommended to receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster.

  • If you received all primary series doses and if you have previously received one or more original (monovalent) boosters.

  • 12 - 17 years old people can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster.

For more details on boosters, visit here.​

  • Which vaccines are authorized for booster doses?

Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are available and authorized for either the original or the updated booster dose for all individuals 5 years of age and older after completion of primary vaccination. 

For example, if :

- you are between 18-49 years old

- your immune system is not weakened

- as your primary-series you received 2 doses of Moderna

- you have not received yet an updated boosterand

- 2 months passed since your latest COVID-19 vaccine,

then you should get an updated (bivalent) booster (using Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).

Find out when you can get your booster here.

  • What if someone received a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine initially in their primary series? Can they get a different vaccine product as their booster?

The booster recommendation depends on the factors mentioned above: 

  • 18 years and older - may get a different product for a booster than they got for their primary series, as long as it is Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

  • Teens ages 12-17 - may get a different product for a booster than they got for their primary series, as long as it is Pfizer-BioNTech.

  • Children ages 5- 11 - who got a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series must also get Pfizer-BioNTech for a booster.

  •  12 years and older  - may only get the updated (bivalent) mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) booster. They can no longer get an original (monovalent) mRNA booster.

  • How do I receive a COVID-19 vaccination/booster?

Visit myturn.ca.gov to find a walk-in clinic or make an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination.

  • When should I receive a booster dose?

Find out when you can get your booster here.

  • 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 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.

Getting Pregnant_edited.jpg

GETTING PREGNANT

 
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months 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.

Black mother_edited.jpg

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.

breastfeeding_edited.jpg

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.

Underlying health_edited.jpg

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.