COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Updated April 1, 2022
To protect yourself, your loved ones and your community, all individuals 5 and older should get the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA and CDC have approved a low dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Similar to adults, children 5-11 will receive two doses, 3 weeks apart. However, children will receive 1/3 of the vaccine dose of adults, which proved to be safe and effective in clinical trials.
If you're uncertain about the vaccine, please scroll to the bottom of this page to see common questions answered by UnityPoint Health experts. All patients and visitors over the age of 2 must wear a mask when coming to a UnityPoint Health facility. Para la versión en español, haga un clic aquí.
Already vaccinated? Learn how to access your COVID-19 vaccination QR code.
The FDA has granted emergency use approval (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccines Pfizer (ages 5-15), Moderna (ages 18+) and Johnson & Johnson (ages 18+). The FDA has granted full licensure and approval for Pfizer/Comirnaty (ages 16+).
Booster dose - Single booster doses are now approved for qualified patients for any of the following COVID-19 vaccine brands, regardless of a patient's first or second vaccination brand. Individuals receiving a booster dose of Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson will receive the same dose as their initial vaccination series. Moderna booster doses are half of the initial dose. If have questions on whether you should receive a booster dose, we encourage you to contact your primary care provider.
- Comirnaty (Pfizer) - Available for everyone over the age of 18 who received their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.
- Moderna - Available for everyone over the age of 18 who received their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.
- Johnson & Johnson - Available for everyone over the age of 18 who received their single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
Additional booster dose - Certain immunocompromised individuals can now receive an additional booster vaccine dose, as outlined by the CDC. Please call your primary care provider if you have any questions or to schedule your appointment.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?
Children 5-11 years old
More than 3,000 5-11-year-olds were enrolled in the vaccine clinical trials. With continuous monitoring and millions of doses administered to adults over the past year, the vaccines have proven to be very safe. There are common, minor short-term side effects but nothing long-term has been identified. Common side effects (fever, fatigue, headache, etc.) were shown to be lower in individuals 5-11 than those ages 12 and older. In addition, there was not a single serious side effect noted in the Pfizer trial.
Although children have significantly lower risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19, both can still occur. In addition, we know that some individuals have long-term illness associated with their initial COVID-19 disease, including children, so prevention of COVID-19 is key.
Children 12 years and older
More than 2,000 12 – 15-year-olds were enrolled in the vaccine clinical trials. With continuous monitoring and millions of doses administered to adults over the past seven months, the vaccines have proven to be very safe. There are common, minor short-term side effects but nothing long-term has been identified.
Although children have significantly lower risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19, both severe disease and death can still occur. In addition, we know that some individuals have long-term illness associated with their initial COVID-19 disease, including children, so prevention of COVID-19 is key.
How long does the COVID-19 vaccine last?
Duration of protection from the vaccine will be better defined over time but is known to be at least six months at this time.
What should I expect during my COVID-19 vaccine?
If you're wondering about how to prepare for your vaccine, including information about taking over-the-counter pain medications, read How to Prepare for a COVID-19 Vaccine.
Can the vaccine protect me against the delta variant?
Although the vaccines do not completely eliminate the risk of infection, that risk is greatly reduced, even for the variants. That, in turn, greatly reduces but does not eliminate the risk of transmission to others. In addition to protecting others, the three COVID-19 vaccines have continued to hold up well against COVID-19 variants in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death.
What's the difference between full FDA approval and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
For a vaccine to receive full FDA approval, the FDA must review extensive data and conduct its own analyses of the safety and effectiveness. In addition, the FDA performs a detailed assessment of the clinical data, manufacturing processes, including inspections of the manufacturing facilities. Alternatively, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) quickly provides access to medical products in certain emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA makes EUA-approved products available to the public based on the best available evidence, without waiting for all evidence that would be needed for full FDA approval. To learn more, please visit the FDA's website.
Why should I get vaccinated if I still need to mask?
While we know masking is effective in reducing COVID-19 transmission, vaccines provide a stronger level of protection at work and when out in your community. Given the current level of COVID-19 disease in our communities, multiple
layers of protection are needed. You can track the level of spread in your area with the help of your local health department or the CDC.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Since COVID-19 is a new virus, we understand you may have questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety. It's important to note that the FDA established rigorous safety requirements for these vaccines, and tens of thousands of individuals participated in the clinical trials. Even though the virus itself is new, the science behind the vaccines is not new—it is rooted in years of research, and every step of the vaccine process went through the same safety assessments as all other vaccines. Finally, we want our community to know that our clinical leaders and vaccine and infectious disease experts thoroughly reviewed all data surrounding the clinical trials of these vaccines, and they support vaccination to help stop the pandemic. For more information on vaccine safety, we recommend visiting the CDC website.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine free?
What are the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine?
The only charge for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is an administrative fee, as the vaccine is being provided to us at no cost. The administrative fee is to cover costs we incur such as staffing, supplies, etc. This administrative fee will be billed to a patient's insurance company. Most insurance providers are covering the full cost of the administrative fee so there is no final patient cost/responsibility. For uninsured patients, we will bill the Health Resources and Services Administration's Provider Relief Fund, and we anticipate they will pay the cost in full. We recommend you contact your insurance carrier to determine your exact coverage.
COVID Vaccine Administration
|Per Dose/one injection
Ingredients for the Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID Vaccine may be found on the Fact Sheet.
Ingredients for the Moderna COVID Vaccine may be found on the EUA Fact Sheet. Ingredients for the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine may be found on the EUA Fact Sheet.
What are the potential side effects?
Side effects are common, but generally mild to moderate
and occur within the first few days of getting the vaccine. For more information on vaccine safety, speed of development and potential side effects of vaccination, we recommend reading the Comirnaty (Pfizer) Fact Sheet, Moderna EUA Fact Sheet, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen EUA Fact Sheet. All materials were created by the FDA and
include the latest information.
Do I need a second dose?
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is one dose. Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Moderna are two doses. The Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine requires a second dose at least 21 days after your first dose, and the Moderna vaccine requires a second dose at least 28 days after your first dose. These are the intervals utilized in the vaccine studies, so receiving your second dose close to the 21- or 28-day timeframe is advised.
The CDC states you can schedule the second dose up to six weeks after the first dose for both Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Moderna and still receive the full benefit of the vaccine. If your second dose is given outside of that six-week window, there is no need to restart the series. The second dose should be the same brand as the initial dose as there is not data to support interchanging brands. You will not be able to schedule your second dose appointment any sooner than the 21- or 28-day intervals.
Why should I get the vaccine if I'm pregnant or nursing?
The CDC also says pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. COVID-19 during pregnancy can also increase the risk for preterm birth. Due to the support from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, we recommend all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. All data indicates the vaccine is very effective and safe during pregnancy.
View our helpful decision-making guide
Why should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
If you've already had COVID-19, your body may have built up antibodies to fight future infection. Immunity following infection appears to be long lasting. However, how protected you may be against variants varies. Research from the Rockefeller Institute and the University of Washington shows receiving the vaccine after having COVID-19 substantially enhances your immune response –up to 50-fold –to COVID variants.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have allergies?
If you have severe anaphylaxis or an allergy to one of the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine, please talk to your health care provider. For most people, even those with seasonal allergies or minor food allergies, it is safe, and we highly recommend getting the vaccine.
I am undocumented/do not have an ID Card. Can I get the vaccine?
Yes, even if you cannot provide proof of residency or state identification. All people in the U.S. – regardless of their immigration status – will be able to get vaccinated at no cost.
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