COVID-19 Vaccine

Home Covid-19 Info COVID-19 Vaccine

The current vaccines available in the US (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) are all effective at preventing severe disease (hospitalization or death) for the current circulating variants including Delta. The concern for the Delta variant is primarily for those who are unvaccinated. Breakthrough infections can occur in vaccinated individuals, but symptoms are usually mild.

Currently variant testing is only available through the hospitals for patients with severe Covid-19 infection.

**At this point, Capital Medical Clinic is not providing routine Covid booster shots. Doing so would divert our staff’s limited time and resources from effectively providing many other valuable services for our patients. 

FAQs

Does CMC currently have any Covid-19 vaccines available?

No, we are currently out of vaccine; however, it is widely available at pharmacies throughout Travis and surrounding counties.

Any Covid-19 updates including Capital Medical Clinic vaccine availability will be posted on our website home page. In order to keep our phone lines open for patients calling for acute problems, please refer to our website periodically for the most updated information.

For more on the CDC recommendations regarding an additional Covid-19 vaccine dose, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

What is Covid vaccine booster?

A Covid vaccine booster is simply an additional shot of the same vaccine. For example, if your first two Covid shots were Pfizer, a booster is getting a third Pfizer shot. Boosters are not a different strength or formulation of the vaccines.

Why are boosters being given?

For two reasons. 
 
First, some people with weakened immune systems might not have achieved a sufficient immune response to their first two Covid shots. Common examples of this situation are people on medicines to suppress their immune system to treat autoimmune diseases or to prevent rejection of an organ transplant. For such individuals, receiving a third shot will improve their immune system’s capacity to respond to Covid if they encounter it. 
 
The second reason for boosters is to restore immune protection from Covid that may wane over time. Thus far the biggest concern about waning protection is with the Pfizer vaccine. CDC data from September showed that beyond 120 days after the second dose of Pfizer, effectiveness of protection from hospitalization fell from 91 percent down to 77 percent. A study from Israel showed that among people 60 years or older who had been vaccinated 5 months earlier, those who had received a third shot of Pfizer were 19.5 times less likely to have severe Covid than those who had only received two shots.  

Who Needs an Additional (Booster) COVID-19 Vaccine?

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Click this direct link for more on the booster: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

Can you mix and match the vaccines?

For those patients receiving a booster,  it is recommended that the third dose be from the same manufacturer (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) as their initial vaccine series. However, if the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses and the third dose should not be administered within 4 weeks of getting the second vaccine.

For the most up to date information, refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/.

Can I get my flu shot and Covid booster at the same time?

Yes. The CDC states it is safe to do so.

Which vaccines are authorized and recommended in the US?

As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine.CDC will provide information on who is and is not recommended to receive each vaccine and what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness.

Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech – approved for patients 12 years and older
  • Moderna – approved for 18 years and older
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)- approved for 18 years and older

What are the differences between the three authorized and recommended vaccines?

See https://www.astho.org/COVID-19/Pfizer-Moderna-Vaccine-Comparison/ for a compact but thorough comparison chart.

How does COVID-19 mRNA vaccine work?

The COVID-19 virus uses mRNA to produce the spike protein that forms the outer layer of the virus. The spike protein in the virus generates an immune response. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of the spike protein, our immune system recognizes it does not belong and begins making antibodies. The advantage of an mRNA vaccine is that it generates a stronger type of immunity –making antibodies and immune system killer cells – a double strike against viruses. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. (For more information, click Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC)

Who should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol), you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.*
  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredientexternal icon in the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (such as polysorbate), you should not get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital. Experts refer to severe allergic reactions as anaphylaxis. Learn about common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and when to call a doctor.

**An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within 4 hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress).

If I have antibodies to COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

People who have had COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated. Re-infection is possible. Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until there is more data. Click here for more information.

How long before I am considered fully vaccinated?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each take 2 weeks after the second dose to reach maximum protection. For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s 4 weeks. Although vaccinations are accelerating, CDC estimates that just 9.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized for emergency use.

If I am fully vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?

CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people you do not live with.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

If I am fully vaccinated, can I now safely gather with others?

For public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, refer to these links (CDC revised July 28, 2021):

-cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

-https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html