About the Vaccine
About the Vaccine:
As the COVID-19 virus and its variants (changes from the original genetic code) continue to spread across the world, it is imperative that we remain diligent in our efforts to help stop the pandemic. Variants of the virus are believed to be substantially more transmissible from person to person and cause more severe disease than the original dominant strain of COVID-19. Vaccination is an important tool to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 and its variants.
What vaccines are available?
The Pfizer, Moderna, and now Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Millennium has the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to administer to MPG patients who contact one of the vaccine clinics listed here.
Should I receive a booster shot?
COVID-19 booster vaccines are now available from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
On November 19, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines, authorizing use of a single booster dose for all individuals 18 years of age and older, after completion of primary vaccination with any FDA-authorized and CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccine.
In line with the EUA expansion, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends COVID-19 booster vaccines for all three vaccines available in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson; all adults 18 or older are eligible for a booster shot.
- Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna: Six months after completing the primary 2-dose vaccination series.
- Johnson & Johnson/Janssen: Two months after receiving the primary single-shot vaccine.
We recommend all our patients who are eligible for the booster get the vaccine from whatever reliable source they can. Florida has many sites providing COVID-19 vaccines. Click here to locate a vaccine site near you.
Can I "mix and match" vaccines and booster shots?
The approved mix-and-match policy means that any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. can be taken as a booster shot, regardless of which vaccine a person had for their primary vaccination.
Are vaccines available for children at this time?
On May 12th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced its endorsement of COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 12 and over. At this time, the only approved vaccine for this age group is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. While studies are underway to determine the safety and efficacy of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Jansson vaccines in children, neither are currently authorized for use with individuals under 18. As such, Millennium is not able to offer COVID-19 vaccination to anyone under 18 at this time.
Children are less likely to contract COVID-19 and generally experience less severe illness than adults. However, infected children can still transmit the virus especially if they are asymptomatic. Vaccination of children 12 and over will get the U.S. closer to herd immunity and may help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect more vulnerable individuals. Parents whose children are aged 12 and over are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their child’s primary care provider as soon as possible.
Currently, Winn Dixie and CVS pharmacies are offering the Pfizer-BioNTech for children in this age group.
What are common side effects of the vaccine?
Some people experience side effects following COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects are generally mild and indicate the vaccine is working to help your body build immunity against the virus. Vaccine side effects are temporary and should subside within a few days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling on the arm where you received the vaccination. You might also feel feverish, tired, or have a headache, muscle pain, or experience the chills.
Reports of a rare but severe type of blood clot, Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome, have been reported following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson Jannson COVID-19 vaccine. The reports prompted the CDC to temporarily halt administration of the vaccine. Following a safety review, the CDC and FDA lifted the pause but revised the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 patient fact sheet to include information about the risk of this syndrome. You can view that fact sheet and fact sheets for the other vaccines below.
Click Below for Vaccine Manufacturer Fact Sheets:
Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations Safety: Benefits Outweigh Risks
The CDC and the FDA lifted the pause in vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson’s/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. This action was based on thorough review of all available data as of April 21, 2021, concluding that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. The federal agencies do recommend women younger than 50 years old be aware of a rare and severe type of blood clot combined with low blood platelet levels.“
These adverse events are extremely rare, affecting approximately four to 10 out of every 1,000,000 people vaccinated with J&J, ”clarifies Millennium’s Chief Medical Officer Alejandro Perez-Trepichio.
Currently, the observation period is recommended to be up to three weeks following the J&J vaccine administration (generally six to 13 days post vaccination.) Patients should immediately contact your Millennium healthcare provider or regular provider if you develop any of the following symptoms within three weeks after receiving the J&J vaccine:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection
In line with the CDC and FDA recommendations, Millennium will immediately resume administering the J&J vaccine as supplies permit. If you are a woman younger than 50 years old, the CDC reminds you that other COVID-19 vaccine options are available. Millennium will continue administering the Moderna vaccine without interruption.
“We continue to strongly urge all of our patients to consider getting vaccinated through Millennium or any other reliable vaccination site, as this remains crucial in achieving herd immunity and potentially ending the Pandemic once and for all,” adds Dr. Perez-Trepichio.
CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines, and Millennium will update you on any changes.
Posted April 29, 2021
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
Does the vaccine cause Bell’s palsy?
Cases of Bell’s palsy were reported in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider these to be above the rate expected in the general population. They have not concluded these cases were caused by vaccination. Therefore, persons who have previously had Bell’s Palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. The CDC recommends you wait 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 before getting the vaccine.
Can you get the vaccine if you have recently had another vaccination such as flu or pneumonia vaccine?
You should wait a minimum of 30 days after another vaccine before getting the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Will the vaccine be covered by my insurance?
You may be subject to a copay toward the administration of the vaccine, depending on your insurance. Contact your insurance carrier for more information.