COVID-19 Vaccine

Note: This webpage is updated weekly.                                                                                                                                           Last updated: May 13, 2021

May 13 2021

COVID-19 VACCINE Q&A

How do I get the vaccine with Nicollet County?

Contact Jessalyn Mercado by emailing jessalyn.mercado@co.nicollet.mn.us or calling 507-934-8557. 

You can also use Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector tool to find out when, where, and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

How do we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?

COVID-19 vaccine development requirements are the same as for all other vaccines. Experts from federal agencies, including the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), review the information collected during the vaccine manufacturers’ testing process to determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective.

Experts continue tracking vaccine safety information once vaccines are given in real-life conditions to make sure they are working as expected.

Will the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations protect me from new strains of COVID-19?

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson continue to run tests but all manufacturers believe that their vaccines are effective against the new variants of COVID-19. 

Are there any side effects from getting the vaccine?

The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects are most likely to occur one or two days after getting the vaccine. Although most people will not have significant side effects, some people may wish to schedule their vaccination to allow for a day or two of rest afterward. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that your immune system is working well.

Can I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant, breastfeeding, and/or immunocompromised?

It is important to know that for some populations -- like people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and/or immunocompromised — we don’t have much information about the safety or how well the vaccine works, or it hasn’t been studied yet. In these circumstances, people may be vaccinated but should speak with their health care provider so they understand what is known about their situation and vaccination.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect your fertility?

A disinformation campaign has been circulating online, claiming that antibodies to the spike protein of COVID-19 produced from the COVID-19 vaccines will bind to placental proteins and prevent pregnancy.

While there are no formal studies, the best evidence comes from women who got sick with COVID-19 while pregnant. While data clearly indicate pregnant women are at higher risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection, there is no evidence of increased miscarriage rates.

During natural infection, the immune system generates the same antibodies to the spike protein that COVID-19 vaccines would. Thus, if COVID-19 affected fertility, there already would be an increase in miscarriage rates in women infected with COVID-19. This has not happened.

Learn more: COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked – Mayo Clinic Health System

Do I have to get two doses of vaccine?

Two doses are needed for the two COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The time between the doses depends on the vaccine you are getting. The Pfizer vaccine must be given 21 days (3 weeks) apart and the Moderna vaccine must be given 28 days apart (1 month/4 weeks).

It is very important that someone gets both vaccine doses, the same product for each dose, and that the doses are given at the correct time apart. The vaccine is only fully effective with both doses of the vaccine. If someone only gets one dose, they may not be protected (immune) against COVID-19. It is okay if you get the vaccine within four days of the 21 or 28-day mark (depending on which vaccine you get).

Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No, there are no live viruses in the COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. However, by getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from getting a severe case of COVID-19.

How much does a COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine itself is free. (The federal government has pre-paid for doses for all Americans.) By law, healthcare systems and clinics are allowed to charge vaccine administration fees and/or clinic visit fees. These fees will likely be covered by your insurance. If you receive your vaccine at a community clinic offered by Nicollet County Health and Human Services, your insurance will not be charged for an administration fee. 

Will I still have to wear a mask and physically distance myself from others once I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, we will all need to continue to wear masks and practice other prevention steps for some time -- even after receiving the vaccine. This is because, at this time, scientists are not yet certain that the vaccines prevent asymptomatic virus spread (i.e., you could get the vaccine but still get infected and spread the virus with mild to no symptoms). When public health experts know more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide, they will update the prevention recommendations.

For now, steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include physically distancing (6 feet), wearing face masks, staying home when sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands frequently.

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?