Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country and locally, Linn County has closed most buildings to the public to help reduce community spread of the virus and to help ensure continuity of County services.
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The first few shipments of vaccine arrived in mid-December. This limited supply was given to people most at risk. This included healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. More shipments of vaccine are expected in the following weeks and months, eventually making vaccine available to anyone who wants it. Linn County Public Health will share information about when vaccine will be given to more groups within the general public once that information is available from federal and state partners.
Yes. With more shipments of vaccine expected in the following months, vaccine will eventually be available to anyone who wants it. Linn County Public Health will share information about when vaccine will be given to more groups within the general public once that information is available from federal and state partners.
Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended the first shipments of vaccine for healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. More shipments of vaccine are expected in the following weeks and months, eventually making vaccine available to anyone who wants it. Linn County Public Health will share information about when vaccine will be given to more groups within the general public once that information is available from federal and state partners.
Priority groups are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) when vaccine supply is limited. ACIP presents their recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ACIP identified several goals for recommending priority groups while vaccine supply is limited:
Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), with input from the Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC), will provide more recommendations for who should get vaccine next. This guidance is to help reduce health inequities from geography, poverty, and other social determinants.
Linn County Public Health will share information about when vaccine will be given to more groups within the general public once that information is available from federal and state partners.
Because vaccines work with your immune system, your body will be better prepared to fight COVID-19. This will help keep you from getting seriously ill if you are exposed to COVID-19.
No. If you are getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you should not receive other vaccines at that time. It’s recommended you should wait 14 days before, or after, getting other vaccines before receiving a vaccine for COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines are not currently approved for young children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not approved for people under the age of 16. The Moderna vaccine is not approved for people under the age of 18. Clinical trials to study how well the vaccine works have not been completed in infants, toddlers or kids in the Unites States.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the vaccine.
Vaccine is currently only available to hospitals and long-term care facilities. When we have more vaccine, it will likely be available through medical providers and retail pharmacies.
Licensed providers interested in dispensing vaccine must complete an application from the Iowa Department of Public Health to administer COVID-19 vaccine. More information will be shared as healthcare provider applications are completed and prepared for public roll out.
Vaccine paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost (free). Providers that participate in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program agree to give the vaccine regardless of someone’s ability to pay or their insurance status. In some cases, a provider may charge a small fee to you or your health insurance for the administration of the vaccine, but they must not ask to be reimbursement from a vaccine recipient.
Safety is the top priority for any vaccine. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people showed it worked as intended with no serious side effects. New vaccines go through a series of tests during clinical trials. This data is then reviewed to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective. This is the process of all vaccines that come to market and the process to develop COVID-19 vaccines have been no different.
Several different vaccines have been developed for COVID-19. A few of them have made it through clinical trials and have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some are still in clinical trials. Typically, at least 3,000 study participated are vaccinated in each clinical trial for a vaccine.
Most people will have some sort of reaction to the vaccine. This is normal and happens because your body is building an immune response. People may experience headaches, muscle pain, chills, fatigue and pain at the injection site.
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not give you COVID-19. Vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as a sore arm or fever. These symptoms are normal and a sign the body is building immunity. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
No. Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the U.S., along with vaccines that have recently been approved for use in the U.S., will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently working to assess how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
As is the length of time someone who was ill with COVID-19 remains immune, how long COVID-19 vaccine gives someone immunity is also not yet known. Data from clinical trials will be used to find out how long immunity will last and if a yearly booster dose of vaccine will be needed. As experts continue to study the vaccine, we will continue to learn more. However, building immunity from a vaccine is a much safer option.
The first COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in the U.S. require two doses. Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be given 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine should be given 28 days apart. The different vaccine products will NOT be interchangeable. The second dose must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose received.
Early evidence suggests that it is not very common for someone to get reinfected with COVID-19 during the first 90 days after they were first infected with the virus. Although more studies are needed to better understand how long this natural immunity lasts, people who have recovered from COVID-19 and meet the criteria for coming out of isolation should get a vaccine when they are available. We will continue to update this information as it becomes available.
The protection someone gets from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies depending on the disease and from person to person. Since this virus is new, it is unknown how long natural immunity will last. As experts continue to study both the virus and the vaccines, we will continue to learn more. However, building immunity from a vaccine is a much safer option than to risk the complications from becoming ill from COVID-19.
At this time, experts do not know what percentage of people need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity to COVID-19. “Herd immunity” is when enough people have protection from either a previous infection, or have had a vaccination for that infection, to prevent the spread of an illness among the community. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.
No. Until we learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real life conditions, continuing to use all available tools to help stop this pandemic, like wearing masks, washing hands often and social distancing all remain important. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how much the virus is spreading in a community, will also impact future recommendations. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
The Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS) is a tool that has been used by vaccine providers for many years. IRIS provides computerized tracking of immunizations for children, adolescents and adults who are seen in a variety of public and private health settings throughout the state. The IRIS program is able to document individual immunizations, track vaccine usage and vaccine distribution. Learn more
Linn County providers should contact Julie Stephens for assistance. Providers outside of Linn County should follow instructions for healthcare providers on the Iowa Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage: https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Vaccine