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COVID-19 Vaccine

The safety of WellMed/USMD/Optum Florida patients continues to be our first priority. Deciding to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 is a personal choice. Like any medical decision, you are encouraged to consult with your doctor before obtaining the vaccine.

List of statewide public COVID-19 vaccination sites available

A list of public COVID-19 vaccination sites is available courtesy of the CDC. Please visit vaccines.gov/search/ (Opens in new window) to find a list of locations offering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligible individuals can receive a vaccine at these locations, regardless of where they reside. Check for appointment availability through the registration website or by calling if a website is not available.

The Vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is given via two doses 21 days apart. This vaccine is recommended for people 12 years and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for children between the ages of 5 and 11 years. The pediatric vaccine is given via two doses 21 days apart.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is given via two doses 28 days apart. This vaccine is recommended for people 18 years and older.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is given via one dose. This vaccine is recommended for people 18 years and older.

If you get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, it is critical that both the first and second dose are from the same manufacturer. If you miss the second dose, you should receive the second shot as soon as possible. You do not need to restart the entire series.

Vaccine Booster

We remind everyone to get their COVID booster vaccination. We also encourage those who have not received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses to do so as soon as possible.

We make this recommendation based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which strongly recommends that people 18 and older get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine six months after their first series of Pfizer or Moderna. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster dose two months after the first shot.

Booster vaccines are especially important with the discovery of the Omicron variant. According to the CDC, early data suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

People who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination should do so as soon as possible to develop immunity and prevent serious illness.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested. Testing, along with prevention strategies, helps stop the spread of the coronavirus and aids in tracking related variants.

For more information, please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html (Opens in new window).

Monoclonal Antibody Infusion

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat patients with COVID-19. The treatments are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses. Using this treatment early may lead to better outcomes.

Eligibility – Individuals must meet all criteria below to be eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy.

  • 12 years of age and older
  • Weight of at least 88 pounds
  • Test positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms
  • Experienced symptom onset within the last 10 days
  • High risk for severe illness or hospitalization from COVID-19 (over age 65, obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, immunosuppressive disease or treatment, etc. For a complete list, please visit cdc.gov (Opens in new window).)

Vaccination is still recommended.

Monoclonal antibody treatments are NOT replacements for vaccination. However, people who have never been or have not been fully vaccinated should wait 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibody treatment before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Like the COVID-19 vaccination, there is no cost for monoclonal antibody treatment. It may be offered as an at-home treatment in certain areas.

If you have questions, please speak with your health care provider.

Vaccine Side Effects

Mild to moderate injection site pain is common.

After vaccination, some people may experience symptoms for 24-48 hours. These symptoms may include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, joint pain, and low-grade fever. The symptoms most often occur on the day after the injection. These symptoms may be similar to those experienced after the shingles vaccine but are not a sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Most of the symptoms are mild, and resolve quickly after 24 to 48 hours.

Safety

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. It contains no virus whatsoever (live, dead, or even virus particles). It contains the instructions that tell your body to make a protein that “looks” like the SARS-CoV-2 virus protein to trick your body into creating antibodies that fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Taken with other vaccines

We do not recommend that you receive any other vaccines at the same time you are vaccinated for COVID-19. Our current recommendation is that you wait for 14 days after receiving your COVID vaccine before receiving another type of vaccination.

Getting vaccine after having COVID-19

Yes, you should get the vaccine, even if you had the virus, as it will give you even more protection. However, since re-infection is unlikely to occur in the first 90 days after an infection, we are asking that you wait until 90 days have passed after having tested positive to obtain the vaccine.

Need to continue masking/social distancing

Even after getting the vaccine, you will still have to wear a mask and social distance. Although you will have some protection after the vaccine, you may still be able to pass the virus on to others who are not protected. All protocols regarding masking and social distancing will still be in place until the pandemic improves globally, as per CDC recommendations.

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