Your Questions Answered

There’s a lot of information available about the coronavirus vaccines, and we know it can be difficult to sift through. As a community health advocate, K21 wants to support the education process by providing you with up-to-date and fact-based insight into the development, distribution, and effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. Your questions should be answered.

How do I begin the vaccination process?

To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, click here or call 574-347-4256.

To find a vaccination site, click here.

For more information about which vaccines are available, as well as their efficacy rates, click here.

Who qualifies for the vaccines?

In Indiana, anyone age 12 and older may now schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Click here to register or call 574-347-4256 for assistance.

Which vaccine should I get?

All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another, so you may get any vaccine that is available when you are eligible. Keep in mind some vaccines require two doses.

Learn more about your COVID-19 vaccination, including what to expect at your appointment.

What does a vaccine cost?

The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot charge you for the vaccine or deny vaccination.

What are the most common side effects of the vaccines?

Common side effects are soreness, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. These effects are normal signs that your body is building protection.

Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19. Even after recovering from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—to be infected with the virus again. If you received specialized treatment during your COVID-19 infection, consult with your doctor to determine the best timing and course of action for getting vaccinated.

Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Should I get vaccinated if I have an underlying condition?

Vaccination is an important consideration for people of any age who have underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People with underlying medical conditions can receive vaccination as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. However, consult your doctor before proceeding.

Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions.

Who is most vulnerable to COVID-19?

The risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with the greatest risk among those age 85 or older. Older adults are also at greater risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. Other factors can also increase your risk for severe illness, such as having certain underlying medical conditions like chronic kidney disease or COPD. By understanding the factors that make you most vulnerable, you can decide which kind of precautions to take in your daily life.

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am currently pregnant or breastfeeding?

Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. However, there is currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people. Early data from the vaccine safety monitoring systems are preliminary, but reassuring.

What is Emergency Use Authorization, and what does it mean for the COVID-19 vaccines?

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize either the use of an unapproved medical product or the unapproved use of an approved medical product during an emergency. The EUA outlines how the COVID-19 vaccines should be used and conditions that must be met. The FDA coordinates with the CDC to confirm these “conditions of authorization.” Additionally, when the FDA issued guidelines for the EUA, it set the efficacy minimum at 50 percent. All three vaccines available for use in the United States far exceed that threshold.

What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity, or community immunity, means that enough people in a population are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease, or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it difficult for the virus to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns and those with chronic illnesses. While experts don’t yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, vaccination is a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19.

Register to Get Vaccinated

Frequently Asked Questions
for Parents

Can my children get vaccinated?

There are three vaccines currently approved for adults, but only one vaccine—Pfizer—approved for adolescents 12 years and older. Research shows these new vaccines are remarkably effective and safe.

Do the vaccines affect children or young adults differently?

Although no vaccines are yet approved for anyone under age 12, children tend to have a very active immune systems. This means they may react differently to vaccines than adults. Children may have a stronger or longer-lasting response. Reactions to a vaccine, however, are a sign that the immune system is working. For more information about vaccine side effects, click here.

How do I talk to my teen or young adult about vaccines?

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone 12 years old and older, it’s important to have conversations with your teen or young adult about their options. While vaccinating the younger population protects others, it also helps to stop further mutations.

For adolescents 12 years and older, only one vaccine is currently approved, Pfizer. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for anyone 18 years and older. These vaccines are safe and effective, but if parents have any personal questions about the vaccines, they should talk to their child’s doctor.

How do I talk to my younger children about vaccines?

It’s important to maintain a sense of optimism and hopeful patience. It’s critical that children understand that vaccines don’t mean an immediate end to the pandemic, but that when paired with safety precautions like mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hygiene, they could help us get the spread of the virus under control. Currently, only one vaccine is approved for use in children 12 years and older, Pfizer. Soon, your child may be eligible for vaccination.

Have a question that’s not on our list? Let us know
or check out the Myths & Facts page for more information.

Want to Learn More?

Check out our other resources—including blogs, external sources, and downloadable content—to dive deeper into COVID-19 vaccine research and information.

View More COVID-19 Resources

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