LATEST INFORMATION ON
The COVID-19 Vaccine
The COVID-19 Vaccine
This page was last updated on May 10, 2021.
The vaccine is an essential tool in the fight to end the global Coronavirus pandemic. The information below reflects our current recommendations based on our understanding of eligibility, effectiveness, risk factors, and the process to get your shot. Please note that as a rapidly evolving situation, this information may change. Contact your provider if you have questions specific to your status or health.
Our Site Status:
CMMD and Associates has been approved as a vaccination site.
BOOK YOUR SHOT AT OUR
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
Friday, June 18, 2021 • 2:00pm–3:30pm
Saturday, June 19, 2021 • 9:00am–12:00pm
with second doses to follow in July (booked at the time of signup)
Shots will be administered to patients and non-patients by appointment only and while supplies last. Insurance information is requested but if you are uninsured, the vaccine will be no cost to you.
At this time we are administering the Moderna brand only, to people ages 18 and up. If you have received one dose of Moderna somewhere else, you may sign up to receive your second dose from us. If you have received a Pfizer shot, we cannot give you Moderna for your second dose; keep your existing appointment to receive the second Pfizer shot.
Vaccines will be administered in 5-minute appointments at our outside tent, weather permitting. Please arrive 5 to 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, and be prepared to wait 15 to 30 minutes after for allergy/reaction observation (15 minutes if you have no prior allergic history, 30 minutes if you've had an allergic reaction to any medications in the past). For this reason, while your shot may only take 5 minutes to administer, please plan for your total appointment to be up to 45 minutes.
Finally, please do not plan to receive a vaccine shot at our office if you come for a scheduled appointment. Due to the extreme precision of vaccine defrosting, handling, and expiration, we will not be piercing vials during the day for individual patients and risking any left-over doses going to waste. Please book a shot at our clinics. Thank you for your understanding!
Other Vaccine Opportunities
The Chester County Health Department has the latest information on eligibility, local rates of vaccination, and is offering several vaccine clinics. Visit their website for details.
Local pharmacies including Wegmans, CVS and Rite Aid are now offering appointments for vaccines on their websites. If you need assistance, or can offer assistance to someone else in booking an appointment online, considering joining the PA COVID Vaccine Matchmaker Facebook Group here.
If you have been seen at one of the three local health systems (Main Line Health, Penn Medicine, or Tower/Brandywine) it is important that you activate/sign up for the patient portal they use. They'll use that system to notify you when you are eligible for the vaccine. Click here to sign up for our portal >
Our COVID-19 Searchable Question Bank
Below we provide answers to the most common questions we receive about the vaccine. This information was originally created on January 10, 2021 and was last updated on May 1, 2021. As the pandemic and vaccine roll-out is a rapidly evolving situation, newer information may be available; contact your provider if you have questions specific to your status or health.
Will taking Tylenol (or Motrin or ibuprofen) prior to being vaccinated help with any post injection symptoms?
At this time, we do not recommend pre-medicating with Tylenol or other medicines because they may suppress your immune system's response to the vaccine. Instead, monitor your side effects and medicate as needed. (Updated 1/21/2021)
What is considered a history of anaphylactic shock? Some more problematic than others? Allergy shot reactions?
Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious allergic response that often involves swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and in severe cases, shock. This is much more than just an allergic reaction such as rash, etc.
My 16 year old has a history of anaphylaxis d/t a shellfish allergy. Is the shot safe for those with food allergies?
The Pfizer vaccine carries a warning about those with anaphylaxis. They are not absolutely excluded but should have a discussion with their allergist and make the immunizing team aware. The Moderna vaccine doesn't have this warning. Unfortunately, it is not indicated in those under 18 (as of now.) Lastly, remember, that ANAPHYLAXIS is the issue. Not just allergy. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction causing trouble breathing, low blood pressure, etc. This requires emergency treatment and an Epipen. Those are the patients that must take precautions and speak with their allergists.
For those who have a history of severe reactions to flu shots...is a reaction likely with this covid shot?
I would say to expect a reaction even though the mechanism is very different. Pre-medicating with Tylenol etc will help depending on the reaction to the flu vaccine. I would definitely check with your personal doctor and make sure the team immunizing you is aware of the reaction.
If you are high risk and have a history of anaphylactic shock, are there precautions to be taken in order to still get the vaccine?
Yes. First, absolutely discuss it with your allergist. Most of the time, having your Epipen, and making sure the team immunizing you is aware, is enough. It might be worthwhile to also pre-medicate with antihistamines or steroids but definitely a discussion to have with your doctors.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
After you receive the vaccine, an immune response will occur. This does not mean you are sick – it means your immune system is activated and working to produce antibodies that fight off infection, should your body be exposed to that particular virus. This is a good thing! Side effects to be expected/prepared for with the COVID vaccine include a sore injection site, body aches, and less frequently a mild headache or low-grade fever. When they do occur, they usually last about 24 hours. Medicines like Tylenol can be taken as needed to alleviate these symptoms.
Is it correct that the vaccine doesn’t completely protect you against getting and transmitting COVID-19, but it is 95% (+/-) effective in preventing you from getting sick from the virus?
I received the first dose of Pfizer today, and need to return for a second dose. Am I still at risk now? Will I be at risk after the second dose?
About one to two weeks after the first dose, you do have some immunity but could still become infected. In studies, the highest efficacy rates were demonstrated after the second dose. So, it is certainly better than no vaccine, but not as good as it could be.
Can you still transmit the virus to others once you have received both doses of the vaccine?
It would be extremely, extremely unlikely. The vaccines will shut down the ability of the virus to multiply within the host's cells. You must have a living "breathing" virus to infect others. It is NOT correct the vaccine ONLY produces reduced symptoms. Vaccinated people who are exposed to the virus block it from invading their cells therefore, they do not get sick and can't make others sick.
Is there any data on how long we can expect the vaccine to effective / provide protection?
The most recent study I read demonstrated antibody immunity for 8 months. However we also can get T-cell immunity, which can last decades. This is really great news. Stay tuned for more information we will share as it becomes available.
What is your guidance on pregnant women receiving the vaccine?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women DO get the vaccine. While the trials did not include pregnant women, the risk to expectant mothers who get CoVID is higher. So, the benefits, right now, appear to outweigh the risks.
I have an immune disorder (multiple) and regularly on immunosuppressive therapy. The side effects seem complicated and I'm not sure how to approach research and decisions about getting the vaccine I am slated for.
Based on my reading, the risk of CoVID in your case is much higher than the risk of a reaction to the vaccine. I would have a serious discussion with your doctor/rheumatologist or immunologist who manages your treatment.
What is the recommendation for women who are breastfeeding?
There is not a contraindication to the vaccine in nursing moms who meet the other criteria for vaccination.
How long after the 2nd dose of the shingles vaccine should you wait to get the covid vaccine?
I have read 30 days from the timing of another vaccine, but the rationale is not clear. I will read more about it and work to update this answer as soon as possible.
Is there any truth in a waiting period between receiving other vaccines such as pneumonia, shinrax, mmr, etc. and when you can get a covid vaccine?
There is a recommendation I have seen to wait at least 30 days from the time of another vaccine, but I don't know the rationale. I will return to this question to update the answer, but in the meantime please contact your provider so we can review your case individually.
My dad’s assisted living facility in ChesCo has scheduled their vaccines 2 weeks apart instead of the 3-4 weeks CDC recommends. Should I worry about this?
There is a window depending on which vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is 9-21 days. Moderna is precisely 28 days. I have no idea why though. I believe that to maintain state requirements they vaccinators need to stick to those guidelines.
If you have had COVID-19, how long do you have to wait before getting the vaccine?
One of my colleagues had CoVID in April and just got her first dose. She did have significant side effects. The closer you are to the disease, the more likely you will have a strong immune reaction (side effects) to the vaccine. Currently, the recommendations are to wait 90 days from the end of your COVID illness until you get the vaccine.
My in-laws are in their 80s and live in NJ. Could they get the vaccine in another state if it’s available sooner?
Every state and even county within our state of PA has slightly different rules. My team had to fill out an attestation that we lived or worked in Chester County prior to being able to get the vaccine at our local health department. I would doubt that unless they had a residence in the other state that they would be able to. Best to check with the local health department.
What criteria labels you “high risk” and eligible to receive a vaccine in group 1C?
The underlying conditions most often associated with high-risk categories are obesity, diabetes, COPD, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease. This is where it will be somewhat at the discretion of the medical team to determine eligibility. For example, while it is not on this list, I would consider my patients on immunosuppressive medications to be high risk.
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
Eligibility is now open to adults over age 16. Visit the Chester County Health Department website here to read about eligibility.
Is the vaccine currently available to all employees who work in a medical office in Chester County?
Yes, if you are employed in a patient-facing role in a medical practice, you should be able to get the vaccine through the Chesco Health Department or a pharmacy.
Will you contact us when the vaccine is available for very high risk patients? And can their spouse get one as well?
The local health department is currently scheduling vaccines for anyone who would like to receive the shot.
Where is the schedule of when the vaccine groups are eligible to get the shot?
Your local health department is your best source for this information. For Chester County residents, here is a link to the Chester County Health Department's COVID-19 Vaccine information page.
If I had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?
Is there live COVID-19 virus in the vaccine?
The vaccines currently approved do not contain the live COVID virus.
What is emergency use authorization (EUA)?
The Commissioner of the FDA can issue Emergency Use Authorization for medical products, so they can be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases caused by chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear (CBRN) agents when there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives. For more on EUA, please see the FDA's EUA page here.