Who will get the vaccine first?

M Health Fairview and other health systems across Minnesota will initially get a limited supply of the vaccine. Until we receive enough doses for all employees and patients, our first vaccines will go to frontline healthcare workers, so they remain safe and able to care for patients across the state. This plan follows guidance from state and federal officials.

Where and where will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

We hope to make the vaccine available to some patients at high risk for COVID-19 infection or complications in early 2021 when more supplies are available. Once we know more, we will share details here.

Is it safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine? How effective are they?

Two COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are both safe and more than 94 percent effective, according to the results of two large clinical trials. The Pfizer vaccine has already received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization, allowing it to be used in the United States. The Moderna vaccine is expected to receive FDA authorization later this month.

How do the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work and how many doses do I need?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not use live or weakened versions of the coronavirus causing COVID-19. Instead, these vaccines have genetic material called mRNA or “messenger RNA” that is taken from the virus. Both vaccines come in two doses. Once you receive both doses of the vaccine, it will likely take several weeks for your body to develop immunity

What are the side effects?

During the clinical trials, only mild to moderate flu-like side effects were reported, including a headache, fatigue, chills, fever, and muscle and joint soreness. Side effects are more likely to occur after the second dose. Most of these symptoms ended three days after the vaccine, or earlier.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccines? Does it use a live virus?

No, it is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use only genetic material from the virus while other vaccines being studied use inactivated versions of the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.

What if I mis my second dose of vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is not effective unless you receive both doses. The first dose of the vaccine helps prepare your immune system and the second dose provides most of the immunity.

Why should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

While we have made some progress in the fight against COVID-19 with public health measures like masking and social distancing, widespread vaccination is the only way that we can stop the pandemic. Not only does getting the vaccine protect you against COVID-19, it also reduces the chances that you will spread it to others, including your family and friends.

If I had COVID-19 should I get the vaccine?

Yes. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 produce antibodies that offer some protection against the virus, but we don’t know enough yet about antibody protection and how long it may last, so we recommend that everyone get the vaccine.

Do I have to continue wearing a mask after I get the vaccine?

Yes. Everyone should wear face masks, wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing, and take other safety steps until more people have received the vaccine, the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide is no longer at pandemic levels, and we understand more about how long these vaccines will protect us.

To learn more about the vaccine, visit M Health Fairview News