Covid Vaccine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
Which vaccines have been FDA approved for COVID-19?
The FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place to facilitate development and ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of COVID-19 vaccines. As of August 23, 2021, the FDA has issued full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 16+.
The previously issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those ages 12 to 15 and third doses for the immunocompromised, as well as EUAs for COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, remain in effect. An EUA gives the FDA authority to allow unapproved medical products to be used in emergencies when no approved alternatives are available. Other COVID-19 vaccines are in development and will be reviewed by the FDA under EUA. Find the current status of the vaccine approvals and EUAs.
What is the role of CVS Health in administering COVID-19 vaccines?
CVS Health has administered more than 32 million COVID-19 tests and 34 million COVID-19 vaccines. The Company maintains a strong commitment to vaccine and testing equity and continues to optimize site locations and targeted outreach initiatives in order to reach vulnerable populations.
Who qualifies for a booster shot?
The following guidelines have been set by the ACIP and CDC:
- People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series
- People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series
- People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risk
- People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series
For additional information about booster eligibility, please visit the CDC website.
What should people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine do?
At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster recommendation only applies to people whose primary series was Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine may also be recommended to receive booster shot. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) booster shots are expected in the coming weeks. Visit the CDC website for more information and updates.
When can eligible populations receive their booster?
Effective Friday, September 24, booster shots are available at select CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and District of Columbia.
Is the booster covered by insurance?
Yes, the booster is available at no cost to any eligible patient either through insurance or a federal program for the uninsured.
How can eligible populations receive their booster at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic?
Patients interested in receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster are strongly encouraged to make an appointment at CVS.com or MinuteClinic.com. Advanced scheduling is recommended for patients looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from a specific manufacturer to ensure that it is available at the clinic of their choice. At this time, each participating CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic is offering either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, not all three.
What do I need to do/know about the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine?
The FDA and the CDC are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. At this time, the available data suggests that the chance of developing a rare blood disorder – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) – is very low, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
For women between the ages of 18 and 49, this adverse event is rare, occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare. Women younger than 50 should be aware that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.
Patients who receive the Janssen vaccine should monitor for severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath for 2 weeks after administration.
If experiencing symptoms, patients should contact their healthcare provider.
The Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are offered in select CVS locations. Find locations and schedule your appointment.
What do I need to know about the COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant?
According to the CDC, COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States and variants are circulating. You can take steps to protect yourself from the virus and its variants by getting a COVID-19 vaccine and taking other safety precautions including avoiding crowds and washing your hands often. For more information, please see the CDC's page on variants.
Can my 12-15 child receive the COVID-19 vaccine at CVS Pharmacy?
Yes, all children ages 12 – 15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at CVS Pharmacy, beginning Thursday, provided there is parental or legal guardian consent and the child is accompanied by an adult.
Because the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is currently the only authorized vaccine for children in this age group, we recommend making an appointment online at cvs.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app at a nearby location that has the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to ensure there is adequate supply and availability. Walk-ins are also accepted. Our online scheduling tool will only display appointments at locations that have the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine once the patient’s age is provided. Read more in the FAQ section of our COVID-19 vaccine for kids page.
How can I be sure that my local CVS Pharmacy offers the Pfizer vaccine for my child ages 12 – 15?
At this time, our CVS Pharmacy locations that are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine have either the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine – not more than one type at this time. Patients are able to see which CVS Pharmacy location has which vaccine and appointment availability on CVS.com before scheduling, which is recommended especially when looking for an appointment for children ages 12 – 15 that require the Pfizer vaccine. Our online scheduling tool will only display appointments at locations that have the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine once the patient’s age is provided.
Is parental consent required for patients ages 12- 17 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, a parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration on cvs.com for minors seeking the COVID-19 vaccine. An adult must accompany children ages 12 – 15 to the appointment at CVS Pharmacy, but does not need to accompany teens ages 16 and older, unless required by local or state law.
Who is administering the vaccines? Pharmacists? Pharmacy technicians? Other health care providers?
CVS Health immunizers include pharmacists, pharmacy interns and trained pharmacy technicians, as well as other qualified health care professionals depending on each state’s specific regulations. All CVS Health immunizers are certified according to company requirements, trained in the administration of immunizations, and hold an active CPR certification.
Why is it important to get the second shot for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine?
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have two doses, with the second dose coming a few weeks after the first. Pfizer-BioNTech’s second dose comes three weeks after the first, and Moderna’s comes four weeks later. The second dose gives people a strong, long-lasting immunity. While these two vaccines include a second dose, the Janssen vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) requires one dose.
Can patients choose which COVID-19 vaccine they receive at CVS Pharmacy?
At this time, our select CVS Pharmacy locations that are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible populations have either the Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine - not more than one type at this time. Patients will be able to see which CVS Pharmacy location has which vaccine and appointment availability on cvs.com before scheduling. Depending on which vaccine you receive, you will be prompted to schedule a second dose if needed.
Are patients being charged for the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine is no cost with insurance or through a federal program for the uninsured.
Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. This data demonstrates that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID 19. CVS Health is only administering vaccines that have been authorized for use by the FDA and our COVID-19 vaccination services are being conducted in compliance with CDC guidance for safe delivery of vaccines.
What kind of side effects should people expect from the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to the CDC, you may have some side effects following the COVID-19 vaccine, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects include pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot, and fever, chills, tiredness and headache throughout the rest of your body.
How is CVS Health prepared to deal with possible allergic reactions to the vaccine?
CVS Health immunizers are trained in the safe administration of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the FDA, including identifying and treating allergic reactions. The vaccination procedures include a patient screening checklist to assess the risk of reaction. All patients are monitored for 15 minutes after administration injection, or longer for people with a history of severe allergic reactions. Our immunizers are equipped with appropriate medications, such as epinephrine and antihistamines. Further information on COVID-19 Vaccines and allergic reactions can be found here
What is the Federal Pharmacy Program and how does it work?
On February 2, 2021, the CDC announced the next phase of the vaccination program – the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. As part of this program, CVS Health is receiving vaccine allocations supply from the federal government and is now vaccinating eligible populations in 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
What does the CDC recommend for people who have been fully vaccinated?
On May 13, the CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people including new guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Read the full guidance.
Am I able to book my first and second dose in two different locations?
Yes, when scheduling an appointment on CVS.com, patients are given a choice of where they’d like to schedule their two appointments (if required).
What type of reminders does CVS Pharmacy send to patients in advance of their scheduled appointments?
Patients receive email and text confirmations for each scheduled dose, as well as reminders that are sent 7 days and 2 days out, and a check-in reminder 15 mins prior to each appointment.
Is MinuteClinic offering the COVID-19 vaccine?
Beginning June 18, customers and patients 18 years of age and older will also be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at select MinuteClinic locations in 14 states and Washington, DC. These new locations are in addition to the more than 9,600 CVS Pharmacy locations that are offering the vaccine across all 50 states.
For a list of eligible MinuteClinic locations, click here.
What COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at MinuteClinic?
At this time, MinuteClinic is only offering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). We look to offer other brands of the COVID-19 vaccine in the future.
How can you schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine at MinuteClinic? Are walk-ins allowed?
COVID-19 vaccines are currently available to all patients 18 and older at participating MinuteClinic locations. Currently, customers can walk-in to a participating MinuteClinic location and register for an appointment at the kiosk outside the clinic or add-on the vaccine if they are visiting the clinic for another health care service. Soon, patients will also be able to schedule a vaccine on-line at MinuteClinic.com.
*FOR COVID-19 VACCINE COST: The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available at select CVS Pharmacy® locations and is no cost with most insurance plans or through a federal program for the uninsured.
*FOR WALK-INS: Subject to vaccine availability.
*FOR $5 OFF $20 SHOPPING PASS: Offer available August 15, 2021 through December 31, 2021 while supplies last. Limit one per customer per vaccine visit. For vaccines that require two doses, the shopping pass will be given with vaccine series completion. Merchandise coupon redeemable at CVS Pharmacy® and Longs Drugs® for one-time use. Terms and conditions apply. See coupon for details. $5 savings applied to total qualifying minimum purchase of $20 (after other coupons and discounts are applied). Reward cannot be earned in AR, NJ or NY. Offer not valid at MinuteClinic® locations in MA, NJ, NY, PA and RI. Coupon cannot be issued or redeemed at CVS Pharmacy at Target or CVS Pharmacy at Schnucks® locations. ExtraCare® card required to receive savings.
*FOR MINUTECLINIC AVAILABILITY: Vaccine available at select MinuteClinic® locations. Find eligible clinics.
*FOR SIDE EFFECTS: All CVS Health® immunizers will be certified according to company requirements and trained in the administration of immunizations, and will hold an active CPR certification.
*FOR CDC RECOMMENDATIONS AND SOURCING: Learn more about CDC data sources, exclusions and estimates.
*FOR VACCINE ADMINISTRATION GUIDELINES: All CVS Health certified immunizers are trained in the administration of vaccines and hold an active CPR certification.