Nurses make change happen. Be a part of history. #nursesmakechangehappen -- This toolkit was created to give nurses the tools to do their part in the national vaccine effort. It is designed to help you decrease vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates in your community.

With the overwhelming amount of information out there about the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s understandable that many people have questions.
Find these frequently asked questions, know the facts and feel confident when sharing important virus and vaccine information.

 

Understanding the Variants

 

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, new variants emerge. Sometimes new variants disappear and other times they persist. 

The greater risk of spreading the virus is among unvaccinated people who are more likely to get infected, therefore transmit the virus. Learn more about COVID-19 variants by visiting The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. 

 

Q: Are COVID-19 variants a new thing?

A: No. Variants are expected. Viruses, including COVID-19, change constantly through mutation, which sometimes result in a new variant of the original. Some variants emerge and disappear, while others will persist.

 

Q: Do new variants cause more infections and spread faster than the original COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2?

Yes. There are a few variants that are considered variants of concern and variants being monitored, both of which are more contagious and spread faster.

The Delta variant can cause more severe illness in unvaccinated people than previous variants. Delta also has a much greater risk of spreading among both unvaccinated and vaccinated people. When vaccinated people become infected, it’s called a breakthrough infection.

The Omicron is the most common variant in the United States. Researchers are studying Omicron to check how effective tests and vaccines are against it. An Omicron infection may be less severe than previous variants. But if more people contract Omicron, more could also face severe medical conditions.

Q: How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines at preventing infection, serious illness, and death from new variants?

A: COVID-19 vaccines are vital to your protection from serious illness and death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants. Breakthrough infections are possible; however, illness from the infection is typically mild and chance of death is greatly decreased for vaccinated individuals

Q: Are new symptoms associated with the new variants?

A: All COVID-19 variants cause similar symptoms, which may include cough, fatigue, congestion, and runny nose. Some variants, such as Delta, may cause more severe illness.

The COVID-19 Vaccine

 

Q: Do I need a second COVID-19 vaccine booster?

A: The CDC recommends additional boosters for people ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and adults 50 years and older.
Eligibility for 1 booster: Everyone 5 years and older can get 1 booster after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
Eligibility for 2 boosters:
• Adults ages 50 years and older
• Children and adults ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
•People who received 2 doses (1 primary dose and 1 booster) of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

 

Q: When can I get my second booster if I do not fall into the current recommended categories?

A: Second COVID-19 vaccine boosters haven’t yet been recommended for individuals under 50 who are not immunocompromised.
 

The Vaccine and Children

 

 

Q: Should I vaccinate my children?

A: Vaccination helps keep children from getting seriously sick if they get COVID-19. It also allows them to safely participate in school, sports and other group activities.

 

Q: Which vaccines are available for children? 

A: The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated for COVID-19. Children 5 years and older can receive the COVID-19 booster, if eligible. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available in the following dosages.

 

Children age 6 months – 4 years 

Pfizer: 3-dose primary series

Moderna: 2-dose primary series

 

Children 5 years - 17 years

Pfizer: 2 dose primary series

Moderna: 2-dose primary series 

 

 

Q: Is the pediatric vaccine effective and safe? Has it been tested? 

A: Yes. Moderna and Pfizer were required by the FDA to prove that the vaccine was as effective in the youngest age group as it is in the adult age group through a process called immunobridging. The clinical trials found that the antibody numbers were comparable to the older age group with a full series of vaccination, thus proving the pediatric vaccine just as effective as the adult vaccine. Along with being effective, the pediatric vaccines are also safe. Data from clinical trials including thousands of children under age 6 showed no serious side effects and no new safety concerns.

 

Q: What are the possible side effects for children?

A: During clinical trials for the pediatric vaccine, side effects were minimal:

For 6-23 month olds, irritability (65% Moderna vs. 44% Pfizer) and drowsiness (40% Moderna vs. 20% Pfizer) were most common.

For 2-5 year olds, pain at injection site were most common (60-70% Moderna vs. 27% Pfizer), followed by fatigue.

1 in 4 children experienced a fever with the Moderna vaccine, and side effects were more common after the second dose. 1 in 20 experienced a fever with the Pfizer vaccine. Side effects were more common after the third dose.

 

Q: If my child has already had COVID-19, do they need to be vaccinated?

A: Antibodies from having COVID-19 only last for around 3 months. After that period of time, antibodies from having the illness will no longer provide protection. Being fully vaccinated provides better protection for your children. Speak with your child's nurse or pediatrician to determine the best time for your child to get vaccinated.

 

Q: I have been vaccinated and still caught COVID-19. If there is still a chance that my child can still get COVID-19, why should they be vaccinated?

A: Breakthrough infections are not uncommon with any vaccine. Vaccines provide protection from the possibility of severe illness when infected with the virus and make symptoms minor compared to an infection in an unvaccinated individual.

 

 

The Vaccine and Pregnancy

 

Q: Who should get the vaccine?

A: The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated for COVID-19. People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future should get vaccinated and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a COVID-19 booster shot when eligible.

 

Q: Why should I get the vaccine?

A: Data suggest that the vaccine reduces infection rates, and in break through cases, the vaccination may make symptoms less severe. They show protection against severe illness and hospitalization. The greatest risk for transmission remains among unvaccinated people.

 

Q: Is the vaccine safe?

A: Yes, it was tested in clinical trials with more than 100,00 participants.

Q: How was the vaccine developed so far?

A: Researchers began developing the science behind the COIVD-19 vaccine in the early 2000s.

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