Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is FDA approved for those 16 and older.
All Oregonians age 12 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine now
Sky Lakes regularly updates our coronavirus vaccine and resources pages to provide information that is as accurate as possible.
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Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
The Vaccines are approved by the FDA for emergency use. This is not the same as standard FDA approval. This means that the FDA trusts that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe to use on the general population in an emergency and will continue to monitor the vaccines for Safety and efficacy.
Protocols for the COVID-19 vaccines to be approved for emergency use requires extensive research and testing. This requires manufacturers to follow at least half of their study participants (participants consented to the study. In the case of Pfizer, they followed at least 21,500 out of the 43,000 consenting participants). In addition to the safety review by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization convened a panel of vaccine safety experts to independently evaluate the safety data from the clinical trials. Mayo Clinic vaccine experts also review the available data. Since the vaccines have been approved for emergency use, they have been closely monitored for safety and efficacy by the FDA and the CDC. These vaccines have received some of the highest levels of testing in history.
The FDA is working with the companies creating these vaccines to ensure they are safe for consumers. You can read the FDA’s statements regarding the effectiveness of emergency authorized (EUA) vaccines and their commitment to ensuring the health and safety of Americans at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-issues-policies-guide-medical-product-developers-addressing-virus
Call our Vaccination Scheduling Center
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccine appointment through MyChart.
Walk-in at our COVID-19 vaccination site
Get vaccinated at a Sky Lakes Pharmacy on the first floor of the medical center or in Holiday Market downtown
None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Additionally, allergic reactions to the vaccines are rare. That said, we do ask that you stay at the site where you received your vaccine for at least 15 minutes to monitor for any potential allergic reaction.
There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and non-life threatening and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The early phase studies of the Pfizer vaccine show that it is safe; About 15% of people developed short lived symptoms at the site of the injection; 50% developed systemic reactions primarily headache, chills, fatigue or muscle pain or fever lasting for a day or two.
As many have discovered, the mRNA vaccines developed to prevent COVID-19 have more reactions compared to previous vaccines.
Here is a breakdown of those reactions in the trial for the Moderna vaccine (results for the Pfizer vaccine were similar):
Injection site pain, redness, or swelling:
- 84% with first injection compared to 20% saline placebo.
- 89% with second injection compared to 19% placebo.
Lymphadenopathy (swollen or enlarged lymph nodes) in 21% for people younger than 65; 12% in 65 and older.
Systemic side effects:
- 55% with first injection compared to 42% placebo.
- 75% with second injection compared to 37% placebo.
Those systemic side effects included:
- fatigue 69% vaccine, 36% placebo.
- headache 63% vaccine, 37% placebo
- myalgias (muscle pain) 60% vaccine, 20% placebo
- arthralgias (joint pain) 45% vaccine, 17% placebo
Symptoms severe enough to prevent normal activity:
- fatigue 7.7%
- muscle pain 6.1%
- headache 4.4%
- joint pain 3.7%
Most symptoms lasted 2 to 3 days.
What do these reactions represent? It is your immune system being stimulated by the vaccine. The high efficacy (94-95% according to research data) of these vaccines is the result of this enhanced stimulation. Remember: it is to just one protein, not the 29 proteins found in the COVID-19 virus itself.
In addition, this immune response is more robust in younger people and women compared to older people and men.
Can I take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for these symptoms? Taking these medications may blunt the immune response to some degree, but if you are miserable it is up to you. The exception is pregnant women. If they have a fever, controlling it with Tylenol is recommended because of the danger of fever in a developing fetus.
This information is for side effects people may experience after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. For information on side effects of the vaccine see our section on side effects above.
The COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility. In fact, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women have access to these vaccines as it protects both the mother and child. One of our sickest COVID-19 patients was pregnant.
There is also no increased risk of miscarriage or infertility with the COVID-19 vaccines. Our best evidence for this comes from women who have had COVID. In a "natural" infection with COVID-19 immune response, your body produces the same immune cells as in a vaccine-provoked immune response; So we would expect to see infertility in women previously infected with COVID-19 if there was risk of that with the vaccine.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is like getting any other vaccine.
There are some things you need to know to prepare yourself for you COVID vaccine.
Don't take painkillers before you get vaccinated to prepare for any side effects to the vaccine. The Infectious diseases Society of America says we don't know if taking painkillers might change how well the vaccine works. It is okay, however, to take painkillers after receiving the vaccine if the symptoms you are experiencing require pain alleviation. you should talk to your doctor before taking any over the counter pain relievers.
You will be asked to wait 15 minutes after receiving your dose. This is to ensure that you don't experience any reaction to the vaccine. Serious reactions to the vaccine are rare, but as a precaution you will need to hang out at the site you were vaccinated at for about 15 minutes.
You will get a card from your vaccine distributor, you need to hang on to this because you will need it with you when you get your second dose. If you are getting your second dose, don't forget to take your card with you. If you happen to lose or forget your card, registration can help you get a new one.
To schedule an appointment for your second dose with Sky Lakes, please call the call center two weeks after your first dose. Most second dose appointments are made when you receive your first dose.
Because your distributor plans for second doses based on the number of first doses they administer. Per the OHA you should get your second dose from the same location you got your first dose unless otherwise instructed y your vaccine provider. You second vaccine dose must be from the same manufacturer as your first does. You can not first get the Moderna vaccine and then get the Pfizer vaccine for your second dose.
Experts agree that you can receive your second dose anytime up to six weeks after your first dose without sacrificing efficacy. Second doses are generally automatically scheduled after you receive your first dose at a Sky Lakes Medical Center vaccination clinic or vaccination site. You can always call our scheduling center (1-833-606-4370) two weeks after your first dose to schedule your second dose or to reschedule you existing appointment.
People who have lost their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card can get a replacement during their second-dose visit at a Sky Lakes site; the new card will include information for both of your doses. Medical Records can assist those who have completed both doses and need a new card.
the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines. The Janssen vaccine uses viral vector (inactive virus) technology.
According to this article on COVID Vaccine Ingredients, the ingredients for the more commonly used COVID Vaccines are as follows:
- 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide.
- Potassium chloride.
- Monobasic potassium phosphate.
- Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate.
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG) 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol (DMG).
- Tromethamine hydrochloride.
- Acetic acid.
- Sodium acetate.
Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine:
- Citric acid monohydrate.
- Trisodium citrate dihydrate.
- 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD).
- Sodium chloride.
None of the vaccines includes these ingredients:
- live virus
- fetal cells
There are no eggs or animal products in either vaccine. This new type of vaccine is made without needing to grow proteins in egg tissue, so those with egg allergies rejoice! The novel methodology to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allows it to be free from materials of animal origin and synthesized by an efficient, cell-free process without preservatives.
For more information on the ingredients in the COVID-19 Vaccines, go to our Frequently asked Question about ingredients above.
There are many rumors that the COVID-19 vaccine was made with fetal tissue or for the purpose of controlling the population.
The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain or uses fetal cells in production or development. However, so you have the full picture, both vaccines tested efficacy using fetal cells. The takeaway is that no fetal cells have ever touched or are part of the actual dose of vaccine you get. Notably, the Pope said the use of the vaccines does NOT condone abortion.
There is no vaccine "microchip" and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates, from The Gates Foundation, about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
Human cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after they have finished using the instructions. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
mRNA vaccines are not new. We were able to make these new vaccines so rapidly because mRNA vaccines have been under development for many years for things like flu, zika, and rabies, and have also been researched for use in cancer treatments. We have not used this type of vaccine before because the tools used to fold proteins for widespread use were only made in the last few years, but this is likely how many vaccines will be made in the future.
You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines; they are inactivated vaccines and not live vaccines.
Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
Many pharmaceutical companies invested significant resources into quickly developing a vaccine for COVID-19 because of the world-wide impact of the pandemic. The emergency situation warranted an emergency response but that does not mean that companies bypassed safety protocols or perform adequate testing. These vaccines were developed so quickly because of the massive dedication of money and time towards developing them.
To receive emergency use authorization, the biopharmaceutical manufacturer must have followed at least half of the study participants for at least two months after completing the vaccination series, and the vaccine must be proven safe and effective in that population. In addition to the safety review by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization has convened a panel of vaccine safety experts to independently evaluate the safety data from the clinical trial. Mayo Clinic vaccine experts also will review the available data. The safety of COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTecH has been studied in approximately 43,000 people.
A new CDC study adds to the growing body of real-world evidence (outside of a clinical trial setting) showing that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines authorized by the FDA protect health care personnel against COVID-19. According to the study’s findings, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of getting sick with COVID-19 by 94% among health care personnel who were fully vaccinated. This assessment, conducted in a different study network with a larger sample size from across a broader geographic area than in the clinical trials, independently confirms U.S. vaccine effectiveness findings among health care workers. Data for this assessment come from a network covering 500,000 health care personnel across 33 sites in 25 U.S. states, providing additional robust evidence that mRNA vaccines are effective against symptomatic illness in real-world conditions.
Circulating on social media is the claim that COVID-19's mortality rate is 1%-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely and is influenced by age, sex and underlying health condition. To date, around 586,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. Each individual who has died from this virus left behind at least one person who cared about them. The death toll is over half a million but there are millions affected by the deaths of these individuals who may have otherwise not died had they not contracted COVID-19.
Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications. There is a massive group of people who have survived COVID-19 that still suffer from complications and will potentially suffer for the rest of their lives. The risk of dying from COVID-19 is not as high as the risk of surviving with lifelong debilitating complications. Getting vaccinated will help you prevent serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. The risks of getting COVID-19 far outweigh any risks that may be associated with getting vaccinated.
It's also important to recognize that getting the vaccine is not just about survival from COVID-19. It's about preventing spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that can lead to long-term negative health effects. While no vaccine is 100% effective, they are far better than not getting a vaccine.
While natural and vaccine immunity are forms of protection, they are not equally effective; natural infection does not provide the same robust immune response as the vaccine does. Additionally, COVID-19 reinfection is a possibility. Reinfection is 84% less likely with natural infection while it is 95% less likely with vaccination. In India 20 to 30% of recent infections may actually be reinfection (Grant Niskanen, MD). The good news is the current vaccines appear to be effective against this variant. We have greater access to vaccines allowing us to protect ourselves from reinfection. In addition to protecting ourselves there is data that suggests the vaccine cuts down the transmissibility rate. There is also evidence that suggests the vaccines help those with long haul symptoms recover from their symptoms.
As soon as you are eligible to receive the vaccine you should. If you choose to wait, you may end up waiting longer than you want to receive a dose. You also run the risk of catching COVID-19 before getting vaccinated if you choose to wait.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to reach community and wide-spread immunity. In order to do this 3/4 of the population need to receive the vaccine. Get vaccinated for your family, your community, and health care workers.
The chances of catching COVID-19 after getting vaccinated is 1 in 11,000. While this is not 100% protection, the odds are very low. If you are vaccinated and contract COVID-19 your likelihood of needing hospitalization and dying from the virus is nearly 0%.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep yourself alive and out of the hospital if you do by chance get the virus. It will also help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the number of COVID-19 inpatients needing critical care in our hospitals low.
Deaths associated with the vaccine are automatically reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Physicians review each report of death with available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records associated with the vaccine and have determined that 0 of the 4,434 reported deaths (of over 259 million doses) were caused by Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine, (which is a different composition to the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines) has a plausible causal relationship with rare blood clots which have caused death (28 cases, 3 deaths out of over 8 million doses). To date, Sky Lakes has not administered Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
You can read more about VAERS reporting and information on the vaccine at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html
The OHA’s updated guidance about mask and physical distancing requirements for individuals fully vaccinated* against COVID-19 says people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask in most public settings where vaccination status is checked. In public settings where vaccination status is not checked, masks will still be required. Businesses remain free to establish their own, more restrictive policies regarding mask usage.
NOTE: All persons, including fully vaccinated individuals, are required to continue to wear a mask and observe physical distancing on public transportation, in schools, hospitals and clinics, homeless shelters, youth and adult correctional facilities, and long-term care facilities.
*A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks or longer since they received the final dose of their vaccine series and they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
Responding to a surge in COVID-19 cases and increased hospitalizations in Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority recently updated its recommendations for quarantining following exposure:
- If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, then you should quarantine for 14 days.
- Fully vaccinated people who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 are not required to quarantine.
- A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks or longer since they received the final dose of their vaccine series and they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
Wearing masks helps limit the spread of disease and provide a safe environment for patients, visitors, providers and employees.
Face masks are an important tool in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Here's what you should know about the pros of masking up.
Washington Post editorial: Face masks are vital to stopping the spread of the virus. (PDF)
Masks and physical distancing can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting the disease, according to an extensive study published in The Lancet, a leading scientific journal. The report is among the first to lay out evidence specific to coronaviruses, rather than extrapolating from data on other respiratory viruses. Among the findings: The use of masks reduces the odds of infection to 3% from 17%.
The drive-up Sky Lakes COVID-19 Test Site outside the Sky Lakes Community Health Education Center is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays; closed weekends. The diagnostic (PCR) tests are encouraged for people who suspect they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or those who believe they have symptoms. Any person older than 2 may be tested without a physician's order. Sky Lakes will collect and bill health insurance, when available, and there should not be any out-of-pocket expense at this time, however, please check with your insurance provider as to how your plan will be treating the test.
A Sky Lakes nurse reinforces the stay at home guidance.
Sky Lakes Physician Answers COVID-19 Questions
Part II: Sky Lakes physician on variability of COVID-19 effects
Sky Lakes physician on coronavirus and being active.
Dr. Wendy Warren's thoughts on "Physical distancing is a responsibility we all bear."
Even as we continue to fight COVID-19, Sky Lakes is still here to care for our community in every way, every day. As many people have delayed care during this public health crisis, we want to emphasize we are ready and able to serve you, just as we always have done and will continue to do.
Learn more about the Your Care Continues campaign launched by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
For many, a trip to the grocery store has become a source of stress. Try practicing these tips from AARP to keep yourself safe from coronavirus.
Sky Lakes President and CEO, medical community leaders, ask people to help decrease COVID exposure in the community.
"We are taking strong actions so we can further 'flatten the curve' of this pandemic and slow the spread of COVID-19. Our best defense against a disastrous spread of this disease is isolating the chances of exposure. Among other things that means social distancing—a physical distance of at least 6 feet—and avoiding crowded spaces.
"Be calm and be prudent, but please take this situation very seriously. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented but not unexpected, and Sky Lakes will be ready."
Sky Lakes on Tuesday, March 17, tightened visitor restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus. Read more.
A story by the Washington Post explains why outbreaks like this coronavirus spread so quickly.
The Klamath County Public Health provides up-to-date information regarding the respiratory disease.
The current situation in Oregon, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
FAQs from federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the agency's current COVID-19 situation summary.
Learn more about the pandemic's status in Oregon.
Thank you, healthcare heroes! (printable PDF poster)
Oregon Department of Agriculture Resources for agricultural workers
Coronavirus and COVID-19 myths busted by the WHO.
Print and post the Stop the Spread of Germs poster (PDF).
Patient education: COVID-19 basics (PDF)
Sky Lakes visitation rules, flu testing site information.
COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources en Español:
Optimizing N95 supplies (PDF)