More members of our community are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are still some who have questions. Here are a few of the most frequently asked to give you greater peace of mind.
Question: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed very quickly. Are they safe?
The science of mRNA (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccine development has been around for a decade. It has previously been used to develop vaccines against Zika, CMV, influenza, and rabies, all of which went through human trials and were found to be safe1.
The COVID-19 vaccines went through the same rigorous safety procedures as ALL FDA-approved vaccines. There were no shortcuts! More than 70,000 individuals safely participated in the Moderna & Pfizer trials before receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA.
Question: Will the COVID-19 vaccine somehow alter my DNA?
In short, no. mRNA is injected into your muscle — usually the upper arm — and enters into the cytoplasm (the water part) of your muscle cells, where it triggers your body to produce protective antibodies to the COVID “spike protein.” It does not (and cannot) enter into the nucleus, where our DNA is housed1.
Question: Who is eligible to get the vaccine?
Everyone 16 years or older is eligible to receive the vaccine. Moderna is currently authorized for ages 18 and up. Pfizer’s vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up, and is available at the Sky Ridge drive-up clinic. Clinical trials have begun for children under 18.
Question: Do I need to get vaccinated if I've had COVID?
The CDC recommends that people who have already had COVID-19 still get vaccinated. That's because the vaccine could create a bigger immune response, which better prepares the body to fight off the coronavirus in the future. Plus, the threat of a severe COVID-19 infection outweighs any benefits of natural immunity.
Question: Can COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility in women?
Infertility is not identified as an adverse outcome in any of the mRNA vaccine trials performed to date2.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends vaccination of individuals who are actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy and meet the criteria for vaccination based on prioritization recommendations. Additionally, it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine3.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility (ACOG). Concerns related to "the spike protein" found in popular media have not been established in research1.
Question: Is it safe for pregnant women or those considering pregnancy to get the vaccine?
Pregnant women are not usually included in initial trials for vaccines or medications, including the COVID-19 Vaccine.
However, pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including respiratory failure, the need for mechanical ventilation (or ECMO), and death. There may also be an increased incidence of adverse outcomes of pregnancy, including preterm births and stillbirths2.
Women are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider if they are pregnant or are considering pregnancy. Pregnant women routinely and safely receive vaccines that are not live viruses, such as the annual flu vaccine and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). The mRNA COVID vaccines are NOT live vaccines.
Question: How can I get a vaccine at Sky Ridge Medical Center's drive-up clinic at Charles Schwab?
Visit healthonecares.com/vaccine to receive additional information and instructions about scheduling an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals will be selected at random from the list and will be notified via email as appointments become available.
If you do not have access to email or need additional assistance, please call (720) 650-8274 and leave a message with your full name, date of birth, and phone number. Someone will contact you as vaccine appointments become available.
Sky Ridge Medical Center is here for you and your family... close to home.
Since its opening in 2003, Sky Ridge has grown to become a 284-bed destination hospital with a reputation for clinical excellence and world-class service. Sky Ridge offers compassionate care through patient-centered programs such as a comprehensive Cancer Center, adult and pediatric ERs, an award-winning Birth Place, and a state-of-the-art Spine and Total Joint Center.
10101 RidgeGate Parkway
Lone Tree, CO 80124