COVID-19 Vaccinations: Available for Individuals Ages 6 months+

The new COVID-19 bivalent booster is now available for everyone 5+ who is at least two months out from their last dose.

Pfizer is available for everyone 5+ and Moderna for everyone 6+, you do not need to get the same booster as your original series.

To learn more about the new bivalent booster, please read this article

 

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Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine & Boosters

Last Updated October 20
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone 6 months and up
  • The new COVID-19 bivalent booster is available for everyone 5+ who are at least two months out from their last dose
  • There is currently no booster available for children 6 months - 4 years old

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are now available through many primary care offices and pharmacies. Find a location near you by searching on vaccines.gov.

The Vermont Department of Health is currently holding walk-in vaccination and booster clinics across the state.

County health departments in New York may also be offering clinics. Please visit their websites for more information

 

Safety, Eligibility & Effectiveness

Yes. Vaccine safety and effectiveness is based on a standard and highly rigorous clinical trial assessment involving tens of thousands of volunteers. Although the current vaccines were developed more quickly than usual, they still went through the same process.

Yes. Because of the severe health risks of COVID-19 and the fact that you can get COVID-19 again, you should be vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19.

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccination is very important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

While the vaccines were not extensively studied in people with weakened immune systems, there is no reason to expect any safety concerns.

HIV and other conditions associated with a weakened immune system have been associated with higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides health care expertise on vaccines in the U.S., recommends vaccinating people with weakened immune systems.

Most people with food or medication allergies can receive a COVID-19 vaccine safely. However, if you have had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or a medication (requiring you to seek immediate medical care) in the past, it is important to discuss with your doctor before getting the vaccine.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Hives or a rash
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face or throat
  • Anaphylaxis

Pregnant patients are more likely to have serious illness from COVID-19 and are at risk of developing pregnancy complications as a result. The vaccine is very effective in reducing the risk of infection. 

On September 30, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an urgent health advisory to increase COVID-19 vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future to prevent serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The CDC health advisory strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination for both pregnant persons and their fetus or infant outweigh known or potential risks. Additionally, the advisory calls on health departments and clinicians to educate pregnant people on the benefits of vaccination and the safety of recommended vaccines.

Additionally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding be offered the vaccine to prevent serious illness.

At this time, our Radiology Department recommends that screening studies be done either prior to a patient receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or 4 to 6 weeks after. Lymph node swelling is a common side effect of the vaccine and can complicate the reading of a scan.

Cancer Patients

Cancer patients are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and should get vaccinated once the vaccine is available to them, unless their physician advises otherwise or there are contraindications to the vaccine, such as a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or medication in the past requiring you to seek immediate medical care. Cancer patients should discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their provider to understand the effectiveness of vaccines for those being treated for cancer and to discuss any contraindications.

Cancer patients are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and should get vaccinated once the vaccine is available to them, unless their physician advises otherwise or there are contraindications to the vaccine, such as a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or a medication in the past requiring you to seek immediate medical care. Cancer patients should discuss vaccination with their provider to discuss contraindications and to understand the effectiveness of vaccines for those being treated for cancer.

Recent COVID-19 vaccine trials did not include a large number of cancer patients. However, these vaccines do not contain live virus and non-live vaccines are generally considered safe - and are commonly recommended - for cancer patients.

Vaccine effectiveness may be reduced in cancer patients with suppressed immune systems as the ability to mount a response to the vaccine may be limited. Still, the benefit of vaccination is considered greater than the risk of not getting the vaccine, barring any contraindications.

After receiving the vaccine, it is advisable for cancer patients, like everyone, to continue following appropriate hygiene and safety protocols.

We do not recommend that patients delay cancer treatments to get vaccinated. However, a physician and patient may decide to hold off on treatment on a case-by-case basis depending on the urgency of treatment, the seriousness of illness, and the risk and benefit of delay.

Patients getting mammograms or CT scans may show enlarged lymph nodes after vaccination, a common physical response to the vaccine. These results may lead to further testing to rule out cancer as the cause. For this reason, if there is no urgent reason for immediate imaging, it is best to get these screening tests either prior to your COVID-19 vaccination or 4 to 6 weeks after vaccination.

General Vaccine Information

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus, meaning that you can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine teaches your immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus in the event you become exposed.

It is important to know that it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. It is therefore possible to be infected just before or just after vaccination.

Most people experience some minor side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects that have been reported include a sore arm at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills and possibly a fever. These symptoms should go away on their own in a day or two.

No. While you may have some antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts – and you don’t want to risk getting the virus again. COVID-19 can cause serious illness, debilitating symptoms that persist for months and can result in death. Vaccination is your best protection, and it is safe.

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