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

The University of Vermont Health Network is proud to be working with local partners to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine across Vermont and New York. The vaccine is now available to anyone age 6 months and older. You can access more detailed vaccine information, including frequently asked questions, below.

All adults and children age 5+ should receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Last Updated June 29, 2022
  • Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recommended for children as young as 6 months old.
  • Pfizer boosters are recommended if you are 5+ and received your two-dose regimen at least six months ago.
  • Moderna boosters are recommended if you are 18+ and received your two-dose regimen at least six months ago.
  • Johnson & Johnson boosters are recommended if you are 18+ and received your first dose at least two months ago.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available through many primary care offices. You can also find a COVID-19 vaccine near you by searching on vaccines.gov.

Vaccination clinics are also being held by local health departments:

 

It is critical that we all stay vigilant and continue to do the things that help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get your COVID-19 vaccine if you are over the age of 6 months.
  • Wear a mask when necessary. 
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap or using hand sanitizer.
  • Observe local and state guidelines and keep up with the latest recommendations for your area.

And please remember:

  • Vaccination is the best weapon we have to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The most important thing you can do right now is to continue to practice behaviors and take actions that we know can stop the spread. Encourage your family and friends to do this, too.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are rigorously tested before released for public use.
  • Stay informed – continue to visit this page, watch for our emails, follow your local UVMHN hospital on social media or check the web pages provided by New York and Vermont state government.

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. The FDA issued full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for use in individuals age 16 and older. The FDA has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine in individuals age 5 to 15. The FDA has issue EUA for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for individuals age 18+, with other vaccines under review for use in the near future.

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.

The CDC recommends that people wait 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine, except in cases of high-risk, including healthcare workers and those with high-risk conditions. In these cases, individuals should be symptom-free for 14 days before receiving the vaccine.

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.

After You Are Vaccinated

Yes, you should continue to follow local guidelines around masking even after you are vaccinated.

We know that the vaccine makes symptomatic disease less likely, reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, but we still don’t know if it prevents infection in the first place or prevents spreading the virus to others. Therefore it remains critical that we continue to follow all of the preventive guidelines outlined by the CDC, local departments of health and state government in Vermont and New York while vaccines are administered.

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.

Giving a second dose of a vaccine can boost immune response and improve the chances of protection from infection. The first two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require two doses. The second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is given 21 days after the first, and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is given 28 days after the first dose.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose.

While there are a few days of leeway in timing for the second dose, it is important that you get your second shot as close to the recommended time as possible and not get the second dose any earlier.

Please talk to your doctor if you can’t get the second dose within a few days of the recommended dosage interval.

The COVID-19 vaccine development process was accelerated in an effort to address the crisis of the global pandemic. One of the benefits of this worldwide focus is that multiple groups of scientists have been working simultaneously on vaccines. Ultimately, the goal is to have a safe and effective vaccine for every person, regardless of age, demographics or underlying medical conditions. By having multiple vaccines approved and manufactured, we are able to increase the number of doses available.

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