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COVID-19 Vaccine

FAQs About the COVID-19 Vaccines          

There are many questions around the new COVID-19 vaccines… how are they made? How were they developed so quickly?  Are they safe?  How do they work?

Below are commonly-asked questions, with answers provided/reviewed by Dr. Majed Koleilat, Deaconess Clinic Allergist & Immunologist, and Deaconess clinical pharmacists.  Content related to pregnancy and fertility was reviewed by Dr. Brennan Fitzpatrick, Maternal/Fetal Medicine Specialist at Tri-State Perinatology. 


Learn more about the vaccine from state and federal resources.​

Tri-state Public Health Departments

 
FDA Information
 
CDC Information
 
 
What is an mRNA vaccine?
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid.  mRNA is a genetic sequence that provides the blueprint for something to be developed in a cell (generally a protein).

The new COVID-19 mRNA vaccine contains a small piece of genetic material created in a lab.  This mRNA creates a blueprint for a small part of the SARS-2-Coronavirus called the “spike protein.”  This is the part of virus that causes the immune system to recognize that it needs to make antibodies toward this virus.

The mRNA vaccine CANNOT cause an actual infection, as the only part of the blueprint is for the spike protein, and not for the actual virus itself.
 
Can the vaccine alter your DNA?
How long does the mRNA stick around in the cell?
Can the vaccine cause women to become sterile?
Can people with an egg allergy take the vaccine?
Were fetal cells used during any part of the vaccine manufacturing process?
New vaccines usually take >5 years to get to market. How did a vaccine using a new technology get brought to market in under 1 year?
How many people received the vaccine in clinical trials?
How well do the vaccines work?
If the vaccine works fairly well after the first dose, why do we need to get a second dose?
What side effects should we expect from the vaccine?
Are there any severe or long-term side effects that may occur as a result of the vaccine?
Which patient populations have not been studied?
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
Do I need to get the vaccine if I already had COVID?
Will this be a one-time vaccination, or an annual vaccine?
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