Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Hamilton County Health Department COVID-19
FAQ and Vaccination Information

Updated November 18, 2021


Where is the Health Department offering COVID-19 vaccines? 

The Health Department offers COVID-19 vaccines at multiple locations throughout the week. Visit the online vaccination calendar at vaccine.hamiltontn.gov. No appointment is necessary for ages 12 and up but appointments are required for ages 5-11.


Where can I find a list of additional locations near me offering the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Visit https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ and enter your zip code for a full list of providers and pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine. 


Who is eligible to receive a primary series COVID-19 vaccine in Hamilton County?

Anyone 5 years of age or older may receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Jansen) vaccines are licensed for those 18 years of age and older. 

 

What do I need to know about the vaccine for children ages 5-11?

Children ages 5-11 are now approved to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. To learn more, visit the CDC’s website.

 


Where is COVID-19 testing available in Hamilton County?
 

Visit the Health Department's testing webpage here for a list of available providers. 


What is the difference between a 3rd dose and a booster shot? 

Per the CDC, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems may receive a 3rd dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at least one month after the 2nd dose series. Those who received a 3rd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine are also recommended to receive a booster shot, at least 6 months after their 3rd dose was administered. A booster dose is intended for a specific segment of the population.

 

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot? 

Visit the CDC's website, located here, to find details regarding booster shot eligibility and frequently asked questions. 


What do I need to know before coming to a vaccination event? 

You may want to consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated if you: 
- Have severe allergies or previous reaction to a vaccine 
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
If any of the below apply to you, do not come until the condition is resolved. 
- Have a fever or are ill 

- Are currently in isolation for COVID-19 


Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I need other vaccines? 

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days. 

 

What is a Vaccination Record Card? 

When patients receive their first dose with the Health Department, they will receive a Vaccination Record Card with the following important information. 

-The vaccine manufacturer
-The date the first dose of vaccine was given
-The date the second vaccine dose is due (if Pfizer or Moderna). 

Your second dose should be given on or after this date, but not before.

 

I lost my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. How do I get a replacement? 

To request a record of your immunization, please call the COVID-19 hotline at 423-209-8383. 

 

How many people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Hamilton County?

-The Health Department's Vaccine Data Dashboard, click here.
-The Tennessee Department of Health updates county-specific data daily, click here and scroll to the bottom. 

 

Is free transportation available to the Health Department's vaccination sites? 

Yes. Free transportation is available to the Tennessee Riverpark and CARTA Bus Barn Tuesday-Friday. Please call 423- 209-8383 to schedule an appointment. *Transportation is based on availability. 

 

Where can I download the Vaccine Encounter Form and the other handouts distributed at the vaccination site? 

Visit vaccine.hamiltontn.gov and click on the Handouts tab. 

 

Do I need to accompany my child to their vaccine appointment?

Children ages 12-17 may come to the vaccination site without their parents if they have a presigned vaccine encounter form and their parents or guardians are available to give consent over the phone. Children ages 5-11 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when coming to receive their vaccine.

 

How do I know when to get the second dose of my vaccine? 

The Pfizer vaccine is a two dose series given 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine is a two dose series given 28 days apart. After you receive the first dose of the vaccine, you will be given a vaccine record card. You can receive the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine on or after the date listed on your Vaccine Record Card. 

 

Where can I find educational flyers and handouts to share with my community group or church congregation? 

Please visit the Health Department’s Print Resource page. 

 

What do I need to know about COVID-19 variants?

CDC is currently monitoring variants of the virus that cause COVID-19. The Delta variant spreads more easily and quickly and causes more severe illness than the previously circulating variant. The unvaccinated are particularly susceptible to infection with the Delta variant. 

 

What is the benefit of getting a COVID-19 vaccine? Should I wait to get the vaccine? 

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine now is the best and safest way to protect yourself against COVID19. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how the disease will affect you. If someone gets infected, they could spread the disease to family, friends and others around them. When a large segment of the population is immune to the infection, then “herd immunity” develops and that stops the infection from passing from one person to another. 

 

The COVID-19 vaccines were approved so quickly. Are they safe? 

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines meet the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards by the FDA as all other types of vaccines in the United States. In addition, the vaccines are being rigorously monitored for safety on an ongoing basis. In response to the pandemic, the vaccines were approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Pfizer vaccine has now received full FDA approval for those 16 years of age and older. 

 

What are the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it make me sick? 

Some people may have some side effects while others may not as the body starts building protection to COVID-19 after vaccination. The local side effects may be pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. Other possible reactions are fever, chills, tiredness, headache, muscle pain and nausea. Serious adverse events are rare. A small number of people have experienced blood clots after receiving the Jansen COVID-19 vaccine. There have been rare reports of myocarditis and pericarditis occurring after Pfizer and Moderna vaccination, particularly in adolescents and young adults. Most patients who received care responded well to medicine and rest and quickly felt better. CDC is monitoring and investigating these reports. VSafe is a CDC smartphone-based tool where people can report any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

How do the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines work? 

These vaccines work by giving your body the recipe to make the protein that is on the outside of the coronavirus. When your body sees that protein, it will make protective antibodies to it. Later, if the body sees the real virus, it will remember seeing that protein and destroy the virus before it has a chance to make you sick. 

 

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines? 

The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, especially in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated if 14 or more days have elapsed after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 14 or more days after the one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

 

How will the COVID-19 vaccines affect my body? 

The COVID-19 vaccines work by helping your immune system build protection against the virus in case you are exposed in the future. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips and will not make you magnetic. They do not enter the nucleus of your cells and do not change or interact with your DNA or reproductive system in any way. The vaccines do not contain the live virus, so they cannot infect you with coronavirus. 

 

Do I have to get both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? 

The current recommendation is to get both doses to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. The second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be from the same product/manufacturer as the first dose. 

 

If I am a young, healthy adult, do I need to get vaccinated? 

Yes. Young, healthy adults are also at risk of getting COVID-19. Even though young adults may not experience symptoms or may have mild symptoms if they get COVID-19, they are at the same risk for long-term symptoms from having had the infection. Young adults are also just as likely as older people to spread the infection. They should get vaccinated to protect themselves and others they may be around, such as family, friends and co-workers, etc., some of whom may be at higher risk of infection with coronavirus. 

 

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, should I get vaccinated?

Pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to get severely ill and are at risk of preterm birth compared with non-pregnant people. The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but is not required for vaccination. 

 

If I have a chronic medical condition or am immunocompromised, can I get the vaccine? 

People with chronic medical conditions, including autoimmune diseases, Bell’s palsy and GuillainBarre’, may get the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with medications. People with immunocompromising conditions may get the vaccine, but may not mount the same level of protection in response to the vaccine as those who are not immunocompromised. An additional dose of vaccine is recommended for persons with immunocompromising conditions who initially received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

 

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID19 vaccine? 

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID- 19 infection. If someone was treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or if there is a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19, consideration should be given to waiting 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

If I have allergies, can I get the vaccine? 

Yes. The vaccine does not contain eggs, latex or preservatives. People with allergies to foods, such as peanuts and shellfish, pets, venom or environmental agents or oral medications may receive the vaccine. 

 

Who should not receive the vaccine? 

Individuals should consult their primary care physician or their pediatrician to determine if they should or should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.