COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Prepare For Your Visit:
FMHC follows CDC guidelines to help keep all patients and staff safe. FMHC follows evidence-based guidelines for COVID treatment and encourages COVID vaccination for everyone age 5 and older. We require all patients and visitors ages 2 and older to wear a mask at all times in our facilities. If you have an elevated temperature, or new onset of cough, difficulty breathing, congestion, or sore throat, please call to reschedule your appointment or request a telehealth visit unless you are being seen for COVID testing. We are currently asking that you please limit the number of people you bring to the clinic to no more than two.
N95 Masks Distribution from the Federal Government
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), will be delivering millions of N95 masks to Federally Qualified Community Health Centers across the country, including ours.
Once the N95 masks are delivered to our facility, anyone in the community will be eligible to pick up masks.
We have not yet received these masks as of the date of this posting, please visit our web page in the near future for new updates.
Boosters for Moderna, J&J, and Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
Booster shots are now available to ALL patients ages 18 and older, and as of January 6, 2022, ALL children ages 12-17. Patients must be five (5) months past their second Pfizer shot or their second Moderna shot, or two (2) months past their Johnson & Johnson shot, to receive a booster. (Visit the CDC website for more details.)
- The use of a single booster dose (full-dose) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 5 months after completion of the primary series to individuals age 18 and older.
- The use of a single booster dose (half-dose) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine which may be administered at least 5 months after completion of the primary series to individuals age 18 and older.
- Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations. The use of a single booster dose (full-dose) of the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older.
- The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine. Children age 12-17 must use the Pfizer vaccine for their boosters.
What to Expect during and after Your Booster Shot Appointment
- Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your booster shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose. If you did not receive a card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
- You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
- Use v-safe to tell CDC about any side effects. If you enter your booster shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins.
Data Supporting Need for a Booster Shot
Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and due to changes in variants. (Visit the CDC website for more details.)
- Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data pdf icon[1 MB, 68 pages] suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older.
- The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.
- Data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent severe disease.
3rd Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a 3rd dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for people who have an impaired immune system due to:
- Active cancer treatment
- An organ transplant
- Stem cell transplant recipients
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with immunosuppressive medications
If you or your family members meet any of this criteria, we would be happy to schedule a third dose of the vaccine.
There are not yet recommendations for immunocompromised people who received the J&J vaccine.
Please note that other conditions that may be mildly immunosuppressive (such as well controlled HIV, diabetes, pregnancy, or other chronic medical conditions) are not on this list and an additional dose is not recommended for those groups at this time.
Considerations about timing of vaccination and the full CDC recommendations can be found here.
COVID-19 Vaccines Available: Age 5 and Up!
Please note that children aged 5-17 must get the Pfizer vaccine only at this time as approved by the CDC. Pfizer provides a 3-week period between their 1st and 2nd dose.
The Moderna and J&J vaccine are approved for adults age 18 and up. Please note that women ages 18-49 who are seeking a single dose J&J vaccine can have one as requested with appropriate counseling on possible risks. The Moderna vaccine has no restriction concerns with a 4-week period between your 1st and 2nd dose.
How to Schedule:
You can call to schedule your vaccine now:
We understand that there may be many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and we are committed to help keep you and our community informed with weekly updated content.
How long do I have to wait after getting the original one or two shot series to get the booster?
For Johnson & Johnson recipients, two months or more after your vaccine.
For Pfizer and Moderna recipients, six months or more after your second vaccine.
Do I have to get the same COVID vaccine as I got originally for my booster?
NO – You can get any vaccine you want.
A few things to remember to help you choose:
Johnson & Johnson has caused some very rare cases of blood clots leading to severe illness and even death, mostly in women ages 18-50.
Pfizer and Moderna have caused some very rare cases of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, mostly in men ages 18-29.
Is the dosage amount the same as was in the original vaccine for all the booster shots?
Yes for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
For Moderna it is half of the original dose (0.25 ml). It’s half a dose even for those who previously had Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Who is eligible to receive a booster?
For those who received Johnson & Johnson – EVERYONE
For those who received Pfizer or Moderna, you need to fall into one of the following groups:
- Any patient 65 and older;
- Patients ages 18-64 with underlying medical conditions. Please see the list of medical conditions above.
- Patients ages 18-64 working in certain occupations. Please see the list of eligible occupations above.
- Patients ages 18-64 living in assisted living or in a homeless shelter
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine
The Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are now available for specific age groups.
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged 12-17+ with a 3-week waiting period between your 1st and 2nd dose. (~94% efficacy)
The Moderna vaccine has been approved for those aged 18 and older with a 4-week waiting period between your 1st and 2nd dose. (~95% efficacy)
The J&J vaccine has been approved for those aged 18 and older and is a single dose option. (~66% efficacy) Please be aware that women younger than 50 years old seeking the J&J vaccine will need a consult with our medical team to discuss a rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. If you received a J&J/Janssen vaccine, here is what you need to know.
(Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their doctor about the vaccine.)
Are the vaccines safe?
Yes, the vaccines are safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.
The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. Learn more about vaccine safety by visiting:
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also reviews all safety data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine for use. Learn how ACIP makes vaccine recommendations.
Lastly, the federal government, under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the start of the pandemic to make a COVID-19 vaccine available as soon as possible. Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. Learn more about Operation Warp Speed:
- HHS Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed
- New England Journal of Medicine article: Developing Safe and Effective COVID Vaccines — Operation Warp Speed’s Strategy and Approach
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The current COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) give your immune system a preview of the coronavirus, so it learns how to stop it. It triggers antibodies in your blood to attack the virus’s unique spike protein.
Your immune system learns from the vaccine how to quickly recognize the actual virus and stop it from multiplying. The idea is to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from getting into cells, replicating itself and making you sick.
How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to provide you with the highest level of protection. The first one primes the immune system, helping it to recognize the virus, and the second one strengthens the immune response.
Both options require 2 doses at different times:
Moderna Vaccine: After receiving the 1st dose, the 2nd dose will need to be given to you 28 days later. (Please make sure that you are available 28 days after the 1st shot before making your initial appointment.)
Pfizer Vaccine: After receiving the 1st dose, the 2nd dose will need to be given to you 21 days later. (Please make sure that you are available 21 days after the 1st shot before making your initial appointment.)
You will receive a vaccination card and reminder of when your next appointment will be. Please check in with reception on your way out to confirm your next appointment or call us at (208) 514-2500 if you have questions.
The J&J vaccine is a single dose option available to those aged 18 and up, however only provides ~66% efficacy. Please be aware that women younger than 50 years old seeking the J&J vaccine will need a consult with our medical team to discuss a rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. If you received a J&J/Janssen vaccine, here is what you need to know.
Can my child (12-17) receive the Pfizer COVID Vaccine at the same time as other immunizations?
Yes, children age 12-17 can receive the Pfizer vaccine at the same time as other common childhood immunizations.
The following statement provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics backs the safety of the vaccine: CLICK HERE
Should I stop taking certain medications prior to my vaccine appointment?
Although there is limited information on the effects from the CDC, some physicians recommend that you temporarily stop taking non-steroidal medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen 2 days before your scheduled vaccine.
Once you receive your vaccine, you are welcome to continue taking these medications as you normally would.
What are the common side effects of the vaccine?
Side effects are similar to other vaccines. The most common side effects are pain/redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle/joint aches and low-grade fever in the first 48 hours after getting the vaccine.
These side effects respond well to Tylenol and ibuprofen. Most side effects last less than 24 hours and those ages 55 and older have reported fewer side effects.
Please note that cough or loss of taste or smell are not vaccine side effects. If you are experiencing these symptoms you may already have the infection in your system prior to being vaccinated. Contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) if you are experiencing these.
Subscribe to V-Safe, a program administered by the CDC is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from the CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
UNCOMMON/RARE effects of the vaccine may include anaphylaxis. Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine or an injectable medicine should consider holding off on getting the vaccine at this time. Please consult with your PCP.
I have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, like the flu vaccine. Should I get the vaccine?
Most people with allergies can get the vaccine. If individuals have a history of anaphylaxis, or to an injectable therapy, prior to the COVID vaccine – you should speak with your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
Can I get the vaccine if I am not feeling well?
In general, yes. If you have a moderate or severe acute illness, then you may consider delaying the vaccine until you feel better.
I’m pregnant or lactating, can I get the vaccine?
Yes, pregnant or lactating patients may choose to be vaccinated. Although there is limited data available on the safety of COVID vaccines in pregnant people, no safety concerns were demonstrated in rats that received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine prior to or during gestation in terms of female reproduction, fetal/embryonal development, or postnatal development.
Studies in pregnant people are planned and the vaccine manufacturers are following outcomes in people in the clinical trials who became pregnant. Based on current knowledge, experts believe that mRNA vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to the pregnant person or the fetus because mRNA vaccines are not live vaccines.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions prior to getting the vaccine.
Can my child get the vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged 12-17+. The Moderna and J&J vaccine have been approved for those aged 18 and older.
Additional studies are underway to determine safety and effectiveness for those children under the age of 12.
Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. Administration fees for the vaccine have been covered by insurance companies and those who are on our sliding fee scale. Patients who are uninsured can have the administration fee reimbursed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Once vaccinated, how long does it take before I develop immunity?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine requires two doses three or four weeks apart, depending upon which vaccine you choose. Immunity takes some time to develop- at least two weeks after last the last injection. For example, someone vaccinated in late December won’t be fully protected until late January or early February.
Similarly with the single dose J&J vaccine, the ~66% protection won’t begin until 2 weeks after you receive this vaccine.
How long will the vaccine protect me?
We don’t yet know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. We are following the guidance provided by the CDC.
Is it possible for the COVID-19 vaccine to give me the virus?
No. The COVID-19 vaccine is not made with a live virus and cannot give you COVID-19.
Will getting vaccinated cause me to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests?
Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, you will likely test positive on some antibody tests.
Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection or that you have been vaccinated successfully and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results and how long immunity lasts after vaccination.
Does a person who has previously been sick with COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated?
Yes, individuals with history of COVID still should receive COVID vaccine. Data from clinical trials indicate that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in persons with evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Vaccination of persons with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation.
Once I’ve been vaccinated, do I need to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.