COVID-19 Vaccine Information

When did a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine get approved?

The FDA approved the third dose for Pfizer & Moderna (the two mRNA vaccines) on August 12th. The approval ONLY applies to Pfizer and Moderna and means immunocompromised patients can get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine they’ve gotten before.

Which patients can and should get the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?

The following list describes those patients who can and should receive a third dose:

  • Active treatment for cancer
  • Solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive medications
  • History of stem cell transplant (in the past 2 years or taking immunosuppressive medications)
  • Medical history of a moderate/severe immunodeficiency (i.e DiGeorge, or Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV/AIDs
  • Patients taking medications that can lead to moderate or severe immunosuppression. If you think you’re on immunosuppressive medication(s), talk with your provider to decide if a third dose of vaccine is right for you.

At this time, the CDC does NOT recommend additional doses of vaccine for any other patients than those listed above.

Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get for my third dose?

  • If you completed the Pfizer two-dose series or the Moderna two-dose series:
  • Get a third dose of the SAME vaccine you’ve gotten before at least 28 days (4 weeks) after your second dose.
  • As there is not enough information at this time, the FDA approval does NOT apply to the J&J vaccine OR to patients who got the J&J brand as their only vaccine.

Do I need to wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve recently had other vaccines?

  • No, you do not need to wait to get your third dose of COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve recently had another nonlive vaccine (i.e. flu shot, tetanus, pneumonia)
  • You DO need to wait at least 28 days (4 weeks) after getting your second COVID-19 vaccine before getting the third dose

Will getting a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine cause me to lose my transplanted organ?

We do not believe that receiving a third dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine will trigger organ rejection or other major illness that could put your organ or treatment at risk. It is, however, highly recommended to be in contact with your transplant team or other specialists when receiving the third dose.

  • The CDC recommends that all patients who are able to get the vaccine should receive it unless they have an allergy to polyethylene glycol (commonly found in Miralax or other bowel preps prior to a colonoscopy).
  • The vaccine is recommended regardless of a patient’s disease states or past medical history, the only population it has not been studied in is pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should discuss further with their doctor.
  • There is NO latex in the vial toppers for the vaccines.
  • The vaccines do NOT contain preservatives.
  • There is NO concern in patients with egg, food, or environmental (dust, pollen, mold) allergies.
  • Patients with allergies to oral medications are NOT at increased risk of severe allergic reaction from the vaccines.
  • If you’ve had a severe reaction to prior vaccines or injectable drugs, you can still get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • You may get the vaccine if you are on anticoagulation, but it is recommended you notify your provider and those vaccinating you so they can make sure your blood is not too thin and so they can perform appropriate injection technique.

Patients currently infected should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and they are out of quarantine. Re-infection within 90 days of infection is rare, so they may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired. If they have received monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma as part of their COVID-19 treatment, it is recommended vaccination be deferred for at least 90 days to avoid interference of the antibody treatment with vaccine-induced immune responses.

The vaccines have been approved for:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech: 16 years and older
  • Moderna: 18 years and older

*Both Pfizer and Moderna have begun testing their vaccines in 12-17 year olds

The COVID-19 vaccine series should be given alone, with a minimum of 14 days before or after administration of other vaccines. This is based on the lack of data when mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are given with other vaccines.

The most common side effects are injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. Some people have also reported low fever. Side effects are more common after the second dose.

  • Pfizer: Has 95% efficacy within seven days after the second dose.
  • Moderna: Has 94.1% efficacy within 14 days after the second dose.


The interval between Moderna doses is 28 days; for the Pfizer vaccine, it’s 21 days. If the second dose is missed, it is recommended to receive the second dose as soon as possible/supply is available.

For additional information about the COVID vaccine, please visit the CDC website (

Side effects that have been reported with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine include:

  • Injection site reactions: pain, redness of the skin, and swelling.
  • General side effects: headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches, nausea, and fever.

Please note: There is a remote chance that the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination.

Blood clots involving blood vessels in the brain, abdomen, and legs along with low levels of platelets (blood cells that help your body stop bleeding), have occurred in some people who have received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. In people who developed these blood clots and low levels of platelets, symptoms began approximately one to two weeks following vaccination. Most people who developed these blood clots and low levels of platelets were females ages 18 through 49 years. The chance of having this occur is remote.

You should seek medical attention right away if you have any of the following symptoms after receiving Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
  • Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

  • ​Our Drive-Thru Clinic has a very high satisfaction rate
  • How much time does it take to get your vaccine once in line?
    • Time varies but typically takes between 5-10 minutes for most individuals.
  • ​Our staff is not only friendly but highly trained to administered vaccinations.
  • The Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines are both available. ​Please call (423) 794-5800 for more information or to schedule an appointment.​

Is the COVID Vaccine in expectant mother’s safe?

Yes, the CDC, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all recommend that all pregnant women receive the COVID vaccine. A large study of women that received the COVID vaccine during pregnancy were monitored. Reports from this study found no safety concerns for moms or babies. Additional studies have found antibodies in umbilical cord blood in women that received the vaccine during pregnancy. These antibodies may help to protect infants from COVID- 19.

Is the COVID Vaccine Safe for breastfeeding mothers?

Yes, the CDC, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all agree that breast feeding women should be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding women who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies.

If you are pregnant, can you get the monoclonal antibodies, and should you?

The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine recommends that all pregnant women that are positive for COVID-19 consider receiving monoclonal antibodies. Pregnant women are considered a high-risk population for severe COVID illness and would benefit from this treatment. Monoclonal antibodies reduce the risk of hospital admission by 70% in COVID positive maternity patients. The monoclonal antibodies used to treat COVID-19 have not been studied in pregnancy. However, monoclonal antibody therapy is not a new treatment. It has been used to treat autoimmune conditions for many years. Pregnant women have been treated with those treatment without any known birth defects or complications.

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