COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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Are you up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine? Keeping your COVID vaccination up to date is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19.

The virus changes often, and immunity from each vaccine doesn’t last forever. New versions of the vaccine were developed to protect you and your family against COVID.

Here's the latest on protecting yourself from COVID and serious health problems. These updates are especially important if you're:

  • 65 or older 
  • Immunocompromised 
  • Pregnant or planning to get pregnant

Get an up-to-date vaccine by scheduling through MyChart or by calling 434.297.4829.

Specialized Vaccine FAQs

Get answers to questions about:

Am I up to date with my COVID vaccine? 

You'll be up to date once you've gotten 1 dose of the most recent COVID-19 vaccines, available now. This applies to adults and children aged 6 months and older.

There are 3 current vaccines available:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Novavax (12 years or older; only recommended if you can't or choose not to take one of the others)

These updated vaccines target the current strains of the COVID virus. They restore your immunity against COVID, which decreases over time.

You should get one of these updated vaccines if it's been more than 2 months since your last dose. If you have questions about which one is best for you, talk to your provider.

Children ages 6 months–4 years old may need up to 3 updated vaccine doses, depending on their vaccination history. 

Schedule an appointment to get an up-to-date vaccine through MyChart or by calling 434.297.4829.

Do I need protection from an additional COVID vaccine dose?

The CDC recommends getting additional vaccine doses if you're at higher risk for serious health problems because you have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised).

Children under age 4 may also need more than 1 dose.

See more about the updated vaccine guidelines

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Evidence shows:

  • COVID vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective
  • COVID vaccines aren't associated with fertility problems in women or men

If you're pregnant or were recently pregnant, you're more likely to get very sick from COVID compared to people who aren't pregnant. Also, if you have COVID during pregnancy, you're at a higher risk for complications. These can affect your pregnancy and developing baby.

Getting a COVID vaccine can help protect you and your baby from serious health problems from COVID.

    What you need to know about pregnancy, breastfeeding & COVID vaccines.

    Who can get vaccinated?

    Anyone over 6 months old can get vaccinated at UVA Health. Schedule an appointment through MyChart or by calling 434.297.4829.

    How much does it cost to get vaccinated?

    Health insurance typically covers the cost of preventive treatment like vaccines. 

    Where can I get the vaccine at UVA Health?

    If you're 12 years old or older, you can get your vaccine at one of our pharmacies. Schedule your vaccine appointment through MyChart or by calling 434.297.4829.

    You should contact your child's clinic for a vaccine appointment. See our FAQs for children's vaccinations, including scheduling information.

    Is the vaccine safe?

    All vaccines for COVID-19 must pass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) normal review of safety and effectiveness before being approved for use.

    Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccines have excellent safety profiles. These studies followed thousands of people over several months.

    We're following the CDC and VDH guidelines.

    If you’re concerned, talk with your healthcare provider about what’s best for you.

    Will I experience side effects?

    It’s very common to feel tired for a few days after being vaccinated. Findings of clinical trials show that COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle aches
    • Headache

    Your arm may feel sore afterward. As long as the soreness is around your injection site, you generally don’t need to be concerned.

    What side effects should I call my doctor about?

    Seek immediate medical help if you experience:

    • Hives
    • Swelling of the face and throat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • A fast heartbeat
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness

    How does the vaccine work?

    You can learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    If I already had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?

    Yes. You can get COVID-19 more than once. You may want to get the vaccine even if you already had the virus.

    Which type of COVID-19 vaccine will UVA Health use?

    We're giving the currently approved and available COVID vaccines.

    The original (monovalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are no longer recommended for use in the United States. Bivalent vaccines are also no longer available. These vaccines are now outdated. The current vaccines offer better protection.

    If I feel sick on the day of my vaccination appointment, should I still get it?

    Contact your primary care provider for guidance.

    Does my young child get the same dose as me? 

    Like other childhood vaccines, this one is given based on age, not weight. Different doses are used for adults and children 12 years or older, children 5 – 11 years old, and children 6 months – 4 years of age. The number of doses recommended for children ages 6 months to 4 years is based on their COVID-19 vaccination history.

    First Day of COVID-19 Vaccinations

    On Tuesday, December 15, 2020, the UVA Health frontline staff - including doctors, nurses, environmental services workers, and pharmacists - received their first of two COVID-19 vaccine doses. View vaccination day transcript.