COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Virginia Department of Health is coordinating vaccination efforts. To keep up to date with when, where and how to get your vaccine call 877-ASK-VDH3 or visit their website.

A COVID-19 vaccine has recently been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). As the vaccine becomes more available, patients will have the chance to get it, so here's what you need to know in advance.

When can I get a vaccine?

The Blue Ridge Health District and the Virginia Department of Health are managing vaccinations.

You'll need to submit your info to get appointment options, as available.

Sign up with the Blue Ridge Health District.

We expect the general public to get access to vaccines by spring or summer 2021. See the CDC and VDH guidelines we're following.

Should I get the vaccine? Is it safe?

All vaccines for COVID-19 must pass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s normal review of safety and effectiveness before being approved for use. So far, study findings show that COVID-19 vaccines have excellent safety profiles. The studies followed thousands of people over several months.

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

Will UVA Health vaccinate patients?

As supplies increase, we expect to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine to our patients.

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).

Will I still have to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

The CDC recommends that you still wear a mask and protect social distancing. Learn more with the CDC's FAQs.

How much will the vaccine cost?

The vaccine will be free for patients at UVA clinics.

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

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

How many shots will I need to get?

Some of the COVID-19 vaccines require two shots. You will get these doses on different days several weeks apart.

Which type of COVID-19 vaccine will UVA be giving patients?

Several types of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be approved in coming months. We do not know yet which will be available for our patients.

Will I be protected from COVID-19 right away?

No. You won’t be protected from COVID-19 until 1-2 weeks after you get the vaccine. If you get a vaccine that requires two shots, you won’t be protected until 1-2 weeks after the second shot. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about the type of vaccine you’re getting.

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

Contact your primary care provider for guidance.

I’m immunocompromised. Is the vaccine safe for me?

Talk to your primary care provider about the best options for you. The CDC states that people with weaker immune systems should get the vaccine sooner than the rest of the population. However, these patients shouldn’t receive a vaccine with a live virus.

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Researchers are still reviewing data to determine this. Talk with your primary care provider or OB-GYN to discuss your options.

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.