Covid-19 Vaccine FAQs

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Table of Contents    
About the Vaccine Eligibility First and Second Doses
Fully Vaccinated Appointments  

FAQ

About the Vaccine

How does the Covid-19 vaccine work?

Like other vaccines, Covid-19 vaccines aid in the development of immunity to the virus. All vaccines protect the body by creating antibodies that fight future viruses. The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and Moderna Covid-19 vaccine both use mRNA to stimulate the production of these antibodies.

Individuals can be infected with Covid-19 shortly before or after vaccination because it usually takes your body a few weeks to produce the protective antibodies.

After vaccination, side effects can occur. However, this usually means that the body is developing immunity.

Learn More

 

How do we know the Covid-19 vaccines are safe?

In December 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine during this public health emergency. FDA issued the EUA for the vaccines only after rigorous review of laboratory, clinical, and manufacturing data to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines.

For more information on the FDA-issued EUA, visit Emergency Prepardeness and Response FAQs.


 

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects have been reported with both the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine and the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine. These include:

  • Injection site pain.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Chills.
  • Joint pain.
  • Fever.
  • Injection site swelling.
  • Injection site redness.
  • Nausea.
  • Feeling unwell.
  • Swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy).

There is a remote chance that the 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. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Swelling of your face and throat.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A bad rash all over your body.
  • Dizziness and weakness.

 

How many doses will I need to receive in order for the vaccine to be fully effective?

Two doses of the vaccine are required. For the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine, the doses have to be a minimum of three weeks apart. For the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine, the doses have to be a minimum of four weeks apart.

When you receive your initial dose, you will be given information about the earliest that you can get your second dose and instructions for scheduling a second dose. At this time, you will be responsible for scheduling your second. Stamps will send out reminders when it is time to get a second dose.


 

What is vaccine efficacy?

Vaccine efficacy is how well the vaccine works to prevent the disease for which it is designed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on evidence from clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 illness in people who showed no evidence of being previously infected.

Also based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 illness in people who received two doses who showed no evidence of being previously infected.


 

What percentage of the population needs to get vaccinated to get herd immunity?

According to the CDC, experts don’t yet know the percentage for Covid-19. We do know that, as more people are protected, the harder it will be for the disease to spread from person to person. Herd immunity also protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns.


 

Will the current vaccines protect us from new strains of Covid-19?

Multiple variants of the Covid-19 virus that seem to spread more easily and quickly have been identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. The UK variant was reported in the U.S. at the end of December 2020, and the South Africa and Brazil variants at the end of January 2021.

According to the CDC, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. Both Moderna and Pfizer are testing and have reported that their vaccines are still effective, while less effective with some variants.

The CDC is working to monitor the spread of identified variants, characterize emerging viral variants, and expand its ability to find new SARS-CoV-2 variants.


 

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FAQ

Vaccine Eligibility

Why should I get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Vaccines are widely recognized as an important tool in keeping the public safe from infectious diseases. Covid-19 vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing you from contracting the coronavirus infection as well as keeping you from becoming severely ill if you do contract Covid-19. It may help protect others you come in contact with, including friends and family. Vaccination is key to ending the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Learn more: 

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine


 

Does Georgia Institute of Technology require vaccinations of students, staff, or faculty members?

Updated June 18, 2021

While highly encouraged to protect yourself as well as the community, at this time, it is not mandatory for staff, faculty, or students to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.


 

If I have already contracted and recovered from Covid-19, should I get the vaccine?

Yes. You should get the Covid-19 vaccine even if you have been infected with Covid-19. Antibody tests are not required for vaccination.

Individuals who are currently infected with Covid-19 should get vaccinated after their infection ends and isolation orders are lifted.


 

Will the vaccine be made available to members of the extended community, such as family members or Georgia Tech retirees?

Beginning immediately, Georgia Tech will administer the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children ages 12 and older of Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students. These family members will need a temporary Georgia Tech Guest Account to use the mytest.gatech.edu vaccine appointment portal. Instructions: How to Create a Georgia Tech Guest Account for Your Family Member.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany dependent children ages 12 and older to their vaccination appointment. 

Affiliates, Tech temps, temps, and contract staff are also eligible to receive the vaccine on campus. These employees have received Georgia Tech Guest Account credentials to login to mytest.gatech.edu to sign up for a vaccination appointment. The Help Desk (404.385.5555) is also able to help these workers navigate the signup process. At this time, Georgia Tech is not extending vaccine appointments to family members of affiliates, Tech temps, temps, and contract staff.

Members of the extended community are encouraged to search for state and local health providers for scheduling a vaccination appointment. More information is available at dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.


 

Who is eligible to receive the vaccine?

Updated May 30, 2021

Georgia Tech is administering the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to faculty, staff, and students as well as their spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children ages 12 years and older. 

This announcement does not affect those who have already been declared eligible to receive the vaccine. 

View the current vaccine criteria

These family members will need a temporary Georgia Tech Guest Account to use the mytest.gatech.edu vaccine appointment portal. Instructions: How to Create a Georgia Tech Guest Account for Your Family Member

A parent or legal guardian must accompany dependent children ages 12 and older to their vaccination appointment. 


 

Are affiliates, Tech Temps, and contract staff eligible to receive the vaccine?

Updated May 30, 2021

Affiliates, Tech temps, temps, and contract staff are also eligible to receive the vaccine on campus. These employees have received Georgia Tech Guest Account credentials to login to mytest.gatech.edu to sign up for a vaccination appointment. The Help Desk (404.385.5555) is also able to help these workers navigate the signup process. At this time, Georgia Tech is not extending vaccine appointments to family members of affiliates, Tech temps, temps, and contract staff. 

Members of the extended community are encouraged to search for state and local health providers for scheduling a vaccination appointment. More information is available at dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine


 

If I have already received a vaccination that is not on the FDA authorized list, but is on the WHO list, do I need to get a vaccination on the FDA authorized list?

Updated June 18, 2021

No, if you have received a vaccination on the WHO approved list, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that you receive an additional vaccine from the FDA authorized list.


 

If I received a vaccination that is not on the FDA or WHO lists, do I need to get another vaccination on the FDA authorized list once I arrive at Georgia Tech?

Updated June 18, 2021

To protect yourself as well as the community, it is highly encouraged that individuals who have not yet received vaccinations on the FDA or WHO lists get a FDA authorized vaccination once they arrive on the Georgia Tech campus. These individuals should work with a medical professional to understand the best vaccine option for them and can do so by scheduling an appointment at Georgia Tech’s vaccine clinic.

Individuals may make a vaccination appointment by visiting mytest.gatech.edu and using these instructions: How to Schedule a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment.


 

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FAQ

Vaccine Appointments

Do I need to register to receive the vaccine? If so, how?

Yes, if you belong to one of the eligible groups as defined by the Georgia Department of Public Health, you will need to register for a vaccine appointment using MyTest.gatech.edu – the same system currently used for Covid-19 surveillance testing.

Instructions

How to Schedule a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment


 

Where do I go to get the vaccine?

Covid-19 vaccines will be administered at the following locations:

  • Exhibition Hall - 460 Fourth Street, Atlanta, GA 30313 (across the street from the main ISYE building)
    • Tuesday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Stamps Health Services - 740 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332
    • Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • McCamish Pavilion - 965 Fowler Street, Atlanta, GA 30318
    • Aug. 16 – 20, Aug. 23 – 25, and Aug. 27 (no clinic on Aug. 26) from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    • Sept. 7 – 10 and Sept. 13 – 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Parking

Exhibition Hall and Stamps Health Services

  • Parking is available in the W02-Student Center parking deck.
  • Community members with the following permits will have access to the W02 parking deck using their BuzzCards:
    • Annual Individual Permit
    • Carpool Permit
    • Semester Permit
    • Flex Permit
    • Active Temporary Permit
  • Community members with the following permits will receive validations for the W02 parking deck from vaccine clinic staff:
    • Motorcycle Permit
    • Evening/Weekend Permit
    • Retiree Permit
    • SmartPark Permit
    • Non-permit Customers

Parking for McCamish Pavilion

  • Free parking will be available at the Family Housing parking deck (ER66).

Do I need to do anything before my vaccination appointment?

Before coming to your vaccination appointment, you will need to:

  1. Download and complete the vaccination consent form .
  2. Print it out to bring with you to the clinic. This will shorten your time in the clinic.
  3. You should also review the FDA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers and Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Will I get a reminder when it is time for my second dose?

Those who received their first dose at Georgia Tech will receive a direct communication from Stamps Health Services with instructions for scheduling your second appointment.

We will reserve slots on mytest.gatech.edu for second dose vaccinations. To ensure you receive your second dose at Georgia Tech, you must act promptly once you receive notification about scheduling the second dose. Unclaimed appointment slots will be opened to all who are eligible.

Individuals who received their first vaccine dose at a location other than Georgia Tech should submit a ticket to c.gatech.edu/vaccine-help to notify the vaccine team that you need a second dose.


 

I currently cannot find available vaccination appointment slots at mytest.gatech.edu. How can I be notified about available appointments?

We will continue to open appointments as additional vaccine becomes available.

Subscribe to Receive Notifications
  • Receive a notification when new appointments are available.
  • Subscribe at mytest.status.gatech.edu.
  • Once you subscribe, be sure to respond to the confirmation email.

 

I’m interested in receiving a vaccination after arriving on the Georgia Tech campus. What is the process I need to follow to request a vaccination?

Updated June 18, 2021

You can find instructions for requesting a vaccination on the STAMPS website linked here: How to Schedule a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment.


 

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FAQ

First and Second Doses

If I receive a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine for my first dose, can I receive a Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine for my second dose or vice versa?

No. The vaccines are not interchangeable and both doses must match. Your vaccine card will specify the type of vaccine you received and when you received it.


 

Will I get a reminder when it is time for my second dose?

Those who received their first dose at Georgia Tech will receive a direct communication from Stamps Health Services with instructions for scheduling your second appointment.

We will reserve slots on mytest.gatech.edu for second dose vaccinations. To ensure you receive your second dose at Georgia Tech, you must act promptly once you receive notification about scheduling the second dose. Unclaimed appointment slots will be opened to all who are eligible.

Individuals who received their first vaccine dose at a location other than Georgia Tech should submit a ticket to c.gatech.edu/vaccine-help to notify the vaccine team that you need a second dose.


 

Do I have to get both doses from Georgia Tech?

No, it is not necessary to get both doses from Georgia Tech.

It is important to note that Georgia Tech is administering only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the vaccination clinic and is opening appointments based upon supply.

All doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered or reserved for second doses — no additional appointments will be made available for the Moderna vaccine.


 

Will I still need to be tested for Covid-19 while I am in the process of receiving the first and second doses of the vaccine?

Updated May 30, 2021

Yes. Routine testing is recommended for individuals undergoing vaccination. Learn more about campus testing sites and hours.


 

What should I do if I get ill in between doses?

If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 911, or go to the nearest hospital.

Call Stamps Health Services (students) or your healthcare provider (faculty/staff) if your illness seems to be more than mild to moderate expected side effects of the vaccination.

As part of this vaccination program, Stamps Health Services is required to report serious adverse events (irrespective of whether they are caused by the vaccination) after vaccination, which include death, a life-threatening event, inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of an existing hospitalization, a persistent or significant incapacity or significant disruption of the ability to conduct normal life functions, a congenital anomaly or birth defect, or an important medical event that based on medical judgment may jeopardize the individual and may require medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the outcomes above. Any event meeting these criteria should be reported to Stamps Health Services.

You may also be given an option to enroll in v-safe. V-safe is a new voluntary smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with people who have been vaccinated to identify potential side effects after Covid-19 vaccination. V-safe asks questions that help the CDC monitor the safety of Covid-19 vaccines. V-safe also provides second-dose reminders if needed and live telephone follow-up by CDC if participants report a significant health impact following Covid-19 vaccination. For more information on how to sign up, visit: www.cdc.gov/vsafe.

Source: Moderna and Pfizer info sheets


 

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FAQ

Fully Vaccinated

Will Georgia Tech keep track of those who have received the vaccine?

Stamps Health Services will use its electronic medical record system to record receipt of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Georgia Tech vaccination clinic. This will include faculty and staff as well as students who receive the Covid-19 vaccine on campus.


 

Will I receive documentation that I have received the vaccine?

Yes, every person who receives a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States is given a vaccine card at the time of their first dose. The vaccine administration card will list which type of vaccine they received, the lot number, the date, and the signature of the individual who gave the vaccination.

Vaccine recipients should keep this documentation and remember to bring this documentation with them to their second Covid-19 vaccination.


 

Will I still need to be tested for Covid-19 after I receive both doses and am fully vaccinated?

Updated June 30, 2021 (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

For fully vaccinated people with Covid-19 symptoms: 
Yes, get tested if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that fully inoculated individuals should still watch out for symptoms of Covid-19, especially if they have been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. 

For fully vaccinated people with no Covid-19-like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19: 
Most fully vaccinated people with no Covid-19-like symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, as their risk of infection is low. 

However, they should still monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should isolate themselves from others, get tested for  Covid-19, and inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status. 

Fully vaccinated people with no Covid-19-like symptoms and no known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19: 
It is recommended that fully vaccinated people with no Covid-19-like symptoms and no known exposure should be exempted from routine screening testing programs, if feasible. 

Those who have not been vaccinated should continue to participate in surveillance testing on a weekly basis. At this time, Georgia Tech will continue to offer free campus surveillance testing to all members of the community who would like to participate. Learn more about campus testing sites and hours


Am I allowed to ask a faculty member, staff member, or student if they are vaccinated?

Updated June 16, 2021

No, you are not allowed to inquire about someone’s personal healthcare decision.