Covid-19 Vaccine FAQs

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

 

Table of Contents    
About the Vaccine Eligibility Doses and Process
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?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

In August 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older. With 6 months of additional data following the vaccine’s initial authorization for use, this full approval further confirms that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing severe illness due to the coronavirus.

In November 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to include children ages 5 to 11.


 

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?

Updated Jan. 6, 2022 

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. 

There is growing evidence that protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19 wanes with time in those who have received the primary series of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This reduction in protection occurs particularly in older individuals. A booster dose of vaccine stimulates the immune system to reestablish protective levels of immunity. 


 

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.


 

What is vaccine efficacy, and will the current vaccines protect us from new strains of Covid-19?

Updated Jan. 6, 2022 

Vaccine efficacy is how well the vaccine works to prevent the disease for which it is designed. Covid-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 currently circulating in the United States. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild. 

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


 

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

Updated Aug. 16, 2021

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.

Currently, the most prevalent variant in the U.S. is the delta variant, which was first detected in the U.S. in March 2021. The CDC classifies the delta variant as a variant of concern due to its increased transmissibility and severity of disease.

Recent studies show that current vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious illness and death, even when infected with the delta variant. The current vaccines also significantly reduce the risk of getting infected with the delta variant. However, when someone who is fully vaccinated does get infected with the delta variant, they can spread the virus to others. In this way, infection with the delta variant is different from previous 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.


 

Why would I need a booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

There is growing evidence that protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19 wanes with time in those who have received the primary series of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This reduction in protection occurs particularly in older individuals. A booster dose of vaccine stimulates the immune system to reestablish protective levels of immunity.


 

What is the difference between the recommended third dose and the booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

In August, the CDC recommended a third dose of the two-dose vaccine series (i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines) for individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Individuals who are immunocompromised often do not develop a protective level of immunity from just two doses, so a third dose is necessary to achieve protection.

In October, the CDC recommended Covid-19 vaccine boosters for a broader group of people based upon age, underlying medical conditions, and occupation. A booster dose of vaccine is for individuals with a normal immune system who developed protective levels of immunity from the first two doses of vaccine, but whose protection has waned with time. The recommendation of a booster dose now applies to all three vaccines approved or authorized for use in the U.S.


 

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FAQ

Vaccine Eligibility

Why should I get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Updated December 8, 2021

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:


 

Does Georgia Tech require faculty, staff, or students to receive a Covid-19 vaccine?

Updated December 8, 2021

Georgia Tech continues to strongly encourage all faculty, staff, and students to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.


 

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

Updated November 11, 2021

Yes. You should get the Covid-19 vaccine even if you have been infected with Covid-19. This is because evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had Covid-19.

In addition, it is not required for employees previously infected with Covid-19 to wait 90 days after infection to receive the vaccine. However, if you were treated for Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a Covid-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Individuals who are currently infected with Covid-19 should get vaccinated after their infection ends and isolation orders are lifted, provided they were not treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. 


 

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

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 vaccine 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 November 11, 2021

No. If you have received a vaccine on the WHO-approved list, the 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 November 11, 2021

To protect yourself as well as the community, individuals who have not yet received vaccinations on the FDA or WHO lists are encouraged to get an 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.


 

Why would I need a booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

There is growing evidence that protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19 wanes with time in those who have received the primary series of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This reduction in protection occurs particularly in older individuals. A booster dose of vaccine stimulates the immune system to reestablish protective levels of immunity.


 

What is the difference between the recommended third dose and the booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

In August, the CDC recommended a third dose of the two-dose vaccine series (i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines) for individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Individuals who are immunocompromised often do not develop a protective level of immunity from just two doses, so a third dose is necessary to achieve protection.

In October, the CDC recommended Covid-19 vaccine boosters for a broader group of people based upon age, underlying medical conditions, and occupation. A booster dose of vaccine is for individuals with a normal immune system who developed protective levels of immunity from the first two doses of vaccine, but whose protection has waned with time. The recommendation of a booster dose now applies to all three vaccines approved or authorized for use in the U.S.


 

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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?

The vaccine clinic is located at Stamps Health Services.

Stamps Health Services - 740 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332

From 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 26
  • Tuesday, May 17
  • Tuesday, June 7 and 28
  • Tuesday, July 19

Parking is provided in the W02 deck.


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 Health Services website linked here: How to Schedule a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment.


 

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FAQ

Doses and Process

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?

Updated November 11, 2021

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.

New guidance from the FDA and the CDC does allow you to receive a booster dose that is different from the initial two doses of vaccine. Any vaccine can be given as the booster dose. For instance, if you received two doses of Moderna vaccine initially, you can get a booster dose with the Pfizer 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.


 

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


 

Why would I need a booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

There is growing evidence that protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19 wanes with time in those who have received the primary series of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This reduction in protection occurs particularly in older individuals. A booster dose of vaccine stimulates the immune system to reestablish protective levels of immunity.


 

What is the difference between the recommended third dose and the booster shot?

Updated Nov. 11, 2021

In August, the CDC recommended a third dose of the two-dose vaccine series (i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines) for individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Individuals who are immunocompromised often do not develop a protective level of immunity from just two doses, so a third dose is necessary to achieve protection.

In October, the CDC recommended Covid-19 vaccine boosters for a broader group of people based upon age, underlying medical conditions, and occupation. A booster dose of vaccine is for individuals with a normal immune system who developed protective levels of immunity from the first two doses of vaccine, but whose protection has waned with time. The recommendation of a booster dose now applies to all three vaccines approved or authorized for use in the U.S.


 

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FAQ

Fully Vaccinated

Will I still have to wear a mask on campus after receiving the vaccine?

Updated April 26, 2022

The University System of Georgia encourages people to wear masks based on their preference and assessment of personal risk. Masks/face coverings are required on campus in two instances:

  • In light of the April 18, 2022, U.S. District Court decision and the subsequent decisions by major transportation providers to no longer require masks on public transit, the University System of Georgia will no longer require use of masks on campus transportation.
  • In alignment with guidance for healthcare facilities, masks will continue to be required for both staff and visitors. This includes Stamps Health Services and satellite clinics.

 

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

Updated December 8, 2021

Stamps Health Services will use its electronic medical record system to record receipt of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Georgia Tech vaccine 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?

Updated December 8, 2021

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 Jan. 6, 2022

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 (and it has been less than 6 months since completing your primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or less than 2 months since your J&J vaccine), or individuals who have received a booster dose of vaccine, 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 and boosted people with no Covid-19-like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19:  
Recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state if you’ve been around someone who has Covid-19, you should get tested 5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask when around others for 10 days following exposure. You should isolate for 5 days if your test result is positive. At Georgia Tech, all students and employees are encouraged to participate in weekly asymptomatic Covid-19 testing.

Fully vaccinated people with no Covid-19-like symptoms and no known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19: 
At Georgia Tech, weekly asymptomatic Covid-19 testing is available to all students and employees. You may participate in regular testing even if you have been fully vaccinated. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, please  book a test for symptomatic students

Those who have not been vaccinated: 
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.


 

What are the recommendations for individuals arriving to Georgia Tech after a period of international travel?

Updated Jan. 6, 2022 

Georgia Tech requests all individuals traveling to Atlanta from an international location to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

After Arrival in the United States 
You might have been exposed to Covid-19 on your travels, whether you traveled by air, land, or sea. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others. For this reason, CDC recommends the following: 

How can returning to work be safe if we do not know who was vaccinated in our space or on our team?

Updated March 14, 2022 

The CDC has said If you’ve been fully vaccinated and boosted, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. The University System of Georgia encourages people to wear masks based on their preference and assessment of personal risk. You may also monitor your community to determine if you are in an area of potentially substantial or high transmission


 

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

Updated Sept. 29, 2021

At this time, the definition of "fully vaccinated" has not changed. Individuals who are two weeks past receiving both doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or two weeks past receiving the first dose of a one-dose vaccine series, are considered fully vaccinated.