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
Rollout Plan Appointments Fully Vaccinated

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 Rollout Plan

What variant of the Covid-19 vaccines will be available to the Georgia Tech community?

In its initial allocation earlier this year, Georgia Tech received both the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

Moving forward, Georgia Tech will only be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for both first and second doses.

Georgia Tech is not administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.


 

Where can I find more information about the Institute's vaccine rollout plan?

Information about the Institute's rollout plan and current phase can be found here: Covid-19 Vaccines at Georgia Tech.


 

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FAQ

Vaccine Eligibility

Who is eligible to receive the vaccine?

On March 23, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that the state would expand the current criteria for vaccine eligibility beginning Thursday, March 25, to include all adults ages 16 and older.

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

View the current vaccine criteria

Georgia Tech is committed to working to ensure that everyone in our community who is eligible for a vaccine has the opportunity to receive it.


 

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


 

Will Georgia Tech require staff, students, or faculty to take the vaccine?

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.


 

Is there anyone who should avoid getting the vaccine as it becomes available?

According to the manufacturers of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine and the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine, you should not get the Covid-19 vaccine if you:

  • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
  • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine

Tell your vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

 

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

Georgia Tech's priority is to provide a safe environment for those who live, work, teach, and learn on campus. Tech is focusing its efforts on the immediate Georgia Tech community, including the faculty, staff, and students who meet the eligibility criteria established by DPH. This includes affiliates, contract staff, and others who work on campus.

Affiliates, Tech temps, temps, and contract staff will have the option of participating in walk-up vaccination clinics. Information about these clinics, including dates and times, will be shared directly with workers in these groups. In addition, they will also receive 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 sign-up process.

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.


 

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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 are administered at the:
Exhibition Hall
460 Fourth Street (Across the street from the main ISYE building)
Map and directions.

Parking
  • 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

 

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.

 

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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?

Yes. Routine testing is recommended for individuals undergoing vaccination as well as after they are fully inoculated. Learn more about campus testing sites and hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that individuals who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 still need to practice mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and diligent handwashing.


 

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

Updated March 9, 2021

Recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that after you’ve been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you should continue to take precautions in public places, such as campus, which include wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until more information is known.

In addition, it is possible to get infected just before and right after your vaccination since your immunity takes time to develop. Preventive measures, along with vaccinations, are imperative to curb the pandemic.


 

Do I need to report getting the vaccine if I did so off campus?

Individuals who receive a Covid-19 vaccine off campus are encouraged to upload an image of their Covid-19 vaccination card to myappointment.health.gatech.edu.

Instructions: How to Upload Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card.

This applies to first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This information will help Georgia Tech plan for future vaccine clinics and staffing needs. In addition, this information will help guide decisions regarding mitigation measures for fall semester and beyond.


 

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 inoculated?

Updated March 9, 2021

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.

The new CDC guidelines still recommend testing for fully vaccinated employees of non-healthcare, high-density settings and workplaces (such as campuses), following an exposure and through routine workplace screening programs. The CDC also recommends other prevention steps (wearing a mask, social distancing, diligent handwashing) to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, even as vaccines are being distributed.

Georgia Tech is committed to the safety of the campus community. As Georgia Tech continues to roll out vaccines to eligible campus community members, we encourage everybody to continue participating in the campus surveillance testing program. Learn more about campus testing sites and hours.


 

Can the Covid-19 vaccine cause my Covid test result to read positive when I do not have Covid?

No, the Covid-19 vaccine cannot give you Covid-19 and cannot cause a false-positive PCR (such as Georgia Tech's surveillance testing) or antigen Covid test result used for diagnosing acute infection. It is possible that the vaccine could result in a positive test for Covid antibodies.