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NNPS COVID-19 Vaccination Readiness & FAQ

NNPS COVID-19 Vaccination Readiness & FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we know about approvals and timing for COVID-19 vaccines including Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

There are two vaccines that have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for EUA, and others are expected to follow shortly. The FDA has a review process to issue emergency use authorizations before vaccines are authorized for use by the general public. You can watch a video describing the emergency use authorization. The CDC website is the best resource for COVID-19 vaccine information.

How soon after FDA Emergency Use Authorization will the vaccine be available for administration?

The first doses of the vaccine are already in use. Healthcare providers, Long Term and Residential Care are among the first to get the vaccine.

Governor Northam has announced the priority populations to receive vaccinations, based in part on guidance from the CDC and recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices:

  • Phase 1A of the vaccination timeline includes health care personnel and residents in long-term care facilities. School nurses are included in this phase; school nurses who signed up to receive the vaccine received their first vaccination on January 13.
  • Phase 1B includes PK-12 teachers and all school division staff; child care staff; frontline essential workers (first responders; food and grocery, manufacturing, transit and postal workers); adults 65 and over; and people aged 16 through 64 years with an underlying medical condition that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Phase 1C includes other essential workers.

According to the VDH website, the Peninsula District is currently in the 1A vaccination phase. View more information about Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination timeline.

NNPS is working with the City of Newport News, CNU and Riverside Health System to host vaccination clinics in the coming weeks. More information is forthcoming.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? What do we know about the safety of the vaccines given the expedited development process?

Based on Phase 3 trials, both Pfizer and Moderna have reported positive safety outcomes. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials have reported side effects typical of vaccines, such as fatigue, headache and mild injection site pain. The FDA has reinforced that no safety precautions or criteria have been compromised, no steps have been skipped and the vaccine is as safe as possible. More information is available on the CDC website.

How effective are the leading vaccines in preventing the coronavirus?

Both Moderna and Pfizer have reported efficacy rates at ~95% for preventing serious COVID-19 disease, consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics.

How many doses are required for the leading vaccines—and what is the timing of them?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The doses are separated by 28 days for the Moderna and 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine.

How long after the vaccine is administered will it be effective?

The CDC states that it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. This means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Will there be enough vaccine to properly vaccinate everyone in the U.S.? If so, by when?

The initial supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will not be enough to vaccinate everyone in the U.S. Distribution is prioritized for those most in need until manufacturing capabilities increase and additional manufacturer vaccines are approved to meet the demand of the entire population. The vaccine supply should continually increase in the weeks and months to follow.

How is the vaccine administered?

Both vaccines are administered by a shot in the muscle of the upper arm.

Will I be required to have the COVID-19 Vaccine?

No, you are not required to receive the vaccine as a NNPS employee. While we encourage all eligible employees to get vaccinated, it is not mandatory.

How will my employment be impacted if I choose not to take the vaccine?

Your employment with NNPS will not be impacted if you choose not to take the vaccine. You are expected to continue working as directed by your supervisor and follow all of the appropriate mitigation strategies.

I am currently scheduled to continue to work virtually. Am I eligible for the vaccination?

Yes, all NNPS employees are eligible to receive the vaccine when it is available.

I am currently scheduled to continue to work virtually due to a pre-existing health condition. If I take the vaccine will I be required to report for in person instruction?

Employees who are working virtually because their physician has indicated that they cannot work in person due to a health condition will continue to work virtually.

Is it safe for me to get the vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?

According to the CDC, people with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines provided they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for persons with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.

What if I do not take the vaccine and I contract the virus?

NNPS will continue to follow all CDC and VDH protocols. If you contract the virus, you must report your positive test result to your immediate supervisor right away and you will be required to isolate as advised by the NNPS COVID-19 Response Team and follow the advice of your medical provider.

Once I do receive the vaccine, will I be exempt from safety protocols?

While NNPS encourages all eligible employees to receive the vaccine, every employee will still be required to follow the safety protocols as established by NNPS, the Governor’s Executive Orders and the CDC including face coverings, social distancing and enhanced personal hygiene. According to the CDC, while the vaccine is ~95% effective in preventing COVID-19, the vaccinated individual could still carry and transmit the disease to others. Continuing to follow safety protocols is a must to prevent the spread of this virus.

Mythbusters

Myth: The vaccine gives you COVID-19.
Fact: None of the COVID-19 vaccines in development in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19 by producing protective antibodies.

Myth: Once I receive the vaccine, I’m protected against COVID-19 immediately.
Fact: It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible to still get COVID-19 just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. Even after a few weeks, keep in mind, the vaccine is ~95% effective in preventing COVID-19, therefore a small percentage of the population could still contract the virus.

Myth: The vaccine will cause me to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests.
Fact: The vaccines in use won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility that you may test positive on some antibody tests.

Myth: I’ve had COVID, I don’t need the vaccine now.
Fact: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, you may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, experts do not know with certainty how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

Myth: I’m healthy and have no underlying health conditions. I don’t need the vaccine.
Fact: COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you do get it, you could spread the disease to friends, family and others around you.

Myth: The vaccine was rushed to development and is not safe.
Fact: While the development of COVID vaccines has been fast tracked, the FDA has reinforced that no safety precautions or criteria have been compromised. Based on Phase 3 trials, both Pfizer and Moderna have reported no safety concerns.