CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING.

COVID-19: What You Need to Know About the Vaccine

Of all the ever-changing topics in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, none has been more closely followed than the development of a vaccine. Vaccines are crucial to fighting deadly infectious diseases. When the vaccine becomes available to you, we strongly encourage you receive it. Vaccine availability is a fast-evolving situation, and details of the complex vaccination program are still being worked out. As always, Cleveland Clinic will share as much information as we can, as quickly as we can.
COVID-19

When and Where Can I Expect to Get the Vaccine?

Making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines widely available in our communities represents the most important public health strategy to control the pandemic. We are confident the vaccine will slow the spread of the virus.

A Cleveland Clinic team, in collaboration with public health officials and area hospitals in Northeast Ohio and Florida, has been planning the logistics and ensuring that the vaccines are stored and distributed effectively.

The authorized vaccines may not be widely available for the general public for several months, so we must all continue taking important precautions to help slow the spread of the virus. This includes wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing your hands frequently, social distancing and limiting gatherings.

Ohio

Cleveland Clinic is receiving shipments of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccinating our caregivers and patients who meet Ohio Department of Health criteria.

Cleveland Clinic will be using MyChart to schedule vaccine appointments. For directions on how to schedule your appointment through MyChart, please visit this page.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment only at our designated vaccination sites. The vaccine will not be available in our provider offices or walk-in clinics. Currently, the supply of vaccines available is very limited. Appointments may not be immediately available. We appreciate your patience as we work through the process of getting vaccines into our communities.

Florida

The Cleveland Clinic Florida region is working tirelessly to meet community demand for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Our appointment call centers have experienced an extremely high volume of calls since opening on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 for patients who meet criteria for vaccination under an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

All Cleveland Clinic Florida locations have allocated their vaccine supply and have suspended scheduling eligible patients. We are working closely with the state of Florida to receive additional supplies of the vaccines as soon as possible. We will resume scheduling patients immediately when we receive additional vaccine supply.

We will continue to provide information on this page when scheduling resumes.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment only at our designated vaccination sites. The vaccine will not be available in our provider offices or walk-in clinics. Currently, the supply of vaccines available is very limited. Appointments may not be immediately available. We appreciate your patience as we work through the process of getting vaccines into our communities.

Cleveland Clinic caregiver with Pfizer COVID-19 vacine

What Should I Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The FDA has authorized Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the United States.

Both vaccines are given in two doses. It’s important patients receive both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine in order to get the maximum benefit from the vaccine. For Cleveland Clinic patients, your second dose can be scheduled in MyChart after you receive your first dose. Learn more about how to schedule your second dose in MyChart.

Pfizer’s vaccine doses are given 21 days apart. Moderna’s vaccine doses are 28 days apart. However, if you are unable to schedule your second dose at these intervals, the CDC says there is no maximum interval between doses and the series does not need to be restarted if the second dose is given later.

The FDA's authorization for people receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine includes people 16 and older. Moderna’s vaccine received authorization for individuals 18 and older. Researchers have yet to begin clinical trials in children under 12. Trials in teens have just recently started. Since a child’s immune system is different from an adult’s, COVID-19 vaccines for younger children, especially, may require different dosage levels or formulations than the adult versions. At this time, we don’t have a clear answer as to when a vaccine will be available for children.

What Are the Phases for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution?

What Are the Phases for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution?

illustration of healthcare workers and first responders

First…

Healthcare workers and first responders, state and local authorities, essential workers and residents of long-term care facilities

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Next…

Seniors and adults with chronic medical conditions

illustration of the rest of the united states

Then…

The general public

How Was the COVID-19 Vaccine Developed and How Does It Work?

How Was the COVID-19 Vaccine Developed and How Does It Work?

illustration of Coronavirus vaccine

Vaccines save millions of lives each year from deadly diseases caused by viruses or bacteria. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on a vaccine to protect against the virus is happening at lightning speed. That doesn’t mean they’re skipping important steps along the way, though.

illustration of microscope and vials in lab

Similar to other vaccines, pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna had to go through a long process of research, development and approval before their COVID-19 vaccines can be authorized for emergency use.

illustration of coronavirus

Normally, a vaccine works to train your body to recognize and respond to proteins that are produced by a bacteria or virus. However, both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines are an mRNA vaccine and the first of their kind. They work by tricking your body into producing the protein (instead of waiting to respond to it). This causes your immune system to start defending itself, without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

illustration of herd immunity

We know how quickly COVID-19 can spread from person to person. When a large number of people in a community are vaccinated, the virus can’t spread as easily. While it's not an automatic “off” switch, encouraging as many people as possible to receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is the best way we can begin to slow the spread of the virus.

Cleveland Clinic nurse receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

Yes. When the vaccine becomes available to you, we strongly encourage you to get it.

Each vaccine must go through rigorous clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy, with at least two months of patient follow-up, and report their findings to the FDA. Vaccines may cause soreness where they’re injected. Some people may develop fatigue, fever and muscle aches afterward. This appears to be more common with the second dose of vaccine. It means an individual’s immune system is taking notice of the vaccine and reacting.

Should I be concerned about a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

Allergic reactions, including shortness of breath and hives, were uncommon during COVID-19 vaccine trials. All recipients receiving the vaccine, will be monitored for at least 15 minutes after vaccination for possible immediate hypersensitive reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, talk to your healthcare provider before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

What side effects can I expect from the vaccines?

In the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, the vaccines were very effective with only mild side effects that are common in all vaccines. These include fever, fatigue, muscles aches and headache. There were no serious safety concerns.

If I’m pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, can I get immunized?

More data is needed to assess the risks and benefits for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and women currently trying to conceive. We recommend that you consult your OB/GYN provider to learn more about immunizations.

If I've had COVID-19 should I get vaccinated anyway?

We recommend those who have had COVID-19 still receive the vaccine. However, you may consider waiting 90 days after getting infected as reinfection within that period is uncommon.

Stay Healthy — Stay Safe and Help Us Fight COVID-19

Stay Healthy — Stay Safe and Help Us Fight COVID-19

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