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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Pfizer Vaccine Booster Dose Information (9/24/21): The CDC has provided recommendations for the COVID-19 Pfizer booster dose. It is recommended for specific individuals to get their booster dose six months after receiving their second dose. If you have questions in regard to needing a booster dose please see the recommendations using the link below or speak to your primary care provider.

Please note that the CDC has not provided recommendations for Moderna COVID-19 or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine series at this time.  

Third Dose Information (8/16/21): The CDC has recommended specific individuals receive a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to be provided at least 28 days after their second dose. Beebe COVID Vaccination sites listed below are pleased to offer first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to community members ages 12 and up and also third doses of the Pfizer vaccine to those at least 28 days after their second dose who meet the criteria established by the CDC. The individuals that should consider a third dose include those that meet the following criteria found here:

If you feel you are in a moderate to severe immune compromised state and not included in the list provided by the CDC, it is recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider about what is right for you.

We remain committed to serving the healthcare needs of Sussex County, and look forward to continuing our vigilance in the face of this pandemic. Please continue to check this page for updates or call 302-645-3200 for COVID-19 related questions.

In addition to COVID-19 Rapid Testing and Vaccination, Beebe offers online scheduling for Walk-In Care and Virtual Walk-In Care Visits (telemedicine). Learn more by clicking: Schedule Now.


INFORMATION IN THIS DIGITAL RESOURCE

It is important – even once you are vaccinated - to continue to practice the three Ws:
Wash your hands, Watch your distance, and Wear a mask.


Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine Online

Beebe Healthcare is proud to serve you throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to be successful in vaccinating many people in our community and, moving forward, Beebe Healthcare will offer the option of live, online scheduling. By clicking the Schedule button below, you will be able to schedule your COVID vaccination dose at one of our locations. If you do not see any open appointments, please check back again as we continue to add additional appointments regularly.


What about a third dose or booster dose?

On August 13, the FDA released guidelines for a third dose for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in certain immunocompromised individuals. Talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition, and whether getting a third dose is appropriate for you. Full CDC recommendations can be found here.

On September 24, the CDC provided recommendations for the COVID-19 Pfizer booster dose. It is recommended for specific individuals to get their booster dose six months after receiving their second dose. If you have questions in regard to needing a booster dose please see the CDC recommendations or speak to your primary care provider. Please note that the CDC has not provided recommendations for Moderna COVID-19 or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine series at this time.  

Note on terminology: Third doses refer to immunocompromised individuals receiving a third dose. The commonly referred "booster dose" for the general population is recommended for specific individuals to get their booster dose six months after receiving their second dose.

The booster doses are being recommended due to both waning effectiveness of vaccines against low or moderate infection and the increasing cases of the Delta variant. However, effectiveness against COVID-related hospitalizations remains high. Higher levels of antibody titers are likely required to protect against the Delta variant, and a booster dose produced a 10-fold increase in antibody titers, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health.


What About the Second Dose?

When you should get your second dose: The CDC announced that you may have a second dose up to 42 days after your first dose and still be protected. The CDC also said if you do not receive your second dose within 42 days that you do not need to restart the series over again.

However, you should not get the second dose before the recommended interval (21 days for Pfizer or 28 days for Moderna) and your first and second does must be from the same vaccine (for instance both Pfizer or both Moderna).

The Division of Public Health has asked vaccinators to provide second doses if a first was provided.


What About After I Am Fully Vaccinated?

Once you have received both doses (Pfizer and Moderna) or the single-shot dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, what can you expect?

For those who have received their dose or doses, it takes up to 14 days until you are considered fully protected. However, even after this time has passed the CDC is continuing to recommend wearing a mask in public spaces where others may not be fully vaccinated. This includes in grocery stores, gas stations, schools, and at events.

Continue to wear face coverings, socially distance, and washing hands frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Should I Be Vaccinated?

Beebe Healthcare is offering the vaccine to all our team members because we see the evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective.

Everyone eligible for the vaccine should consider vaccination during this public health crisis. The more that are vaccinate the closer the country comes to herd immunity, which is when enough of the population is vaccinated and the virus cannot spread.

You should consult your physician before receiving the vaccine 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.

Additional resource for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

If you have additional questions, you can call the state COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center: 302-672-6150 or email questions to: vaccine@delaware.gov.


How the Vaccines Were Created & FDA Full Approval Info

On Monday, August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine biologics license application (BLA) for individuals 16 years of age and older. It is the first of the three available COVID-19 vaccines to receive official approval from the FDA.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed only under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Both use a technology with messenger RNA (mRNA) and clinical studies and millions of shots worldwide show its safety and effectiveness. Moderna has also submitted an application for full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, and the FDA is currently reviewing that data.

mRNA is the blueprint that our bodies usually use to create proteins. The protein created by these vaccines will in turn cause the body’s immune system to form antibodies (special proteins created by the body to fight off infection) against the COVID-19 virus.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a viral vector, which uses a different harmless virus to carry the spike protein from COVID-19 to trigger your immune response and create antibodies. The CDC and FDA paused the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to review safety data. The vaccine was re-approved for use. Learn more.

It is natural to have apprehension to a new vaccine especially during these difficult times. The process to develop these vaccines have been tremendous and the speed at which we will now receive them is not due to a lack in safety. Learn more about the safety and technology of the vaccine.

Safety is a top priority and is considered before any vaccine before any vaccine is recommended for use. Learn more about how CDC and its partners are ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html.


What are the Side Effects?

Many want to understand the vaccines safety and effectiveness. The reports of higher than 90% efficacy is certainly a good sign.

Most common side effects are:

  • Redness at the injection site
  • Swelling or pain at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain

8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html

https://youtu.be/EILCpte7GSw
CDC video on what to expect with vaccination.

#TeamBeebe On The COVID-19 Vaccine


Frequently Asked Questions

Please keep in mind that information changes rapidly. We strive to have the information below as updated as possible.

There is a five-step, rigorous process for drug and vaccine testing. The critical first step is three phases of clinical trials to learn how the vaccine works in humans. There are more than 100 clinical trials for a vaccine in the U.S., with five of them in the third (or largest and final) stage.

More than 70,000 volunteers were involved in Pfizer’s and Moderna’s stage-three trials. Results from both indicated that the vaccine candidate was well-tolerated and able to produce an immune response.

The vaccine was developed in a much shorter period of time due to the obvious need to address the public health threat the pandemic posed to the nation. The shorter development time is the result of technology advances to map the virus’s DNA and using vaccine platforms developed for other diseases.

The clinical trial process was accelerated by enrolling more people in trials to enhance rapid data collection and earlier analysis of safety data for demographically diverse populations. This also sped up the FDA review process as they have been monitoring the data all along.

Delivery/distribution time was shortened by allowing manufacturing to occur at the same time as instead of after, vaccine approval. A shorter review time does not mean the vaccine is unsafe. Experts and scientists from the FDA and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed the vaccine development data. Extensive post-monitoring efforts will be implemented to safeguard those immunized.

On Monday, August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine biologics license application (BLA) for individuals 16+. It is the first of the three available COVID-19 vaccines to receive official approval from the FDA. Previously, the vaccine was being distributed only under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Pfizer vaccine has since been subject to an exhaustive independent review by FDA scientists – including an additional eight months of safety data and follow up with vaccine recipients, leading the FDA to grant approval. With full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be even more confident that the COVID-19 vaccines work and are safe.

While there is not yet enough data to include 12-to-15-year-olds or the immunocompromised who want a third dose under the full approval, this does not mean the vaccine is not safe for these individuals. They are still eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine under the existing Emergency Use Authorization, which remains in effect.

The FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine includes a name change for the vaccine to COMIRNATY. It is the same vaccine and the same dosage; only the name has changed. So you don’t need to restart the vaccine series if you got Pfizer for your first dose. They can be used interchangeably since they are the same vaccine, and you are likely to see both vaccine names continue to be used.

What about Moderna and Johnson & Johnson? These vaccines will continue to be safely administered through emergency use authorization as the FDA reviews data about their real-world use. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was the first vaccine to receive EUA, which is why it is the first to have enough data to receive full approval. Moderna has also submitted an application for full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, and the FDA is currently reviewing that data.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowed the use of COVID-19 vaccines to prevent serious or life-threatening disease when certain criteria were met. The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine compared to the risks warranted the EUA status. Full approval of the vaccine means that FDA staff scientists had additional time to conduct an independent review, which included reviewing an additional eight months of safety and trial data, additional time to follow those involved in clinical trials and early vaccine administration, and visits to manufacturing sites.

Recognizing the importance of testing within minority populations, vaccine developers worked with community engagement partners to enroll a diverse pool of participants. At least one manufacturer reported 37% of clinical trial volunteers were volunteers from racial and ethnic minority groups. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. Another reported approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants in the Phase 3 study had racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and 41% of global and 45% of U.S. participants were 56-85 years of age.

DPH, with recommendations from the Delaware Public Health and Medical Ethics Advisory Group (Ethics Group) will review the CDC list of prioritized population groups and determine allocation and distribution of vaccine(s). The Ethics Group recommendations will be made based on which groups are most at risk due to how the virus is transmitted (close contact, indoor facilities), the severity rate of the virus in the community, and based on the population groups identified by the CDC. Persons of color work in many of the industries identified for Tier 1 and Tier 2 vaccination. Additionally, both Delaware’s COVID Vaccine Task Force and the Communications subcommittee, include representation from organizations representing communities of color and incorporate their feedback into planning.

The COVID-19 infection may pose serious risks to those who get the virus as well as those around the infected person. The virus also comes with potential for long-term health issues after recovery from COVID-19 disease. Because scientists are still learning more about the virus that causes COVID-19, it is not known whether getting COVID-19 disease will protect everyone against getting it again. Getting a COVID vaccine allows a person’s body to develop an immune response to a virus without getting sick from the virus itself.

According to the CDC, experts are still learning how a vaccine will provide protection under real-life conditions. We will still need to practice precautions such as wearing a face covering over your mouth and nose, social distancing (staying 6 feet away from others), and frequent handwashing.

The CDC continues to update its guidance. Learn more on the CDC website.

It’s very important to continue protection protocols even after getting the vaccine. Medical experts feel very confident that the COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from the virus and help get us all back to normal — but not before a large number of people get the vaccine.

Getting the vaccine does not give you the all-clear to stop masking up and practicing social distancing. It is very important to continue to protect yourself and loved ones, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 — even after you get the vaccine — by continuing wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home if you’re sick.

When a vaccine becomes widely available, people will be able to get it from their primary care provider, local participating pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Center, or from the Delaware Division of Public Health. All providers will complete required trainings with authorized vaccine coordinators. Satellite, temporary, or off-site settings may also be utilized to make the vaccine accessible. Enrolled medical providers may receive vaccinations either from the federal level directly or through DPH based on order size and storage needs.

The vaccine will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge an office visit fee and will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the vaccine. Vaccine providers can be reimbursed for this fee.

Yes, you can get the vaccine if you have had COVID-19. Most people experience mild side effects from the vaccine. The vaccine itself will not give you COVID-19.

There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. In its recommendation to the CDC, Pfizer reported that the vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection.

No. Information about the studies and the candidates can be found on the following website https://coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/understanding-clinical-studies/ or by visiting the manufactures websites.

mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. mRNA vaccines do not. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Specifically, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Once a person receives the vaccine, the instructions (mRNA) are inside the muscle cells and the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. It does not alter or interact with your DNA in any way. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.


The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

After being paused for a time in April 2021, the CDC and FDA have re-approved use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Learn more.

The FDA approved emergency use of the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson and Janssen in late February. This vaccine was developed using the common cold instead of using mRNA like the other two approved vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a common cold virus that has been engineered to make it harmless. It then safely carries part of the coronavirus's genetic code into the body. This is enough for the body to recognize the threat and then learn to fight coronavirus. This trains the body's immune system to fight coronavirus when it encounters the virus for real.

Additionally, this vaccine only requires one dose as compared to the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer versions.

Learn more about this vaccine here.

The effectiveness of vaccines is tested during clinical trials and then reviewed by the FDA. Vaccines are approved by the FDA following clinical guidelines to determine safety. All vaccines must go through clinical trials.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will follow the same protocols. Once clinical trials are done, they will apply to the FDA. The FDA will review the data and then make a decision on whether it will be distributed under Emergency Use in the United States.

It is still unknown at this time, how long that would take, but the more people who choose to get the vaccine, the greater chance of reaching herd immunity there will be.

While it is currently recommended that people receive a second dose as close to the recommended timeframe as possible (21 or 28 days), we are awaiting further federal guidance on if this window can be extended, and the manufacturers have not said that there is a date after that at which the vaccine series would need to be re-started.

• The CDC did recently announce that you may have a second dose up to 42 days from your first dose.

• The CDC also said if you do not receive your second dose within 42 days that you do not need to restart the series over again. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

We are keeping a tally that of those who have received dose #1 at Beebe’s Millsboro Vaccine clinic. As vaccine becomes available and you are eligible for the second dose, we will be reaching out to you for the option to receive your second dose. There is a free text messaging reminder service to remind people to get their second dose. To enroll, text ENROLL to 1-833-VAXTEXT (829-8398).

If you received your first dose through a state event, they will provide you with your second dose. Registration will be done directly with Curative and individuals will be required to show proof of their first dose vaccination date when they arrive on site.

On August 13, the FDA released guidelines for a third dose for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in certain immunocompromised individuals. Full CDC recommendations can be found here.

Note: Third doses refer to immunocompromised individuals. The commonly referred booster dose for the general population is different and was approved for specific individuals in late September.

The third dose is for those in a moderate to severe immune compromised state. Full CDC recommendations/definitions can be found here.

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:
• Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
• Advanced or untreated HIV infection
• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

On Sept. 24, the CDC has provided recommendations for the COVID-19 Pfizer Booster Dose. It is recommended for specific individuals to get their booster dose six months after receiving their second dose. If you have questions in regard to needing a booster dose please see the CDC recommendations or speak to your primary care provider. Please note that the CDC has not provided recommendations for Moderna COVID-19 or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine series at this time. 

For the third dose for those who meet the immunocompromised definition, it is recommended at least 28 days after second dose.

CDC also anticipates booster shots will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. More data is needed, which is coming in the next few weeks (8/24/21).

So far, reactions reported after the third mRNA dose were similar to that of the two-dose series: fatigue and pain at injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate, according to the CDC.

Lost vaccination card? Delawareans who have lost their vaccination card should email their full name and date of birth to vaccine@delaware.gov. For those without email access, call DPH at 1-833-643-1715.

DPH has set up an email and phone number for those with questions. Beebe will also continue to hold virtual town halls to keep the community updated.

DPH phone: 302-672-6150

DPH email:  vaccine@delaware.gov.


Additional Resources