Skip to main content

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Visitor Guidance | Keeping You Safe | COVID-19 Vaccine |


Vaccine Clinic Booster Dose General Vaccine

Maui Health Vaccine Clinic FAQ

Is Maui Health offering vaccinations to the general public?

Maui Health is currently vaccinating all eligible residents age 6 months and older. Vaccine recipients under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Which COVID-19 vaccine is Maui Health administering?

Maui Health is administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for eligible residents ages 6 months or older. Maui Health also offers Moderna vaccines to children ages 6 months - 5 years old only.*

*Children must receive the same vaccine for all doses in primary series.

Do you need an appointment to receive the vaccine?

All eligible residents 6 months of age and older, including the expanded booster dose individuals, can walk in for their vaccine anytime during regular clinic hours.* Qualified individuals can still book an appointment in VAMS (vams.cdc.gov), if preferred.

*For children ages 6 months - 5 years old, parents are strongly encouraged to make an appointment and complete the preregistration process prior to their visit.

I got my first dose of Pfizer, when do I get my second and how to I book that appointment?

Your second dose of Pfizer is due at least 21 days after your first dose. You can walk in or schedule your second dose appt in the VAMS system at https://vams.cdc.gov/.

How can I change my appointment times?

If you have an appointment at Maui Memorial Medical Center in VAMS, you can log in and first CANCEL your appointment, then rebook it.

I don’t have a computer and no one to help me schedule an appointment. How can I register?

If you prefer to schedule your appointment online ahead of time and you are a kupuna age 60 and over and need more individual assistance, please call 242-2273 to request a help desk phone appointment. Leave your name, date of birth, and phone number and we will call you back to schedule an appointment.

I am a part time resident, can I get my vaccine at MMMC?

If you are here more than six months of the year, and can show proof of part-time residency, you may qualify. You must be here for both doses (3 weeks apart). Be prepared to present proof of residency (utility bill or other document) when you arrive to your appointment.

I would like to schedule an appointment ahead of time for myself and partner. Can I register us both with one email?

VAMS now allows the use of mobile phone and/or email for account registration. You can also add additional account members to a primary account. Please visit vams.cdc.gov for additional details. As a reminder, appointments are not needed at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Please email mh-covid-vaccine@kp.org should you run into any issues scheduling.

I am having issues trying to use the VAMS website.

First, please confirm that you are NOT using Internet Explorer. Instead, use the most recent version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari. Must be the updated version of the browser. If you still encounter issues, please email us at mh-covid-vaccine@kp.org and let us know which step you are having issues with.

I got both COVID shots at a Maui Health vaccine clinic but I lost my vaccine card. How can I get another card?

If you got your vaccine at a Maui Health vaccine clinic and need a replacement CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, you can do two things:

  1. You can go online to vams.cdc.gov and log in to your account to print your vaccine certificate.
  2. You can contact Maui Health to request a replace,emt card at mh-covid-vaccine@kp.org or by calling 242-2273. (NO WALK-INS)
    1. Replacement cards can take up to 5 days to be produced and you will need to pick it up once it is ready at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

If you did not get vaccinated at a Maui Health clinic, you must return to the provider that administered your vaccination.


COVID-19 Booster Shot FAQ

Who can get a booster shot?

Maui Health is administering the Pfizer vaccine first Booster dose to qualified individuals ages 12 and older including:

  • Individuals 12 and older who have already received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine (only), with the last dose received at least five months ago.
  • Individuals 18 and older who have already received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, with the last dose received at least five months ago or one dose of the J&J vaccine at least two months ago.

Second Booster dose to qualified individuals ages 50 and older, or those with immunocompromising medical conditions who are at higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19.

  • Must be at least 4 months since initial (first) booster dose.

To see who can get a booster shot, click here.

What booster can I get?

Maui Health is administering the Pfizer vaccine booster doses only. To see who can get a booster shot, click here.

Why do I need a booster?

  • Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older.
  • The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.
  • Data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent severe disease.

Do booster shots use the same ingredients as existing vaccines?

Yes. COVID-19 booster shots are the same ingredients (formulation) as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, the dose is half of the amount of the vaccine people get for their primary series.

If we need a booster shot, are the vaccines working?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection over time against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations.

Am I still considered "fully vaccinated" if I don't get a booster shot?

Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.


General COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

(For the most recent updates on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html)

How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed and tested?

  • Approval of a vaccine for use in people involves multiple phases with different goals for assessing effectiveness and safety in different populations. There are four distinct phases, and the vaccine must meet very intense safety criteria before completing each phase. Once a vaccine is approved for use after phase 3, it has been tested in tens of thousands of people and if no significant harmful side effects are noted, it is considered safe for use. Phase 4 involves continued monitoring and gathering of safety data. This type of clinical trial has been used for decades to approve medications and vaccines.

What are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • FDA requires 50% efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine (the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are showing 94-95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 disease during this trial phase). Many other companies are working on a vaccine and we expect that others will be approved by the FDA.
  • FDA requires 8 weeks (about 2 months) of safety data on the COVID-19 vaccine

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and if the vaccine is approved for an EUA, what does that mean?

  • An EUA is based on the need to use a vaccine quickly to save lives during an urgent health crisis.
  • You may be anxious about the speed with which a vaccine has been approved. While the EUA is a shorter process, no steps are skipped in the safety evaluation process.
  • This approval can still take weeks and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will re-evaluate the numbers and data to ensure that the calculations are correct.
  • The FDA has reviewed and evaluated the vaccine’s risks and benefits as they would with all vaccines.
  • The FDA formally granted emergency approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine candidate on Friday, December 11, 2020.

How do we know the vaccine is safe?

  • COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
  • We follow the scientific evidence and have confidence in the three COVID-19 vaccines developed
    by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. They all have met the rigorous FDA safety and efficacy
    standards and are proven to be extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 and most importantly in
    preventing serious harm including death from the infection. The Pfizer vaccine has the U.S. Food and
    Drug Administration’s full approval in individuals 16 years of age and older and continues to be available
    under emergency use authorization for people 5-15 years of age. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson
    vaccines also continue to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 18 years of age
    and older. Nearly 400 million doses have been safely administered in the U.S. and billions of doses have
    been administered worldwide -- and we are seeing in real time that they work.

Who evaluates vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective?

  • There are two advisory committees: (1) The Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) that advises the FDA 2020 Meeting Materials, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee | FDA; (2) The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that advises the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) | CDC
  • These advisory boards are independent from the FDA. Their job is to monitor vaccines to ensure safety regardless of money, politics, etc.
  • The people on these committees are experts from academic institutions and they are vetted to avoid a conflict of interest. Experts who may have a conflict of interest are not put on these committees.
  • The committees have evaluated the vaccine data for safety and efficacy and help to determine how it will be distributed.

How does an mRNA vaccine work?

  • The vaccine is administered into our arm muscle (intramuscular injection) which gives our cells a message by using what is called a “spike protein.” This protein cannot build a virus or cause infection, it gives our cells instructions on how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they break it down and get rid of it. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there, and it builds antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
  • While mRNA technology is new in vaccine development, this technology is being successfully used in cancer treatments.
  • For more information, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/how-they-work.html

How much does the vaccine cost?

  • Currently, vaccine doses have been purchased by the federal government for immediate use and are given to the American people at no cost.

How does the vaccine help with the spread of COVID-19?

  • Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, it can cause severe illness or death.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and physical distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

When will we be protected after we get the vaccine?

  • Most COVID-19 vaccines require 2 shots, within 21-28 days (about 4 weeks) between each shot, and protection will usually occur about 2 weeks after the second shot.
  • Protection is not immediate and current practices such as wearing a mask, physical distancing and practicing frequent hand hygiene will need to be continued.

What if I had COVID-19 or took a test that showed I have antibodies? Should I get the vaccine?

  • Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is
    possible, you should get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 or not.

What are some of the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? Will the vaccine make me sick?

  • Like most vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine can produce generally mild and temporary side effects. Some people who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine have reported fevers, fatigue, muscle aches, and soreness around the injection site. These side effects are normal and a sign that the body is building immunity.
  • If you experience discomfort after the first dose of the vaccine, it is especially important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for the vaccine to be effective.
  • This does not mean that the vaccine has given you COVID-19. The vaccines do not contain the live COVID-19 virus and cannot give you COVID-19. They take advantage of the body’s natural immune response to generate protection.
  • In some cases, a person may already be infected with COVID-19 when they get the vaccine but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. If they later have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for it, it does not mean they got COVID-19 from the vaccine.

If I have symptoms of COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, should I call out sick?

It will be important to understand the difference between side effects and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Common side effects include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, general aches

These may last a few days. We recommend taking the vaccine when you are scheduled to be off the next day, please plan accordingly.

Symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 Infection Include:

  • Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue/tiredness, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, loss of sense of taste, loss of sense of smell

If you develop a high fever or you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 that seem to get worse or if you have concerns, please stay home and call your employer to discuss next steps.

What if I’m pregnant or plan to become pregnant, is the vaccine safe?

The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.

The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Experts believe that, based on how each of these vaccines works in the body, none of the authorized or approved vaccines are likely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant.

There are several benefits of vaccination for people who are pregnant or considering
becoming pregnant:

  • Being pregnant increases the risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Being pregnant may also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection, especially among Latina
    and African American people.
  • Pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of maternal and fetal complications such as
    preterm labor.
  • Getting vaccinated during pregnancy can protect your baby as well as you.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, please discuss risks and benefits as well as questions or concerns with your OBGYN prior to deciding whether to get the vaccine.

What if I’ve had allergies to certain foods, medications, or other vaccines – is the vaccine safe?

  • You should not get the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction after your first dose of this vaccine, or had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine. If you have severe allergic reactions to certain foods or medications, please consult with your Primary Care Provider to determine if this vaccine is recommended for you. For additional information about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, click here.

What are the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine?

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. For additional information about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, click here.

Where can I find more information about the vaccine?

  • Ask your family medical provider about the vaccine and have them share information and answer questions. You can talk to them about how they are planning to make their decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • It is important to get your information from reliable sources, such as the CDC (www.cdc.gov), the Immunization Action Coalition (https://www.immunize.org), and other providers so you can get accurate information.
  • Social media is full of misinformation and opinions based on that misinformation, so be careful to look to reputable sources (such as those affiliated with academic institutions or non-profit professional organizations like AMDA (American Medical Directors Association)) . For information, visit the link below:

If you have any further questions that you do not see in the FAQs, please submit them here.