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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

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


Vaccine Clinic Booster Dose Additional 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 5 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. It’s important to note you must receive the same vaccine for both first and second doses from the same manufacturer.

Do you need an appointment to receive the vaccine?

All eligible residents 5 years 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.

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 booster doses to qualified individuals age 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.

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.


COVID-19 Vaccine Additional Dose FAQ

Who qualifies for an additional dose?

Moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 5 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series can receive additional primary dose at least 28 days after their second dose and include those 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 primary shot is appropriate for them. Click for more information.

How is the registration process different for patients seeking an additional dose?

  1. The registration process is similar to when you first received your initial doses.
  2. There is a Pre-vaccination Questionnaire Form, in VAMS, to complete prior to taking your additional dose.
  3. If you are unable to complete the Pre-vaccination Questionnaire Form prior to your appointment, a healthcare provider will complete one with you during your vaccine appointment.
  4. Patient’s that qualify can schedule a third dose (vams.cdc.gov) or walk into the vaccine clinic during clinic hours.

Can you mix and match the vaccines for your additional primary shot? If I got the Moderna vaccine for dose 1 and 2, can I get the Pfizer for my third dose?

No, the vaccine used for the additional primary shot should be same as the vaccine used for the primary vaccine series.

*Currently, MMMC is only administering Pfizer. If you need to receive the Moderna vaccine, please visit MauiNuiStrong.info for a list of vaccination sites.

How long after the 2nd vaccine dose should the patient wait before getting an additional dose?

A minimum of 4 weeks (28 days) after the 2nd shot.

How does a patient prove they have an immunocompromising condition?

They attest to having one of the above conditions.

What are the benefits of an additional primary shot for people who are immunocompromised who received an mRNA COVID-19 primary vaccine series?

An additional primary shot may prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 in people who may not have responded to their two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) have been shown to prevent COVID-19 following the two-dose series. Limited information suggests that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection after two shots of mRNA vaccines may have an improved immune (antibody) response after an additional primary dose of the same vaccine.

What is the difference between an additional primary shot and a booster shot?

An additional primary dose is administered to people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems. The additional primary dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their vaccine primary series. A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine primary series to enhance or restore protection against COVID-19 which may have decreased over time.

Appendix


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 will we know it is safe?

  • Safety is the most important requirement for the vaccine and is assessed in trials by independent experts.
  • FDA advises a minimum of 3,000 participants to assess safety. The current phase 3 trials have 30,000 to 50,000 participants. Pfizer vaccine had 44,000 people participate in their clinical trials.

Who else will be evaluating this vaccine to ensure it is 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.

What are the types of potential vaccines that may be approved?

  • The two vaccines we may receive are Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines (see question #7 below for more information). None of these can give you COVID-19! The goal is to give your body the tools it needs to fight COVID-19 effectively and/or prevent you from getting it at all.
  • None of the proposed vaccines contain live or killed viral particles, (see question #7 below for more information on how these new vaccines work).
  • Most of the vaccines that are currently being tested will require 2 doses to be effective, given about 3-4 weeks apart.
  • This is to make sure your body has enough antibodies to fight COVID-19. Getting 2 doses within 3-4 weeks has been shown to be safe and there are other vaccines we have been using for years that require multiple doses similarly without causing harm.

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 will the vaccine cost?

  • Currently, vaccine doses have been purchased by the federal government for immediate use and will be given to the American people at no cost. There may be an administrative cost for issuing the vaccine by Walgreens.

How long will the vaccine protect us?

  • This question will not be answered until more information and data is collected. Many have suspected it will be like the flu vaccine and will need to be given on a more regular basis.

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 otherswill offer the best protection from COVID-19.

When will we be protected after we get the vaccine?

  • Most COVID-19 vaccines will 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.
  • While no vaccine is 100% effective, the vaccines that have received EUA from the FDA are more than 94% effective. This will reduce the risk of getting sick with COVID-19.

After I have had the second dose of the vaccine and it is 2 weeks after my second shot, do I still have to wear a mask?

  • Yes, even though you have received your vaccine, most of the people around you have not. We know the vaccine prevents disease in the vaccinated person, but it still may be possible to transmit the disease to others, until the vaccine is in widespread use.
  • Wearing a mask, physical distancing, and practicing hand hygiene protects those who have not been vaccinated, especially our high-risk patients and residents in long-term care.

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

  • Yes, even if you have had COVID-19, it is safe to get the vaccine and recommended.
  • If you have had a test that shows you have COVID-19 antibodies, you should still get the vaccine. It is safe and can increase your protection.

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

  • The vaccines currently being tested in clinical trials can cause short-term discomfort (such as headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever, and pain at injection site) in a small percentage of the people who receive them. This is the effect of your body developing immunity. Clinical trial participants reported that the discomfort went away after a day, sometimes sooner. When you receive the second dose of the vaccine, the discomfort can be more pronounced. This is a normal reaction.
  • 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. Rather, this means that the vaccine is causing your body’s immune system to react and create antibodies to fight off the virus. In other words, if you feel some discomfort, then the vaccine is doing its job!
  • 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 call out sick. You also have the option to see the Employee Health APP.

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

  • At this time, the safety of the vaccine has not yet been tested in pregnant women as the clinical studies conducted thus far did not include pregnant women.
  • 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 or visit https://www.cvdvaccine-us.com/images/pdf/fact-sheet-for-recipients-and-caregivers.pdf

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 or visit https://www.cvdvaccine-us.com/images/pdf/fact-sheet-for-recipients-and-caregivers.pdf

Where can I find more information about the vaccine?


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