COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?
- All Georgians age 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of health condition or occupation.
- Note for individuals aged 16 & 17: Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for ages 16 and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up.
- You MUST be a Georgia resident or employed in Georgia to be eligible.
How do I schedule an appointment?
- For an appointment with one of the 8 county health departments in the Coastal Health District, go to chdcovidvax.org to schedule an appointment. The online appointment scheduling system will allow for scheduling first dose appointments only, up to eight days in advance.
- Residents who need assistance with scheduling can call the Vaccine Call Center at 912-230-5506 to schedule an appointment. The Vaccine Call Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
*Please be patient as call volume is heavy.
Do I have to get an appointment in the county where I live?
- No. You do not have to be a resident of a particular county to be vaccinated in that county. But you do need to be a Georgia resident to be vaccinated in Georgia.
What should I bring with me to my appointment?
- Please bring a face mask. Face masks are required for everyone over age 2 unless they have a specific condition that prevents safe use of a face mask.
- If you have health insurance, please bring your insurance information. You will not be charged a fee for COVID-19 vaccine through public health. If you have health insurance, we will ask for your insurance information, but you will have no out of pocket costs. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged a fee.
My spouse/caregiver/housemate also needs vaccination. Do they need a separate appointment?
- Yes. Each appointment is for a single individual. Every person must have his/her own appointment.
Are there other places where I can get vaccinated?
- Yes. The state department of public health has a links to several providers as well as a searchable vaccine locator on its website. Click here to visit the DPH COVID vaccine page.
What is the cost for vaccination?
- There is no cost for COVID-19 vaccine through public health. If you have health insurance, we will ask for your insurance information, but you will have no out of pocket costs. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged a fee.
Can I request a specific brand of vaccine?
- No, but on our scheduling portal we list which brand of vaccine will be used at each location.
How will I know when to come back for my second vaccination?
- If you are vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer, you will need to return for a second dose. This will be discussed with you during your appointment for your first dose. You will receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which vaccine you received and when you need to return.
- Also, CDC has developed a new, voluntary smartphone-based tool called v-safe that uses text messaging to send you a reminder when you need a second dose.
- If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, you’ll need to return in about 3 weeks for your second dose. If you receive the Moderna vaccine, you’ll need to return in about 4 weeks.
- If you receive the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, you will not need to return for a second dose.
Why will I need to stay on site for monitoring after my vaccination?
- In a few cases, individuals have had an allergic reaction to vaccination. You should stay on site for 15-30 minutes to be monitored so that if you have an allergic reaction, our staff can take care of you.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine use live coronavirus?
- No. None of the three authorized vaccines use any component of the coronavirus, and you cannot get the coronavirus from the vaccine.
- The CDC has more information about the vaccine types online – visit the CDC website.
Does the vaccine contain preservatives?
- No. None of the currently authorized vaccines use preservatives.
Where can I get vaccinated?
- Hundreds of healthcare facilities around Georgia are enrolled as COVID-19 vaccine providers. These providers include public health departments, hospitals, long-term care facilities, primary care providers, pharmacies, etc.
- Click here to see some of the providers in our area.
If I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I still get vaccinated?
- Yes. If you have had COVID-19 but have recovered and/or you are outside of your isolation period, you may be vaccinated.
I’m not at high risk of COVID-19 complications. Would it be better to take my chances with coronavirus instead of a rushed vaccine?
- Of the two options, COVID-19 is more dangerous. While data suggests that younger people tend to have less serious illness, many young people are hospitalized, require intensive care, and even die from COVID-19. By contrast, COVID vaccines have been tested in tens of thousands of people with no serious side effects to date.
What are the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Based on available data, COVID-19 vaccination is expected to cause some muscle pain, fever, and headache. Symptoms should be mild and short-lived. Additional information:
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
How will side effects be tracked?
- The CDC will utilize several existing monitoring systems for COVID-19 vaccine safety. Additionally, CDC has developed a new, voluntary smartphone-based tool called v-safe that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after patients receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe allows patients to report any side effects after COVID-19 vaccination to CDC in almost real time.
What will happen if serious side effects are reported?
- If potential safety issues with any COVID-19 vaccine are discovered, CDC will work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other vaccine safety partners to rapidly assess the potential safety issue.
- Up-to-date vaccine safety information will be shared with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). If needed, ACIP may make changes to its vaccine recommendations based on this information.
If I get vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
- Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
How soon can we expect life to return to normal once we have a vaccine?
- No fire hose can immediately put out a forest fire, and in the same way, no vaccine can stop a pandemic right away. The vaccine is a critical factor in ending the pandemic, but we will all need to continue following public health protocols – wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep your distance – for many months to come.