COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

We are now vaccinating the following individuals.

  • Healthcare workers
  • All adults age 65 and older
  • The caregivers of adults age 65 and older
  • Emergency first responders in BRYAN and LONG Counties. First responders in other counties are being vaccinated through the hospital system.

How do I schedule an appointment?

  • To ensure we have adequate vaccine to fulfill appointment requests, including second doses, the Coastal Health District has temporarily paused appointment scheduling for new requests.
  • Individuals who are already in our system and awaiting call-back will still be given an appointment.

When will you start scheduling again?

  • This pause is temporary, but we don’t yet have a timeline for scheduling more appointments.

How can I find out when you’re scheduling again?

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.

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

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.

I’m a healthcare worker. How can I get vaccinated?

  • Check with your employer – they may have vaccine for employees.
  • If your facility does not have access to vaccine, please call your health department to schedule a vaccination.

Are there other places where I can get vaccinated?

  • Yes. The state department of public health has a vaccine locator on its website. Click here to visit the vaccine locator. You may also want to contact your doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy to see if they have available vaccine.

What is the cost for vaccination?

  • There is no cost for COVID-19 vaccination through public health. Some other health providers will also give vaccine and may bill your insurance or charge an administration fee.

Can I request a specific brand of vaccine?

  • No. We use vaccine as we receive it, and new shipments are arriving frequently from both manufacturers. For your first dose you may get the Pfizer or Moderna product and we can’t tell you ahead of time which one it will be.
  • For your second dose of vaccine, you’ll receive the same brand as your first dose (if you were vaccinated with Pfizer first, your second dose will be Pfizer, and same with Moderna).
  • Because it’s important that your second dose is the same brand as your first, please plan to get your second dose in the same clinic where you received your first dose.

How will I know when to come back for my second vaccination?

  • 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.

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.

I’m not in this current vaccination phase. Can I get on a list for vaccination or make an appointment for the expanded next phase?

  • We don’t yet have a timeline for moving to the next phase of vaccination. This will depend on availability of vaccine and how quickly we’re able to meet the demand in the current phase.
  • When we are ready to move into the next phase, we will make an announcement via news media, on our website, etc.
  • We are also creating a notification list, and you can add your email or phone number to be notified when the vaccination program status changes. Click here if you would like to be added to our notification list.

What are the different vaccination phases?

  • You can view the various vaccination phases on our vaccination phase web page. Please note that the guidelines and phases are subject to change as the vaccine rollout continues.
  • The state also has a COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline where you can call and ask about vaccine phases. That number is (888) 357-0169.

Vaccine Basics

Does the COVID-19 vaccine use live virus?

  • No. There is no component of the actual virus in the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Both utilize a new technology known as mRNA.
  • The mRNA is synthesized. This technology introduces a genetic code the body can use to make its own “spike” protein. Our immune system reacts to the spike protein by creating blocking antibodies. Later, if we are exposed to coronavirus, those antibodies would attach to the spike protein on a real coronavirus particle and prevent the virus from entering our cells.

Does the vaccine contain preservatives?

  • No. The vaccine has only salt water, inert fat globules and synthetic mRNA. No eggs and no preservatives are used in the vaccine.

Getting Vaccinated

Once vaccine is available for me, where can I get vaccinated?

  • Hundreds of healthcare facilities around Georgia have been enrolling as COVID-19 vaccine providers. These providers include public health departments, hospitals, long-term care facilities, primary care providers, pharmacies, etc.
  • County health departments in all 159 Georgia counties are part of the state’s vaccination program and will be instrumental in getting vaccine into all areas of the state, including rural areas.
  • The federal government is also partnering with pharmacies across the U.S. to ensure all Americans have access to COVID-19 vaccines when they are available. More than 86% of people live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy, which means pharmacies can be a crucial public health partner to increase access and convenience of COVID-19 vaccines.

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.

Vaccine Safety

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:
    Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
    Moderna 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.

Post-Vaccination

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.

More information: