News and Events, Health and Wellness
What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines
- March 31, 2021
- By Staff Writer
M Health Fairview is currently providing COVID-19 vaccines to all people age 12 and older. To make an appointment for children ages 12-17, please call 612-336-2690. People age 18 and above can schedule an appointment online here.
If you meet vaccine eligibility guidelines and are 18 years old or older, please visit our to answer our screening questions, log into MyChart, check appointment availability, and schedule an appointment.
COVID-19 vaccine appointments are only available at select M Health Fairview locations statewide, and you may need to travel to a different clinic than you typically visit for your other primary care appointments and health needs. You will be able to select the location that is most convenient for you when you book an appointment.
Yes, we require an appointment in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please do not come to a M Health Fairview clinic for the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment. To find out if you meet the criteria to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, please visit our . Please note: Patients age 12-17 must schedule an appointment at a location offering the Pfizer vaccine.
- M Health Fairview Clinic – Bethesda
- M Health Fairview Clinic - Burnsville
- M Health Fairview Clinic -Hugo
- M Health Fairview Clinic - Lakeville
- M Health Fairview Clinic - Oakdale
- M Health Fairview Clinic - Roselawn
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt for ease of receiving the vaccine.
- Wear a mask and maintain a social distance of six feet from others when possible at your appointment. Only those getting a vaccine should come to the appointment.
- After receiving the vaccination, you will be asked to wait nearby for a 15-minute observation period to monitor you for immediate adverse reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to a vaccine, you will be asked to wait nearby for a 30-minute observation period. Our vaccinators are prepared to respond to adverse reactions during the observation time. They will have access to EpiPens and guidance on how to care for individuals experiencing reactions.
- If you are pregnant, lactating (nursing) or have a weak immune system, review special details about the vaccine on the .
All patients will need to provide a completed consent form to receive their vaccine. If you are 12-17 years old, you will need to provide a consent form (links below) that is signed by your parent or guardian at your appointment. If you are age 18 or older, you can do this at your appointment or fill it out ahead of time and bring it to your appointment. Find the consent form here. It is also available in the following languages: Arabic, Amharic, Chinese, Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) are safe and highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19, hospitalization, and death due to the disease, according to results from large clinical trials that involved more than 100,000 people.
On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an (EUA) allowing the Pfizer vaccine to be given to people in the United States. One week later, the FDA issued for the Moderna vaccine. A third vaccine produced by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) received .
Before approval, clinical trial results for all three vaccines were reviewed by FDA experts, an independent panel convened by the FDA, and a group of independent experts retained by the companies involved.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were both found to be more than 94 percent effective after two doses. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine was shown to be 66 percent effective in preventing mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 at least 28 days after vaccination. More importantly, researchers found that the vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19 and was 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalization and deaths.
The FDA did not find any specific safety concerns that would prevent the release of the three vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA will continue to monitor people who have received the vaccines to ensure there’s no evidence of rare safety issues.
Our team of experts at M Health Fairview have been following the science and data closely and we strongly encourage people to get the first vaccine offered to you, no matter which kind of vaccine it is. Getting the vaccine will protect you and your family while helping prevent the spread of this disease. COVID-19 can cause death or serious health problems, even in young, healthy people. The risk of getting the virus and suffering serious side effects is greater than the possible risks from receiving the vaccine.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do use live or weakened versions of the coronavirus causing COVID-19. Instead, these vaccines have genetic material called mRNA or “messenger RNA” that is taken from the virus. Once injected, this material tricks our bodies into producing a protein unique to the virus. When our immune systems detect this protein, they then create cells that recognize and destroy it. These immune system cells remain in our bodies for long periods, giving us protection against the virus.
Both vaccines come in two doses. People receiving the Pfizer vaccine will need a second dose 21 days after the first, while those who get the Moderna vaccine will need a booster 28 days later. The second dose must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose. Both doses are important to ensure full protection. Two weeks after the second doses, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to be more than 94 percent effective.
The Pfizer vaccine can be used by people ages 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine is for people ages 18 and older.
The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine comes in a single dose – unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which both require two doses several weeks apart. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) shot uses a “vector vaccine” method. Vector vaccines use another weakened virus – in this case, it’s an adenovirus called Ad26 – to deliver genetic material that tricks your body into making a protein which stimulates your body’s immune response. It is not possible to get COVID-19 or a sickness caused by the adenovirus through this vaccine.
The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine was studied during and following the emergence of – several of which spread more easily than previous forms of the disease. It’s the most-up-to-date vaccine, and the only one tested head to head with these variants. Because there are not any studies directly comparing one vaccine to one another, it is not accurate to assume that one version is better than another.
Once vaccinated, we must continue wearing masks, being socially distant, and taking other steps to reduce our risk.
If you have experienced concerning symptoms after receiving the , please go to an emergency department, call 911, or reach out to your primary care provider.
You may have some side effects after getting vaccinated. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. During the clinical trials, only mild to moderate flu-like side effects were reported with the vaccines, including a headache, fatigue, chills, fever, and muscle and joint soreness. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, side effects are more likely to occur after the second dose. Most of these symptoms ended three days after the vaccine, or earlier.
Cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell are side effects of the vaccine. If you experience these symptoms, monitor your symptoms to see if they become worse and seek the advice of your healthcare provider if they do. While it’s not possible to get COVID-19 from any of vaccines, you may have been exposed to the virus before receiving your vaccine.
It is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use only genetic material from the coronavirus causing COVID-19 while the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine delivers that genetic material using a weakened adenovirus (Ad26).
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are not fully effective unless you receive both doses. The first dose of the vaccine triggers your immune system response and the second dose completes the process so that you have the best-possible protection. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine only requires a single dose for full effectiveness.
If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient that is in a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you should get that vaccine. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injections, the CDC recommends checking with your doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
You may have some side effects after getting vaccinated. The side effects may feel like the flu and may last for a few days. These side effects are normal and are signs that the body is building protection from the virus.
There is a very small chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction – often within a few minutes to one hour after getting the vaccine. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face and throat
- A fast heartbeat
- A bad rash all over your body
- Dizziness and weakness
If you think you’re having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the place where you received the vaccine, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. If redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours – or if your side effects are worrying you, or do not seem to be going away after a few days – call our Fairview Nurse Advisors line at 1-855-324-7843.
for more information about what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine, or consider downloading and using the CDC’s smartphone app, , to track and report side effects, receive personalized health checks, and get second dose reminders. The CDC recommends patients and providers report adverse or allergic reactions to the .
While we have made some progress in the fight against COVID-19 with public health measures like masking and social distancing, widespread vaccination is the only way that we can stop the pandemic.
Not only does getting the vaccine protect you against COVID-19, it also reduces the chances that you will spread it to others, including your family and friends. Together, the COVID-19 vaccination and simple masking, hygiene, and distancing guidelines offer the best protection from COVID-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at least six feet from others, and remain home if you’re sick.
Even younger people can have severe complications from COVID-19, although their risk is not as high as older people or those who have serious health conditions. The more people who get the vaccine, the closer we can get to reaching herd immunity. Herd immunity is when most people are immune to a disease, meaning they can’t get it, because they received the vaccine or have already had the disease and cannot get it again, at least for a while. Herd immunity can stop or slow the spread of disease.
Yes. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 produce antibodies that offer some protection against the virus, but we don’t know enough yet about antibody protection and how long it may last, so we recommend that everyone get the vaccine.
The Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) clinical trials did not include pregnant or lactating people, so there is currently no data on the safety of vaccines for those groups. The , the , and the currently recommend making the vaccine available to pregnant and lactating people who are healthcare workers or members of other priority groups. The decision to vaccinate or not is up to each person. A conversation with your care provider may assist you in making an informed decision, though this is not required.
Yes. Everyone should wear face masks, wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing, and take other safety steps until more people have received the vaccine, the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide is no longer at pandemic levels, and we understand more about how long these vaccines will protect us.