COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine

It is as true today, as it was at the start of the pandemic: We are in this together.  The Covid-19 vaccine is an important way to lessen the severity of the virus and to end the Covid-19 pandemic in our communities. We aim to provide you with up-to-date information, address the community’s questions or concerns about Covid-19 vaccines, and make Covid-19 vaccination safe, easy, free, and accessible. We look forward to continuing to serve and vaccinate our communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines?

The vaccines are considered very safe. Before these vaccines were approved for use in the public, they were tested on tens of thousands of people; and were found to be both safe and effective. Since their approval for use in this country, there have been more than 260 million vaccinations given, and the data collected confirms that they are extremely safe. For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html

What are the potential short- and long-term side effects?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in 1-2 days. Some people have no side effects. For additional information: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

Are certain people more susceptible to side effects than others?

In general, patients with a stronger immune reaction will experience more side effects. Elderly people, who naturally have lower immune reactions, may experience fewer side effects than a younger adult, for example. This is also why more people will experience side effects after the second shot of a 2-shot series because the 2nd shot will boost the immune system further after it has already been activated by the 1st shot.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Yes, there is no doubt at all that the benefits heavily outweigh the risks. The easiest way to think about it is this: More than 32 million Americans have been infected, with nearly 600,000 deaths. More than 260 million doses of vaccines have been given to Americans, with an exceptional efficacy and safety record. Zero deaths are linked to vaccination with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Is one type of vaccine safer than another?

All the vaccines that are available – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson – • are safe, • are effective, and • reduce your risk of severe illness. CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another. Learn more: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

All of the approved vaccines are highly effective. Pfizer and Moderna – both of which require 2 shots – give 94-95% protection against COVID. Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccination is about 85% effective against severe cases of infection. Let’s compare these levels of protection against what we expect from a typical flu shot, which is about 50% effective. With such high efficacy rates, clearly, the COVID-19 vaccines are excellent.

 

Are the vaccines effective against the new COVID-19 strains?

The new vaccines continue to be studied against the new COVID strains, and it is expected that they will be slightly less effective than against the original strain that they were produced to protect against. A virus may mutate and create new strains, which can make the vaccine slightly less effective. However, the vaccines are proving to be very effective in current real-world conditions, including places where new strains are circulating. Therefore, we can be assured that the current vaccines will certainly help protect against COVID-19, as well as reduce severe illness, even against the new strains.

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

All of the approved vaccines are highly effective. Pfizer and Moderna – both of which require 2 shots – give 94-95% protection against COVID. Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccination is about 85% effective against severe cases of infection. Let’s compare these levels of protection against what we expect from a typical flu shot, which is about 50% effective. With such high efficacy rates, clearly, the COVID-19 vaccines are excellent.

Can pregnant women and children get vaccinated?

Children: As of May 11, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Pfizer vaccines for children 12 years and older. Formal recommendation for this use is expected from the CDC soon. Currently, Moderna and Johnsons and Johnson’s vaccines are indicated for those 18 years and older.

Pregnant Women: If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You may want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

Key considerations you can discuss with your healthcare provider include:

• How likely you are to being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19

• Risks of COVID-19 to you and the potential risks to your baby

• What is known about COVID-19 vaccines:

  • How well they work to develop protection in the body
  • Known side effects of vaccination
  • Limited, but growing, information on the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy
  • How vaccination might pass antibodies to the fetus.

For additional information: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

Which vaccine is Open Door providing?

Open Door Family Medical Center now has all three approved Covid-19 vaccinations available:

• Moderna two-dose vaccines • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) one dose vaccines

• Pfizer two-dose vaccines*

*Now approved for young people as young as 12 years old

Will I be able to get vaccinated if I’m uninsured or underinsured?

Yes. Health Uninsured patients don’t need to worry. The COVID-19 vaccines are FREE for uninsured patients. And if someone is insured, the health insurance will cover the cost of the vaccine. Cost should NOT be a barrier to getting vaccinated.

How can I make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine?

Appointments can be made by calling 914-OD-CARES or sending an email to hello@odfmc.org. Open Door currently offers same-day appointments and Walk-ins for Covid-19 vaccination are welcome.

What are the benefits of being fully Covid-19 vaccinated?

People who have been fully vaccinated can start doing some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, such as gather with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask or travel without testing requirements. When choosing safer activities, consider the current state of Covid-19, the number of people participating in an activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities. Fully vaccinated people can participate in indoor activities with much less risk than unvaccinated people. When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask and follow any applicable workplace or school guidance.

Learn more: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

What are the best ways to protect me and/or my family from COVID-19?

In addition to mask-wearing, regular handwashing, and social distancing, get vaccinated. Even though we do not know if getting the vaccine will entirely reduce your ability to pass on the virus to others, it very likely will reduce your chance of having symptoms (coughing, congestion), and we know that people who do not have any symptoms are much less likely to spread the infection.

 

What are the best ways to protect me and/or my family from COVID-19?

In addition to mask-wearing, regular handwashing, and social distancing, get vaccinated. Even though we do not know if getting the vaccine will entirely reduce your ability to pass on the virus to others, it very likely will reduce your chance of having symptoms (coughing, congestion), and we know that people who do not have any symptoms are much less likely to spread the infection.

What role could holistic or preventive care play in combatting the spread and burden of COVID-19?

Anything that increases your immune system helps against COVID. That means eating healthy foods – more vegetables and fruits, and less inflammatory foods – like fried, greasy, processed, and sugary foods. Getting enough sleep is very important as well. It’s very important to know that obesity is one of the biggest risks against COVID, perhaps more than even smoking cigarettes. That is because obesity usually means there is already a lot of inflammation in the body (one reason why it strongly contributes to diabetes and high blood pressure and many cancers), and because obesity automatically reduces a person’s lung capacity. Because COVID kills primarily by attacking the lungs, causing pneumonia and difficulty breathing, the impaired lung volumes that people with obesity have automatically means they have a harder time fighting off COVID when it gets to the lungs.

What if I have any other questions, how can I get in touch with Open Door?

Open Door has worked very hard to make sure that patients and community members can reach us through a number of ways:

• Call 914-632-2737

• Email hello@odfmc.org

• Check back on our Covid-19 webpage on Open Door’s website for updates

• Covid-19 texting campaigns allow us to communicate with patients regarding important updates and vaccination efforts

Vaccination Fact Sheets

Cost

Open Door will provide COVID-19 vaccinations at no cost to patients. 

Uninsured Patients: If you do not have health insurance, there will be no charge for a vaccine only visit.  If you are coming in for another reason and receive the Covid-19 vaccine as part your visit, you will be charged for your visit according to our sliding fee scale.

Still have questions? Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Daren Wu, answers some of the community’s most pressing questions about the Covid-19 vaccine here.

COVID-19 Testing

Diagnostic Viral Test

A diagnostic viral test is used if you have symptoms of infection or recent exposure to someone who has Covid-19.  It’s done with a swab in the nose or throat, and it shows whether you have an infection right now. 

Antibody Test 

An Antibody test (or Serology test) is used to show if you have been exposed to the virus in the past, and should not be done until at least two weeks have passed, since you were diagnosed with coronavirus, or since you started having symptoms. The antibody test is done by drawing blood from your arm. This test should not be done if you still have symptoms of an infection. The Antibody test shows whether your body has been exposed to this new coronavirus, or possibly to other similar coronaviruses, in the past. It does not guarantee immunity.    

To receive a Covid-19 test or Antibody test, please call 914-OD-CARES or email hello@odfmc.org.  

We offer same-day appointments. Most insurances accepted. Testing is FREE or low-cost if you do not have insurance.

COVID-19 Symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include: 
 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

For Your Safety

Open Door has expanded safety measures, meant to make each patient’s visit safer, comfortable, and more efficient.   

  • Our care teams have the training, equipment, and capability to provide care safely 
  • Personal protective personal equipment  
  • Rigorous infection control standards 
  • Routine screening for signs and symptoms of infection (ie. Temperature checks before entering) 
  • Separate waiting areas for well care and sick care 
  • Social distancing  
  • Masks are required at all times (both patients and staff) 
  • Patients are asked to come alone or with a maximum of one person 
  • Masks and hand sanitizing stations on site 

COVID-19 Resources

Info Sheets

Videos