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Beaumont doctor receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Beaumont has been fighting the pandemic with our community since the beginning, caring for more COVID-19 patients in Michigan than any other health system.

With the increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccine at Beaumont Teen Health Centers, many Beaumont Medical Group physician offices, local pharmacies, retail outlets and health departments, the Beaumont vaccine clinics are no longer open.

The Beaumont vaccine clinics administered nearly 400,000 total doses, including more than 1,137 pediatric first doses and 15,705 booster shots.

Several community resources are available to help you get vaccinated, including:

Getting the Vaccine

All people age 6 months and up are now eligible to received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Beaumont is no longer offering the COVID-19 vaccine at its clinic locations. Several community resources are available to help you get vaccinated, including:

People with COVID-19 should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. This applies to both first and second doses of the vaccine.

There are very few individuals who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If in doubt, rather than withholding vaccination, seek advice from your primary care physician, relevant specialist or immunization team right away. Beaumont will follow guidance issued by the CDC and FDA to identify individuals who should not receive the vaccine.

Minor illnesses without fever or systemic upset are not valid reasons to postpone immunization. People currently sick and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the vaccination until they recover.

All approved vaccines appear to be equally effective across all racial and ethnic groups based on the research studies.

COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day.

There is insufficient data to support a need to delay surgery after immunization; however, given the potential side effects from the vaccine, waiting a few days is reasonable. Since it takes approximately two weeks after the second dose to allow immunity to fully develop against COVID-19, waiting that period of time for elective surgeries is also reasonable. Urgent or emergent surgeries should not be delayed because of the vaccine.

There is a card that will be given to people who receive the vaccine and they need to bring that with them to the second visit as well. It includes which vaccine they were administered, along with the date and lot number.

Depending on the type of vaccine you get, three to four weeks is the typical amount of time between the two doses. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the vaccine remains effective anytime after the recommended date.

No. Once you receive the first dose of a vaccine, you will be scheduled to receive the same type of vaccine for your second dose. Although both vaccines are equally effective in preventing COVID-19, the timing between the first and second doses are different. Booster doses can be mixed.

The federal government is providing vaccines free of charge to everyone 6 months and older living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Booster and third dose eligibility varies depending on age and which vaccine you originally received. Refer to the CDC guidelines for the latest information and updates.

Safety, Side Effects and Effectiveness

The most common side effects that have been reported with the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Injection site pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Injection site swelling
  • Injection site redness
  • Nausea
  • Feeling unwell
  • Swollen lymph nodes

There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. This will typically occur shortly after receiving a dose of the vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face and throat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • A bad rash all over your body
  • Dizziness or weakness

This vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Our vaccination clinic has a private area staffed with doctors and nurses to assess and treat any adverse reactions that may occur.

Based on the study data, some individuals may have somewhat increased symptoms with the second dose compared with the first. These symptoms should still be manageable with simple over-the-counter interventions such as ibuprofen.

We are fortunate that recent advances over the past few years allowed this technology to be immediately utilized to rapidly develop COVID-19 vaccines with very promising efficacy results without compromising safety. For example, the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) carrier, essential for efficient delivery of the mRNA, were FDA approved only a couple years ago. Additional vaccines for rabies, Zika and influenza remain under development and it is likely we will see other mRNA vaccines approved in the near future.

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine strongly recommends vaccination and inclusion in vaccine trials, and as the leading professional society focused on pregnancy, this is a course we strongly support.

Despite the stated commitment of the Department of Health and Human Services, NIH and CDC to prioritize the inclusion of pregnant and lactating women in in SARS-CoV-2 vaccination trials, review of the clinical trials registry indicate pregnant women are being systematically excluded from vaccine Phase III trials. Vaccine research data is currently, therefore, absent for pregnancy and lactation.

Make sure to discuss this with your OB-GYN if you have pregnancy or reproductive concerns. And remember, you are at risk for contracting COVID-19, just like everyone else, so please adhere to the measures that are known to work such as social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand washing.

Despite the absence of research data, vaccination is strongly recommended in pregnancy. This is because pregnant women in general appear to be at higher risk of complications if they contract COVID-19 than the general population.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination appear to greatly exceed the theoretical risks, so our professional societies are recommending vaccination. Women of childbearing age are over-represented, compared to other fields, in the health care industry. A high percentage of pregnancies are unplanned, so getting the vaccination will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 and suffering severe complications if you do become pregnant.

Regarding vaccine safety, the Pfizer/BioNTECH and Moderna vaccines use mRNA, which makes a protein fragment that induces immunity in the vaccinated individual. So, the risk to the fetus and pregnancy is thought to be low, compared to using an intact, replicating virus for the vaccination.

There is no evidence regarding the effect of vaccine on reproductive health. Other vaccinations against respiratory viral infections, such as influenza, do not suggest a negative effect on reproductive health from vaccination.

There was an initial concern that getting COVID-19 increases the risk of miscarriage, however, subsequent evidence does not appear to support this.

There is a very low risk of having a severe reaction to any of the vaccines, and there shouldn't be a preference for one over the other due to allergies. According to the CDC, most of all severe allergic reactions occur within 15 minutes of vaccination, which is when patients are in the observation area of the vaccine clinics. Allergic reactions to food or environmental causes are not a factor in getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

Several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA or authorized for emergency use. For the latest information on approved vaccines, visit

After Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection, serious illness and death. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated can still get COVID-19. An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a breakthrough infection. People who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious, so it’s important to follow CDC guidelines on isolation and quarantine regardless of vaccination status.

While scientists are continuing to monitor how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts, recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. The CDC currently recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a booster shot after completing their primary vaccination series.

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final COVID-19 shot. With the recommendation of boosters for those age 5 years and older, you are considered up to date when you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster doses if you are eligible.

There are certain situations when wearing a mask may be recommended or required, regardless of vaccination status. Refer to the CDC guidelines for the most up to date information.

Provide your COVID-19 testing and vaccination record quickly and easily from the myBeaumontChart mobile app or a computer. This convenient new feature allows you to download your information as a document or display a scannable barcode, called a QR code. Before traveling somewhere that requires proof of vaccination or testing, contact the organization to confirm they accept SMART Health card QR codes or downloaded copies of vaccine/lab results from your medical record as proof. When you arrive, those requesting validation can scan the code on your phone, similar to scanning a boarding pass at an airport, to confirm your status electronically or review the downloaded document.

To learn more, view our video guides and step-by-step instructions »

Vaccinating Children and Teens

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older gets a COVID-19 vaccine to best protect everyone, especially those at highest risk, from severe illness and death.

Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19, they can still:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick from COVID-19
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and the COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends all eligible children get the vaccine. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for children and teens age 6 months to 17.

Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dosage of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as adults. Children age 5-11 will receive a dose that is 1/3 of the adult dose. In addition, smaller needles are used to administer the shot in children. The dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age of the child on the day of vaccination. Everyone receives a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after their first shot.

The pediatric COVID vaccine may be at your local health department, a neighborhood pharmacy or your child’s pediatrician office. You can also search, text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

About the COVID-19 Vaccines

The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein — or even just a piece of a protein — that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real COVID-19 virus enters our bodies.

Not all manufacturers are creating mRNA vaccines.

During early studies, researchers found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provoke a relatively weak immune response when given as just one dose. There was a stronger immune response when a second dose was added. Basically, the first dose of the vaccine starts the process of building up protection. The second dose works to greatly reinforce this protection. It is not uncommon for vaccines to require more than one dose.

Depending on the type of vaccine you receive, the CDC recommends the two doses be given 3 or 4 weeks apart. However, the second dose can be given up to six weeks later.

All the approved vaccines are preservative free and do not contain Thimerosal.