COVID-19 VACCINATION – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q.  How does the vaccine distribution process work in Columbia County?

A.  Each week the Health Department requests a volume of vaccines from the State. The State then responds with the number of vaccine doses we will receive and advises us how many doses must go to certain sectors of the designated categories. (i.e., category 1A or 1B)

Q.  How do I know if I currently qualify to receive the vaccine?

A.  To see a list of 1A and 1B eligibility go to the following NYS website: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine

Q.  Where do I go to obtain my shot?

A.  Currently there are three main options where you can go to receive your shot.

    1. A NYS mass vaccination clinic. https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov
    2. A local pharmacy that offers the COVID-19 vaccination. https://capitalregionalrx.com/vaccination
    3. A Columbia County Department of Health vaccination clinic. https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/
      These are offered ONLY when vaccine becomes available in amounts where a public clinic is feasible.

Q.  How do I register for a clinic?

A.  Each of the above locations has a link that will direct you to how to register. When the Columbia County Department of Health is having a clink the link will be posted on our website. https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/

Q.  Is there a special process for veterans?

A.  You can obtain information about getting the vaccine from you VA health care provider or from the VA COVID-19 Vaccine Information page at the following link: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine. The Hudson Valley VA has set up a COVID-19 Vaccine Line 1-845-838-7668.

Q.  If I am homebound and cannot get to a clinic, how do I receive the vaccine?

A.  65 y/o plus people who are homebound and cannot travel to a pharmacy or clinic may call the Columbia County COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 518-697-5560, Monday – Friday 9am-4pm. Your information will be taken for possible future mobile clinic operations. However, if you are contacted by a pharmacy or can otherwise obtain the vaccine, you should DO IT. Please don’t feel you have to wait to be contacted by Columbia County, since this may not happen if pharmacies are required to have a plan for visiting homes.

Q.  Is there a cost to receive the vaccine?

A.  No. The vaccine and distribution is funded by your tax dollars.

Q.  What vaccine is the Columbia County Department of Health currently using?

A.  We are currently using the Moderna vaccine. This is subject to change based on availability as we move forward. Keep in mind, your first and second dose should be from the same manufacturer. (i.e., if you received a Moderna vaccine for the first dose, you should receive the Moderna vaccine for the second dose.)

Q.  Are there any contraindications for receiving the vaccine?

A.  Yes. Below are the CDC’s noted contraindications and precautions:
Contraindications:

    • Severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to a previous dose or component of either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or component of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine including polyethylene glycol (PEG). See Appendix B: Ingredients included in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to polysorbate (due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredients PEG).

Precautions:

    • History of an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable therapy (i.e., intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous vaccines or therapies not related to a component of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines or polysorbate).
    • Moderate to severe acute illness.

 * For the purpose of this guidance, an immediate allergic reaction is defined as any hypersensitivity-related signs or symptoms, such as urticaria (raised rash), angioedema (swelling under the skin surface), respiratory distress (e.g., wheezing, stridor), or anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), that occur within 4 hours following exposure to a vaccine or medication.

Q.  If I’m on quarantine or waiting for test results, can I still come to a clinic?

A.  No. You should cancel your appointment and wait until your quarantine time is completed before rescheduling one.

Q.  I just had a vaccine for something else. Can I still get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A.  You must wait two weeks between vaccines.

Q.  If I had had COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?

A.  Yes. Although you most likely have received an element of natural immunity, the vaccine will further strengthen your immune system against future infection.

Q.  Do I still have to quarantine after being exposed to the virus once I have received both doses of the vaccine and I’m fully vaccinated?

A.  As announced on February 11, 2021, the CDC and NYS report that asymptomatic fully vaccinated individuals’, meaning those who have received both shots and at least two weeks have passed since the second shot, are no longer required to quarantine if exposed within 90 days after the second shot.

Q.  Do I still have to wear a face mask and socially distance once I have been fully vaccinated?

A.  Yes, mask wearing and social distancing will still be required until a majority of people have been vaccinated, or received natural immunity, and we are able to reach herd immunity.

Download the Columbia County Health Department mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a36912534