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Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination?

When will I be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We are vaccinating patients aged 65 years and older per the state of Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, which is currently in Phase 1b. All vaccinations will be by appointment only, subject to limited supply available to Yale New Haven Health and all of Connecticut.

Phase 1b will continue to be rolled out, with the following individuals prioritized next:
  • Critical workforce
  • High-risk individuals under 65
The decision to open vaccination to the general public will depend on many factors, including supply, but will ultimately be made by the state of Connecticut.
How effective is the vaccine and is it safe?

The vaccine is about 53% effective after the first dose, and 95% effective within one week after receiving the second dose. So far, all data indicate that the vaccines are safe and effective. To date, no serious long-term side effects have been reported, and those that a very small percentage of people have experienced have occurred within six weeks of vaccination. The FDA will continue to monitor for any rare safety issues.

To vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, people will not be able to choose which vaccine they receive.

Is there anyone who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Once eligible, there are very few medical contraindications to vaccination. Contraindications to the currently available Pfizer and Moderna vaccines include an allergic reaction to the first vaccine dose, a history of anaphylaxis, or a known allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate. Those individuals should postpone vaccination until alternative types of vaccines are available later this spring. In addition, if you have had a stem cell transplant or CAR T-Cell therapy, we ask you to contact your oncology provider via MyChart message in advance of your COVID-19 vaccination to discuss the timing of your vaccination.

Should I get the vaccine if I had COVID-19?

The extent to which antibodies that develop in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are protective is still under study. If these antibodies are protective, it's not known what antibody levels are needed to protect against reinfection. Therefore, even those who previously had COVID-19 can and should receive the COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least four weeks since their first positive COVID-19 test.

One you receive the vaccine, you should continue to wear a mask until we achieve a level of herd immunity – or approximately 75% of the population vaccinated. While the vaccine is extremely effective, a small percentage (5% or less) of those who receive it may not be fully protected, so we need to continue to wear masks and other PPE, as well as to practice social distance and use other precautions.

How can I learn more?
If you have specific questions about how the vaccine might affect your health, it’s best to speak with your health care provider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers comprehensive information, including guidelines for vaccination. Visit the CDC website or call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO).