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COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Information  


What Vaccinations are offered at Ferris State University?

At this time, Ferris will be offering the Pfizer and the Janssen/ Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations. Vaccinations will be offered to all of Ferris State’s community.

How do I sign up to get the vaccination?

Contact Birkam Health Center at 231-591-2614 to schedule an appointment time.

Why is it important to be vaccinated?

It has recently been reported that COVID-19 cases are at an all time low. This is thanks to the COVID vaccine. Its important to be vaccinated to continue to lower the amount of cases.

Will I still be required to wear a mask if I’m vaccinated?

Yes and no. While the CDC has recently stated that all individuals fully vaccinated do not require face coverings, businesses and healthcare facilities may still require you to wear oneIf cases rise again, the mask mandate may be enforced again.

Vaccine Types and How they Differ from Each Other

The Pfizer vaccination uses RNA technology to deliver genetic code to your cells. This code tells your body how to make a protein that the SARS-2 virus carries. This activates your immune system to create antibodies toward that protein, creating immunity. If you come into contact with COVID-19 after this time, your immune system will know how to fight it.

Johnson & Johnsons vaccination has the same result, however it uses a viral vector, such as adenovirus (the common cold) to create this SARS-2 protein. Again, once the body has built an immunity toward that protein with antibodies, your body will know how to fight it off in the future.  

How many injections are required and when will immunity begin?

The Pfizer vaccination is a 2 shot series, given 3 weeks apart. Immunity will be complete 2 weeks after the last injection. Johnson & Johnson is a 1 shot only vaccine, immunity will be complete 2 weeks after that injection.

What ages can receive these vaccinations?

Pfizer is approved for those 12 years and older. J&J is approved for those 18 years and older.

How well do the vaccines work?

The Pfizer vaccine showed efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid infection after two doses.

The J&J one-dose vaccine was shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe Covid infections.

What are common and rare side effects?

Pfizer: common side effects include injection site pain, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and fevers. Side effects seem more common after the second dose. Although very rare, it has been reported that severe allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines have occurred- this includes anaphylaxis.

Johnson & Johnson: Common side effects are similar to Pfizer. There is still a rare chance of anaphylaxis and the above recommendations for monitoring stand. Additionally, a very small number of people that have gotten he J&J vaccine have reported thrombotic events, one to two weeks after vaccination. This occurred in women, and was reported to be about 15 cases in 8 million people.

How long do these side effects last?

Generally, 12 hours post vaccine and should subside 1-3 days after the vaccine.

When should I call a healthcare provider due to post-vaccination side effects?

In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection—it means you are having an immune response which is good! However, you should contact your healthcare provider

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

Should I take medication to ease the side effects?

If you do not routinely take OTC medications (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) for other ailments, it is NOT recommended to take these medications for the purpose of trying to prevent a vaccine-related side effect.  If you routinely take these medications, continue to do so as instructed by your healthcare provider.

What are some tips to ease side effects after the vaccine?

  • Fever/ Body Aches: OTC meds such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, if you do not have any contraindications to taking these medications. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Injection Site Pain: cool compress to affected area, use and exercise the arm to help decrease pain and stiffness.

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

The CDC has recently stated that you may receive the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but recommends leaving the ultimate decision up the individual and their healthcare provider

What happens immediately following the vaccine?

You will be asked to wait a specific amount of time based upon your medical history, so a medical professional can monitor you for a potential allergic reaction or side effects.

*It is important to note that vaccine information is constantly changing and updating. This information is current as of 5/21/2021.