Get the Facts
Is this a hoax?
No. COVID-19 is not a hoax and neither is the vaccine. It is recommended by medical professionals that you consider getting vaccinated.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
If I've already had COVID-19 should I get vaccinated?
Yes. We are seeing evidence of reinfection, so you should consider getting vaccinated.
What does the vaccine do?
Both the FDA-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to encourage your cells to initiate an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. You rely on proteins every day to keep your body healthy. Our bodies use mRNA to tell our cells which proteins to make, which are antibodies in this case. Vaccines that use mRNA are typically quicker and easier to produce, which has helped accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine process.
The ingredients used in the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are simple. They contain mRNA, as well as lipids to ensure safe delivery of the mRNA that will initiate an immune response. Although FDA approved adjuvants (aluminum salts) and preservatives (ethlymercury) have a history of safe use in vaccines, they were not used by Pfizer and Moderna in this vaccine technology.
How do I know that a COVID-19 vaccine will be safe?
America’s best medical and research professionals have been working for years on coronavirus vaccines for SARS and MERS. SARS and MERS are different than COVID-19 but belong to the coronavirus family. The lessons learned through those developments are being applied today. Specifically, the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine began months ago.
Clinical trials are an important part of determining vaccine safety and efficacy. Currently, Pfizer and Moderna have completed Phase 3 clinical trials involving many thousands of participants. The trials determined the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in thousands of participants. The purpose of clinical trials is to generate scientific data and other information for the Food and Drug Administration to review and base their recommendations on.
Vaccine safety monitoring systems are in place to collect side effect data. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.
How did we get a vaccine for COVID-19 so fast?
Can you get this vaccine if you are in quarantine due to an exposure with a positive COVID-19 case?
Should you have a pregnancy test or antibody test prior to receiving the vaccine?
Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
Do I have to get the same vaccine for the first and second doses?
Who is not recommended for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine?
The vaccines are not recommended for individuals who have experienced a serious reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components. For information on vaccine components, refer to the manufacturers’ package inserts from Pfizer and Moderna.
What ingredients are used in the COVID-19 vaccines?
What are the possible side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine?
Among vaccine recipients during the Moderna clinical trials, 9.1% reported local injection site reaction and 16.5% reported side effects with the most common being including fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches and pains.
Additionally, no specific safety concerns were identified for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in subgroup analyses by age, race, ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
Who was represented in the clinical trials?
Should I continue to wear a mask, social distance, maintain good hygiene, and avoid large gatherings?
We are also unsure how a vaccine will impact quarantine protocols for close contacts.
Do you still have to quarantine as a close contact after you receive both doses of the vaccine?
Is it safe to get my child vaccinated?
Is it safe for pregnant women to get vaccinated?
How are vaccinators vetted? Do they have to have medical experience?
Why are medical professionals optimistic about this vaccine?
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the overwhelming majority of people who are infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, recover. That means most patients’ immune response that’s adequate to suppress the virus and eliminate it from their body. That gives medical professionals confidence that a vaccine could initiate a similar response.
We also had a jumpstart on the development of this vaccine. America’s best medical and research professionals have been working for years on coronavirus vaccines for SARS and MERS. SARS and MERS are different than SARS-CoV-2 but belong to the coronavirus family. The lessons learned through those developments are being applied today. Specifically, the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine began months ago.
If you have been vaccinated, can you stop from using other precautions?
No. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
Most people recover. Why do I need a vaccine?
COVID-19 is a deadly disease that causes severe illness – and in some cases, long term symptoms that we have yet to fully understand. The COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been created to decrease death and severe illness.
Although a high percentage of people recover from COVID-19, some are hospitalized and experience severe illness. It is also somewhat common to have the virus but never experience symptoms, and it is possible to spread the virus to others even when symptoms are not present. When you make the choice to be vaccinated, you are protecting not only you but also those around you from the chance of death and severe illness caused by COVID-19.
How effective will a COVID-19 vaccine be?
Both the Pfizer and Modena vaccines have an approximate 95% efficacy rate and are highly effective in preventing severe disease. In December, the CDC published that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had a constant efficacy rate across age, sex and ethnicity categories, as well as among individuals with underlying medical conditions and those who have been previously infected by SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, initial clinical data showed protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the Pfizer vaccine, which consists of a 2 dose schedule.
According to Moderna's website, initial trial data was used to estimate a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%. Initial data from Moderna also shows the vaccine may provide some protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
AstraZeneca estimates a 90% efficacy rate from a specific 2-dose schedule.
Does the vaccine prevent against asymptomatic infection?
Initial data from Moderna shows the vaccine may provide some protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
How long will immunity last if I get vaccinated?
How many doses should I expect?
It is important that patients return for the second dose to develop the highest level of protection from SARS-CoV-2. Patients who do not receive the second Pfizer vaccination dose at 21 days or the Moderna vaccination at 28 days should still receive that second dose as soon as possible thereafter.
Why is a vaccine necessary?
If I've recovered from COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
If I miss receiving the second dose of the vaccine at the recommended time, do I have to start the process over?
A new variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 is now in the United States. Will a vaccine still be effective?
What will I need to provide to get vaccinated?
This will vary for each vaccinator. Just like a regular doctor's appointment, we recommend you call ahead to ask what you will need to provide. Examples may include a driver license and insurance provider information, if applicable.
To learn more about cost and insurance needs, please scroll to the cost section below.
How will my information be used?
Cost + Insurance
What will be the cost of getting vaccinated?
No person can be billed for the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination providers may charge an administration fee to insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, if applicable in your situation. Uninsured Missourians will be able to receive the vaccination regardless of their health insurance status.
If I’m uninsured, can I get vaccinated?
No resident may be charged for the COVID-19 vaccine, so uninsured Missourians cannot be denied vaccination based on their health insurance status.
Who will qualify first for a vaccine?
- Phase 1A – Healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff
- Phase 1B – High risk populations, essential workers and first responders
- Phase 2 – Populations at increased risk
- Phase 3 – Widespread availability for all Missouri residents
Healthcare personnel and staff who may have direct or indirect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and are unable to work from home.
- First Responders
- Childcare Workers
- Teachers & Education Staff
- Water/Wastewater Workers
- Energy Workers
- Critical Manufacturing Workers
- Food & Agriculture Workers
High Risk Populations
Those at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, including those 65 years of age or older, may receive priority:
- BMI > 30
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Chronic Heart Disease
When will a vaccine be made available to the general public?
Will vaccinations be mandated?
I am a healthcare worker in 1A. How do I get vaccinated?
All healthcare workers in 1A should coordinate through their employer or member association to receive a vaccination. Healthcare workers should communicate directly with their employer or member association regarding their desire to be vaccinated and ask their employer to keep them updated on their vaccination planning process.
If your employer is not providing vaccinations in the workplace or coordinating employee vaccinations at another location, or you choose not to be vaccinated through your employer, you should still get the vaccine as soon as possible. All healthcare working in Phase 1A are eligible for vaccination now, and you will continue to be eligible as future phases are opened as well. Options to receive vaccination include:
- Local pharmacies such as Hy-Vee, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
- Community-sponsored vaccination clinics.
- Employees’ primary care physicians.
I am a vaccinator. How should I work with employer of unaffiliated healthcare workers in 1A?
Employers of unaffiliated healthcare workers in 1A will be instructed to identify themselves as such, inform you of their provider type and communicate the number of healthcare workers they have a need to vaccinate when contacting your location.
When coordinating for vaccination of unaffiliated healthcare providers, we recommend vaccinators have a plan in place to include the following:
- Point of Contact;
- Preferred methods of communication;
- Public facing website information callers may be referred to;
- Instructions for scheduling appointments;
- Waiting list coordination;
- Consideration of partnerships for on-site vaccination clinics for unaffiliated healthcare providers who have the logistical capacity;
- Any other pertinent information.
1A providers/employers will be instructed to contact local vaccinators and arrange for a partnership to vaccinate their staff in the area. (Statewide 1A providers will need to work with multiple vaccinators) Once a partnership agreement has been established via communication between the provider/employer and the vaccinator, it is the expectation of the vaccinator to arrange for ordering supply to meet the cumulative demand of agreements made.
What if I qualify for two priority groups?
You will default into the highest Phase and Tier that you are eligible for.
Have we developed a coronavirus vaccine before?
The COVID-19 vaccine will be released only when it's proven safe and effective.
Fact: No corners have been cut in developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Scientists have had a jump on developing the COVID-19 vaccine, using their experience from previous coronavirus vaccine efforts. Another way to preserve safety and save time is by working on efforts simultaneously, rather than one after another. For example, COVID-19 vaccines were in phase 3 clinical trials at the same time they were being manufactured. When their safety and efficacy was proven, manufactured vaccines could be used. If they didn’t pass the approval process, the unproven vaccines wouldn’t have been used.
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines (or others currently in development) contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This makes it impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.
Some individuals may contract COVID-19 after being vaccinated because they may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to being vaccinated or before they obtain their second dose of vaccine. After receiving two doses of the vaccine, individuals could have 94-95% protection from contracting COVID-19 (based on clinical trial efficacy). If an individual still contracts COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, the person will most likely have extremely mild symptoms or be asymptomatic.
There is no reason to believe that the COVID-19 vaccines will not be effective against additional strains of SARS-CoV-2.
Fact: According to medical experts, including current and former U.S. Surgeon Generals, there is no reason to believe that the vaccines that have been developed will not be effective against new strains of the virus.
Bell’s palsy is not a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: Bell’s palsy is not considered to be a side effect of the vaccine. Cases of Bell’s palsy, a temporary condition, were reported in few participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider these to be above the rate expected in the general population. They have not concluded these cases were caused by vaccination. Additionally, those who have previously had Bell’s palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
You cannot get HIV from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: You cannot get HIV from the COVID-19 vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines encoding spike protein specific only to the virus causing COVID-19, and only contain necessary ingredients to ensure a safe delivery of the mRNA to initiate an immune response. Participants in the clinical trial of the Australian COVID-19 vaccine (not Pfizer or Moderna) developed positive HIV tests, but those were all false positive tests. The Australian vaccine was using sequences similar to the tiny part of the HIV virus to stabilize their vaccine to improve delivery, and all participants were informed that they may develop false positive HIV test.
The COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests.
Fact: Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
The COVID-19 vaccines will not make you test positive on a diagnostic COVID-19 test (e.g., PCR or antigen test).
Fact: Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect your PCR or antigen test results since these tests check for active disease, not immunity. There is no live virus present in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine is intended to induce an immune response, so a serology test (antibody test) may be positive in someone who has been vaccinated.
The flu vaccine will not protect you from coronavirus.
Fact: Influenza and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) belong to two different RNA virus families, so one vaccine is not interchangeable for another. Influenza belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family, while SARS-CoV-2 is classified in the Coronaviridae family. Further, both the Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 rely on different protein layers to initiate responses. Influenza uses two surface antigens, while SARS-CoV-2 uses spike proteins, so their immunization approaches are different.
However, it is important that you also consider getting the flu vaccine this year. In a typical year, more than 100,000 Missourians become sick from the flu and some are hospitalized. To ensure Missouri has the capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, we need to do whatever we can to prevent additional strains on our healthcare system.
The COVID-19 vaccines do not alter your DNA.
Fact: That rumor is baseless. mRNA provides a set of instructions to your cells to create an immune response specific to COVID-19. Medical doctors independent of the vaccine development teams have verified that using mRNA will not alter the DNA of our body's cells.
The COVID-19 vaccines were created through mRNA technology. They do not introduce DNA into your body.
The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t cause female sterilization.
Fact: Medical professionals have called this “an utterly bizarre claim.” None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain Syncytin-1. Furthermore, there are no protein-based vaccines among the candidates in phase 3 clinical trials for COVID-19. Scientifically, there is no sequence homology between SARS-CoV-2 and Syncytin-1, so any immune response initiated by the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 would not affect Syncytin-1.
The COVID-19 vaccine process does not involve political figures.
Fact: The approval process does not include approval from any elected official. Scientific data and information generated by large-scale clinical trials is reviewed by the U.S. FDA, medical and public health experts from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the CDC before a vaccine will be made available.The federal effort called Operation Warp Speed has no formal oversight of or control over the vaccine approval process that determines safety and efficacy.
Bill and Melinda Gates are not collecting your biometric data.
Fact: There is no tracking chip technology involved in the COVID-19 vaccine, or any vaccine. Although the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been involved in philanthropy and public health for years, there is no truth in this rumor.
Mercury has not been confirmed as an ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccines. There is no evidence that ethylmercury used in previous vaccines have caused harm to the human body.
Fact: Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines do not contain mercury. Also, mercury is not a confirmed ingredient in any other COVID-19 vaccines at this time, but has been safely used in extremely small amounts to prevent dangerous germs, like bacteria and fungi, from growing in multi-dose vaccine vials. By preventing that harmful bacteria growth, residents see fewer severe local reactions.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element in the world. There are two primary types of mercury that humans may come into contact with: methylmercury and ethylmercury. Methylmercury can be toxic to humans in high doses and is not used in vaccines. Ethylmercury is used in extremely small amounts to prevent harmful bacteria from growing in vaccines and is quickly cleared from the human body. The ethlymercury medical product Thimerosal has a record of being very safe. Data from many studies show no evidence of harm caused by the extremely small amounts used in vaccines.
Residents will not be used as "guinea pigs" if they choose vaccination.
Fact: All residents that have participated in clinical studies thus far have volunteered to do so and residents who choose vaccination will not be considered a test subject. Vaccinators will be required to track severe reactions to the vaccine, which is standard protocol for all vaccines.
COVID-19 and the vaccine are not a hoax.
Fact: COVID-19 is not a hoax and neither is the vaccine. It is recommended by medical professionals that you consider getting vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccine will not have a tracking chip inside of it.
Fact: There will not be any tracking mechanisms inside of a COVID-19 vaccine.
You can still donate blood after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
Fact: Receiving the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will not affect your eligibility to donate blood. You may donate blood, with no waiting period, even after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. According to the American Red Cross, blood donors who receive vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca or Janssen/J&J must wait two weeks before giving blood, and those who are uncertain which type of vaccine they received must wait four weeks before donating. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients.