Get the Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccines that may prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are an important step toward stemming the worldwide pandemic. Find out about the authorized vaccines, how they work, possible side effects, the benefits of being vaccinated and the information we have about how the general public will get vaccinated.
University Hospitals and COVID-19 Vaccines
University Hospitals is working to obtain as many doses of available vaccine as possible, and we are committed to providing vaccinations in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). UH has the equipment and expertise necessary to store, distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Right now, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is extremely limited. As a result, the vaccine initially will be reserved for those who need it most.
- We have opened pre-registration for people in Phases 1C and 2 as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health. These groups include people with certain medical conditions or who work in certain professions, as well as those age 60 and older. If you are eligible, register here.
- The UH Vaccine Call Center will be open this week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- We are now scheduling and vaccinating people age 70 and older and giving second doses to people age 80 and older.
- If you pre-registered for a vaccine and have been contacted by us to schedule, please do so as soon as possible as supplies are limited.
Pre-Registration & Vaccination Information
How To Get Vaccinated at University Hospitals
If you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please fill out our secure pre-registration form.
UH can help those without access to the internet or texting capabilities to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine. Please call 216-767-8986.
After you pre-register, we will contact you via text or email so you can schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination based on the schedule detailed by Gov. DeWine and vaccine availability.
When you arrive at the vaccination clinic, you will be asked to fill out and sign a consent form. After receiving the vaccine, you will need to stay for 15 minutes for observation, and then will receive a card stating you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please know you must have a scheduled appointment with us to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are unable at this time to vaccinate people on a drop-in basis.
For Ashtabula County Residents
If you live in the 44030 zip code
Residents of the remainder of Ashtabula County
UH Is Committed to Vaccinating Our Patients
While we have begun vaccinating the general public, supplies are extremely limited. Our vaccine supply situation changes daily, and depends on shipments from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The priority groups identified by ODH that are eligible for vaccination are listed below.
People in Phase 1B began receiving vaccination January 19, according to ODH guidelines. Phase 1B comprises:
- People age 65 and older
- People with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders as well as those who also have a developmental or intellectual disability; solid organ transplant patients
- Employees of K-12 schools working onsite
Phase 1C and Phase 2
People in Phase 1C and Phase 2 may receive vaccination beginning Thursday, March 4.
Phase 1C includes people with certain medical conditions:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease
- Bone marrow transplant recipients
Phase 1C also includes people who work in certain professions:
- Child care -- Administrators, lead and assistant teacher and substitutes enrolled in Ohio's Professional Registry who are working in open child care and pre-kindergarten programs; licensing specialists employed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services or county Job and Family Services agencies
- Funeral services -- Embalmers/morticians, funeral home directors, crematory operators and apprentices
- Law enforcement and corrections
- Active-duty sworn law enforcement officers and peace officers who have first responder or direct supervisory responsibilities; does not include retired, "special," or reserve officers
- Corrections staff, including probation and parole staff, who provide direct services to an adult or juvenile inmate or a court-supervised individual
- Those with a valid active firefighting certificate in the state of Ohio who are active members or employees of a recognized Ohio fire department; does not include retired, emeritus or reserve individuals
Phase 2 permits vaccinations for people who are age 60 and older
If you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a member of one of these groups, pre-register here.
Beyond these groups, ODH’s vaccine distribution plan is still under development.
COVID-19 vaccination prioritization, processes and policies vary by state, and the distribution process is mandated by the state and local health authorities. This is why there are stark differences between how the vaccine is distributed in Florida, for example, versus other states.
In Ohio, quantities, location and timing of future vaccine shipments are currently unknown, and these logistical details may remain fluid for several months.
In the meantime, we are unable to accommodate those seeking COVID-19 vaccination on a drop-in basis.
As more information becomes available to us about who can receive the vaccine and when, we will share that information on this page and through direct communication with our patients.
More on COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Clinical leaders at University Hospitals believe that these vaccines, which were thoroughly vetted by the FDA, are recommended for the protection of each individual and the community against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccines were studied in clinical trials for safety and efficacy according to rigorous standards set by the FDA before being made available for public use. Study protocols and results are available to the public to ensure transparency.
What You Need To Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines
- Why Should I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and can lead to death in some people. If you get COVID-19, you could spread the disease to family, friends and others around you – even if you have no symptoms. If your family, friends and people become infected, they could experience severe medical complications or even die from the disease. Also, it’s not completely understood at this point whether having COVID-19 results in long-term health effects.
- What Vaccines Are Available?
The first two vaccines authorized for use are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. They are administered in two doses, three to four weeks apart.
This is a relatively new type of vaccine. The vaccines use genetic material called mRNA to teach the body’s immune system to fight the coronavirus. The mRNA in the vaccine activates the body’s immune system but does not change the body’s DNA.
Both vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use after examination of large clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 participants, determining that these vaccines may be effective in preventing COVID-19.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a cold virus to deliver a piece of genetic material that teaches the body's immune system to fight the coronavirus. The cold virus is modified for the vaccine so that it cannot replicate in the body to cause illness. This vaccine is administered as a single dose.
The FDA has authorized the vaccine for emergency use after examining large clinical trials with more than 43,000 participants.
All three vaccines are still being studied in clinical trials and are being administered under FDA emergency use authorization. No COVID-19 vaccine currently has official FDA approval.
- Will I Get To Choose Which Vaccine I Receive?
We are unable to let patients choose which type of vaccine they get at this time based upon vaccine supply. According to clinical trials, all authorized vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
- How Long Do the Vaccines Provide Protection?
Data is not yet available regarding how long the vaccines provide protection against COVID-19.
- Do I Need To Continue Wearing a Mask If I Receive a Vaccine?
It’s unknown whether you can pass on the virus even after you receive the vaccine. So you should continue following recommended precautions such as wearing a mask in public, maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from others and washing your hands frequently to prevent getting and transmitting the COVID-19 virus while you are around others who have not been vaccinated.
- Will the Vaccine Cause Infertility or Other Serious Medical Problems?
- Do COVID-19 Vaccines Protect Me From the Newly Discovered Strains of the Virus?
The current COVID-19 vaccines do offer protection against the new coronavirus strains. The vaccines work by producing an immune response against the spike protein on the virus’s surface. To date, none of the virus mutations have altered this spike protein, and so the vaccines remain effective. Pfizer recently reported studies that looked at antibodies of people vaccinated in their phase 3 trial and found that these antibodies neutralized the variant viruses.
- When Should I Get My Second Dose?
UH is scheduling second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at intervals that have been studied to be effective based on the manufacturer. Specific patient scheduling intervals will be within these ranges and may vary based on UH clinic, vaccine and patient availability. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.
Should I Still Get Vaccinated If…
People who are immunocompromised are not excluded from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
I’m Allergic to Vaccine Components?
According to the Pfizer BioNTech EUA Fact Sheet or the Moderna EUA Fact Sheet both vaccines are contraindicated in people who are severely allergic (anaphylactic) to any vaccine components. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
I’m Younger Than Age 16?
The vaccine has not been approved for children. Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for use in people age 18 and older.
I’ve Already Had COVID?
COVID-19 vaccine is available to those who were previously diagnosed with the virus. If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you may need to wait to receive the vaccine. Please discuss whether you should have the vaccine with your health care provider.
I’m in Cancer Treatment?
People with cancer can get a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Be sure to talk with your cancer doctor (oncologist) if you are in treatment about the timing of when you get the vaccine. There is no data to suggest the vaccine should affect your cancer treatment; however, some cancer treatments may affect how well the vaccine works. Your doctor may suggest you get the vaccine between cancer treatments to help it work best and reduce risks. You can learn more on the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/COVID-19. Learn more about cancer patients and COVID-19.
A Researcher’s Perspective on COVID-19 Vaccines
Robert Salata, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine, discusses what to expect from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Dr. Salata, Program Director of the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health, is the principal investigator for the Pfizer trial at the UH clinical trial site.
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