COVID-19 vaccine—Frequently asked questions
Modified on 2/10/2021 at 09:03am

Planning and tracking

Which vaccines will we offer?
Updated on 04/13/2021 at 11:09 am

We will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to UI Health Care faculty and staff, and to eligible members of the community.

We will be watching the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. As new vaccines become available, we will be evaluating whether we should add additional vaccines.

Are you giving the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated on 04/13/2021 at 11:09 am

Updated April 13, 2021: UI Health Care is following guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pausing administration of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution. 

UI Health Care has administered a limited number of the Janssen vaccine, and those individuals will be contacted directly with information about these recent changes from the FDA. 

How will we track who gets which vaccine?

We will use ReadySet to track COVID-19 vaccinations, much like the annual employee flu vaccination campaign. ReadySet is a way to process important information while protecting your privacy. In addition, a compliance will be assigned in Compliance and Qualifications (CQ). These systems also interface with the Iowa Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS), the state of Iowa’s vaccination registry.

Is receiving the vaccine mandatory?

You are encouraged to receive the vaccine as soon as you are eligible to provide protection for yourself and others, but receiving the vaccine is not mandatory.

Will our ethics committee be part of the decision-making process?

Yes, UI Health Care’s ethics team is actively involved in discussions and decisions.

How are remote employees be included in the vaccine plan? Will they be given enough notice to travel to Iowa City? Will the vaccine be available at other UI Health Care clinics around the state?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:51 am

Employees who work from home, or who work at offsite clinics or locations, will be notified in advance to allow for travel time to the UI Hospitals & Main Clinics campus. At this time, we do not plan to establish employee vaccination clinics at other locations

There have been talks nationally of giving a smaller dose of the COVID-19 vaccines to allow more people to get vaccinated. Will UI Health Care give half or full doses?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:51 am

UI Health Care follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the FDA. At this time, they have not recommended providing smaller doses of the vaccine or changing the dose schedule.

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Scheduling

How will I be contacted when it is my turn to receive the vaccine?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:07 pm

Beginning Wednesday, March 31, you will be able to self-schedule in an available timeslot. You will need to fill out your ReadySet survey to receive the link to schedule an appointment.

You may also call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631, Option 3, to schedule an appointment by phone.

How do I sign up for a vaccination appointment?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:04 pm

Your first step in scheduling a vaccination appointment is to complete the COVID-19 Immunization Survey in ReadySet. Once you’ve completed this survey you will receive an email within one business day with a link containing information to schedule a vaccine appointment. If you have already indicated your desire for a vaccine through your ReadySet survey you do not need to take additional action; you will automatically receive the email. 

View more details about using ReadySet here. 

Will employees be asked to come into work during unscheduled time to receive the vaccine?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:27 am

We will do our best to schedule vaccination appointments during scheduled work time, but given the number of employees and complex scheduling protocols this may not be possible. If an employee receives a vaccine slot on their day off, we strongly encourage them to come in. Casual dress is permitted.

Given the importance of timing for the second dose, how will second appointments be scheduled?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:12 pm

As you exit the vaccination clinic after receiving your first dose, you will select a date/time for your second dose appointment. 

How long will Phase 4 take to complete?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:09 pm

We anticipate that all staff who choose to be vaccinated will have an appointment by the end of April, dependent on vaccine supply. 

Why has it taken so long to vaccinate the UI Health Care employees remaining in Phase 4?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:03 pm

UI Health Care follows guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Previously, IDPH had determined that, due to limitations in vaccine supply, UI Health Care would only be able to vaccinate those who support direct patient care operations. However, with the plan to open vaccine eligibility to all Iowans ages 16 and over starting April 5, we are now able to offer vaccines to UI Health Care employees who have not yet been vaccinated. 

What if I am able to find an open vaccination appointment elsewhere, such as through a local pharmacy, before I find a time through UI Health Care?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:23 pm

If you can be vaccinated elsewhere, such as a local pharmacy, before we contact you for a vaccine appointment, we encourage you to accept that appointment so that you can get vaccinated as soon as possible.  

In case you receive your vaccine elsewhere prior your scheduled appointment, or need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, contact the University Employee Health Clinic at UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu or (319) 356-3631, Option 3. 

If I see a compliance assigned to me in the Compliance and Qualification (CQ) system, does this mean I am ready to be vaccinated?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:29 am

All eligible staff will be assigned a COVID-19 vaccine compliance in the Compliance & Qualifications (CQ) system. Our Employee Health record system, ReadySet, will support our COVID-19 vaccine campaign with a survey, very similar to the flu campaign. Completing this survey within ReadySet will be required for vaccination. More instructions will be forthcoming.   

Can my family get vaccinated at the same time as me?
Updated on 03/31/2020 at 3:24 pm

No, these vaccination appointments are for our employees.  

If I haven’t yet received the vaccine and I find that I am eligible to receive the vaccine elsewhere, can I?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:04 am

If you have not yet been vaccinated as a UI Health Care employee and are eligible to receive the vaccine elsewhere (for example, if you live in a different county, or work another job where the vaccine is offered to you sooner) you may choose to receive it elsewhere. You will just need to indicate in ReadySet that you have received the vaccine elsewhere.

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Eligibility

Who will get the vaccine first?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:24 am

Because of many logistical challenges of administering the vaccine, as well as the limited doses initially available, we’ve organized employee vaccination into four phases, with the first group including those who work most directly with patients with COVID-19, as well as functions that support these groups and some leaders essential to UI Health Care operations. 

I am a retired employee now working again. Will I be offered the vaccine?

If you are a paid employee, you are included in our vaccination plan. 

I plan to retire in the next month. Will I be able to receive the vaccine before then?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:51 am

No, you will not receive the vaccine as an outgoing employee.

Will student employees be eligible for vaccinations through UI Health Care?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:26 pm

Yes, all UI Health Care employees who have not yet been vaccinated are eligible to complete their ReadySet survey and schedule a vaccination. 

I have a dual appointment with the VA. Where and when will I be vaccinated?
Updated on 12/18/2020 at 3:36 pm

Employees with dual appointments with Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and UI Health Care will be vaccinated at either the VA or UI Hospitals & Clinics. Where you receive your first dose will be where you receive your second dose. More details will be forthcoming. 

Will UI Health Care vaccinate traveling nurses or other contract workers?

No, we are vaccinating only our employees at this point. 

I’ve already recovered from COVID-19. Do I still need to get the vaccine?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 8:57 am

You may receive the vaccine, though if you are still within 90 days of when you had COVID-19, your vaccination may be rescheduled for a later time. 

Can I get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine if I have allergies, or a history of allergic reactions?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 9:11 am

Severe allergic reactions to any vaccine are very rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers a history of severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis to any vaccine or to any injectable therapy (e.g., intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous) as a precaution, but not contraindication, to vaccination. 

People who have allergies may receive the vaccine. People with a history of anaphylaxis who choose to be vaccinated should be observed for 30 minutes following vaccination. Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine listed in the prescribing information is a contraindication to vaccination. Anaphylactic reactions in persons receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials have been reported. 

Can I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
Updated on 12/16/2020 at 6:45 pm

If a woman is part of a group (e.g., health care personnel) that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and is pregnant, she may choose to be vaccinated. A discussion with her health care provider can help her make an informed decision.  

Read more from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

Can I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding and are part of a group who is recommended to receive the vaccine, you may choose to receive the vaccine. 

Can I get the vaccine if I am immunosuppressed?

You may receive the vaccine. However, there is not enough data to know if people who are immunocompromised will develop a strong an immune response to the vaccine. This might lead to reduced effectiveness. 

Can I get the vaccine if I have a bleeding disorder?

There may be a risk of bleeding on injection. People on blood thinning medications can get the vaccine. 

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have had another non-COVID-19 vaccine recently?

No, it is recommended to have 14 days between vaccinations. 

Can I get the vaccine if I participated in a COVID-19 clinical trial?

Pfizer-BioNTech has developed a plan to “unblind” the clinical trial participants in a time frame similar to their prioritization for receiving the emergency use authorization vaccine. The study will offer active vaccine to those who received placebo. Please contact the vaccine clinical trials group for further information.   

Can I receive the vaccine if I received convalescent plasma or the new antibody treatments for COVID-19?
Updated on 01/05/2021 at 12:32 pm

You should wait 90 days after those therapies before receiving the vaccine. 

Why are employees that work off-site or approved to work from home being prioritized later in Phase 4?
Updated on 01/25/2021 at 7:25 am

Based on the number of employees that remain to be vaccinated, we will be following a scheduling process that prioritizes employees within Phase 4 based on their relative risk of exposure based on job classification and work location. Phase 4 will begin by offering vaccination appointments to employees in roles that have close contact interactions with patients and visitors. We will then prioritize employees that work primarily in our patient care facilities and have occasional contact with patients and visitors, followed by those employees that have limited or infrequent exposure to patients and visitors (including those that work in off-site work locations and have remote work arrangements).

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Getting vaccinated

Who is administering the vaccine to employees?

The University Employee Health Clinic will administer the vaccine to our employees.

How much will it cost to receive the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to UI Health Care employees at no cost.

How many doses will be needed?
Updated on 03/03/2021 at 2:43 pm

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as well as the Moderna vaccine, require two dosesThe vaccines will be given three or four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine being used.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.

Do I need to get the second dose of the vaccine?
Updated on 03/03/2021 at 2:43 pm

Yes. If you received the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, receiving the second dose of the vaccine is important to providing full immunity.

Do I have a choice on which COVID-19 vaccine I receive?
Updated on 03/03/2021 at 2:45 pm

No, similar to the flu vaccine, you will not be offered a choice of which vaccine you receive.

Will staff be tested for COVID-19 prior to receiving the vaccine?

No, staff will not be tested for COVID-19 prior to receiving the vaccine.

Will I be tested for antibodies before receiving the vaccine?

No. This is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Will we be tested for immunity after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:36 pm

No, we will not be testing employees for immunity after vaccination. 

When should I receive my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (for either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna)? 
Updated on 04/14/2021 at 11:36 am

UI Health Care follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • For the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, second doses are administered at least 21 days after the first dose and preferably within 42 days.
  • For the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, second doses are administered at least 28 days after the first dose and preferably within 42 days.

The timing of your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be coordinated by the University Employee Health Clinic.

What happens if I receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but get COVID-19 before my second dose?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:36 pm

You should contact employee health and they will evaluate your individual situation and make recommendations for you

It’s important you continue to follow all COVID-19 safety precautions (including isolation) at all times, even after your full vaccinations. 

I received the COVID-19 vaccine and experienced a high-risk exposure. Do I need to quarantine?
Updated on 03/09/2021 at 6:21 pm

Employees vaccinated for COVID-19 with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine) 
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure 

If you meet the above criteria, you do not need to report this exposure to the University Employee Health Clinic 

Because it is unknown at this time whether a vaccinated individual can transmit the virus, you should continue to wear a face mask and follow all safety precautions (social distancing, frequent hand hygiene) outside of work as well. 

If at any time you become symptomatic, please call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 for guidance. 

View guidelines for high-risk exposure and quarantine if you do not meet the criteria above here.

Can I start with Pfizer and get the second dose with Moderna, or vice versa?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:01 am

No, the vaccines are not interchangeable. The one you get on your first dose will be the same for your second dose. 

What happens if I don't receive my vaccine exactly on the 21st day (for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) or the 28th day (for the Moderna vaccine)?
Updated on 04/14/2021 at 11:36 am

The timing of your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be coordinated by the University Employee Health Clinic.

UI Health Care follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • For the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, second doses are administered at least 21 days after the first dose and preferably within 42 days.
  • For the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, second doses are administered at least 28 days after the first dose and preferably within 42 days.

 

Will employees be paid if they come into work during unscheduled time to receive the vaccine?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:18 pm

Hourly employees and nonexempt employees, who normally badge in ELMS, will be paid for the time spent receiving the vaccine. There is a badge reader located in the vaccination clinic.

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Vaccine safety

How do we know vaccines are safe?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:09 am

Like other drugs and biologics, vaccines released in the U.S. must go through multiple phases of rigorous testing, analysis, and review as they are developed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitors the vaccine development process and testing results for efficacy and safety. As part of the FDA’s formal process to determine if the vaccine is approved for public use, it also seeks a recommendation from a multidisciplinary team of experts consisting of independent medical officers, microbiologists, chemists, biostatisticians, and other health experts. If approved, the FDA continues to oversee the vaccine and its manufacturing to ensure ongoing safety.

Are you giving the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated on 04/13/2021 at 11:10 am

Updated April 13, 2021: UI Health Care is following guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pausing administration of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution. 

UI Health Care has administered a limited number of the Janssen vaccine, and those individuals will be contacted directly with information about these recent changes from the FDA. 

Has the COVID-19 vaccine been rushed in comparison to other vaccines?

Although the speed of the COVID-19 development is faster than typical, COVID-19 vaccines are still required to go through the proper testing and analysis to make sure they are safe—no step in the process has been skipped. However, the federal government is funding advance production of some of the more promising vaccines so at least a limited supply would be available quickly after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Read more: Our own coronavirus expert advises federal agencies on COVID-19 vaccine

What is emergency use authorization (EUA)?

In certain types of emergencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) to provide more timely access to drugs, diagnostic tests, or other critical medical products that may help during an emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn more about EUAs in this video. 

Can the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine give me COVID-19?

These vaccines do not contain the virus, so they can’t give you COVID-19. These vaccines contain genetic instructions that allow your own cells to make one of the virus proteins. Your immune system reacts to this protein to make antibodies and other immune cells that can recognize and fight COVID-19 if you do get exposed.

Does an mRNA vaccine change my DNA or genetic code?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:47 am

No. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. They do not insert themselves in the genome, which is made of DNA.

Does receiving the vaccine cause infertility in men or women?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:54 am

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility. There is no reason or evidence in the clinical studies that would indicate that this could be a side effect.

I heard that we are able to get six or seven doses from a vial only set to contain five doses. Is this true? Are there any safety concerns with this?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 2:20 pm

Yes, some vials of the Pfizer vaccine contain six or seven doses instead of five. There are no safety concerns with this, as each individual receiving the vaccine receives the same full amount of vaccine. It is common for medications supplied in vials to have overfill.   

Were people from diverse or underserved communities included in COVID-19 vaccine studies?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:47 am

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials included people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to be confident that the vaccine is safe and works for these groups. In the Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trials, approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and 41% of global and 45% of U.S. participants are 56-85 years of age. A breakdown of the diversity of clinical trial participants can be found here from approximately 150 clinical trials sites in United States, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina.

Is there a trusted source that lists what is in the vaccine that we can share to help combat misinformation?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:27 pm

More detailed information about the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines can be found from the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here:

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Vaccine side effects

What are the common side effects of the vaccine?
  • Arm pain  
  • Headache  
  • Fatigue  
  • Fever  
  • Chills 
How likely is it that I will have side effects?
Updated on 03/03/2021 at 2:45 pm

Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson have reported that while in the clinical trials many participants reported a sore arm or redness at the injection site. Additional side effects included fever, fatigue, headache, or body aches. Most of the people described these symptoms to be mild or moderate in nature and the symptoms did not disrupt daily activities. These side effects are normal and means that your body is responding to the vaccine and the vaccine is doing its job.

How are we tracking side effects?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:01 am

UI Health Care employees should report any side effects or concerns to the University Employee Health Clinic. You may also receive an internal Qualtrics survey following your vaccinations to ask about any side effects to track our internal experiences with the vaccine. There are additional optional tracking tools through the CDC called v-safe and VAERS. (See additional FAQs below.) We also are doing some informal surveys of our employees who have been vaccinated and found that the side effects are similar to those participants in clinical trials: Mild to moderate arm pain, fatigue, headache and body aches, and fever are common. 

What should I do if I experience side effects after receiving the vaccine?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:32 am

If you feel you are too unwell to work after receiving the vaccine, you should first use your available COVID-19 leave. If that is exhausted, utilize regular sick leave. Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can be used to provide relief from symptoms but is advised that these should not be taken before receiving the vaccine. If your provider has recommended that you avoid these medications due to your ongoing health conditions, please discuss options with your provider. 

Can I take Tylenol or ibuprofen if I have fever/headache/chills after the vaccine?

Yes, you may take Tylenol or ibuprofen for these side effects of the vaccine if do not have health conditions prohibiting their use. Please check with your primary care provider if you have questions. 

What is v-safe?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:06 am

V-safe is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tool that tracks your health after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Using it is entirely optional. UI Health Care employees should report any side effects or concerns to the University Employee Health Clinic first before using v-safe. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. 

What is VAERS?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:06 am

VAERS, or the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track adverse side effects of vaccines. It uses the tool, v-safe, to track personalized health check-ins after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Using VAERS through v-safe is entirely optional. UI Health Care employees should report any side effects or concerns to the University Employee Health Clinic first before using v-safe. 

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Vaccine protection

How effective are the vaccines?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:30 pm

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have been shown to be about 95% effective. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials. All authorized vaccines are safe and effective.

What does it mean when a vaccine is 95% effective?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:55 am

If people who have received the vaccine come in contact with COVID-19 during their daily lives, there is a 95% probability they are protected from symptomatic COVID-19 disease compared to someone who has not been vaccinated. In the Pfizer-BioNTech trial, only nine cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vaccinated group and 169 cases were seen in those who were in the placebo group. All of these infections occurred during normal daily exposure to COVID19.

How do mRNA and viral vector vaccines work?

View the graphics below to learn more about how mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) and viral vector vaccines (Johnson & Johnson) protect you against COVID-19.

After I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to wear PPE like a face mask?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:31 pm

Yes. Even after you have been vaccinated you must continue to follow all our PPE and safety guidelines while at work. 

Read more about following safety guidelines after vaccination outside of work and in the community here.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be similar to the flu vaccine, in that we have to get a new one each year?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:35 pm

It is not yet known if additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary. 

How will it be determined if a vaccinated person can be a carrier of COVID-19 and contagious to others while being asymptomatic?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:55 am

Some of the clinical trials that are ongoing are considering adding nasal swabs every two weeks to try to understand whether vaccinated individuals shed SARS-CoV-2 virus yet remain asymptomatic.

Is one type of vaccine better for a certain population of people than the other?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:32 pm

That is not known. Each vaccine seems to have similar effectiveness and safety across all ages, genders, and ethnicities that were included in the trials. 

Do you gain some immunity to the virus after the first vaccination, or only after the second? What about for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:32 pm

It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. People are considered fully protected two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Source: CDC

I saw that there are new strains of the virus emerging in the United Kingdom. Will the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vacccines protect against these strains?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:00 pm

At this time, it appears that the vaccines protect against the new strain identified in the United Kingdom. However, to be doubly safe, it continues to be very important that we all continue to practice the safety precautions of mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding gatherings. 

If I get the vaccine, does it provide protection to my children?

We anticipate that this will be the case, though we are waiting for the data from studies to prove that the vaccine reduces spread of disease from person to person. 

Do we need to social distance from people who are fully vaccinated if we are also fully vaccinated?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:33 pm

Yes. Even after you have been vaccinated you must continue to follow all our social distancing and safety guidelines while at work. 

Read more about following safety guidelines after vaccination outside of work and in the community here.

What is the benchmark for Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 that will allow us to return to life as “normal,” without masks and social distancing?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:56 am

There are several variables that will need to be evaluated before we can relax our safety precautions, such as the number of Americans immunized, and the rate of new COVID-19 infections. Until then, it is remains important to follow our safety precautions.

When my family and I are vaccinated, will it be safe to gather again?
Updated on 03/24/2021 at 3:33 pm

Until between 70 and 80% of all Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19, it is still important to follow our safety precautions, which means avoiding in-person gatherings, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

Read more about following safety guidelines after vaccination outside of work and in the community here.

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Patients and the community

How will I know when the vaccine is available for the general patient population/public?
Updated on 03/31/2020 at 3:29 pm

The state of Iowa has announced plans to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Iowans over the age of 16 starting Monday, April 5, 2021. 

Is the vaccine available for children?
Updated on 12/15/2020 at 3:34 pm

No, at this time the vaccine is not available for individuals under age 16. Pfizer-BioNTech is completing a study with patients as young as 12 years of age.

Who determines which individuals are in each phase?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 7:57 am

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) determines the vaccination phases based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Iowa. 

Who is included in Phase 1b?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 7:58 am

Phase 1b includes people age 65 and older, certain groups of people whose occupation or living conditions put them at high risk of exposure or severity of illness, and first responders, such as firefighters, police officers, and child welfare social workers. A detailed list of who is eligible can be found at idph.iowa.gov. Phase 1b vaccinations are scheduled to begin in February.

Who is included in Phase 1a?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 7:58 am

Phase 1a includes health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

How does Iowa Department of Public Health decide who should get the vaccine?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:00 am

The criteria are based on the risk, frequency, and duration of exposure to COVID-19; the risk of transmitting the virus to others; and the risk of complications from COVID-19.

Is there a wait list to get the vaccine?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:00 am

There is not currently a waiting list for COVID-19 vaccinations.

How can our patients and members of the public stay up to date on developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine at UI Hospitals & Clinics?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:00 am

Updates and information for UI Health Care patients and members of the public can be found at uihc.org/covid-vaccine.

Why is the state adding more people if those previously eligible have not all been vaccinated?
Updated on 03/09/2021 at 11:28 am

Work continues to vaccinate the employees remaining in our UI Health Care Phase 4, which is part of the State of Iowa’s Phase 1a. As supply of the vaccine allocated to UI Health Care for health care workers is still varied and unpredictable each week, completing all of our phases and vaccinating all UI Health Care employees who wish to be vaccinated will take some time.

How do individuals eligible to receive the vaccine get vaccinated?
Updated on 03/09/2021 at 11:28 am

Patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be contacted directly through MyChart by our staff to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. If a patient does not have a MyChart account, they will be contacted by phone. 

Can patients without appointments get vaccinated?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:01 am

At this time, vaccines are by appointment only. We are not accepting walk-ins.

If someone is not currently a UI Health Care patient, can they receive the vaccine from UI Health Care?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:17 pm

Yes. We are offering appointments on a first come first serve basis through self-scheduling in MyChart.

How would patients who may live in one county but receive their health care in another be directed to receive vaccine?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:01 am

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has not published additional information regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at this time and how that relates to counties of residency. For more information on specific eligible populations, visit idph.iowa.gov, or see the link on our UI Health Care vaccine website (uihc.org/covid-vaccine).

What safety measures are taken at vaccination sites?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:02 am

Vaccination sites will provide space for social distancing and will require that face masks be worn. We ask that only the patient attend the appointment whenever possible. We recognize that some patients will require assistance and exceptions will be allowed in those cases. Patients will be asked to wait in their vehicles until the time of their appointment to further support social distancing and a streamlined process.

Patients will be required to remain at the vaccination site to be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine to monitor for any adverse reactions. In the rare event of a reaction, medically trained staff will be readily available onsite to manage these reactions.

How are we prioritizing among our patients over age 65 who is offered the vaccine first?
Updated on 01/26/2021 at 8:03 am

While Phase 1b does include individuals over age 65, UI Health Care is first prioritizing individuals over age 75.

Vaccines are very limited. Because the severity of COVID increases with age, we are starting with the older population in this group. 

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ReadySet COVID-19 Immunization Survey

How do I complete the survey?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:38 am

To log in to ReadySet, visit uehc.link/MyReadySet and enter your HawkID and password.  

You can view step-by-step instructions for completing the survey here. 

Do I need to do anything in ReadySet to indicate I have received my second dose of the vaccine?
Updated on 01/14/2021 at 10:57 am

No. No further action in ReadySet is required before/after receiving your second dose.

Why do I have to complete this survey now if I will likely be part of a later vaccination phase?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

It’s important that you complete this survey now so that we’re able to begin the scheduling process across all phases. It also helps us understand the number of doses UI Health Care will need in order to provide the vaccine to all those who wish to receive it. If more doses become available in future weeks, this will allow us to more effectively and efficiently get more employees vaccinated in a shortened time period. 

What if I don’t know yet if I want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

We strongly encourage our employees to receive this vaccine. Please see more information, including safety and efficacy data on The Loop’s COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page. We encourage you to read through this information and make your best-informed decision. 

Why does the survey ask certain health questions?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

We are following guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, if you answer “yes” to the question, “Are you pregnant or plan to become pregnant,” or “Have you had an allergic reaction,” it does not mean you should not get the vaccine. These questions are used for educational purposes and may be discussed with you by a provider of the University Employee Health Clinic.  

If I answer some of the health questions in the COVID-19 immunization survey in ReadySet in the affirmative, does stating that I have health conditions or needs exclude me from receiving the vaccine?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:09 am

No, the immunization survey in ReadySet asks these health questions for educational purposes and may be discussed with you by a provider of the University Employee Health Clinic. Answering yes to the questions does not exclude you from getting the vaccine. 

I already completed the UI Health Care survey. Do I have to take this survey too?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

Yes. The previous two-question survey was an initial informational survey. ReadySet is the official tool we will use going forward to track the response to this mandatory vaccine compliance.  

How will the information in ReadySet be used?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

The COVID-19 Immunization Survey in ReadySet allows us to begin the scheduling process across all phases. It also helps us understand the doses UI Health Care will need to provide the vaccine to all those who wish to receive it. 

ReadySet is a system that keeps your personal and employment health records separate, as required by federal law. All vaccination records and tests are kept iReadySet. 

Do I need to complete the ReadySet survey even if I am declining to receive the vaccine?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

Yes. Response to this survey is mandatory response compliance, similar to the flu campaign. Understanding which employees do and do not wish to receive the vaccine allows us to schedule and plan for each phase of vaccine distribution. 

I've already completed the ReadySet survey but need to modify my response. Who do I contact?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:38 pm

If you need to reset your ReadySet surveyplease contact UEHCReadySet@healthcare.uiowa.edu . 

I received a notification in the Compliance and Qualifications (CQ) system about my second dose. Am I out of compliance?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:19 pm

No. You will receive an automated CQ notice either 35 or 42 days (depending on which vaccine you were given) after your first dose but you are not out of compliance. 

You will schedule your second dose during your first dose appointment within the appropriate timeframe for the vaccine you received. You do not need to take any further action in CQ or in ReadySet related to the vaccination process. 

How do I know which phase of vaccinations I am in?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:37 am

You can refer to the general phase descriptions on the COVID-19 vaccine page on The Loop or ask your supervisor. You will be contacted directly when you are eligible to be vaccinated based on the phasing and prioritization schedule. 

If I complete the survey and indicate that I would like to receive the vaccine, what happens next?
Updated on 03/31/2021 at 3:31 pm

Once you have completed the COVID-19 Immunization Survey in ReadySet you will receive an email inviting you to schedule your vaccination through SignUp Genius.

You will be able to self-schedule in an available timeslot. You will need to fill out your ReadySet survey to receive the link to schedule an appointment.

You may also call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631, Option 3, to schedule an appointment by phone.   

What if I don’t have a ReadySet account?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:38 am

If you’re new to ReadySet, find more information here. 

Should I complete the survey if I've already had COVID-19?
Updated on 12/14/2020 at 7:38 am

Yes, you should still complete this survey in ReadySet.

Is the information from the ReadySet COVID-19 Immunization Survey shared with the state? If so, why?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:10 am

Yes, for UI Health Care to be in compliance with Iowa law to administer vaccinations, the data in ReadySet is uploaded daily to Iowa’s Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS). This is the same process that occurs when you receive any vaccine, including vaccines from your primary care providers.

The ReadySet survey asks me if I consent to share my information with the state of Iowa. Why is this? Is it appropriate to share this information with the state?
Updated on 01/04/2021 at 3:38 pm

Yes, for UI Health Care to be in compliance with Iowa law to administer vaccinations, the data in ReadySet is uploaded daily to Iowa’s Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS). This is the same process that occurs when you receive any vaccine, including vaccines from your primary care providers. 

What is Iowa's Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS)?
Updated on 12/21/2020 at 9:10 am

IRIS maintains immunization information from participating health care providers and combines it into one immunization record. This helps health care providers, parents, and individuals keep track of their immunization status, even if they have received vaccines from more than one provider. Read more.

Are the state’s vaccination records (IRIS) shared with the federal government?
Updated on 12/18/2020 at 3:39 pm

Yes, but by law, only authorized users are allowed to access immunization information in IRIS. Authorized users include health care providers, local public health agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, and schools.  Read more.

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