Vaccine FAQs

Last updated September 23, 2022

FAQs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

General COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months old and up!

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine are needed?

It's important to stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines to have the best protection! Completing a primary series means having 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Booster doses are then recommended for most people. See who should get a booster and when on the CDC's website here. For questions about which booster to receive, we recommend speaking with your health care provider.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are immunocompromised?

Those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems may need additional doses. See the COVID-19 vaccine guidance for moderately to severely immunocompromised people on the CDC's website here.  

Will we still need to wear a mask, social distance, and wash our hands often as more people get vaccinated?

Once you're fully vaccinated, you should take extra precautions when community transmission is at high or medium. See what community level Washtenaw County is at here

Will there be a cost for getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are free! There will be no cost to individuals for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Starting Oct 1, we will begin charging insurance for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines at our Health Department vaccine clinics. If you have insurance, please bring your card to your vaccine appointment. If you don’t have insurance, that’s okay. There will continue to be no out-of-pocket charges for COVID-19 vaccines at our clinic.  

Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get?

In most situations, Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for primary and booster vaccination. The FDA has revised its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and limited the authorized use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. The updated EUA limits use to individuals 18 + for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate; or individuals 18+ who elect to receive the J&J COVID-19 vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more here.

If I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines can provide more reliable, consistent immunity than "natural" immunity. If you already had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated.

People with COVID-19 currently who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

I'm pregnant or breastfeeding - is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines are important for those pregnant or breastfeeding. Learn more here

Is it okay to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen after getting the vaccine?

The guidelines for the vaccine state that antipyretic or analgesic medications (e.g., acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen) may be taken after the vaccine for any discomfort. However, taking these medications before being vaccinated for the purpose of preventing post-vaccination symptoms is not recommended. Information on the impact of such use on COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody response is not available at this time.

Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Questions

What vaccine does WCHD have?

WCHD is administering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

Yes. We list what vaccine will be provided at each of our clinics on our website. If you would prefer a specific vaccine, you can choose to schedule at a clinic with that vaccine. 

I got my first dose of vaccine somewhere else. Can I get my second dose or booster(s) from WCHD?

Yes. Please bring your vaccine record card.

What accommodations are available for those who might have trouble getting through clinics?

Assistance or wheelchairs may be available for those who may need additional support. Please let us know when you arrive if you need any additional support or reach out before you arrive to request special accommodations.

How can homebound individuals get vaccinated?

We have a Nurse on the Run mobile team that can provide vaccination in individuals in their homes if they meet program criteria. To request this support, please call 734-544-6700 or email [email protected].

COVID-19 Vaccine Record Questions

I lost my vaccine card after getting vaccinated. How can I get a record of my COVID-19 vaccination?

We are not able to replace lost or damaged vaccine cards. However, we record all vaccinations that we administer in a statewide database called the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Michigan adults age 18 and older can access and download their immunization records from the MCIR on their computer or smartphone. Visit Michigan.gov/MiImmsPortal to get started.

You can also contact your primary care physician to get a copy of your MCIR record, which will include your COVID-19 vaccine information. If you do not have a primary care physician, see our Immunization Records page for other options to obtain your records.

I am traveling overseas and I need a letter or a certificate saying I have been vaccinated. Can you provide this?

No. We are not able to provide letters or certificates to individuals at this time. Please contact your primary care physician for a copy of your official vaccination record from Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), which is the statewide database for immunizations for Michigan residents. If you do not have a primary care physician, see our Immunization Records page for other options to obtain your records.

I am traveling and need a QR code or SMART Health Card that links to my vaccine record. Can you provide this?

We do not issue SMART Health Cards or QR codes for COVID-19 vaccines we administer. In addition, the State of Michigan immunization portal does not provide SMART Health Cards or QR codes. If you need a SMART Health Card or QR code for your COVID-19 vaccination, please check with your healthcare provider's patient portal to see if this is an available option, as some portals can link to your vaccine record. If you received your COVID-19 vaccine from another provider, please check with them to see if they are able to issue a SMART Health Card of QR code. Please see the list of pharmacies and healthcare providers who issue SMART Health Cards and QR codes.

I was vaccinated in another state but I live in Michigan. How can I update my vaccine records?

Bring your vaccination card to your primary care provider's office and request that they update your record in the Michigan Care Improvement registry (MCIR), which is the statewide database for immunizations for Michigan residents. If you do not have a primary care provider, please sit tight. The State of Michigan is working on a reciprocal agreement with other states that would provide for updated immunization records.  

My school/workplace requires me to either get a COVID-19 vaccine or to turn in a vaccine waiver. Can I get a waiver from the health department?

The Washtenaw County Health Department is not providing waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine.