Vaccine FAQs

Last updated January 12, 2022

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

FAQs from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

General COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone 5 years old and up!

Who needs a booster dose?

Everyone 12+ should get a booster dose. The booster dose is intended to boost immunity among the general public because their immune response may have declined over time. A booster is designed to help people maintain immunity longer. 

  • If you received Pfizer or Moderna, a booster dose is given at least 5 months after the second dose.
  • If you received Johnson & Johnson, a booster dose is given at least 2 months after the initial dose. 

Those eligible for a booster may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose from the Health Department. The CDC recommends Pfizer or Moderna boosters in most situations. For questions about which booster to receive, we recommend speaking with your own health care provider for advice.

Who needs an additional dose?

Some individuals ages 5+ with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose (3rd dose) of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. This additional dose is intended to improve the response of people who are immunocompromised to their initial vaccine series. Individuals with compromised immune systems who received a 3rd dose of mRNA vaccine are still eligible for a booster dose. 

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 high or substantial. As of 1/12/22, Washtenaw County is in a "high" level of community transmission. Because of this, we strongly recommend everyone (including vaccinated people) wear masks in indoor public settings and crowded outdoor settings. 

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.

Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get?

The CDC recently updated its recommendations with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Receiving any COVID-19 vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. 

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those 5+. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18+.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine are needed?

Being fully vaccinated means having 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Boosters or additional doses are recommended for some.

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

Can children under 5 be vaccinated?

Not yet. There are clinical trials underway for younger kids now but those vaccines are not available yet.

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, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

Yes. All three vaccines are safe and effective, though the CDC has recommended Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 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 from WCHD?

If you have already gotten your 1st dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should get your 2nd dose from the same provider. If that is not possible, you may come to one of our vaccine clinics. Be sure to check the listing for a clinic providing the brand you need and 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). You can 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 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.