Vaccine Information Playlist
Below is a playlist of videos covering several topics in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine. Check back frequently, as this playlist will be added to as new videos are produced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can receive the vaccine?
As of Monday, April 5, any Florida resident over the age of 16 can schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine. For 16- and 17-year-olds, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use. Please review the governor’s current executive orders to understand who is eligible.
Will UF Health offer the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone in the community who is not a UF Health patient?
Yes, UF Health Jacksonville has a select number of COVID-19 vaccine appointments open for Florida residents who are 16 years of age and older. Call (904) 383-1049 to schedule an appointment.
Why is a COVID-19 vaccine necessary?
COVID-19 can be a mild illness in some people; however, it can cause serious complications or lead to death in others — including healthy people. At a population level, COVID-19 places an extra burden on our health care system, and this results in significant downstream effects to other patient populations as well. Currently, there is no cure for COVID-19. This is why enhancing prevention efforts is so important in the battle against this disease.
One proven way to enhance prevention of an infectious disease like COVID-19 is through achieving “herd immunity.” Herd immunity is when enough people in a population develop immunity to a particular infectious agent (e.g., a virus). When this happens, the infectious agent is no longer able to spread effectively within the population. With nowhere to go, the infectious agent can be reduced to very manageable levels or in some cases eliminated altogether. Depending on how contagious an infectious agent is, it usually takes 50% to 90% of a population being immune to achieve the desired goal of herd immunity. For an infectious agent like the virus that causes COVID-19, experts say that 75% to 85% of the population needs to be immune to achieve herd immunity. The best way to achieve these levels this is through development of a safe and effective vaccine.
Isn’t it unusual for vaccines to be developed this quickly?
In response to the rapid spread and devastating effects of COVID-19 worldwide, the federal government launched Operation Warp Speed, or OWS, to accelerate the development of a vaccine. OWS has enabled researchers to advance into phase 3 clinical trials (testing the vaccine on large groups of people to evaluate safety and effectiveness) in six months instead of the typical several years. A number of factors played a role in enabling the vaccine to be rolled out quickly, including early funding, extraordinary focus on one disease, advancing technology in genetic sequencing of the virus, overlapping the three phases of the clinical trial rather than performing them in sequence, faster recruitment of volunteers given the high interest in the general public, review of the data by the regulators in real-time and finally the technology of the vaccine itself. The trials were not fast-tracked by compromising quality, safety or efficacy — no steps to evaluate safety or effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines were skipped. Visit hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fact-sheet-operation-warp-speed.pdf for more information.
Is one of the COVID-19 vaccines better than the other?
The FDA applies the same review process to all vaccines, regardless of the manufacturer. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is a group of medical and public health experts that develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the United States. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have both been shown to be at least 90% effective.
How many doses of the vaccine will I need?
It depends on which vaccine is available and provided to you. Although some immunity might be provided with the first dose of a two-part vaccine, the research used to look at how the two-dose vaccines worked shows how effective they are with both doses, not just one. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine reduces the number of appointments you will need to attend but offers similar immunity.
How soon after getting vaccinated am I protected?
After you are fully vaccinated, you should develop immunity in about one to two weeks, but the specific timeline for any COVID-19 vaccine will depend to some extent on which type of vaccine it is.
If I have already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?
Yes, we recommend you get the vaccine even if you’ve already had COVID-19. Studies show that having COVID-19 might offer some natural protection from reinfection. But those studies also show the protection might not last very long. The vaccines target the virus’ ability to infect people. Getting the vaccine reduces your chances of reinfection and avoiding severe COVID-19 medical complications.
If you’ve had COVID-19, you might delay vaccination for up to 60 days after your diagnosis. Re-infection during this period is uncommon.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective?
The FDA is responsible for making sure that any approved vaccines are safe and that they work. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee reviews safety, quality and efficacy issues and advises the FDA. Their FDA Briefing Document, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, can be found at https://www.fda.gov/media/144245/download.
Who should I contact if I have questions about whether to receive the vaccine?
You should contact your primary care physician to discuss your concerns. Additionally, the State of Florida has set up a 24-hour hotline that is dedicated to answer your questions or concerns about the vaccine. The number is (866) 779-6121. The call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
In early clinical trials, all participants were at least 18 years of age. At this time, the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for children under the age of 16. There are current studies looking at the effects of the vaccine on children between the ages of 12 and 16. More information will be available from vaccine manufacturers and the CDC in the future.
What is Emergency Use Authorization?
The FDA can issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These are issued for public health emergencies. For the FDA to issue an EUA for COVID-19 vaccines, safety and effectiveness of the product must be demonstrated through a phase 3 clinical trial, and certain criteria must be met, including that there are no approved and available alternatives. The FDA has approved EUAs for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
More Information About COVID-19 Vaccination
UF Health (Gainesville) Vaccine Information
CDC Vaccine Information