Vaccine FAQs

Topics

Eligibility & Requirements
Scheduling Your Vaccination
Getting the Vaccine
The Second Dose
Third Dose for Immunocompromised Individuals
Booster Shots
Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics
Vaccine Types
Vaccine Safety
General Vaccine FAQs

Eligibility & Requirements

Who is eligible to receive the vaccine? 
Individuals 6 months of age or older are eligible to receive the vaccine, regardless of underlying medical conditions. You do not need to be a resident to receive a vaccination in Indiana.

*Not all locations administer every COVID-19 vaccine. This may reduce the available vaccination sites you may sign up for. You may visit vaccinefinder.org to determine vaccines available by location. The Fishers Health Department carries all available COVID-19 vaccines.

Do I need a booster shot?
Bivalent booster shots are now recommended for individuals 5 and older who received their last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 2 months ago (ages 5-11), or at least 1 month ago (ages 12+). 

CDC’s recommendations allow eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine initially are recommended to receive Pfizer or Moderna for their booster dose.

Immunocompromised individuals aged 5 and older are also encouraged to receive a third dose of Moderna or Pfizer at least 28 days after the completion of their second dose. 

I live out of state, but attend school in Indiana. Can I get my vaccine here?
Yes, you can receive the vaccine in Indiana. 

When will children under the age of 5 be eligible for the vaccine?
All persons aged 6 months or older are now eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Can people who have already have COVID-19 get the vaccine? 
Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19  You can receive the vaccine any time after you are done with your isolation period (minimum of 10 days) and your symptoms have resolved. If you received monoclonal antibodies as treatment for COVID-19 you must wait 90 days before receiving a vaccines. 

Can I get the vaccine if I have been exposed to COVID-19?
Individuals exposed to COVID-19 must wait at least 10 days from the exposure prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Do I need insurance to get the vaccine? 
No, you do not need insurance to receive the free vaccine, but we do ask that you submit your insurance information if you do have insurance. 

Scheduling Your Vaccination

How do I schedule an appointment to get a vaccine?
Schedule your vaccine appointment at ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 or the Fishers COVID-19 Hotline at 317-595-3211.  At this time we require appointments for all vaccinations due to increased demand and limited space. Call our hotline to schedule.

Can I support my parents, grandparents, neighbors, or others who need help scheduling online in finding an appointment?
Yes, you can.  Please note that when scheduling online, you will need to enter a cell phone or email address to complete the registration and to receive your vaccination certificate. If you are unable to complete the registration ahead of your appointment, we can assist you when you arrive.

How do I schedule an appointment if I do not have access to the internet?
You can schedule your appointment by calling 2-1-1 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or the Fishers COVID-19 Hotline at 317-595-3211 (weekdays from 8:30am - 4:30 pm.). Walk-in appointments are also available for individuals 5 years of age or older.

How do I cancel or reschedule my vaccine appointment?
Call 2-1-1 or the Fishers COVID Hotline to cancel or reschedule my appointment?

Can I walk into the clinic for my appointment?
At this time we are requiring appointments for all vaccine types due to limited space and high demand for bivalent boosters. You can also schedule an appointment at ourshot.in.gov or call 317-595-3211. 

How can I get assistance to travel to the vaccine site?
Indiana University Health is offering free rides to any COVID-19 vaccine site in the state. Learn more.

Getting the Vaccine

What do I need to bring with me to get vaccinated?
Please make sure to bring your ID (required) and Insurance Card. You DO NOT need insurance to receive the vaccine, and you will not be charged or billed for the vaccine.

Where do I go for a vaccination?
When you register for your appointment, there will be a list of vaccination clinics. 

How much does it cost to get the vaccine?
The vaccine is free for the public. You DO NOT need insurance to receive the vaccine. Vaccine providers will attempt to bill  insurance for a fee to administer the vaccine, but will not charge the patient.

How many shots will I need of the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to CDC, all but one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S will need 2 doses (shots) to be effective. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot, a few weeks later, is needed to get the best protection from the vaccine. If the COVID-19 vaccine that you get requires two doses, you will need to get both doses from the same type of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer. J&J vaccine is a one-dose vaccine. Immunocompromised individuals are recommended to receive a third dose of the vaccine to complete the primary series. Boosters are also recommended for those 5 and older after completing the primary series. 

What should I expect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
You can find information about what to do after you receive your vaccination here.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?
You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Side effects include:

  • Pain, redness, & swelling at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Find more details here on the post-vaccination expectations. If you have severe side effects (like an increase in redness, pain at the injection site after 24 hours, or if side effects don’t go away after a few days), please seek immediate medical care.

What should I do if I think I'm experiencing an allergic reaction? 
Information about rare allergic reactions to the vaccination can be found on the CDC website. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital.

How should I report side effects?
After you receive your vaccine, use the V-safe app on your smartphone to report any side effects. V-safe can also send reminders for your second vaccine dose and provides personalized health check-ins. Learn more.

What should I do immediately after vaccination?
Please remember to wait at least 15 minutes in the observation room. Wait time may be longer for some individuals. Remember to schedule your next appointment.

What is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)?
VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients. VAERS accepts all reports, including reports of vaccination errors.

The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html

I am a close contact. Can I get vaccinated?
Not until out of your 10 day monitoring period. Please continue to monitor for symptoms and ensure there are no symptoms before you get vaccinated. Consider getting tested if symptoms develop.

I am currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Can I get the vaccine?
Vaccinations should be deferred until recovery from illness. If symptoms are present, wait until you have no symptoms. Please consider getting tested. If you test positive for COVID-19 see "I have tested positive for COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?"

I have tested positive for COVID-19. Should I get the vaccine?
Vaccinations should be deferred until recovery from acute illness and criteria have been met to discontinue isolation. Once you feel well and recovered and are out of the 10 day isolation period, you may get vaccinated! 

Previously, I received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19. Should I get the vaccine?
Yes! There is no longer a waiting period required to get the vaccine after having received antibody treatment.

Why would I want to get a vaccine instead of just getting the natural immunity that comes from getting the disease?
The benefit of vaccines, like all vaccines, is that you get protection from the disease without ever having to risk the serious, and sometimes deadly, consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

What should I do with my vaccination card? 
When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to return for your second dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Remember to bring your card when you return. 

How do I get my vaccination records?
Your vaccine record can be obtained via your MyVax Indiana chart, or via your Access Indiana account. Information to sign up is available at https://faqs.in.gov/hc/en-us/articles/360057345152-How-can-I-get-proof-that-I-am-vaccinated-

What should I mention to my vaccination provider before I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

The Second Dose

How do I schedule my second dose?
FHD will schedule the second dose at the end of the first dose appointment, or you can schedule on your own or walk-in. 

Do I have to get my second dose at the same location I got my first dose? 
No, you are not required to get your second dose at the same location that you received your first dose. However, it’s encouraged that you receive both doses at the same location so your provider can ensure you’re getting the same vaccine type at the correct time. 

What if I miss my second shot, or cannot find an appointment for 21 (for Pfizer)or 28 (for Moderna) days after my first shot - is it a problem if I wait?
No. You do not need to get your second dose exactly 21 (for Pfizer) or 28 (for Moderna) days after your first shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised that the second should be taken up to 42 days of the first dose.  However, the CDC has also indicated that you do not need to start the shots over again if you go beyond the 42 day window for the second shot.  It will still be effective.

Third Dose for Immunocompromised Individuals

What is the third dose?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a third dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised at least four weeks after an initial two-dose mRNA series.

Who can get the third dose?
CDC’s recommendation includes people with a range of conditions, such as recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and others. See the full list here.

What is the difference between an “additional dose” and a “booster dose?”
An “additional dose” refers to people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receiving an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. This is because they may not have received adequate protection from their initial 2-dose vaccine series. A “booster dose” is a supplemental vaccine dose given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time. 

Do I need a doctor's note for my third dose?
Immunocompromised individuals may discuss with their health care provider whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. If their health care provider is not at a site administering vaccines, these individuals can self-attest and receive the additional dose wherever vaccines are offered. This will help ensure there are no additional barriers to access for this vulnerable population receiving a needed additional dose. CDC is providing further information regarding vaccine administration to immunocompromised individuals to states, pharmacies, health centers, and all vaccine providers.

Can you mix and match the mRNA vaccines?
CDC’s recommendations now allow eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose.

Booster Shots

What is a booster dose?
A booster dose is another dose of the vaccine given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity).

Who can receive a booster shot?

Boosters are available by appointment or walk-in and the Fishers vaccination site offers all booster options. See current CDC booster eligibility for more info.

CDC’s recommendations now allow eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose.

If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
No. COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta, Omicron, and other emerging variants, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. 

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Can I host a vaccination clinic for my employees, residents, club members, etc.?
Yes, Fishers businesses, religious organizations, civic groups, and HOA's are invited to host a vaccination clinic for their members, employees, or residents. Please complete interest forms for Businesses and Community Groups & HOA's. You can learn more here.

Vaccine Types

Which vaccine is the Fishers Health Department using at the mass vaccine site?
The FHD vaccination site has FDA-approved vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, and Jonson and Johnson. Individuals may visit ourshot.in.gov to select their preferred vaccine and appointment. Individuals needing a second dose (Pfizer or Moderna) will receive the same vaccine for their second dose. Staff at the vaccine site will assist with scheduling your second appointment and dose. Please ensure you meet the criteria set forth by IDOH

Is there a difference between the vaccinations that I can take?
There are differences between the vaccine types, but all three vaccines currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective based on trials. If you are 5-17 years old, the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only FDA-authorized vaccine you can receive.

Vaccine Type

Age Requirements
Doses required
Recommended Time Between Doses
Pfizer: mRNA vaccine6 months+2-321 days
Moderna: mRNA vaccine6 months-5 years;18+228 days
Johnson & Johnson18+1booster after 2 months

What is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an FDA-approved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. The FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on December 12, 2020 to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 5 years of age and older under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Since that time, it has received full authorization for individuals 18 and older. Learn more. Find vaccine administration info for healthcare providers.

What is the Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccine?
On December 18, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) for the Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine (ModernaTX, Inc: Cambridge, Massachusetts). This vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized under EAU for the prevention of COVID-19 in the United States for individuals 18 years of age and older. Learn more. Find healthcare provider vaccine administration info.

What is the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Vaccine?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The EUA allows the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. Learn more. Find healthcare provider vaccine administration info.

There is the remote risk of blood clots that involve blood vessels in the brain, abdomen, and legs, along with low levels of platelets; to note that most people who developed these blood clots and low levels of platelets were females ages 18 through 49 years; to note that for people who have developed blood clots and low levels of platelets following vaccination, symptoms began approximately one to two weeks following vaccination; and to inform vaccine recipients that they should seek medical attention right away if they have any of the following symptoms after receiving Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine: shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision, or easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

Here is the summary on J&J Vaccine resume use. What you need to know (English); Lo que usted debe saber (Espanol).

Do I get to choose which vaccine brand I want to receive?  
If you are 18 or older, you may choose your vaccine type. Some providers only carry one vaccine type. The Fishers Health Department currently carries all vaccine types. You can talk with your medical provider if you have specific questions or concerns that may lead you to want to seek out one specific COVID-19 vaccine versus another. If you are 6-17 years old, you may only receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Which vaccines are available to children under 18 years old?
Pfizer’s vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for ages 6 and up. Pfizer and Moderna are now available for ages 6 months+ through 5 years. When booking a vaccine appointment for a 5 -17-year-old, be sure to confirm with the vaccine provider that Pfizer will be available. 

Vaccine Safety

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. Covid-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID. Neither of the mRNA vaccines, nor the Johnson and Johnson vaccine use the live virus that causes COVID-19. That means that the vaccines cannot cause you to get COVID. You may have symptoms like fever or headache after you get a vaccine. This is normal and means your body is learning how to fight off the virus.

Does mRNA stay in my body after I get the vaccine?
No. Our cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions on how to make the protein that triggers our body's immune response. It is as if you get an email with instructions that disappears after you have copied and used the information.

Can I still get COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated? 
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. However, if you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Those who receive the vaccine may experience mild symptoms of COVID-19 and soreness at the site of injection. Information about rare allergic reactions to the vaccination can be found on the CDC website.

Is it safe to get vaccinated if I have an underlying health condition?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity.  People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. It is recommended that people with these conditions get vaccinated. Individuals who have had prior allergic reactions to injectable medicines should consult with their medical providers before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  

I’ve had allergic reactions to other shots, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
You should talk with your provider about what allergies may make it risky for you to get the COVID-19 vaccination, but, it has proven safe in the vast majority of instances.  

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or nursing?
Yes. It is strongly recommended that you receive the vaccine if you are pregnant or nursing.

Can people who have already have COVID-19 get the vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. 

Are the vaccines safe for children?
The Pfizer vaccine was proven safe and effective in participants 5 years of age and older during clinical studies. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine approved by the FDA for use in individuals under 18 years of age. See the Youth Pfizer Fact Sheet for more info.

Are kids at higher risk of side effects from the vaccine?
The FDA determined that the Pfizer vaccine has a similar safety and effectiveness profile in 5 to 17-year-old individuals as other adults in clinical trials.

Does this vaccine cause infertility or miscarriage?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are linked to infertility or miscarriage. In addition, the natural post-infection immune response to COVID-19, which the vaccine mimics, has not resulted in an increase in miscarriages or infertility.

I have a food allergy, can I get the vaccine?
Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.. 

I have seasonal allergies, can I get the vaccine?
Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.

General Vaccine FAQs

Once I’m vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing?
No. Not everyone you come into contact with will have received the vaccine, and you may still be able to spread COVID-19. It is critical to follow basic public health best practices for the foreseeable future. 

Where can I get my COVID-19 vaccine record?

Covid and other immunization records can be accessed via the AccessIndiana website

How do I obtain my record from AccessIndiana?

Click here for a step-by-step guide.

Where can I learn more?