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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Information about COVID-19 vaccine information for Augusta University faculty, staff, and students.

Augusta University is working closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), as well as, other state and federal agencies to offer the COVID-19 vaccine. The first phase of vaccines were given to healthcare workers in December 2020. Augusta University employees should also frequently visit myaugusta for important updates. AU Net ID is required to log in.

STUDENT INCENTIVE

Get your shot and be entered for the opportunity to win gift cards valued at $25, $50 or $100

This fall, while supplies last, the university will be offering incentives for students who take advantage of upcoming vaccination clinics. Get your shot and be entered for the opportunity to win gift cards valued up to $100

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory?

No. At this time the vaccine will not be mandated for AU Health staff. Please note that the COVID-19 vaccine does not currently fall under the AU Health seasonal vaccination policy or vaccine recommendations for health care workers policy. AU Health reviews these policies on a routine basis and may include a COVID-19 requirement in the future. Applicable laws do allow for exemptions in some cases.


How many doses/shots are included in the COVID-19 vaccine, and what is the time span between?

The COVID-19 vaccine consists of two doses with 21 days between doses for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days between doses for the Moderna vaccine.

According to the CDC, persons should not be scheduled to receive the second dose earlier than recommended i.e. three weeks for Pfizer and one month for Moderna. However, second doses administered within a grace period of four days earlier than the recommended date for the second dose are still considered valid. Doses inadvertently administered earlier than the grace period should not be repeated.

The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There are currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.


What happens to your body when you get vaccinated?

Your body recognizes the invading germ (virus or bacteria). Proteins (antibodies) are produced which are naturally made by the immune system to fight disease. The antibodies are trained to remember the disease and how to fight it, so if you are exposed to the germ again your immune system can quickly destroy it before you become sick.


Is the vaccine safe?

The COVID-19 vaccine has been carefully developed and studied by top scientists, researchers and health care providers. It has moved through the testing and trial processes with much oversight. Prior to approval and distribution, all data is studied by the CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and more. These agencies are committed to evidence-based studies and research and unbiased analysis.


What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects are seen in about 25-30% of individuals that take the vaccine. These include fatigue, low grade fevers, joint and muscle pains, and pain at the injection site. These generally last from 1- 3 days and resolve on their own. Rare anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in those with a severe history of allergies. No serious adverse effects have been reported otherwise.


How long if any do side effects last?

Side effects have been known to last a 1-3 days.


Are we offering the vaccine to individuals who have already developed antibodies?

In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, it appears the immune response you receive from vaccination is better than that of the natural infection. Therefore, the vaccine is recommended for those who have already been infected with COVID-19. It would be better to wait three months after getting COVID-19 until receiving the vaccine.


I was recently diagnosed with COVID. Should I receive the vaccine?

The vaccine should not be given when someone is acutely ill, but once healthy, we do recommend the vaccine three months after recovering from COVID-19.


Is there a need for isolation once you receive the vaccine? Are you infectious?

No, while social distancing and safety measures should still be followed, there is no need to isolate after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine does not contain a live virus, and you cannot become infected with COVID-19 from receiving it.


After receiving the vaccine, should you continue to wear a mask?

Yes, at this time social distancing measures should not be relaxed. We still recommend following the three W’s: Wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a mask. Augusta University will also continue to require the use of masks inside all campus buildings and outdoors when six-feet social distancing cannot be maintained.


Once you have received the vaccine how long will immunity last?

As trials began only seven to eight months ago, it’s too early to tell the lasting immunity of the COVID-19 vaccine. At every checkpoint during the vaccine trial thus far, there has been continued immunity. More than likely this will not be an annual vaccination.


Do I still have to quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?

Yes. Experts don’t know yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. All Augusta University employees and students should follow the protocols for exposure., even after receiving the vaccine.


After receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, am I immune?

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. Experts also don’t yet know how long immunity lasts after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Again, all Augusta University employees and student should follow the protocols for exposure, even after receiving the second dose of the vaccination.

Can I give blood after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation. For some types of the vaccine, however, there is a two-week deferral time. Please see Red Cross guidelines for further information.

 

FAQs for Students

Do I need to report my vaccination to anyone on campus?

After receiving their second vaccine dose, students are encouraged to please save a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record to the Student Health Services password protected portal, like they do for their other immunization documents. Although the portal can be accessed from the AU SHS home page under immunization tab. Although this vaccine is not mandatory, it may become mandatory in the near future and having it saved in a secure portal so that students can access 24/7 is a plus when it comes to assigning clinical rotations, etc.


FAQs for Employees

Do I need to report my vaccination to anyone on campus?

The vaccine is not mandatory for employees. However, employees are advised to save a copy of any COVID-19 vaccination record that they receive, like they do for other immunization documents, in the event there is a need for it at a later date.

Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster shot?

While booster shots have not been approved or formally evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC recommends people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 after the initial two doses. According to the agency, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. CDC does NOT recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other populations at this time.

CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID019 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.