FAQ

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The Health Department provides real-time updates to the Moore County COVID-19 Dashboard.  The dashboard can be found here:  https://moorecounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/4c11e5bf79b64a6e9c8377d5129cc97c
-    In addition, all updates and news releases are posted to the Health Department website located here:  www.moorecountync.gov/health
-    Information is also posted to the Health Department’s Facebook (Moore County Health Department) and Twitter (@mocohealth) feeds.
-    You can also text MOCOVID19 to 888777 - to receive local Nixle alerts concerning coronavirus specific information.

The dashboard is updated daily as confirmed positive cases and deaths are reported to the Health Department.

Yes, Moore County Schools posts case updates to their website. New cases are reported the day after a positive case is confirmed. These updates can be found at:  https://www.ncmcs.org/announcements/c_o_v_i_d-19_tracking_sheet

 

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
•    Fever or chills
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
•    Fatigue
•    Muscle or body aches
•    Headache
•    New loss of taste or smell
•    Sore throat
•    Congestion or runny nose
•    Nausea or vomiting
•    Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
•    Trouble breathing
•    Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
•    New confusion
•    Inability to wake or stay awake
•    Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

 

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Most people with illnesses caused by coronaviruses like COVID-19 will recover on their own. However, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms, including:

•    Taking pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children).
•    Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to ease a sore throat and cough.
•    Drinking plenty of liquids and stay home and rest.
•    Follow instructions from your health care provider for appropriate care.

Additional medications and treatments for COVID-19 are being investigated, including through clinical trials in North Carolina and across the nation. A clinical trial is a type of research study used to test if a drug or medical device is both safe and effective for human use. Registered trials for drugs being studied for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 can be found at www.ClinicalTrials.gov.

To find clinical trials happening specifically in NC, you may specify your search through ClinicalTrials.gov by location. Additionally, many academic medical centers update clinical trials occurring at their institutions on their respective websites.

 

Most people who have COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks. But some people may continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery. Older people and people with many serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms that linger over time include:
•    Fatigue
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath
•    Headache
•    Joint pain

Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 will affect people over time. However, researchers recommend that doctors closely monitor people who have had COVID-19 to see how their organs are functioning after recovery.

General prevention recommendations are as follows:
-    Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
-    If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
-    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
-    Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with others who are sick.
-    If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve.
-    Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
-    Don’t send children who are sick to school or childcare.
-    If you are eligible, get the COVID-19 vaccine.
-    If you are not fully vaccinated, you should wear a mask and maintain distance in all indoor public settings and in outdoor settings when you can't maintain six feet of distance.
-    If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask in all indoor public spaces if you are in areas of high or substantial levels of transmission as     defined by the CDC until more people are vaccinated and viral transmission decreases.
-    As of mid-August 2021, all of North Carolina is experiencing high levels of transmission. In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings but consider doing so in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
-    Both the vaccinated and unvaccinated should monitor their health and be alert for COVID-19 symptoms, especially if they have been around someone who is sick. Get tested if you develop symptoms.

 

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common Environmental Protection Agency-registered household disinfectants will work. See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.

 

Following July 27 guidance from the CDC, all unvaccinated individuals should wear a face covering in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals should wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces when in a county of high or substantial levels of transmission as defined by the CDC. As of mid-August 2021, all of North Carolina is experiencing high levels of transmission. In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings but consider doing so in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

People who are sick with COVID-19 or believe they might have it should stay home and separate themselves from other people in their home as much as possible. They can end self-isolation and return to their normal activities when they can answer YES to ALL of the following questions:

•    Have you had no fever for at least 24 hours (that is one full day of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)? AND
•    Have your other symptoms improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)? AND
•    Has it been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared?

CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives.
•    Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
o    With this strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%.
•    When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available), then quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.
o    With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.

Yes. It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory infections) and COVID-19 at the same time. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce your chances of getting flu. See Prevent Seasonal Flu for more information.

Bi-weekly COVID-19 testing for all nursing home staff was mandated by Secretarial Order #2 beginning August 7th, 2020. Testing continues to be conducted for all symptomatic residents. During an outbreak (defined as two or more confirmed cases), testing is conducted weekly for all residents and staff until the conclusion of the outbreak. An outbreak is considered concluded if there is no evidence of transmission following a 28-day period.

It is the responsibility of the facility to notify the resident and their guardians or designated contact persons if there are confirmed positive COVID-19 cases present in the facility.

North Carolina is focused on rapidly increasing testing of people who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you feel sick and believe you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), call your doctor or medical provider to assess your condition.  The latest guidance suggests testing for:
•    Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
•    Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
•    Groups of some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
o    People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
o    People from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID- 19.
o    Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, childcare workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.)
o    Health care workers or first responders.
o    People who are at higher risk of severe illness.
o    People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others.

Most people who get COVID-19 recover without needing medical care. If you are experiencing severe, life threating symptoms (for example, severe difficulty breathing, altered thinking, blue lips), seek immediate medical care or call 9-1-1. Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests. A viral test tells someone if they currently have COVID-19. It is also called a diagnostic test. An antibody test tells someone if they had the virus before.

NCDHHS has launched a “Check My Symptoms” application that can help you check your symptoms online and determine if you will be recommended to be tested for COVID-19.  That application can be found here:  https://ncdhhs-covid19-  dtra.powerappsportals.us/.

There are several locations that may offer testing such as no-cost community testing events, health departments, pharmacies, or urgent care centers. Your regular health care provider may also have testing available. The Moore County Health Department posts information on local testing events on the department’s website (www.moorecountync.gov/health) and on the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages. NCDHHS also has a “Find My
 
Testing Place” application that can be found at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-  place.  Some locations may require a fee for testing.

The Health Department interviews individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. They are questioned about any recent travel or contact with others. Using that information, staff determine if any individuals meet the CDC definition of a close contact and follow up with them accordingly. The CDC defines “close contact” as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the patient is isolated. However, because there are presumed to be cases in the community that are not confirmed, it is critically important that everyone is staying at home to the extent possible (and especially if they feel sick), maintaining at least 6ft of distance from others, and washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

The employer/business is not required to notify staff or patrons if a staff member or patron has tested positive. All positive cases are referred to a Contact Tracer who communicates directly with anyone that has been listed as a close contact by the individual who has tested positive. These close contacts can include: family members, co-workers, or anyone who has been within 6 ft for cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the patient is isolated. The contact tracer will instruct these individuals on the recommended testing and self-quarantine protocols. Contact Tracers do not contact establishments. Businesses should work with their local health departments on contact tracing and cleaning recommendations. Some facilities, such as childcare settings and schools, do have to report positive cases. CDC guidance that addresses what businesses need to do if someone gets sick can be found here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
Because there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, CDC recommends that pet owners
limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household.

•    Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
•    Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
•    Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
•    Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. Until we know more about this virus, people sick with COVID-19  should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
 
•    When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
•    Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
•    If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.

 

Viruses are always changing (mutating) and new variants (or strains) of a virus are expected. The best way to slow the emergence of new variants is to reduce the spread of infection by taking measures to protect yourself, including getting vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking emerging variants – including the Delta variant. The Delta variant is currently the predominant strain of the virus in the United States. It is more than twice as contagious as previous variants, and some data suggests it might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated persons.

The CDC has classified some emerging variants of COVID-19, including Delta variant, as variants of concern because they are more contagious, may cause greater disease severity, or treatments and vaccines may be less effective.

Currently, vaccines are available through health care provider offices, local hospitals, health departments, and pharmacies. Vaccinations may also be available at certain special events. For more information, visit  www.YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

 

No. Getting vaccinated is voluntary and North Carolina has no plan to require people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, it is possible that some employers or schools may require vaccines for their employees or students.

 

The Pfizer vaccine can be given to teenagers aged 12 and up. Children below the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive the vaccines as the FDA has not authorized their use in that age group. However, clinical trials are underway to ensure the vaccines are safe and work to prevent COVID-19 illness in younger children. Updates on each of those clinical trials are below:

On May 10, 2021, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the FDA for children 12 to 15 years old based on results from a clinical trial that included 2,260 children aged 12 to 15 that showed very high levels of effectiveness. More than 279,000 youth ages 12-17 have already received their vaccine in NC. Everyone ages 12 and older can receive a free Pfizer COVID- 19 vaccine, even if they don’t have insurance and regardless of their immigration status. Pfizer is now conducting a clinical trial in children down to age 6 months.

Moderna, whose vaccine is currently only approved for people 18 and older, began clinical trials in adolescents in December 2020. In June, Moderna requested authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to include individuals ages 12 to 17. Moderna reported that none of the adolescents in the trial got sick with COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, and there were no significant safety concerns. On March 17th, 2021, they also began clinical trials in children from ages 6 months to 11 years old.

Johnson & Johnson, whose vaccine is also only approved for people 18 and older, is currently conducting a clinical trial in adolescents ages 12 to 17.

 

A new state law requires that a parent or legal guardian provide written consent for anyone under 18 to receive a vaccine that has emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once a vaccine is fully approved by the FDA written consent is no longer required, however it is expected that for most teens, information about vaccination with parents and guardians and parental/guardian consent will be obtained for COVID-19 vaccination. North Carolina law also gives people under the age of 18 the ability to make certain health decisions, including the choice to get a COVID-19 vaccine, if they show the decisional capacity t o do so. D ecisional capacity is a per son’s ability to under stand   their health and health care needs and options, and to make decisions about them. As part of normal development most children are able to make these kinds of decisions like an adult at some point before the age of 18. There is no one age at which this always occurs; it varies from child to child.

On Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine (now marketed as Comirnaty) for anyone 16 and older. Therefore, written consent from parent or a legal guardian is required for teens ages 12 to 15 year. Approval for this age group is expected at a later date as Pfizer was authorized for teens ages 12 to 15 years, six months after it was authorized for people 16 and older.

Yes, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There is no need to wait or avoid getting pregnant if you are planning to get vaccinated. Those seeking fertility treatment can also get vaccinated.

The benefits of getting a safe vaccine far outweigh the risks. The risks of COVID-19 virus are greater for pregnant women compared to people who are not pregnant. Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of being hospitalized and needing care in the ICU as well as may have a higher risk of problems for the baby.

Vaccination for those who are pregnant or wanting to become pregnant is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology.
 
Additionally, infants of vaccinated women may also get some protection from vaccination because the antibodies from the vaccines can be transferred from mother to child. This means that you and your baby may both be protected against COVID-19.

There are many options available to you to learn more about the vaccines and their safety for pregnant women and those who want to become pregnant. Along with your own physician, you can also consult www.MotherToBaby.com or call 1- 866-626-6847.

 

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase the ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Three vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have proven to provide significant protection against COVID-19 and protect against virus-related hospitalization and death, with no serious safety concerns in the clinical trials.

 

The COVID-19 vaccines give the cells in your body the instructions to make a protein that safely teaches your body how to make antibodies (germ-fighting cells) to fight the real COVID-19. Your body naturally destroys the instructions and gets rid of them. None of the vaccine ingredients remain in your system, nor do they alter any DNA in your body. The three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States do not contain eggs, preservatives, fetal tissue, stem cells, mercury or latex. For a full list of ingredients, please see each vaccine’s Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers:
•    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
•    Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
•    Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

 

There is no COVID-19 in the vaccines. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines give your body instructions to make a kind of protein. This protein safely teaches your body into thinking the virus is attacking. Your body then strengthens itself to fight off the real COVID-19 if it ever tries to attack you. Your body gets rid of the small protein naturally and quickly.

 

All viruses change over time. The changes (or variants) are expected. At this time, there is no evidence that any new virus variant of COVID-19 in the US or other countries will change how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is. Scientists are working to learn more about new variants.
 
We do know that some of the new variants spread more easily, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to keep practicing the 3Ws: washing your hands, waiting six feet apart and wearing a mask around people you don’t live with.

The Pfizer and Moderna versions require a second dose 3-4 weeks after your first shot. The Johnson & Johnson version requires 1 dose.

The two-dose vaccines use mRNA to give your body temporary instructions to make a protein that teaches your body to make antibodies (germ-fighting cells) against the COVID-19 virus. Instead of mRNA, the one-dose vaccine (made by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) uses DNA to give your body the same type of temporary instructions. The DNA is carried into the body on a harmless virus called adenovirus. All the vaccines are very effective in preventing someone from getting COVID-19 and preventing hospitalization and death. The clinical trial showed no serious safety concerns. Your body naturally breaks down everything in the vaccine. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine, and none of the vaccines can change your DNA.

People who receive the one-dose vaccine do not need to return for a second vaccination. The temporary reactions are similar among all vaccines, although people receiving the one-dose vaccine may only experience temporary reactions once. Temporary reactions may include a sore arm, headache, fever and feeling tired and achy for a day or two after receiving the vaccine. Younger people are more likely to have reactions than older people. None of the vaccines can give you COVID-19.

Additionally, the one-dose vaccine also can be stored in a regular refrigerator for up to three months.

North Carolina will use a secure data system called the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS) to make sure you are safe and get your second shot at the right time. When a person gets the first shot, they get information on when to come back for the second and they are asked to make a second appointment. People will also be given a card with information about which vaccine they got for their first dose and the date of that shot. They will receive an email notification with reminders for the second shot. The provider who gave the vaccine may also help with reminders for the second one. State and federal privacy laws make sure none of your private information will be shared. The shot you take and when you need the second is confidential health information that is carefully managed to protect your privacy.

You should get the second vaccine dose as close to the recommended time as possible—3 weeks apart for Pfizer- BioNTech or 4 weeks apart for Moderna. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. If you do not get your second dose within 6 weeks, you do not need to start again at the first dose. Currently, there are not much data on if the vaccines work well if given after this window. The vaccine can be given up to 4 days early and still count. If you get the second dose too early, you should not get a third dose.

With increased vaccine supply across North Carolina, you no longer have to receive the second dose at the same site that you received the first dose. If you go to a different provider for the second dose, make sure you go to a provider with the same brand of vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) that you received for your first dose and bring your vaccination card with you so the provider can confirm which vaccine you received and when.

In some instances, you may get to choose depending on which vaccines are available. However, it is strongly recommended that people take the first vaccine that is available to them. All currently recommended vaccines are very effective in preventing hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 12 and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for adults 18 and older.

In mid-April, 2021, a brief pause was made after six reported cases of a rare type of blood clot were seen in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. After careful investigation during the pause, the CDC and FDA determined that blood clotting with low platelets (called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome – TTS) from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare and that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death far outweighed the risk. Therefore, they recommended resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Following this guidance, NC DHHS has recommended that North Carolina vaccine providers resume the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines now that their safety has been reaffirmed. The pause and investigation show that our safety system is working—and that people can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the approved vaccines. Read more information.

No serious side effects have been reported. But people have reported temporary reactions like sore arms, tiredness, and feeling off for a day or two after receiving the vaccine. These are only temporary reactions and the side effects are a normal sign that your body is building protection against the virus.

People who have had severe allergic reactions, also called anaphylaxis, to any ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should not receive that vaccine. People who have had this type of severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or treatment that is injected should talk with their health care provider about balancing the risks and benefits of vaccination. People with allergies to foods, animals, environmental triggers (such as pollen), latex, or medications taken by mouth, or who have family members with past severe allergic reactions, can be vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Vaccine providers will watch patients for 15-30 minutes after vaccination to ensure the patient’s safety. Additional information can be found here for the currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Yes, they are free to everyone, even if you don’t have health insurance. The federal government is covering the cost.

No, you don’t need to register but you may have to schedule or sign-up for an appointment.

To schedule an appointment at a Moore County Health Department COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Carthage, call 910-947- SHOT (7468).

To find other vaccine providers near you, anywhere in North Carolina, you can use the vaccine locator tool found at  www.myspot.nc.gov.

North Carolina does not require an identification card, like a driver’s license, to be vaccinated. Some employers could request ID when limited vaccine has to be prioritized, but it is not required.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone for free, whether or not they have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status. Information is kept confidential and won’t be shared with ICE for immigration enforcement. Getting the vaccine does not have a negative impact on people’s chances of adjusting their immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security released a statement on equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites.

Yes. To protect the health of North Carolinians and promote equity in vaccine distribution, people who spend significant time in North Carolina and are able to spread the virus in North Carolina should be vaccinated when and where they have access to vaccine. Vaccine providers should vaccinate North Carolinians no matter what county they live in.

People who have limited mobility can be vaccinated against COVID-19 in their home. To find a vaccine provider in your area who is providing vaccinations to individuals in their home, call the At-Home Vaccination Hotline at 1-866- 303-0026, or fill out a registration form. For more information on at-home vaccination, visit www.ptrc.org/covid.

Yes, and it is safe to get vaccinated with the vaccine if you have been infected in the past. The vaccine works to protect you against a future infection. You don’t need a COVID test before vaccination.

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines and regardless of the timing of other vaccines.

No. People who are actively sick with COVID-19 should wait until they have recovered and can no longer spread the virus before getting their vaccine. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 between their first and second dose of a two-dose vaccine. For two-dose vaccines, the second dose can be given up to 6 weeks after the first dose and still be very effective (see “What happens if you don’t get your second dose on the right day?”), so do not worry if you have to reschedule your appointment for a later date. Once you have recovered, it is safe to get vaccinated with any COVID-19 vaccine if you have been infected in the past.

Data shows that there is very high protection levels for at least 6 months after the vaccine. With the spread of the Delta variant and more recent studies, the vaccine continues to be effective against serious illness, hospitalization and death but with declines in protection against infection. Therefore, FDA and CDC are currently looking at the timing of when booster shots might be recommended with additional information coming likely in September.

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are not currently recommended. Both Moderna and Pfizer are developing booster shots as scientists continue to study how long the vaccines stay effective. Although vaccination provides highly effective protection against hospitalizations and severe illness, we are seeing a decrease in vaccine effectiveness against mild to moderate infection—people getting sick but not severely ill and needing hospitalization. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced planning is underway to support booster shots for the general population. Boosters will likely be available beginning the end of September, pending full review and recommendations by the FDA and CDC. People who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will likely be eligible, starting 8 months after their second dose, although exact timing is currently unknown. Research is still underway regarding boosters for Johnson & Johnson.
 
An additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna is authorized only for moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals after their initial Pfizer or Moderna two-dose series, which is another dose because the immune response to the primary series is likely to be decreased in these individuals. See “Do I need an additional dose?”

 

Yes. You should receive a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. People with access to email will also receive an email with proof of vaccination.

Many North Carolinians can also access their COVID-19 vaccine information in the North Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Portal, if they received the COVID-19 vaccine from a North Carolina provider and provided an email address to the provider. If you received your vaccine from a pharmacy (e.g., CVS or Walgreens) or from another federal vaccine provider (such as the US Department of Defense), you will need to get your vaccine information directly from that provider or the CDC vaccination card provided as it is not available in the North Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Portal.
If people lose their vaccine card or have questions about accessing their vaccine records, they should contact their vaccine provider.

 

You are considered fully vaccinated if it has been at least two weeks after your single dose vaccine or at least two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.

NCDHHS recommends that everyone wear a mask when in indoor public spaces. This is consistent with CDC guidance for people living in counties with high levels of transmission, which currently is every county in North Carolina. In addition, you should:
 •    Wear a face covering in all K-12 schools, child care, indoor settings with a large number of children or child-
 focused activities (e.g, childr en’s museums ), public tr ansportation, healthcar e settings, high density congregate   settings (e.g., correction and detention facilities, homeless shelters, migrant farm camps), and large crowded indoor venues (e.g., arenas, stadiums).
 •    Get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. After an exposure to COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask around others until you get a negative test result.
Receiving the COVID-19 shot and following the 3 Ws is everyone’s best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. For more information about what to do after being vaccinated, see NC DHHS’s guidance.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine or get tested if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 as long as you do not have any symptoms and do not live in a group setting. If you develop symptoms of COVID- 19, you should get tested and isolate from other people.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the most common tests used to test for the COVID-19 virus, which are called PCR or antigen tests. The vaccines do not affect these test results because there is no virus in the vaccines. However, vaccines can affect the results of some COVID-19 antibody tests because of the immune response to the vaccine. More details can be found from the CDC here.

The State of North Carolina will maintain an online public dashboard with vaccination data. The data in the dashboard will be updated weekly. It can be found here:  https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/vaccinations.

 

North Carolina will use the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS), a free, secure, web-based system accessible to all providers who give COVID-19 vaccinations. It helps vaccine providers know who has been vaccinated and with which vaccine to make sure people get the second dose of the same vaccine at the right time. It also helps people register for vaccination at the appropriate time and allows the state to manage vaccine supply. Pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens doing vaccinations in long-term care facilities, will not use CVMS to give and manage vaccines. These pharmacies will use their own systems. Your information on vaccination is confidential health information that is carefully managed to protect your privacy. Information will not be shared except in accordance with state and federal law. Any personal information will be taken out prior to sending public health information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease, or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. CDC and other experts are studying herd immunity for COVID-19 and will provide more information as it is available.

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