Monday, April 05, 2021
Our company values are rooted in doing what’s right and as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re committed to helping our colleagues as well as our communities understand the COVID-19 vaccination information available.
The experts are clear – vaccines work! Safe and effective vaccines are what will end this pandemic and ensure a healthier and safer future for us all.
We are determined to do our part to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible and have taken several important steps as vaccines roll out:
- We continue to support local relief efforts and have currently donated over $30 million to organizations around the world in the wake of this global crisis.
- We have committed to covering the cost of the vaccine for all colleagues if not already paid for by their government or healthcare plan.
- We are providing flexibility to allow time for colleagues to get the vaccine and have conducted several vaccine clinics for our manufacturing facilities and will explore more for our facilities where possible.
We are also working with Dr. Rusty McCulloh, Division Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Rusty conducts clinical trials in vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, as well as other acute health issues facing children. His input has been incredibly valuable in understanding the constantly changing vaccine space, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share this resource outside of our organization. We will continue to work with medical experts to provide critical information for our colleagues.
We recently hosted a global vaccine information session for our colleagues to discuss the latest updates with the Delta variant, vaccine safety and efficacy, the latest information on booster shots, and other updates. You can access a recording of the session here and a copy of the presentation here
To note, available vaccine information is changing very quickly. We will continue to share updates from our latest global vaccine information sessions as they are available.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ & Responses
Can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 use inactivated virus, parts of the virus, or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
Will the vaccine hurt?
No. The injection into your arm won’t feel any different than any other vaccine. You might feel mild discomfort, as you would with any vaccine.
Are there side effects to the vaccine?
Side effects may include local pain or swelling at the injection site, or systemic flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headaches and chills. Most side effects are mild to moderate and last only 1-2 days.
What “side effects” are not due to the vaccine?
Cough shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell are not consistent with post-vaccination symptoms and may be a sign of a COVID-19 infection.
Do the current vaccines work against variants?
The current vaccines do provide protection against current variants. But as the virus continues to mutate, that may not always be the case. That’s why it’s important as many people as possible get vaccinated now!
Can pregnant women get the vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends pregnant women get vaccinated. Babies can also get antibodies from mom!
Can children get the vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for ages 12+ and additional trials are underway for children as young as 6 months old.
If I had COVID-19, do I need to get the vaccine?
Yes. Depending on your country, you should still get vaccinated with one or two doses. Once your symptoms have subsided, you can get vaccinated.
Do I need to get both doses of the vaccine?
Yes. You have some protection after getting one dose (of a two-dose vaccine), but you should get both doses for the full protection.
Can I choose which vaccine I get?
Likely not. My recommendation: take what you are offered from the vaccines that are authorized in your country.
Can you mix vaccines?
Yes. Allowing mixed-dose vaccinations may help people get fully vaccinated faster. It may even provide more protection.
Will we need a booster shot?
Maybe. Boosters might not be necessary for everyone and could divert much-needed doses away from others. The current priority is vaccinating as many people as possible until more information is available.
Will we still need to wear masks and practice social distancing after receiving the vaccine?
This will vary depending on your country. In some places, you may still be required to wear PPE and practice social distancing. Follow your government or local health authority guidelines.
These vaccines were developed very quickly – are they safe?
Yes. Approved vaccines have gone through careful testing and clinical trials, received authorization for emergency use, and are continuously monitored for side effects.
How long will the vaccine last?
Unclear. Coronavirus vaccines may become an annual event (like the flu shot). Immunity from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is shown to last at least 6 months so far.
Fore more resources about COVID-19 vaccinations, please visit:
Dr. Rusty McCulloh is Division Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Missouri and a fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Brown University in Providence, RI. Dr. Rusty conducts clinical trials in vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 as well as clinical trials focused on other acute health issues facing children that can result in hospitalization.
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