As your community pharmacy, we’re committed to providing you with the most up-to-date and reliable information regarding COVID vaccination availability and distribution. Please see our current list of COVID-19 vaccination frequently asked questions below. We will continue to update this list as new questions emerge.
- The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced an accelerated timeline for moving to Groups 4 and 5 for vaccine eligibility. The rest of Group 4 will be eligible on March 31 and all adults eligible beginning April 7. The move will allow the state and vaccine providers to continue to get vaccines into arms quickly and continue to reach underserved and historically marginalized populations.
- Today, Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen are announcing that beginning on March 17th, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk and people who live in additional congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers, will become eligible on April 7th.
North Carolina follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as to who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, sickle cell disease, obesity, or smoking (A complete list is available in our Deeper Dive). In addition, this population includes anyone who is living in higher-risk congregate or close group living settings who is not already vaccinated, including people experiencing homelessness or living in a homeless shelter and people in a correctional facility, such as jail or prison.
More information can be found online: Deeper Dive Group 4: Adults at Higher Risk of Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness (Higher-Risk Conditions and Additional Congregate Settings).
Currently eligible groups – health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, people 65 and older, and child care and school staff – will continue to be prioritized. Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to people with a medical condition on March 17th if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3.
You can now sign up for the Buncombe County waitlist to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. Please click below:
What is the vaccine availability?
The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is broken into phases based on immediate need. Group 1 focuses on frontline healthcare workers and high-risk individuals. The CDC has its own phases and each state can use the CDC’s phases or create its own. Please follow the phases or groups for your state. NC has updated the term from phase to group.
- Healthcare workers with in-person patient contact
- Long-term care facility residents and staff
- Anyone 65 years of age or older, regardless of health status or living situation
- Frontline essential workers
- February 10, 2021: NC DHHS announced plans to move to Group 3 for COVID-19 vaccines and will begin with anyone working in childcare or PreK-12 schools starting on February 24th. NC plans to move to additional frontline essential workers on March 10th.
Adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness
- Anyone can receive the vaccine
Find your group by completing this questionnaire: https://findmygroup.nc.gov/
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING NORTH CAROLINA’S PLAN, CLICK HERE.
When is Sona getting the COVID vaccine, and which one are you getting?
The good news is that Sona is part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership for the COVID vaccine. We anticipate receiving the vaccine in the future. Please sign up for our newsletter for up-to-date information related to the COVID vaccine. At this time, we are not sure which vaccine we will be receiving.
I received another vaccine recently, can I still receive the COVID vaccine?
Yes, you will need to wait at least 14 days before you can receive the COVID vaccine.
I received passive antibody therapy as a treatment for COVID-19, can I still receive the COVID vaccine?
Yes, as long as 90 days have passed since you received passive antibody therapy.
I am allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is found in some medications such as laxatives and preparations for colonoscopy procedures, OR polysorbate. Can I still receive the COVID vaccine?
The CDC recommends you should not get the COVID vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction of any type to PEG or polysorbate.
I have had an allergic reaction to another vaccine, injectable medication, OR severe allergic reaction to food, pet, venom, environmental or oral medications. Can I still receive the COVID vaccine?
Yes, and you should wait at least 30 minutes after receiving the COVID vaccination before you leave the location that administered the vaccine.
Can an mRNA vaccine change your DNA?
No, mRNA vaccines do not change your DNA and they don’t enter into the nucleus of the cells (where your DNA lives).
Are the COVID vaccines live vaccines?
No. They do not contain the full virus and cannot give you COVID. The vaccine only codes for part of the spike protein and it does not include the virus at all.
If I take the vaccine, does that mean I can travel freely, not wear a mask, and do all of the things I did pre-COVID?
No. When you take the vaccine, you will dramatically decrease your risk of getting the virus and being hospitalized with a severe case of the virus. There is a small chance that you may feel ill and spread the virus, so we still need to wear masks until we have herd immunity.
If I have a suppressed immune system, should I still get the vaccine?
Yes. There is no live virus in this vaccine, so if you have a suppressed immune system due to things like cancer, a transplant, an autoimmune condition or have a suppressed immune system from another condition, it is still safe to take this vaccine.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
We do not know yet. Once more research is done, we can provide further insight.
What are the common side effects of the vaccine?
Side effects are common for the vaccine because it is your immune system reacting to the vaccine. Pain in the arm at the injection site, fever, fatigue, chills–these are common and will go away within 24-48 hours.
Is one vaccine manufacturer better than another?
All of the COVID vaccines use the same scientific process and safety protocols, the main difference is the time between vaccines and the temperature they must be stored at. Both vaccines maintain the same effectiveness.
How many doses of the COVID‐19 vaccine will I need to take?
Currently, the Pfizer‐BioNTech and Moderna COVID‐19 vaccines are the only vaccinations that have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. Below are some of the key details of each vaccine:
|Pfizer BioNTech||> 16 years||Intramuscular in the arm (like a flu shot)||2 doses separated by 21 days|
|Moderna||> 18 years||2 doses separated by 28 days|
Do both doses of the COVID‐19 Vaccination have to be administered by the same provider?
No, you may elect to get your two doses from different providers. However, it is important to note that the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are NOT interchangeable; you should receive two doses of the SAME vaccine to be protected against COVID-19.
How will I know when to get my second dose?
After receiving the first dose of your COVID‐19 vaccination, you will be provided with a vaccine card with all pertinent vaccination information. This card will include information about the specific vaccine received, the date and location of the first dose, as well as a date for the second dose to be completed. It is encouraged that all patients schedule their second dose appointment, before leaving the site of their first dose administration. Individuals will be reminded when it is time to get their second shot.
You can also download V-safe, a smartphone application that sends reminders about receiving your second vaccine dose. V-safe also allows you to report any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine directly in the app to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).