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Updated Covid vaccine, travel guidelines information

 

Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut Travel Guidelines

The following is a notification from the State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health regarding travel:

 

“Both the CDC and DPH continue to recommend against out of state travel during this time.  However, for individuals and families associated with K-12 schools in Connecticut who choose to travel in the coming weeks (for spring break or otherwise) the following actions are recommended:

  • Continue to utilize all appropriate mitigation strategies while traveling (including mask wearing, distancing, symptom recognition, etc) regardless of whether the policies and procedures in place at your destination mandate them.

  • Before travel, review the current DPH and CDC recommendations for travel during COVID-19 and be sure to plan sufficient time for any necessary actions.

  • Follow DPH and CDC best-practice  quarantine and testing procedures upon return including: 

  • Quarantining for a full 7 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test result obtained between days 3-5 or

  • Quarantining for a full 10 days without testing and

  • Continuing to monitor for symptoms during all quarantine periods.

  • Individuals or families choosing not to observe quarantine should at a minimum

  • Get tested for COVID-19 after they return

  • Stay out of school until they receive a negative test result back from the laboratory

  • Be acutely and continuously aware of any symptoms of COVID-19 that they or their 

  • Family member may develop in the two weeks after travel, and

  • Be prepared to immediately isolate/quarantine themselves if/when symptoms develop”

 

Vaccination Information
After April 1, Anyone 16 and older can get vaccinated in CT!!
What vaccines are available in Connecticut ?Connecticut is now receiving vaccine supplies from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

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 16 or 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 vaccine

16+

2

21 days

Moderna: mRNA vaccine

18+

2

28 days

Johnson & Johnson: Viral vector vaccine

18+

1

N/A

Do I get to choose which vaccine brand I want to receive?  
In general, given scarce supply, only one vaccine may be available through your provider. 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 16 or 17 years old, you may only receive the Pfizer vaccine.


Can I choose the vaccine that says it’s the most effective?
All three vaccines are safe and highly effective against illness and death from COVID-19. Getting the vaccine as soon as you’re eligible, regardless of the brand, will protect you from severe illness, hospitalization and the risk of death from COVID-19.  The bottom line is the best shot you can get is the one that’s available.


What is the difference between an mRNA and a viral vector vaccine?
Both mRNA and viral vector vaccines contain instructions that teach our cells how to create "spike proteins", which is the protein found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Once your cells produce COVID-19 spike proteins, your immune system recognizes that those proteins don’t belong in your body and creates antibodies to stop the virus from spreading and causing damage when you are exposed to it. Neither vaccine contains the  virus that causes COVID-19.


The instructions in the mRNA vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA), the genetic material that tells your cells how to make proteins. The mRNA is surrounded by a tiny lipids (fatty molecules) which help mRNA enter directly into your cells. Once your cells create the spike proteins, your body breaks down the mRNA.

In viral vector vaccines, spike protein DNA is placed inside a modified version of a different virus that doesn’t cause illness. This non-harmful virus delivers the DNA instructions to your cells – this virus is called the vector.


Can I choose to get a one-dose vaccine? I don’t have time for two shots.
You can receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine if it is available at the location you make your initial vaccine appointment. Availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will vary by location. The CDC and public health experts advise that everyone get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they become eligible, regardless of the manufacturer.


Which vaccines are available to children under 18 years old?
Pfizer’s vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for ages 16 and up. When booking a vaccine appointment for a 16 or 17 year old, be sure to confirm with the vaccine provider that Pfizer will be available.


Source: State of CT Department of Public Health

Safety and Vaccine Risks

 

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. 


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. 


How do we know the vaccines are safe?
The Pfizer vaccine alone had a trial of over 40,000 people over a period of many months without any serious incidents. No vaccines will be available to the public without the review of the federal government and the Science Subcommittee of Governor Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group. In Connecticut, we continue to make every decision with public health as a number one priority.  


Are the vaccines safe for children?
The Pfizer vaccine was proven safe and effective in participants 16 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. Pfizer and Moderna are currently conducting additional clinical trials to determine safety and effectiveness in teens and kids.


Are individuals 16 and 17 year old at higher risk of side effects from the vaccine?
The FDA determined that the Pfizer vaccine has a similar safety and effectiveness profile in 16 and 17 year old individuals as other aduits in clinical trials.


Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?
No.  None of the COVD-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, 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. 


Does this vaccine cause infertility?
No. This is a rumor. 


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.


Does the vaccine cause blood clots?
The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was determined by the European Medicines Agency to be safe and effective, with no link to a higher risk of developing blood clots. No vaccines available in Connecticut are linked to a higher risk of developing a blood clot.


Source: State of CT, Department of Public Health

Scheduling your Vaccination


Should I call my doctor to schedule a vaccine appointment?
No, do not call your doctor. Not every medical provider is administering vaccine at this time. Those who are will contact their patients to schedule appointments. 

Can 16 and 17 year old individuals schedule their own vaccine appointments?
Appointment scheduling processes vary across different vaccine providers. While some scheduling platforms, such as VAMS, allow minors to create personal accounts and schedule appointments, others may require a parent or guardian’s electronic permission to schedule.  16 and 17 year olds should have a parent/guardian present with them at their vaccination appointment.  Minors under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated by a healthcare provider without parental consent.

Are there other restrictions on 16 and 17 year olds receiving vaccine?
Currently, 16 and 17 year olds can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.  That is the only vaccine approved by the FDA for children ages 16 and 17.  When signing up for a vaccine appointment, make sure that the location you are choosing is administering the Pfizer vaccine.


Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
Vaccines are administered free of charge in Connecticut.  No one should be charged an out of pocket fee for receiving the vaccine.  If you have health insurance, the vaccine provider can bill your insurance company for the administration of the vaccine dose, but you will not be required to pay any money out of pocket for the vaccine.


Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine

The state offers residents and workers several options for scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Option 1: Search for a Vaccine Site
Enter your address or zip code to view all the locations nearest you. You can also search for a specific provider to view associated locations.

Click on this link:
https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal/COVID-19-Vaccination-Scheduling-Options

Option 2: Schedule by Phone
Prefer to schedule by phone? Select sites offer appointment scheduling via phone. Due to high volume, hold times may vary.
Please note that some vaccine sites allow phone scheduling through a direct clinic phone number. Search by location to view additional sites and scheduling options.

Vaccine Appointment Assist Line

877-918-2224

Available 8:00am to 8:00pm EST, 7 days a week