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COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs for Families and Patients with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM)

Updated July 27, 2021

Q. Which vaccines are approved?

A. Currently, the FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the United States: The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine.(1) Pfizer-BioNTach and Moderna are currently seeking full authorization for their respective vaccines. Vaccine approval and guidance in other countries may vary; please consult your local health authority for more information.

Q. What is Emergency Use Authorization?

A. An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) accelerates the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to receiving their respective EUAs, the above vaccines were rigorously tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data needed by the FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials were conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA.(2)

Q. Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. contain live virus?

A. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States contain a live virus.(3)

Q. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

A. No. Because none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.(4)

Q. Where can I get the vaccine?

A. In the United States, the state or territorial government determine how to distribute the vaccine. In most states, the vaccines are administered through Health Departments, Hospitals and Retail Pharmacies.(5) You can find a vaccination location near you at www.vaccines.gov

Q. How much does it cost to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

A. In the United States, the federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.(6)

Q. What about side effects?

A. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by the FDA. Results from vaccine safety monitoring efforts are reassuring. Some people have no side effects. Others have reported common vaccination side effects like swelling, redness, and pain at injection site, fever, headache, tiredness, muscle pain, chills, and nausea. A very small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after vaccination. If this occurs, vaccination providers have medicines available to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. After receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, there is risk for a rare but serious adverse event — thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS. This adverse event only occurs at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.There are other COVID-19 vaccines available for which this risk has not been seen.(7)

Q. After I have received the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask and go back to my normal activities?

A. The CDC recommends those who are fully vaccinated wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. This is to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. Further, they emphasize mask wearing for those that have a weakened immune system, are of advanced age, have an underlying medical condition, are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in the household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, the CDC recommends that you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area. Further, they recommend that everyone continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.(8)

Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking precautions, including:

  • Wearing a mask when in public spaces
  • Staying 6 feet away from people you do not live with
  • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Washing your hands often
  • Monitoring your health daily and staying in touch with your healthcare team.(9)

You should also continue to pay attention to your mental and emotional health.

Q. If I have already had COVID-19 (the illness), will I need the vaccine?

A. According to the CDC, early evidence suggests that natural immunity (the immunity that someone gains from having an illness and getting better) may not last very long in the case of COVID-19. More studies are underway in an effort to understand this better.

In general, you should get the vaccine even if you have already had COVID-19. However, you may need to wait for some time after recovering from the virus before taking the vaccine. Please talk to your doctor about when you should get the vaccine if you have already had COVID-19.(10)

Q. Can you tell me more about the new vaccines and their effectiveness and safety?

A. Dr. Rohit Aggarwal, Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of The Myositis Association, has an excellent, two-part video series on the COVID-19 vaccine in autoimmune disease: Part 1, Part 2.


References

  1. www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines
  2. www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines-explained
  3. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html
  4. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html
  5. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/distributing.html
  6. www.vaccines.gov
  7. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html
  8. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
  9. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
  10. www.lupus.org/resources/covid19-vaccine-and-lupus

Disclaimer:  Cure JM Foundation presents this information for reference purposes only and not as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider and your local health authorities to make individual decisions.