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Yes, and now! Since March 29, Kansas has been in Phase 5, meaning anyone 16+ is now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Parental consent is required for those under the age of 18 years and please note only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people ages 16 and 17. Because the Pfizer vaccine must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer, confirm that the vaccination site has the Pfizer vaccine before taking your child to get vaccinated.
There are two steps to getting the vaccine:
There are many different types of providers administering the vaccine now, and we are working to get more providers to sign up as vaccinators. Providers administering the vaccine include:
Visit vaccines.gov for a provider near you!
The COVID-19 vaccine dashboard includes data on doses distributed and administered in Kansas. It is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:30 pm CT. Note that the Kansas dashboard does not include doses administered through federal programs, so the numbers will be somewhat lower than those on the CDC COVID-19 Tracker.
Youth may not have documentation of their age, but a parent or guardian can attest to the eligibility of a child in their care. Currently, only youth ages 16 and older are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and only the Pfizer's vaccine is authorized for people age 16+.
The CDC recommends taking a photo of both sides of the vaccine card in case you lose it. But if you forgot to do so, the CDC says you can:
Effective May 12, Pfizer's vaccine is now authorized for people ages 12 and older.
Moderna’s vaccine has been authorized for individuals age 18 and older and it is currently running a trial for adolescents ages 12-17. It could seek authorization for adolescents by Summer 2021.
Johnson & Johnson announced at the start of April that it started including adolescents in an ongoing trial of its vaccine candidate.
The Pfizer vaccine can be administered to individuals aged 12 and older with parental permission. Even with a doctor's note and/or parental permission, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not currently authorized for anyone under age 18 and should not be administered outside of the approved age range.
By providing information about COVID-19 vaccination and establishing supportive policies and practices, employers can help increase vaccine uptake among workers.
If you’re an employer, consider the following benefits from vaccination:
Simply said, the COVID-19 vaccine is good for business!
Additionally, as part of the American Rescue Plan, businesses with fewer than 500 employees will be reimbursed (up to $511 per day per employee) through a paid tax credit. Thirty percent of unvaccinated employees say they are more likely to get shots if their employers offer incentives. As a result, this benefit is expected to be a helpful motivator for unvaccinated Kansans.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to all Kansans and no insurance is required. Healthcare facilities are permitted to bill your insurance for a vaccine administration fee, but Kansans should not be billed for this cost.
Healthcare facilities are permitted to charge an administration fee for the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Kansans cannot be denied a vaccine if they cannot afford the administration fee or do not have insurance. If you are eligible for the vaccine but are turned away for not paying, please call KDHE at 866-534-3463 or email.
Alternatively, you may contact the Kansas Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division by phone at 800-432-2484, by email, or by filing a complaint on their website.
Thankfully, most people who are infected with COVID-19 appear to make a full recovery, although potential long-term effects of the virus are unknown. However, COVID-19 infection can cause serious, life-threatening disease, and there is no way to predict who will need hospitalization and who will not survive.
We are learning that some people who have COVID-19 never fully recover and experience debilitating symptoms like heart arrhythmias, nervous system dysfunction, and severe fatigue long after their original infection has “resolved.” Fortunately, the vaccines available in the United States are both safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and stopping the spread of COVID-19 to others.
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective at preventing COVID-19.
Pfizer and Moderna have approximately 95% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19. The J&J vaccine was found to be 66% effective in preventing COVID-19 within 2 weeks of vaccination but 100% effective in decreasing severe illness and/or hospitalizations.
Research is ongoing and data is not yet available on the duration of protection that the vaccines will provide, though Pfizer recently stated that it is likely people will need a 3rd booster dose at 12 months. COVID-19 variants will likely play a big role in determining the duration of protection and the need for another booster dose.
Vaccines have proven to be greatly effective in eliminating or significantly decreasing the impact of many diseases. Vaccines protect most individuals from getting infected, or from serious consequences like hospitalization and death if they do get infected.
This protection will help us get back to doing the things we love to do, like celebrating holidays with friends and family and playing sports. If enough people are vaccinated and we have achieved “Herd Immunity,” the COVID-19 virus will lose its ability to efficiently infect new people and develop variants.
Because vaccination for the COVID-19 is still relatively new, and most people are not yet fully vaccinated, we still don’t know the answer to this question. Because it may be possible to spread the virus after being fully vaccinated, it is important to continue taking appropriate precautions like wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings even if fully vaccinated. The CDC is gradually relaxing its guidance for people who are vaccinated and we do know that the vaccine is very effective at preventing disease in the person who is vaccinated, but more needs to be learned about whether vaccinated people can still infect others.
Here is a link to the vaccine ingredients for the three currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
Side effects are normal signs that the body is building protection. Common side effects from vaccination are pain, redness, swelling on the arm where the shot was given, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. Some people have no side effects. For some individuals, side effects after the second dose (for vaccines that require two doses) may be more intense than the ones they experienced after the first shot. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Patients should seek medical care if their symptoms last longer than that.
It is not recommended to take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects.
Patients should talk to their doctor or to their vaccination provider about any questions they may have about medications they are taking.
A rare, but serious, side effect was recently identified in a small number of women of reproductive age related to Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Given the availability of two other vaccines, the FDA and CDC have encouraged women younger than 50 years of age to be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with J&J vaccine.
For more information about potential side effects, go to the Vaccine Side Effects page on the US Health and Human Services (HHS) website, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website for:
Vaccination for the COVID-19 is still relatively new, and most people are not yet fully vaccinated, so we still don’t know if people who are vaccinated can be asymptomatic carriers and possibly infect others. Because it may be possible to spread the virus after being fully vaccinated, it is important to continue taking appropriate precautions like wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings even if fully vaccinated.
The CDC is gradually relaxing its guidance for people who are vaccinated, and we do know that the vaccine is very effective at preventing disease in the person who is vaccinated, but more needs to be learned regarding risk of transmission.
Yes! Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for teenagers ages 16-17.
Pfizer has recently submitted safety and efficacy data to the FDA from its clinical trials in adolescents in adolescents ages 12-15 and publicly available reports show excellent safety of the vaccine in this age group as well. The FDA is expected to consider expanding authorization for use of Pfizer vaccine in this age group within the next month.
Moderna and J&J clinical trials in teens, adolescents, and younger children are currently underway.
Based on how the COVID-19 vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are safe for people who are pregnant or lactating. Two considerations:
Because women who were pregnant at enrollment in clinical trials were excluded from the trials, there is limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines specifically for pregnant or lactating women Additional studies in this population are underway or planned, and the vaccine manufacturers are following outcomes in women who became pregnant during the clinical trials.
YES! If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination increases infertility or the risk of miscarriage. In addition, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems during pregnancy, including problems with the development of the placenta. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
In April, a rare, but serious, side effect was identified in a small number of women of reproductive age-related to Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Given the availability of two other vaccines, the FDA and CDC have encouraged women younger than 50 years of age to be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with J&J vaccine.
Patient care is very nuanced, so the FDA advises telling your vaccination provider about ALL your medical conditions, including if you:
If you have been previously infected with COVID-19, vaccination is recommended; however, the CDC advises waiting 90 days after treatment for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. If you are currently in quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19, please wait 14 days after your exposure to get vaccinated to ensure that you do not have COVID-19.
For more information, refer to the Pfizer EUA Factsheet; Moderna EUA Factsheet; Johnson and Johnson EUA Factsheet; and CDC COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ.
COVID-19 is not a hoax and neither is the vaccine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 153 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 3.2 million people have died from their infection. Even people who survive their infection risk long-term consequences from COVID like fatigue, irregular heart rate, and tinnitus (ringing in ears). COVID is no joke, and the best way to prevent COVID is to get vaccinated.
No, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from any of the authorized vaccines.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each vaccine is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
Yes, the data now show that vaccination is better at preventing reinfection with COVID-19 than a previous infection, so getting vaccinated adds an important layer of protection against future disease.
If a person is currently in quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19, it is advised to wait 14 days after exposure to get vaccinated to ensure that they do not have COVID-19 and risk infecting others at the vaccination site. In addition, if you have been treated for a COVID-19 infection with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the CDC advises waiting 90 days after your treatment to make sure your immune system can mount an effective response to the vaccine.
No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States will cause you to test positive on viral tests, like PCR or antigen tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests which indicates that you have some level of protection against the virus.
Each vaccine company’s FDA application included two months of follow-up safety data from clinical trials conducted by universities and other independent bodies, during which tens of thousands of volunteers got a vaccine and were monitored to see if they developed side effects or became infected, compared with others who received a placebo.
Clinical trials revealed no severe outcomes attributable to the vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to prevent infection among 95% of the people who participated in their clinical trials. By September, Pfizer’s trial had ~44,000 participants and no serious safety concerns were reported. Similarly, Moderna’s trial had ~28,000 participants with no serious safety concerns, hospitalizations, or deaths. Since that time, millions of people have safely received these vaccines.
Vaccine safety monitoring systems are in place to collect side effect data (CDC). If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern that warrants changes in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.
As a result of this ongoing safety monitoring, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration was paused April 13 by the CDC and FDA following reports in the United States of people who developed a rare disorder involving blood clots and low platelets within about two weeks of receiving J&J vaccine. During the pause, the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of this rare condition. They also published protocols for identifying and treating individuals for this rare clotting disorder and communicated these to healthcare providers to ensure they were aware of the potential for these adverse events and could properly recognize and manage them. Following these reviews, the two agencies have recommended that Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration be resumed in the United States. As of April 26th, Kansas providers resumed administration of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, following the CDC and FDA’s announcements.
America’s best medical and research professionals have been working for years on coronavirus vaccines for SARS and MERS. While SARS and MERS are different than COVID-19, they belong to the coronavirus family. The lessons learned through those developments are being applied today.
Although the timeline has been accelerated, the integrity of the trial and approval processes has remained. Scientists had a head start on developing the COVID-19 vaccine, using their experience from previous coronavirus vaccine efforts. Another way scientists preserved safety and saved time was by working on efforts simultaneously, rather than one after another like the traditional process. For example, COVID-19 vaccines were in Phase III clinical trials at the same time they were being manufactured. Once the vaccine was proven safe and effective and authorized for use after the FDA review process, the manufactured vaccines were deployed. If the vaccines don’t pass the authorization process, which is verified by an independent committee of health experts, the manufactured vaccine cannot be used.
The flu vaccine will not protect you from coronavirus.
Influenza and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) belong to two different RNA virus families, so one vaccine is not interchangeable for another. Influenza belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family, while SARS-CoV-2 is classified in the Coronaviridae family. Both Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 rely on different protein layers to initiate responses. Influenza uses two surface antigens, while SARS-CoV-2 uses spike proteins, so their immunization approaches are different.
The COVID-19 vaccines do not alter your DNA.
Medical doctors independent of the vaccine development teams have verified that using mRNA – technology underpinning the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – will not alter the DNA of our body’s cells. These vaccines provide a set of instructions to your cells to create an immune response specific to COVID-19 without introducing DNA into your body. Learn more.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine works more like a traditional vaccine. The vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that uses a harmless version of a different virus, called a “vector,” to deliver information to the body that helps to protect you. Learn more.
The ingredients used in the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are simple. They contain mRNA, as well as lipids to ensure safe delivery of the mRNA that will initiate an immune response. Although FDA approved adjuvants (aluminum salts) and preservatives (ethylmercury) have a history of safe use in vaccines, they were not used by Pfizer and Moderna in this vaccine technology. The vaccines do not include fetal tissue.
Among vaccine recipients during the Pfizer clinical trials, 8.8% reported experiencing a reaction they considered to interfere with daily activity; the most common symptoms were fatigue (4.2%), headache (2.4%), muscle pain (1.8%), chills (1.7%), and injection site pain (1.4%). More people experienced these side effects after the second dose.Among vaccine recipients during the Moderna clinical trials, 9.1% reported local injection site reaction and 16.5% reported side effects, with the most common including fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches and pains. No specific safety concerns were identified for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in subgroup analyses by age, race, ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Johnson & Johnson administration was paused April 13 by the CDC and FDA following reports of recipients in the United States who developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination. During the pause, the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of the condition as well as conducted extensive outreach to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for these adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events. Following these reviews, the two agencies have recommended that Johnson & Johnson be resumed in the United States. As of April 26th, KDHE announced that Kansas will resume administration of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, following the CDC and FDA’s announcements.
Yes, it is recommended that even vaccinated individuals practice an abundance of caution by continuing to wear a mask, social distance, wash their hands and avoid large gatherings -- especially indoors.
COVID-19 is a deadly disease that causes severe illness – and in some cases, long-term symptoms that we have yet to fully understand. The COVID-19 vaccine has been created to decrease death and severe illness.
Although a high percentage of people recover from COVID-19, some are hospitalized and experience severe illness. It is also somewhat common to have the virus but never experience symptoms, and it’s possible to spread the virus to others even when symptoms are not present. When you make the choice to be vaccinated, you are protecting not only yourself but also those around you from the chance of death and severe illness.
No, COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandated in Kansas at this time. Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination will be required by some countries for international travel and may be required in some states to attend sporting events or other large events. If you have travel plans, please make sure you know where COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity to accurately document the spelling of your name and address in the immunization registry and to make sure you fall within the authorized age range for vaccination. Officials recommend that you bring any photo ID that shows your name, birth date, and address. This includes but is not limited to a driver's license, Consular ID, or a school or work ID. Requirements vary by provider, so please check before you go. Should you be asked to provide an ID and you do not have one, you can seek another provider.
You should also bring your health insurance card if you have one. You will not be charged (vaccines are free), but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine. No patient will receive a bill, and no patient will be turned away if they do not have insurance
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity to accurately document the spelling of your name and address in the immunization registry and to make sure you fall within the authorized age range for vaccination. Entering your information and your COVID-19 vaccine in the immunization registry makes sure there is a record of your vaccine in case you lose your vaccination card and need it to travel or work. This information is never shared with ICE or immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement.
Vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine after traveling if they meet all of the following criteria:
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.
You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after receiving your boost dose (second dose) of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Fully vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others. This includes: