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Frequently Asked Questions

At SSM Health, we're eager to protect our communities by getting everyone vaccinated against COVID-19. Here are some common questions people have about the latest COVID-19 developments and the vaccines:

Common COVID-19 & Vaccine Questions

As of June 18, 2022, The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved for children who are at least 6 months old. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.

Call your pediatrician to schedule your appointment or log in to MyChart to schedule the vaccine for your child.

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone 6 months or older. In the clinical trials, there were no deaths or signs of myocarditis, an inflamation of the heart muscle.

Many children do not have side effects after the vaccination. But, there are some who have mild, temporary symptoms including: injection site pain, irritability, tiredness or fever. 

For more information on the vaccine side effects, please visit the CDC's website.

The child should receive the dose that is approved for their age on the day of vaccination. If the child is 4 on the day they are scheduled to receive the first dose, they should receive the lower dose vaccine. If that same child turns 5 between dose 1 and 2, they should receive a larger dose vaccine for the second dose.

The child should receive the dose that is approved for their age on the day of vaccination. If the child is 11 on the day they are scheduled to receive the first dose, they should receive the lower dose vaccine. If that same child turns 12 between dose 1 and 2, they should receive the full dose vaccine for the second dose.

People who have gotten the vaccine actually have higher antibody levels than those who have recovered from a case of coronavirus. Also, studies have shown that the vaccine gives a terrific boost to people who have recovered from the disease. The vaccine is the surest way to build long-lasting resistance to COVID-19.

No. The vaccines essentially give instructions to our cells to create protection against the virus. The nucleus of each cell is where the DNA is stored, and the vaccine does not enter the nuclei.

Also, research into mRNA has been going on for years – this is not something that just appeared in the last 18 months. Extensive vaccine trials were conducted on 70,000 people, and more than 4 billion doses of Pfizer and Moderna have been given across the globe. It’s safe.

This is simply not true. The vaccines don't contain metals and do not create an electromagnetic field. They also don't contain a chip that gets inserted into your body. In terms of privacy, our use of smartphones and computers already gives away huge chunks of personal information.

Studies have shown the vaccine is safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and women who hope to become pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also supports these findings and recommends the vaccine for pregnant women and new moms. The CDC has even established a voluntary registry (v-safe) to collect information on the health of people, including pregnant women, who received the vaccine. This information supports the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

The courts have ruled that employers can require the vaccine for their employees. This is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. Any discussion of rights should also include our responsibilities in a free society. As a Catholic health system, we believe it’s a moral responsibility for us to provide exceptional health care that is accessible and affordable, and that we have a special responsibility to look after the poor and the vulnerable. By getting a vaccine, we are also protecting children who are too young to get a vaccine, as well as those with compromised immune systems. We are indeed our brother and sister's keeper.

The Associated Press reported that “several types of cell lines created decades ago using fetal tissue exist and are widely used in medical manufacturing but the cells in them today are clones of the early cells, not the original tissue.”

These cell lines were used to test the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and to produce and test the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. J&J states that there is no fetal tissue in its vaccine.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gave this guidance back in January: “Given that the COVID-19 virus can involve serious health risks, it can be morally acceptable to receive a vaccine that uses abortion-derived cell lines if no other available vaccines comparable in safety and efficacy with no connection to abortion.”

The Vatican agreed. Pope Francis had this to say: "Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love."

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