Employer FAQ

Questions Employers may have about the COVID Vaccine

 

How do I know if my business is prioritized to receive the vaccine?  Are my employees “essential workers?”

The State determines which businesses, agencies, employers, and residents are prioritized next.  Please go to https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/ to see how your business is prioritized.

 

Is my entire staff eligible for the vaccine? What about their family members?

The vaccine is currently available to all staff employed by your business. In the coming weeks and months, additional information will be available to ensure family members have access to the vaccine.

 

Do we schedule as a group or individually?

Individual staff members will register and schedule their own appointment since each person will need to be registered as a patient.  We will try to accommodate grouping people together if requested.

 

Will I be billed for the vaccine?

Insurance will be billed for the administration fee; there should be no out of pocket cost to those receiving the vaccine at this time. If you do not have insurance, the cost of your administration fee will be covered by funds provided to CMC by the CARES Act. The vaccine itself is provided free of charge by the federal government.

 

Which vaccines are available at Cascade Medical Center and can I request a specific vendor vaccine?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are offered by Cascade Medical Center, and both are mRNA vaccines. At this time, you cannot request a specific vaccine; vaccines provided to Cascade Medical Center are based on supply availability.

 

Can I get the vaccine if I am not feeling well?

If you are not feeling well, it is recommended that you wait to get the vaccine until you are feeling better.

 

If I have tested positive for COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?

It is currently recommended that those who have recovered from acute COVID-19 illness be vaccinated. You should wait at least 14 days after you have recovered from the illness.

 

Can a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding receive the vaccine?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their doctor about the vaccine. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists currently recommends that “COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination.”

 

I am immunocompromised. Should I receive the vaccine?

If you are immunocompromised, discuss your medical condition and the vaccine with your doctor for a personalized recommendation. There would be no harm in receiving the vaccine, it is just unclear how strong of an immune response you might have to the vaccine (therefore, how effective it would be.)

 

I have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, like the flu vaccine. Should I get the vaccine?

If you have a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to vaccines, you should not receive the Pfizer vaccine. You should talk with your doctor about possibly receiving the Moderna vaccine. You would need to check when scheduling which vaccine is being offered at the site you are scheduling.

 

Are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines safe for people with egg or tree nut/peanut allergies?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not contain egg or nut products so people with a history of egg or nut allergies should not be concerned about having a reaction.

 

 

Should people with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy receive the Pfizer or Moderna COVID- 19 vaccines, which are mRNA vaccines?

Yes, persons with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy may receive an mRNA vaccine, unless they have a contraindication (allergic reaction to the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or known allergy to any of the vaccine components).

 

How many vaccine doses will be needed? Once vaccinated, how long does it take before I develop immunity? The approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses, 21 days apart. Similarly, the approved Moderna vaccine also uses two different injections with four weeks between each one. The same vaccine brand must be used for both shots. Two shots are needed to provide the best protection. The first one primes the immune system, helping it to recognize the virus, and the second one strengthens the immune response.

 

Immunity takes some time to develop - at least one to two weeks after the last injection. For example, someone vaccinated with the first dose in late December won’t be fully protected until late January or early February.

 

What are the common side effects?

The side effects are like other vaccines. The most common side effects are pain/redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle/joint aches and low-grade fever. The side effects respond well to Tylenol and ibuprofen. Nausea and vomiting are also reported Moderna vaccine side effects. Most side effects last less than 24 hours and those ages 55 and older report fewer side effects. Side effects do appear to be more prominent after the 2nd dose.

 

Once I’ve been vaccinated, do I need to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing?

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic. Safety precautions such as covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.   Also, keep in mind that full immune response does not develop until around 2 weeks after the second dose.

 

CDC Resources:

  1. CDC Vaccine Benefits
  2. CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet (12/29/20),
  3. CDC COVID-19 Vaccines Fact Sheet-Spanish (12/29/20)