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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives and our community, we know many people are eager to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use. We are eager and ready to provide the vaccine according to national and state guidelines as we receive supplies from the state. Here is the latest information we have to share.

  • We have been given permission by the state to begin vaccinating people ages 65 and older.
     
  • As our supply of vaccine from the state is limited, the Froedtert & MCW health network will begin by vaccinating our primary care patients who are 65 years of age or older. If you are our patient and meet this criteria, you will be contacted directly to schedule your vaccination. Learn more about how to prepare
     
  • As the vaccination supply becomes more available, we look forward to offering the vaccine as broadly as we can as soon as possible, while continuing to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services guidelines. By summer, we hope to have enough vaccine for everyone in our communities.
     
  • We are not offering a waiting list at this time, but will continue to provide updates regarding availability to our patients and the community so that you can receive your vaccination as soon as possible.
     
  • If you have questions about the vaccines, we encourage you to refer to the list of questions and answers below to help save you time before you call your provider’s office.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. When a vaccine becomes available to you, you can count on us to offer safe and easy ways to receive it.

    What You Need to Know about the COVID-19 Vaccines

    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines effective during clinical trials in preventing COVID-19. The FDA carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
       
    • It took less time to develop the COVID-19 vaccine because it is an mRNA vaccine, not a conventional vaccine. While it took less than a year to develop the COVID-19 vaccines, the technology used to create them was developed after 30 years of research. What is the difference?
       
      • Conventional vaccines. Many vaccines, like the flu vaccine, require lots of bacteria or virus to be inactivated in a lab first. Growing conventional vaccines takes months to years.
         
      • mRNA vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine is not a conventional vaccine — it is an mRNA vaccine. mRNA vaccines are made in a lab. No virus is needed to make the vaccine. Because it is synthetic, it can be produced faster in response to large outbreaks. mRNA does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA.
         
    • The COVID-19 vaccines were found effective during clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 and serious COVID-19 illness. The FDA’s scientific reviewers found the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness from seven days after receiving the second dose. Moderna was 94.1% effective in preventing from 14 days after receiving the second dose.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

      We are vaccinating individuals in phases based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services guidelines. In Wisconsin, we are moving into Phase 1b, which includes individuals 65 years of age or older. As our supply of the vaccine from the state is limited, we will begin vaccinating patients who are 65 years of age or older and who have a primary care provider with us.

      After we offer the vaccine to existing patients, we will offer it to those who are 65 years of age or older and who do not have a primary care provider with us.

      In Wisconsin, the vaccine is not yet available to individuals in phases 2 and 3 (general population). We will share information as it is learned regarding the details and timing of future phases.

    • How will I know when a vaccine is available to me? Can I get on a waiting list?

      As we continue to get increased quantities of the vaccines, we will begin by with vaccinating our patients as they become eligible, based on CDC guidelines. When eligible, patients will be contacted directly with information about how to schedule vaccinations at one of our locations.

      Once the supply is more available, and as directed by the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, we will offer the vaccines as broadly as we can as soon as possible.

      There is not a waiting list at this time. We will keep our patients and community informed as more vaccine become available.

      To help stay connected with us, download the Froedtert & MCW mobile app and link your MyChart account.

    • I meet Phase 1a (health care workers and first responders) eligibility requirements. How can I get the vaccine?
      • If you are a health care worker, first responder or other essential worker you should consult your employer for vaccination offerings. You and your employer may also be able to connect to vaccine resources through your local public health department.
      • Employers who are seeking to have their employees vaccinated within the appropriate phase can contact Workforce Health.
    • I meet the Phase 1b eligibility requirements and am a Froedtert & MCW primary care patient. How can I get the vaccine?

      We are offering the vaccines to our patients based on available vaccine quantities at select Froedtert & MCW locations. Appointments are required.

      If you are 65 years of age or older, and are a current Froedtert & MCW primary care patient, you will receive a notification when it is time to schedule your vaccination appointments. Learn more about how to prepare

    • Is the vaccination mandatory?

      At this time, the state of Wisconsin is not mandating COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers or the general public.

    • Which COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use?

      Currently, there are two COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA for emergency use.

    • Is the vaccination recommended for everyone?
    • How is the vaccine administered?

      When a vaccine becomes available to you, it will be given through two shots in the arm, approximately 21-28 days apart. The second shot is needed in order for the vaccine to work properly.

    • Where can I get a vaccine?

      As the vaccines are rolled out across the country and worldwide, we will have more information about distribution at Froedtert & MCW locations. In the meantime, we recommend staying connected with us by downloading the Froedtert & MCW mobile app and linking your MyChart account.

    • Am I still eligible to receive a vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19?

      Yes, you may receive a vaccine if you have already had COVID-19 infection, are not acutely ill, and have met the CDC criteria for discontinuing isolation.

      • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, and,
      • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and,
      • Other symptoms have improved.

      Currently there are no recommendations regarding the minimum time between infection and vaccination. If you have had a prior COVID-19 infection, you may delay vaccination for 90 days after the infection, since reinfection is not common during this time frame.

    • Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I got a flu shot this year?

      Yes, people who got a flu shot can and should receive a vaccine when it becomes available to them. We encourage you to get your flu shot, if you have not already done so. A flu shot provides many benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu and reducing the severity of your illness if you do get the flu.

    • What is the cost of the vaccine?

      Vaccine doses will be offered at no cost. There is an administration fee to be vaccinated; however, it is covered by all health insurers. Froedtert & MCW health network will not bill uninsured patients for the administration fee. There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine or administration.

    • Are there any known side effects?

      Mild to moderate side effects including fever, body aches and chills may occur in some people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Your arm may feel sore at the place where the shot was given for several days afterward.

    • Do I still have to wear a mask if I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

      Yes, we know that the vaccines are highly effective in making sure you do not get sick with COVID-19 but we do not know for sure if you can or cannot spread COVID-19 after you get a vaccine. Therefore, people who receive a vaccine should continue to take simple precautions to keep themselves and others safe. This includes:

      • Wearing a mask in public places
      • Maintaining a safe, six-foot distance from others
      • Washing your hands often
      • Staying home and self-isolating, if ill
    • Will the COVID-19 vaccines impact my fertility, fertility treatments or pregnancy?

      The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines that do not contain live virus. Because these vaccines are not composed of live virus, experts from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) do not believe vaccination will cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second trimester loss, stillbirth or congenital anomalies. Additionally, there is no reason to delay pregnancy attempts because of vaccination administration or to defer fertility treatments until the second dose has been administered. We recommended that you talk with your primary care provider or physician to learn more.

    • If I am not yet eligible to receive the vaccination, is there anything I can do to prepare?

      While you are waiting for your turn to get the vaccine, stay connected with us by downloading the Froedtert & MCW mobile app and signing up or linking your MyChart account. When the vaccine is available to you, we will notify you about how to set up appointments to be vaccinated.

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