As recently announced by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, everyone in Wisconsin ages 16 and older is eligible to get the vaccine at no cost. The Froedtert & MCW health network is committed to the health and safety of our community and is offering safe and convenient ways for you to receive the vaccine. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will help keep you safe, while also helping to protect your family, your loved ones and your community.
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The CDC and FDA are recommending that the U.S. pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine after a small number of people experienced blood clots six to 13 days after receiving the shot.
We understand this situation is concerning, which is why we are following the recommendation to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine right now. While these adverse events appear to be extremely rare, COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and they take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously.
Although it is very unlikely, vaccine recipients should contact their primary care physicians and seek medical assistance immediately if they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in your leg, persistent abdominal (belly) pain, neurological symptoms (including severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision) or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection. The onset of these symptoms has been within 13 days of receiving the vaccine.
If you have an appointment scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of our locations, your appointment date, time and location has not changed. In lieu of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you will be offered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Benefits of Getting the Vaccine – Stronger Together
A vaccine can limit the spread of the disease by helping to protect you and those around you. Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine was designed to protect you from contracting the virus or to limit the severity of the disease should you contract it. We know from other diseases and their vaccines that we can slow or stop the spread of disease when roughly 60 to 80 percent of a population gets vaccinated, which is why it’s important to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.
||Type of Vaccine||Number of Doses||Effectiveness||Side Effects||Age|
|Pfizer-BioNTech||mRNA||Two injections 21 days apart||These vaccines are proven to be highly effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19, and both are recommended.||Common mild to moderate side effects include soreness at the injection site, fever, body aches and chills.||Age 16 and older|
|Moderna||mRNA||Two injections 28 days apart||Adults 18 and older|
|Johnson & Johnson||We are following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are not currently offering this vaccine.|
How many vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA?
There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use: the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines. All of the vaccines are proven to be nearly 100% effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Currently we are following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are not offering this vaccine at this time.
What should I do if I’ve already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
We understand that the Johnson & Johnson situation is concerning, which is why we are following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation to pause administration of it right now. These adverse events appear to be extremely rare. There have been fewer than ten reported cases of severe reaction out of nearly 7 million Americans who received the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government and they take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously.
Although it is very unlikely, vaccine recipients should seek medical assistance immediately if they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in your leg, persistent abdominal (belly) pain, neurological symptoms (including severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision) or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
You will be given a choice of vaccine manufacturer based on availability at the time of scheduling. This information may vary from week to week based on the vaccination supply provided to us by the state.
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.
If I have an underlying health condition, can I get the vaccine?
There is currently no data that suggests having an underlying health condition is a reason to avoid getting the vaccine.
In fact, those with an underlying illness or health condition are at an increased risk of developing severe side effects or hospitalization due to COVID-19.
If you have any condition that weakens your immune system, you may not have protection against COVID-19 infection. However, it is safe to receive the vaccine if you are immunocompromised. For instance, if you are infected with HIV, are on immunosuppressive medication, or a transplant recipient, there are no safety concerns but you may not get as strong a protective response.
You should address your individual concerns with your primary medical provider.
Find more information and answers to some common questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine for the following conditions or groups:
How is the vaccine administered?
When a vaccine becomes available to you, it will be given through one or two shots in the arm, depending on which vaccine you’re given. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose in order for the vaccine to work properly. The second dose will be given, approximately 21-28 days after your first dose.
Where can I get the vaccine?
When scheduling your appointment to get your vaccine with the Froedtert & MCW health network, you will be presented with all options regarding which location and vaccinations we are currently offering. This information may vary from week to week based on the vaccination supply provided to us by the state.
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 have recently received different vaccinations?
If you have recently received a different vaccination, including a flu or shingles vaccine, you should wait at least 14 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
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?
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.
We recognize differences between the CDC, ASRM, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and SMFM (Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine) and that of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding pregnant women receiving the Moderna vaccine. Our position is that of the CDC, ASRM, ACOG and SMFM, all COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization can be given to those who are pregnant. As we offer these vaccines, individuals are able to choose which vaccine they receive. We recommend you address any individual concerns with your primary care or OB provider.
Can I take an over-the-counter pain medication before I receive my COVID-19 vaccination?
We do not recommend taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as it may alter your immune response. You may take over-the-counter pain medication after receiving the vaccine should you have symptoms such as fever or muscle aches. If you have additional questions regarding your medications, we recommend consulting your primary care provider or physician before scheduling your vaccination appointments.
Can I get the vaccine if I had or am having surgery?
If you had a recent surgery or have an upcoming surgery, you may still get the COVID-19 vaccine. You should talk with your provider to determine the right time for you to get vaccinated. To avoid any potential side effects that may impact your care plan, we recommend that you get the vaccine at least three days before your surgery or seven days after your surgery. If you are running a fever, your surgery may need to be delayed. We will not delay urgent or emergency surgeries due to vaccination.
Important Notice: Telephone Scams About the COVID-19 Vaccine
We are aware that some of our patients are receiving fraudulent calls from people claiming to be our representatives and seeking credit card information to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. These calls are not from us. We will not ask for credit card information to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. There are no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine. If you receive such a call, hang up. Learn more.