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For the latest COVID-19 information for Massey, visit masseycancercenter.org/covid-19

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What You Need To Know

Local pharmacies and local health districts now routinely offer vaccination appointments. VCU Health continues to vaccinate patients age 12 and up who live in Virginia. You are considered a patient if you have received care at one of our hospitals or clinics over the past three years.

Please do not call us for booster shot availability. Information on our role in administering COVID-19 booster shots to patients who are not categorized as immune-compromised is not yet available. We will share details as they become available.

View frequently asked questions View COVID-19 vaccine news

Current COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Last updated on September 13, 2021

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For our patients:

 

Sign up for VCU Health vaccine updates
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For members of the community:

It is our mission to serve all Virginians. This includes a deep commitment to protecting our most vulnerable community members.

  • Contact our community vaccination clinic at the VCU Health Hub at 25th by phone at (804) 628-6401 or by email at covid19vaccineinfo@vcuhealth.org to register for a vaccination appointment.
  • To find other locations offering vaccinations, please use the following websites or text options:
  • Please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call (877) VAX-IN-VA or (877) 829-4682, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., for a location near you.
    • The Richmond City Health District offers walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics. No appointment is necessary.
    • Henrico County residents can call (804) 205-3501 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can text your zip code to GETVAX or 438829 (English) or to VACUNA or 822862 (Spanish).

COVID-19 Vaccine News

Read the latest news, information and updates on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Pediatric vaccinations: What you need to know

We are currently vaccinating patients 12+ and caregivers who qualify under 1b. CHoR is here to give our community the latest information.

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COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy: Should I get the vaccine?

Our experts answer questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for those who're expecting.

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Is the vaccine safe for transplant patients?

Yes. The vaccine is safe. Transplant patients should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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A message from your Family Medicine team

Your Family Medicine team is committed to providing you the safest possible care.

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COVID-19 vaccine and heart patients: Is it safe?

VCU Health Pauley Heart Center answers your questions about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for heart patients.

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COVID-19 vaccine and cancer patients

Our experts from VCU Massey Cancer Center answer common questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for cancer patients.

What’s it like to get the vaccine? Hear first-hand accounts.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I get the vaccine?

COVID-19 isn’t the same as the flu. It’s extremely dangerous — to you and those you come in contact with. If you develop severe symptoms from COVID-19 and survive, your recovery typically isn’t easy. You may require lengthy, difficult rehabilitation.

Now that vaccines are available, don’t take chances. Get the vaccine — to protect yourself, your family and the surrounding community.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized them for emergency use and has now fully approved the Pfizer vaccine.

To be authorized for emergency use, the vaccines must go through a careful trial process with several phases to address safety and effectiveness. The COVID-19 vaccine trials did just that, and they included an extremely large number of participants. There were at least 30,000 people in both the Pfizer and Moderna trials, and 43,000 people in the Johnson & Johnson trials.

We also have a huge amount of real-world experience with the vaccines now. As of late August, more than 171 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccines, and the vaccines have proven to be incredibly safe.

The COVID-19 vaccines were produced so rapidly not because they were rushed by cutting corners but because scientists had significant prior experience working with other coronaviruses, such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). Research on a COVID-19 vaccine did not start from scratch.

In addition, the U.S. government made vaccine development a priority once the COVID-19 coronavirus took off in the United States.

How effective are the vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective:

  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are over 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85% effective at preventing severe disease (hospitalization) and death at one-month post-vaccination.
  • All three vaccines protect you from getting severely ill.

Although the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a lower efficacy rate, it was tested on people exposed to variants that were not widely circulating when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested. Nonetheless, efficacy rates such as these are excellent.

Studies show that the strength of the vaccines does decline over time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now recommends a booster shot for everyone who received the full two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. A decision on the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is expected in the near future.

Please keep in mind that despite a decline in efficacy over time, these vaccines continue to offer tremendous protection against severe COVID-19 and death. We will publish information on how to get a booster shot once that information becomes available.

Does it matter which vaccine I get?

No. All three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are excellent at protecting you against COVID-19. Take whichever vaccine is offered to you.

Are there side effects?

As with most vaccines, you may experience mild to moderate side effects. These can include fatigue, mild fever, headache, muscle aches and pain in your arm at the injection site. These side effects may last a couple days but are completely normal.

Are there possible allergic reactions?

As with any medication, some people may experience an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. This risk is extremely small. To be on the safe side, health care workers may ask you to remain for a short period after your vaccination so they can monitor you for an allergic reaction and take action should one occur.

If you do suffer an allergic reaction, contact your doctor, as you may want to skip the second dose of the vaccine. An allergic reaction is considered severe if you require epinephrine or an EpiPen for treatment or you need to go to the hospital.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No. You cannot get COVID-19 from any of the vaccines. None of the vaccines approved by the FDA contain the live coronavirus nor do they contain a weakened or dead version of the coronavirus. The vaccines have no coronavirus to pass on to you.

Once vaccinated, how long am I protected?

The strength of the vaccines does decline over time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now recommends a booster shot for everyone who received the full two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. A decision on the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is expected in the near future.

Please keep in mind that despite a decline in efficacy, these vaccines continue to offer tremendous protection against severe COVID-19 and death. We will publish information on how to get a booster shot once that information becomes available.

Will I need a booster shot?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now recommends a booster shot for everyone who received the full two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. A decision on the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is expected soon.

Please keep in mind that despite a decline in efficacy, these vaccines continue to offer tremendous protection against severe COVID-19 and death. We will publish information on how to get a booster shot once that information becomes available.

Once I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing my mask?

None of the vaccines are 100% effective. Although vaccination is associated with a marked reduction in severe infection, we now know that breakthrough infections can occur. When these happen in vaccinated people, they tend to be mild — but infected people can still spread the virus to others. People who are unvaccinated, those who are immunocompromised and the elderly — even if vaccinated — are especially at risk of catching the virus from people with breakthrough infections.

It usually takes two weeks after you complete your vaccine series to acquire immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. You could get infected during this time, endangering your health. You might also still be able to spread the disease, both during this 2-week window as well as after you develop full immunity, endangering others.

With COVID-19 activity increasing locally and nationally — driven by the highly infectious delta variant and new concerns for breakthrough infections — wearing masks is critical to preventing the spread of disease.

This is particularly important in indoor public spaces, but also in outdoor spaces where you cannot maintain 6-foot distance from others. You should mask regardless of whether or not you are vaccinated. To the extent possible, you should also practice social distancing, avoid crowds and wash your hands often.

If I've had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

We recommend you get the vaccine. Although rare, reinfection is possible. Some experts recommend waiting three months from when you developed COVID-19. This is because you probably have some degree of natural immunity. Importantly, it is not clear how long natural immunity will last. If you are in this three-month window, you should discuss the best time to get the vaccine with your doctor. If you've have symptoms of COVID-19 but were never diagnosed, don't assume you had the disease and are immune. Get the vaccine.

Will the vaccines protect me from the delta variant? What about new variants that come along in the future?

All COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States offer good protection against the dominant variants in the U.S., including delta. By getting vaccinated, you help prevent viral spread and thereby limit the emergence of new virus variants.

How do I get the vaccine?

If you are a patient at VCU Health, you may get the vaccine here. Please call us at (804) 628-0223 to schedule your vaccination. Calls are taken Wednesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are required. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Vaccines are also widely available in the community. Visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to find places near you offering the vaccine.

Where can I find more information?

Please continue to check our COVID-19 vaccine website, as we are constantly adding new information. Also sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

Are you a current or prior bone marrow transplant or CARt patient?

Specific guidelines on vaccination timing, vaccine type and follow up after COVID-19 vaccination exist for patients after CARt, autologous or allogeneic transplants. Call the cellular immunotherapies and transplant program (CIT) COVID vaccination line at (804) 628-7290 to get clearance and vaccine access to ensure the best benefit and safety for your specific situation.

For information on pediatric vaccinations.

For information for cancer patients.

Please visit VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Do you plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is here. Learn more about the vaccine below. As we wait for broad vaccine availability, we urge you to keep using precautions for the safety of our community.

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COVID-19 pandemic help is here

Supporting the community with COVID-19 relief

We’re preparing to provide you and the community with the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll be releasing more details soon on how to measure your eligibility and how you can get the vaccine.

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Why is vaccination important?

Vaccines are critical to the fight against COVID-19

You may be considering receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but aren’t sure if you want to go through with it. We understand you need information to make the decision that’s right for you. Our staff is here to share their expertise and firsthand insight.

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Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Safety and efficacy are always top of mind

Are you concerned about getting the COVID-19 vaccine because it may not be safe? Hear from our team of experts on why the rewards outweigh the risks and the goal of a vaccinated community.

Sign up for COVID-19 and vaccine updates

Subscribe to receive our emails, alerts and newsletter updates.

Subscribe for updates
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COVID-19 information

Looking for COVID-19 information or need the latest update on our visitor policy? We have frequently asked questions, interviews with our experts and steps we’re taking to safely treat our patients.

View all COVID-19 Information
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Vaccine champions

Together, we can help support the health and wellbeing of our community.

Learn about our Vaccine Champions program
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