Information About COVID-19 Vaccinations

This information is provided for the Widener University community to assist in making informed choices about the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes more widely available.

What is the COVID-19 Vaccine?

  • COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. With all types of vaccines, the body is taught to remember how to fight that virus in the future.
  • Ingredients in currently available COVID-19 vaccines include mRNA, lipids, salts, sugars, and buffers. Buffers help maintain the stability of the pH solution. Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer. The COVID-19 vaccine also contains ingredients that keep the solution stable and those can vary by manufacturer.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

  • People with COVID-19 who have current symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from the illness and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation.
  • After becoming fully vaccinated it is still important to protect yourself and others by wearing your mask, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often.
  • The vaccine is free to all people living in the United States. Vaccine providers may ask for your insurance card at the time of your shot, but you cannot be denied a vaccine if you don’t have insurance.
  • Vaccines manufactured Moderna* and Pfizer* are administered in two doses.
  • It is not recommended that people get the second dose of the two-part vaccine earlier than the advised time frame. Individuals are often able to make an appointment for the second dose when they make the appointment for the first, ensuring the second dose is administered in the proper time frame.

*In clinical trials, all of these vaccines have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 disease in adults. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits & Side Effects

  • Vaccines work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. You may get only minor symptoms.
  • They protect you and help prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus to others, thus reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in the community.
  • After getting your vaccine, you may experience pain and swelling on the arm where the shot was administered. Fever, chills, tiredness, and headache are also possible.
  • The CDC has a smartphone-based after-vaccination health checker for people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The service also provides second vaccine dose reminders.
Student getting vaccinated

Where to Get Vaccinated

The website vaccinefinder.org is helpful for people who need to:

  • Find providers who offer COVID-19 vaccine
  • Determine which type of vaccine is available
  • Make appointments and see hours of operation

Vaccines may be available at private doctors’ offices, pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics, health departments, or other community locations, such as schools and religious centers. In Pennsylvania, a vaccine provider list is available online. 

Widener University will host vaccine clinics on campus in the coming weeks.

Vaccine Finder

Vaccine Myths and Facts

Fact: Yes, you can. Research is guided by the Nuremberg Code’s Ethical Guidelines for Research with strict codes that require consent of participants and disclosure of known effects of research by qualified persons. Approved COVID-19 vaccines have gone through clinical trials, and safety and ethical reviews.

Source: CDC

Fact: No, it will not. The COVID-19 vaccine does not enter the cell to change your DNA. The early Pfizer vaccine was a messenger RNA that sends a protein messenger to tell the body to build immunity. After being vaccinated, if you become positive for COVID-19 virus, you have an increased ability to fight the virus.

Source: CDC

Fact:  The COVID-19 vaccine will not make you sick with COVID-19. There are often side effects while the body builds immunity as it responds to the vaccine. Side effects include injection site pain and swelling, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. But if you contract COVID, your immune system will now have antibodies to fight the infection.

Source: CDC

Fact: There is considerable risk of getting really sick from COVID-19 that may outweigh the benefit of waiting for herd immunity. Acquired immunity from getting COVID-19 vaccine may not last longer than community herd immunity. You may not have long-term immunity in either case. Many people must be immunized to achieve herd immunity. In the meantime, you can die if you contract the virus.

Source: CDC

Fact: You can become COVID-19 positive after you get the vaccine. You must continue to wear an effective mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often. The vaccine is effective to help you fight the virus if you become positive.

Source: CDC

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact Student Health Services.