COVID-19 Vaccine

Due to possible inclement weather, please check local news media, social media, and www.vaccinate.wv.gov for any changes or delays. Please always check with your local venue for last minute changes.



COVID-19 Vaccination Registration


Pre-registration is open. ALL West Virginians over the age of 16 are encouraged to pre-register through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. 


Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to a vaccine. Pre-registration offers West Virginians the opportunity to receive updates on vaccine availability and be offered an appointment when vaccine supplies allow. 


The state’s driving principles for COVID-19 vaccinations are to build community immunity in West Virginia by protecting our most vulnerable, reducing deaths, reducing hospitalizations, and maintaining access to critical services such as acute care. 


Note: You are encouraged to create an account in the system even if you have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or if you are already on a waitlist through a local health department or healthcare provider. 


Please click the “Sign Up Here” button below to input your information for pre-registration.* 

West Virginians who need assistance with pre-registration for any reason should call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line for help at 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


*Note: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will never share or distribute your personal information, unless required to do so by law. Additionally, your information will never be used for any purpose other than to send notifications or information pertaining to pandemic or emergency response in West Virginia.


Thank you for your interest in COVID-19 vaccination to protect yourself, your family, and your community.


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  • 65 years of age and older population
    • There will be ongoing supply of vaccines available through community vaccination events in all 55 counties and select Walgreens locations across the state for West Virginians age 65 and older. 
    • All West Virginians ages 16 and older are encouraged to pre-register in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info line at 1-833-734-0965. 
    • West Virginians who need assistance or do not have internet access may pre-register by phone through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This service is available for any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online or anyone preferring to speak to a person to pre-register.
    • When a vaccine is available for you based on supply and your demographics and location, you will receive a notification through the preferred method you selected (email/text/phone/TTY) in the registration system.
    • Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. This means that you might need to wait days, weeks, or months before receiving an appointment.  
    • As vaccine supply increases and the vaccine becomes available to more age groups and occupations, appointment notifications will be sent to those who have pre-registered and who meet those criteria.
  • Remainder of general population:
    • West Virginia remains dedicated to ensuring that all West Virginians have access to a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
    • The estimated timeframe for the general population is March – October at this time, which is based on the federal supply.
    • The supply of COVID-19 vaccines remains limited nationally and the state only receives around 27,000 doses each week at this time. The state remains dedicated to making sure that vaccines are available to every West Virginian as soon as possible.
    • All West Virginians ages 16 and older are encouraged to pre-register in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info line at 1-833-734-0965. 
    • West Virginians who need assistance or do not have internet access may pre-register by phone through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This service is available for any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online or anyone preferring to speak to a person to pre-register.
    • Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. This means that you might need to wait days, weeks, or months before receiving an appointment.  
  • Healthcare worker (Physicians, medical clinic, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, etc.):
    • As of February 15, 2021, West Virginia residents ages 65 and older and those who work in West Virginia and meet age and occupation criteria as determined by the state, such as healthcare workers, are eligible to access the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines. 
    • All West Virginians, including healthcare workers, ages 16 and older are encouraged to pre-register in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info line at 1-833-734-0965. 
    • West Virginians who need assistance or do not have internet access may pre-register by phone through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This service is available for any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online or anyone preferring to speak to a person to pre-register.
    • Healthcare workers must indicate their occupation in the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System when signing-up. 
    • Health care workers will be offered vaccination either at a community vaccination clinic help in one of the 55 West Virginia counties or select Walgreens locations across the state. 
    • It is advised that essential employees bring some form of identification to their appointment. If you are receiving a COVID-19 vaccination due to your occupation, please bring proof of employment in the form of a badge/ID card, pay stub, or letter from your employer on official letterhead.
  • Other essential workers outside of healthcare:
    • All West Virginians ages 16 and older are encouraged to pre-register in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info line at 1-833-734-0965. 
    • West Virginians who need assistance or do not have internet access may pre-register by phone through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This service is available for any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online or anyone preferring to speak to a person to pre-register.
    • It is recommended that essential workers indicate their occupation in the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System when signing-up.
    • Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. This means that you might need to wait days, weeks, or months before receiving an appointment.  
    • As vaccine supply increases and the vaccine becomes available to more age groups and occupations, appointment notifications will be sent to those who have pre-registered and who meet those criteria.
  • Teachers 50 years of age or older:
    • The Department of Education manages the vaccine distribution process for educators through the local superintendents. Specific details related to when and where teachers can receive a vaccine will be handled by their respective superintendents.
    • Teachers who are under the age of 50 will be offered vaccine(s) at a later date in the State’s overlapping phased COVID-19 vaccination plan.

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  • What is West Virginia’s vaccination plan?
    • The guiding principles in decision making for allocating the limited supplies of vaccines include protecting the most vulnerable West Virginians, reducing hospitalizations, reducing the rate of deaths, and ensuring the state and local communities can maintain critical services including our acute care system.
    • Initially vaccines were offered to those in long term care and assisted living facilities – including staff and residents, pharmacists, healthcare workers in hospital ICUs, emergency rooms and COVID-19 wards, as well as first responders.
    • As vaccine allocations increase, the plan has expanded to include various priority groups in 1 A-D and portions of the most vulnerable of the general population (those above age 65 currently). Not all priority groups in Phase 1 A-D are being served as this time as vaccine allocations are limited.
    • West Virginia’s vaccination plan overlaps between the various sections in Phase 1 A-D. More information is available on vaccinate.wv.gov 
  • How do I pre-register?
    • West Virginians can pre-register online at vaccinate.wv.gov to sign up for vaccine appointment notifications and opt-in to receive other important messages related to the pandemic and emergencies. When a vaccine is available for you based on supply and your demographics and location, you will receive a notification through the preferred method you selected (email/text/phone/TTY). 
    • When you receive notifications, caller ID will appear as Vaccinate WV or 1-833-734-0965, emails will display from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (vaccinatewv@wv.gov), and text (SMS) messages will show the sender ID as 88911. Please note, the email address and text number are not monitored, so you cannot reply to the email or text notifications. If you have questions about a notification that you receive, please call 1-833-734-0965.
  • How do I pre-register if I do not have internet access?
    • West Virginians who need assistance or do not have internet access may pre-register by phone through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This service is available for any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online or anyone preferring to speak to a person to pre-register. 
  • Who is eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccination?
    • As of February 15, 2021, West Virginia residents ages 65 and older and those who work in West Virginia and meet age and occupation criteria, as determined by the state, are eligible to access the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines; however, all West Virginians ages 16 and older are encouraged to pre-register in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. As vaccine supply increases and the vaccine becomes available to more age groups and occupations, appointment notifications will be sent to those who have pre-registered and who meet those criteria. 
  • What happens if I am currently on another waitlist and also sign up through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System? 
    • West Virginians will keep their spot in line if they are on a waitlist at a local health department and also pre-register using the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. Pre-registration in the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System may in some cases increase chances of being served sooner than a local waitlist. Thus all West Virginians 16+ in age are encouraged to pre-register.  
  • How are appointments scheduled?
    • Appointments are scheduled based on an individual’s eligibility and availability of the vaccine. Notification of a specific appointment day, time and location will be sent by the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. You will receive a phone call, email and/or text based on the notification method you selected during pre-registration. You will have 2 hours to (1) accept the appointment, (2) indicate that you are unavailable or (3) decline and opt-out of future notifications. If you indicate that you are unavailable for the appointment you are offered, you do not need to re-register as you will be put back into the queue for the next available appointment. Note again that caller ID will appear as Vaccinate WV or 1-833-734-0965, emails will display from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (vaccinatewv@wv.gov), and text (SMS) messages will show the sender ID as 88911. Please update your address books accordingly to avoid messages going to spam/junk. 
  • How will I be notified if I sign up through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line or do not have computer access?  
    • When pre-registering by phone, West Virginians can choose their preferred method(s) of communication: text, email, landline, and/or cell phone. Those who selected a preferred method of notification, phone (landline or cell), email or text, will receive alerts when it is their turn to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. 
  • I pre-registered but haven’t been contacted for an appointment. Should I pre-register again?
    • You only need to pre-register one time. You will be notified when there is an appointment available for you. Pre-registering multiple times will not increase your ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are scheduled based on an individual’s eligibility and availability of the vaccine. Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. This means that you might need to wait days, weeks, or months before receiving an appointment.  
  • Can I review and update my information in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System?
    • Yes. If you pre-registered online you can edit your information at any time by logging into your account at vaccinate.wv.gov. If you called the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line to pre-register, you may call the info line again at 1-833-734-0965 to make changes to your account. 
  • Will I be charged for the COVID-19 vaccine?
    • No. There is no fee for the COVID-19 vaccine. However, vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving someone the shot. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for this by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.
  • Why does the pre-registration form ask for my insurance information? 
    • This is an optional field. Some providers may bill insurance for the administration of the injection. However, there is no cost for the vaccine itself. 
  • What happens if vaccination clinics are canceled due to inclement weather? 
    • In cases of inclement weather, clinics will be rescheduled. Currently local health departments are managing notifications for the vaccine clinic sites. Those registered in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System may receive notifications about clinic changes through both the registration system and through announcements from local health departments at this time. Additional sources for information about clinic changes or delays are local news, social media and www.vaccinate.wv.gov.
  • Should I pre-register if I am a school worker or other essential employee?  
    • Yes. School employees or other essential workers should pre-register through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System at vaccinate.wv.gov. 
  • What are the locations in West Virginia where COVID-19 vaccines are administered?
    • For a list of community vaccination locations, visit vaccinate.wv.gov. Currently the Federal Pharmacy Program has identified certain Walgreens locations in West Virginia as administrators for the COVID-19 vaccine. Most community vaccination clinics and Walgreens locations are using the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System to offer appointments to those who have pre-registered and meet eligibility criteria.    
  • What should I bring to my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?
    • Please bring some form of identification. If you are receiving a COVID-19 vaccination due to your occupation, please bring proof of employment in the form of a badge/ID card, pay stub, or letter from your employer on official letterhead.
  • Can I schedule my appointment?
    • No. Vaccine supply is limited; therefore, pre-registration in the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System does not allow for future scheduling by the user. 
  • Will my information in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System be shared with others? 
    • No. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) will never share or distribute your personal information from the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System, unless required to do so by law. Additionally, your information will never be used for any purpose other than to send you notifications or information pertaining to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, pandemic-related information, or emergency response in West Virgini
  • Is my information secure in the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System?
    • Yes. The security framework is governed by ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Standard and utilizes a comprehensive set of security requirements and controls within US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53 – Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems. Everbridge, the company contracted to deliver the state’s vaccine registration system, has achieved internationally recognized ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification. More details are available at https://www.everbridge.com/about/legal/compliance/
  • If I don’t register in this system, will I be able to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment some other way?
    • With the exception of a few specific occupations and hard-to-reach groups, pre-registration through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System is the only way that most West Virginians will be offered appointments while vaccine supply is limited.
  • How will I know that I am getting contacted by the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System and not through a fraudulent scheme?
    • When you are contacted with a COVID-19 vaccine appointment availability notification, the caller ID will appear as Vaccinate WV or 1-833-734-0965, emails will display from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (vaccinatewv@wv.gov), and text (SMS) messages will show the sender ID as 88911. 
    • You will never be asked by us to pay a fee to schedule an appointment, provide your social security number or credit card number. If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to the FBI (ic3.gov, tips.fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI) or HHS OIG (tips.hhs.gov or 1-800-HHS-TIPS).


Information as of 2/17/2021. Vaccine distribution is a dynamic process, and this document will be updated as new information becomes available.


Frequently Asked Questions (Updated February 12, 2021)

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What role do COVID-19 vaccinations play in helping to curb the pandemic?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the disease and save lives. Vaccines can both prevent and reduce the severity of disease. Vaccines provide immunity without the serious risks associated with getting infected naturally. Wearing masks and physical distancing help reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough.

The COVID-19 vaccines are designed to work with our immune systems so the body is ready to fight the virus if we are exposed to it. When enough people in a community get vaccinated against COVID- 19, immunity rates in our communities substantially increase, which reduces the spread of the virus.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of individuals who volunteered to participate in clinical trials. These clinical trials met the same rigorous standards set for all vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The information from these clinical trials allowed the FDA to determine that the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines meet its safety and effectiveness standards. Based on these findings, the FDA has made the vaccines available for use in the United States under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA is continuing to monitor the safety of the vaccines now that they are in use.

How effective will the vaccines be for disease prevention?

The COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use were found to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 in clinical trials.

For example, in Phase 3 trials, the Pfizer vaccine showed a 95% efficacy rate seven days after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine showed a 94% efficacy rate 14 days after the second dose.

These results for both vaccines were consistent across gender, age, race, and ethnicity.

How do COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) work?

The vaccines contain synthetic mRNA, which is genetic information used to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The spike protein is the part of the virus that attaches to human cells. The spike protein alone cannot cause COVID-19.

Once the spike protein is created, it causes the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. These antibodies can then provide protection if a person comes into contact with the virus.

Since the vaccine does not contain any virus, it is not possible to spread COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine. The mRNA does not enter the center of the human cell where DNA is made (the nucleus); so, it cannot alter the genetic material of the cell (DNA). The mRNA is rapidly broken down, making the chance for long-term side effects less likely. The mRNA vaccines do not have the ability to cause cancer.

Learn more here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/healthcare-professionals- mRNA.pdf

Can I get COVID-19 from a vaccine?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

What many people experience as a result of receiving the vaccine are not side effects, but rather the body’s immune system responding to the COVID-19 vaccine. Both COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The most common immune responses are short-term injection site pain, swelling or redness, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills or fever.

It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. That means it is possible for an individual to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 if exposed just before or just after vaccination. The vaccine itself does not cause infection. Similarly, the vaccine cannot cause you to have a positive COVID-19 test.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

During a public health emergency, the FDA can use a process called “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA). This process allows the use of medical products that are not yet approved to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases when certain criteria are met.

Several additional COVID-19 vaccines are currently being developed and tested for their safety and effectiveness in clinical trials (efficacy). Once vaccine manufacturers submit for authorization, the FDA evaluates the EUA request and determines whether they are safe and effective, taking scientific evidence into account. For a vaccine to receive an EUA, the FDA must determine if the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks based on data from rigorous clinical trial(s).

Additional information on EUAs: https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency- use-authorization-vaccines-explained

How does the FDA Assess Safety and Effectiveness of a COVID-19 Vaccine Submitted for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

COVID-19 vaccines are undergoing a rigorous development process that includes tens of thousands of study participants to gather required safety and efficacy data, in the same way as many other currently approved vaccines. The FDA evaluates the information submitted by a vaccine manufacturer and uses
all available tools and information, including records reviews, site visits, and previous manufacturing compliance history.

For an EUA to be issued, the FDA must determine that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine.

Link: https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines- explained

Which COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use by the FDA?

At this time, there are two COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the FDA. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine received FDA authorization December 11, 2020 for individuals ages 16 an older. It is a 2-dose vaccination series, given intramuscularly, recommended at least 3 weeks apart. For the full FDA statement on the authorization of this vaccine:

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-key-action-fight-against-covid-19-issuing-emergency-use-authorization-first-covid-19

The Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine received FDA authorization December 18, 2020 for individuals 18 and older. It is a 2-dose vaccination series, given intramuscularly, recommended at least 1 month apart. 

For the full FDA statement on the authorization of this vaccine: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-additional-action-fight-against-covid-19-issuing-emergency-use-authorization-second-covid

Why have vaccines been developed so quickly?

The vaccine process has happened faster because vaccine research and development, clinical trials, manufacturing, and plans for distribution have occurred at the same time. This method removed delays that occur when these processes are carried out one after the other. Steps to ensure safety were NOT eliminated.

What can individuals do to protect themselves and others until COVID-19 vaccines are more widely available?


It is vital that each person uses all tools available to stop the pandemic. Tools include:​


  • wearing masks/face coverings properly,
  • washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (or rubbing hands with at
  • least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap/water is not available),

  • staying at least 6 feet away from others,

  • avoiding indoor gatherings as possible, and

  • getting vaccinated against COVID-19.



Why do we need a vaccine if we can take other COVID-19 precautions, like masking and physical distancing, to slow or prevent the spread?

It is vital that each person uses all tools available to stop the pandemic. Vaccines work with the immune system and allow a strengthened response to the virus if exposure occurs.

Other steps, like covering the mouth and nose with masks/face coverings worn properly, washing hands, and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce chances of exposure to the virus or spreading it to others.

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following recommendations for self-protection and to protect others will offer the best prevention for further spread of COVID-19. For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html



How do West Virginians sign up to get registered?

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now coordinated through a centralized statewide system. All West Virginians 16 years of age and older are encouraged to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccination by creating a WV COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System account at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965.

Pre-registering allows West Virginians to receive updates on COVID-19 vaccine availability and to get contacted with a vaccination appointment when available to you as limited supplies allow. More information is available at vaccinate.wv.gov.

Should I take COVID-19 vaccines if I have a significant history of allergic reactions?

This section addresses contraindications and precautions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Individuals with allergy questions or concerns should consult a health care provider. Disclose any allergies to medical staff prior to vaccination.

While rare, anaphylactic reactions have been reported following vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Although investigations are ongoing, persons with a history of an immediate allergic reaction (of any severity) to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components might be at greater risk for severe reaction upon taking additional doses. For the purposes of this guidance, an immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or medication is defined as any hypersensitivity-related signs or symptoms such as hives (urticaria); swelling around the face, lips, and tongue (angioedema); wheezing or other respiratory distress; or anaphylaxis that occur within four hours following getting the vaccine.

Recommendations for contraindications and precautions are described below and summarized in the figure from CDC at the end of this question section. The following recommendations may change as further information becomes available.


Contraindication to vaccination:

Contraindications are conditions or factors that would be a reason to not get vaccination due to harm. (Individuals with a contraindication should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.)

CDC considers a history of the following to be a contraindication to vaccination with both the Pfizer- BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines:

  1. Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components

  2. Immediate allergic reaction* (within 4 hours) of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components (including polyethylene glycol [PEG])

  3. Immediate allergic reaction* (within 4 hours) of any severity to polysorbate (due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredient PEG)*

*As noted above: For the purposes of this guidance, an immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or medication is defined as any hypersensitivity-related signs or symptoms such as hives (urticaria); swelling around the face, lips, and tongue (angioedema); wheezing or other respiratory distress; or anaphylaxis that occur within four hours following getting the vaccine.

Persons with an immediate allergic reaction to the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should NOT receive additional doses of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Providers should attempt to determine whether reactions reported following vaccination are consistent with immediate allergic reactions versus other types of reactions commonly observed following vaccination, such as passing out (a vasovagal reaction) or post-vaccination side effects—which are not contraindications to receiving the second vaccine dose (see the figure at the bottom of this question section).


The following fact sheets contain additional information about who should not receive the vaccine.

Pfizer-BioNTech Fact Sheet for Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers:
https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download

Moderna Fact Sheet for Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers:
https://www.fda.gov/media/144638/download

The following vaccines ingredients list is available from:
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-19/06-COVID- Mbaeyi.pdf

Precaution to vaccination:

Precautions are conditions or factors that would be a reason to consult with a health care provider before proceeding with vaccination. Vaccine providers should observe these patients for 30 minutes after vaccination to monitor for the development of immediate adverse reactions.

No contraindication or precaution:

There are allergies that do not constitute a contraindication or precaution to vaccination, including:

  • History of food, pet, insect, venom, environmental/seasonal, latex, or other allergies not related to vaccines or injectable therapies

  • History of allergy to oral medications (including the oral equivalent of an injectable medication)

  • Family history of anaphylaxis

  • Any other history of anaphylaxis that is not related to a vaccine or injectable therapy

For rare instances when individuals experience immediate allergic reactions, appropriate medical treatments are available (and are mandatory on site) to manage the symptoms.

Clinical considerations are available here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/anaphylaxis-management.html

Figure is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

Are children and adolescents recommended to receive COVID-19 mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines?

Children/adolescents under age 16.

COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for children/teens under age 16 (Pfizer) or under age 18 (Moderna) at this time. In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only adults who were not pregnant participated. Older children (12 and up) were added in later trials. However, clinical trials continue to expand and include other groups, so these recommendations may change in the future.

Adolescents age 16 and older.

Individuals aged 16-17 years are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (but not the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at this time). No safety concerns were identified in this group during Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 clinical trials. Although vaccine safety and efficacy data in this age group are somewhat limited, there is no medical reason to believe that responses from this group would be different from those who are 18 years of age and older. Adolescents aged 16-17 years who are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine may be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Full clinical guidance is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/managing-anaphylaxis.html

Should I take the vaccine if I am pregnant?

Based on current knowledge, experts believe that mRNA vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant. Currently, however, there are no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. Yet, people who are pregnant and become infected with COVID-19 can have an increased risk of severe illness or negative pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. Reputable sources, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have advised that the benefit of vaccination may outweigh the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. For this reason, if a person who is pregnant is part of a group who is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they may choose to be vaccinated. A discussion with a health care provider can help make an informed decision. Although a conversation with a healthcare provider may be helpful, it is not required prior to vaccination.

Should I take the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?

If someone who is breastfeeding is part of a group who is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they may choose to be vaccinated. Currently, there is no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding women as they were excluded from clinical trials. However, the CDC has stated that since the mRNA vaccine does not contain live virus, it is not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants. A discussion with a health care provider can help to make an informed decision. Although a conversation with a healthcare provider may be helpful, it is not required prior to vaccination.

Are the mRNA vaccines safe for people who want to become pregnant?

There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility. People who are trying to become pregnant or who are pregnant and for whom the vaccine is recommended may choose to be vaccinated. A discussion with a health care provider can help to make an informed decision.

More information from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is available here: https://www.asrm.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/press-releases-and-bulletins/asrm- issues-statement-on-covid-19-vaccines-joins-other-obgyn-groups-on-community-wide-statement/

Should I take the vaccine if I am immunocompromised?

Currently, there is no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in immunocompromised people. However, persons with immunocompromising conditions or who take immunosuppressive medications or therapies might be at increased risk for severe disease if they get COVID-19. Therefore, the CDC recommends these individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Immunocompromised individuals should discuss this with a healthcare provider. It is important to note that the mRNA vaccines do not contain live virus; so, it is not possible to develop COVID-19 from vaccination.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for people with autoimmune disease?

Experts say there is no reason to believe that the currently approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will be unsafe for people with autoimmune disease. Additionally, authorized mRNA vaccines are expected to be safe for immunocompromised patients and those on immunosuppressant drugs. However, it is yet unconfirmed whether immunosuppressant medications or unchecked disease activity may reduce vaccine effectiveness. Persons with autoimmune conditions who have no contraindications to vaccination may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. A discussion with a health care provider can help to make an informed decision.

Should I take the vaccine if I’ve had Guillain-Barré syndrome?

To date, no cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have been reported following vaccination among participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials. With few exceptions, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) general best practice guidelines for immunization does not include history of GBS as a contraindication or precaution to vaccination. Persons with a history of GBS may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a contraindication to vaccination. Any occurrence of GBS following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS.


Should I take the vaccine if I have a history of Bell’s palsy?

Cases of Bell’s palsy were reported following vaccination in participants in both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines’ clinical trials. However, the FDA does not consider these to be above the frequency expected in the general population and has not concluded that these cases were causally related to vaccination. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the vaccines’ safety. In the absence of such evidence, persons with a history of Bell’s palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a contraindication to vaccination. Any occurrence of Bell’s palsy following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS.

Should I take the vaccine if I have had convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibody?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that vaccination should be deferred until 90 days after receiving convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies. Currently, there are no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in people who received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibody therapy. This is to avoid interference of these treatments with vaccine- induced immune responses. The risks and benefits of vaccination based upon the underlying risk factors, including living in a nursing home, could be considered. A discussion with a health care provider can help make an informed decision.

Should I take the vaccine if I have dermal fillers (e.g., face/lip enhancements)?

It is possible, although infrequent, for persons who have received dermal fillers to develop swelling at or near the site of filler injection (usually face or lips) following administration of a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This appears to be temporary and can resolve with medical treatment, including corticosteroid therapy. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to persons who have received injectable dermal fillers (and who have no contraindications to vaccination). Anyone with a dermal filler who experiences swelling at or near the site of the filler injection should contact a healthcare provider for evaluation.

Should I take the vaccine if I already had COVID-19 and recovered?

Data from clinical trials indicate that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in persons with evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination should be offered to individuals regardless of history of COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic). The length of immunity after recovering from COVID-19 disease is unknown; early studies show that immunity after disease recovery is not long lasting and rare cases of reinfection have been reported.

Testing specifically to determine whether a person has active or prior COVID-19 infection is not recommended solely for the purpose of vaccine decision-making.

How long after recovering from COVID-19 should I take the vaccine?

While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that the risk of COVID-19 reinfection is low within 90 days after initial infection, but risk may increase with time due to waning immunity. Thus vaccination could be deferred during that timeframe; however, given initially limited supply of vaccines, it is not certain when another opportunity for vaccination will be available.

Should I take the vaccine if I currently am infected with COVID-19?

No. Those infected should wait until they have recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to end their isolation. This waiting period is essential to avoid exposing healthcare personnel (HCP) or other persons during the vaccination visit. Getting the vaccine while infected is not expected to harm you, but leaving isolation will put others in danger of getting COVID-19. This recommendation applies to persons who get COVID-19 before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who get COVID-19 after the first dose but before taking the second dose.

Should I get the vaccine if I am in quarantine?

Individuals in a community or outpatient setting should defer vaccination until quarantine period has ended to avoid exposing healthcare personnel (HCP) or other persons during the vaccination visit.

Residents of congregate healthcare settings (e.g., long-term care facilities) may be vaccinated, as this likely would not result in any additional exposures. HCP are already in close contact with residents and should employ appropriate infection prevention and control procedures.

Residents of other congregate settings (e.g., correctional facilities, homeless shelters, residential settings) may be vaccinated, in order to avoid delays and missed opportunities for vaccination. Where possible, precautions should be taken to limit mixing of these individuals with other residents or non- essential staff.

How long after the flu shot or other vaccines do I have to wait to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine. However, mRNA COVID-19 and other vaccines may be administered within a shorter period in situations where the benefits of vaccination are deemed to outweigh the potential unknown risks of vaccine co- administration (e.g., tetanus toxoid-containing vaccination as part of wound management, measles or hepatitis A vaccination during an outbreak) or to avoid barriers or delays to mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (e.g., in long-term care facility residents or healthcare personnel who received influenza or other vaccinations prior to/upon admission or onboarding). If mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.

Should premedication be given prior to vaccination?

Taking medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen before receiving the vaccine to try to prevent symptoms like fever or pain is not recommended at this time. This is because there is not enough information on how pain-relieving medications will impact immune responses. These medications may be taken after receiving the vaccine for the treatment of symptoms.



What is the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS)?

The Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) is a secure online tool to manage vaccine administration from the time the vaccine arrives at a clinic to when it is administered to a person.

For more information on VAMS: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vams/faqs.html

When will I get the vaccine?

After receiving FDA authorization for use in the U.S., Pfizer and Moderna vaccines began arriving in West Virginia in early-mid December. Vaccines remain in limited supply nationally. West Virginia is dedicated to ensuring that all West Virginians have access to a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. The guiding principles in decision making for getting COVID-19 vaccines to our higher-risk groups include: protecting our most vulnerable, reducing deaths, reducing hospitalizations, and maintaining our critical services and acute care.

As vaccine availability increases over the coming months, the state will able to reach more and more of the general public to offer COVID-19 vaccines as the national supply can meet demand.

Decisions regarding overlapping phased distribution of limited vaccine supplies will remain flexible to ensure West Virginians are offered access as quickly, efficiently, and equitably as possible. It is not necessary to fully complete vaccination in one phase before beginning the next phase.
To view the state’s overlapping phased allocation plan and more details regarding particular age groups and high-risk settings: vaccinate.wv.gov

How is the COVID-19 vaccine administered?

COVID-19 vaccines are given through intramuscular (IM) injections, typically in the upper arm. Each person receives the recommended dose set forth by the manufacturer.

Who will administer the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine will be administered by a health care professional trained in giving an injection into the muscle.

How long between mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses? What happens if I’m late for the second dose?

Pfizer-BioNTech. The Pfizer product requires a 2-dose vaccination series administered three weeks (21 days) apart. Administration of second dose is allowed within a 4-day grace period (meaning days 17-21) or after. If more than 21 days have passed since the first dose, the second dose should be administered at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to restart the series.

Moderna. The Moderna vaccine requires a 2-dose vaccination series administered one month (28 days) apart. Administration of second dose is allowed within a 4-day grace period (meaning days 24- 28) or after. If more than 28 days have passed since the first dose, the second dose should be administered at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to restart the series.

Any individual who is late to receive their second dose will still mount an immune response upon receipt of the second dose. However, in the meantime between first and second doses, the individual will not have maximum protection against COVID-19. Further, the longer one waits after the recommended dosage period (3-4 weeks after the first dose), it is unknown how protected they will be. Thus it is advised for the second dose to be administered as close to the recommended time period as possible.

For 2-dose vaccines, what happens if I only receive one dose of the vaccine and not both?

It is recommended to receive both doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.

Can I get one dose of one mRNA vaccine (e.g., Pfizer) and the second dose of another mRNA vaccine (e.g., Moderna)?

Individuals should receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from the same manufacturer as the first dose. The COVID-19 vaccine products are not interchangeable. The safety and efficacy of mixing products in the vaccination series have not been evaluated. However, if two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are inadvertently administered, no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time. In certain rare situations, such as when the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series. Again, COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. In extremely rare situations, some people simply may not have documentation or know which vaccine they got for their first dose.

Recommendations may be updated as further information becomes available or other vaccine types (e.g., viral vector, protein subunit vaccines) are authorized. As further information becomes available and other vaccine types are authorized, recommendations may be updated.

How will second dose appointments be offered?


Those who have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be contacted through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System with their second-dose notification. Alternatively, those who originally signed up through the Vaccine Administration Management System [VAMS] will make vaccination appointments through that system or will be contacted through the location that administered the first dose.


Is taking the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?


The vaccine is not mandatory.




What are common side effects or immune responses after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines?

Short-Term: The majority of short-term effects reported in clinical trials were mild to moderate and occurred within the first few days of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Examples of common mild to moderate immune responses include pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, fever, or chills.

It is also worth noting that clinical trials showed stronger immune responses (and reported short-term side effects) after the second dose. The second dose remains essential for maximum protection.

One particular short-term effect reported is a localized rash (usually red in color) that occurs up to one week after vaccination on the arm at which the vaccine was administered. The reddened skin has been described as being red and may feel warm to the touch. In addition, some say that they feel a “knot” or hard area where the skin is red. This appears to be a delayed-onset local immune response and is not systemic (a full-body response). Therefore, individuals who experience this effect are still advised to take the second dose using the same vaccine product as the first dose and at the recommended interval, and preferably in the opposite arm.

Antibiotics are not advised for this particular reaction. Those who experience this reaction could talk to a healthcare provider and consider taking an antihistamine for itching and/or taking their preferred over-the-counter medications to treat pain symptoms (assuming no contrary allergies/conditions precluding use of those medications).

Long-Term: Historically, long-term side effects from vaccines have been rare and most side effects have been seen within the first 60 days of receiving vaccines.

Before vaccination, COVID-19 vaccine recipients should be counseled about expected local (e.g., pain, swelling, erythema at the injection site) and systemic (e.g., fever, fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia, arthralgia) post-vaccination symptoms.

What is the V-safe after vaccination health checker?

V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after a person receives a COVID-19 vaccination. Through V-safe, a person can quickly tell the CDC if they experience side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on the person’s responses, a CDC staff member may call for additional information. V-safe also sends reminders to get the second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Participation in the CDC’s V-safe initiative makes a difference — it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe.

For more information on V-safe: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

Should side effects from COVID-19 vaccines be reported? What is VAERS?

Individuals concerned about their health after getting vaccinated should talk with a health care provider, who will determine the appropriate treatment and reporting requirements. Anyone also can choose to report a side effect. Reporting is encouraged for any other clinically significant adverse event, even if it is uncertain whether the vaccine caused the event.

Vaccination providers are required by the FDA to report the following occurring after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination:

  • Vaccine administration errors

  • Serious adverse events

  • Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome

  • Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death

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Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at https://vaers.hhs.gov/ or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

If I develop COVID-19 symptoms after getting the vaccine, should I quarantine?

Yes. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second dose of the vaccine. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick as the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection for disease.

Individuals who have COVID-19 virus symptoms after getting the vaccine or at any time should contact a health care provider and consider getting tested for COVID-19.

Do I need to quarantine if I am exposed between doses?

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

If exposure occurs between doses, follow quarantine guidance as advised by the local health department. Specifically:

Quarantine Guidance Following 1st Dose Vaccination (Partial Vaccination): Standard quarantine is recommended if individuals are possibly exposed between doses of COVID-19 vaccine. It could take up one to two weeks after the last dose of the vaccine to have maximum protection.

A shortened quarantine is an acceptable option: after day 10 without testing or after day 7 after receiving a negative test (test must occur on day 5 or later). After stopping quarantine, individuals should continue to watch for symptoms until 14 days of exposure, wear a face covering, stay at least 6 ft from others, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine Guidance Following 2nd Dose Vaccination (Full Vaccination): It could take up to 1-2 weeks after your last dose of the vaccine to have maximum protection. After that time, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are NOT required to quarantine if they meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., 2 or more weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or 2 or more weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)

  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series

  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.Quarantine Guidance for Vaccinated Healthcare Personnel, Patients, and Residents in Healthcare Settings: The above criteria can be applied for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel. However, vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19.

How long will immunity last after I get vaccinated? Will I need to be vaccinated every year?

The length of immunity following vaccination is not yet known for COVID-19.

Do I still need to wear a mask and take other COVID-19 precautions after I get the vaccine?

Yes. Because there will be limited doses available initially, and people will be vaccinated in phases, it will take time to vaccinate enough of the population to stop the spread of COVID-19. Until then, all available tools (e.g., masks/face coverings, staying 6+ feet away from others, frequent handwashing) are needed to slow the spread.

Additionally, as the length of immunity is unknown, infection after a receiving a vaccine may still be possible. It is likely that infection after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine would be less severe, with mild or asymptomatic conditions.

Other factors for continuing precautions include how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in West Virginia communities.

How many people need to get the vaccine for community immunity (herd immunity)?

Vaccination is the safest path to community or “herd” immunity. These terms describe when enough people have protection, either from previous infection or vaccination, making it unlikely an infection can spread in the population and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected, even if some people have not received the vaccination. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve community immunity varies by disease and with the use of other measures to limit spread like social distancing and mask use. The number, or percentage of population, that need to be immune in order to reach community immunity for COVID-19 is not yet known but is thought to begin at around 60-70%.



  • Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Meeting Webcast. December 12, 2020.

  • BioNTech conclude phase 3 study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate meeting all primary efficacy endpoints. Available fromhttps://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontechconclude-phase-3-study-covid-19-vaccine

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinical Partner Call: What Clinicians need to know about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. December 13, 2020.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/clinical-considerations.html. February 11, 2021.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently asked questions about vaccination. Available fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines & Immunizations. Vaccination Communication Toolkit. Available fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-systems-communication-toolkit.html

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Available fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.html COVID-19

  • Food and Drug Administration. COVID-19 Vaccines. Available from https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and- response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines

  • Mbaeyi, S. ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group. Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines: Interim Clinical Considerations. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-19/06-COVID-Mbaeyi.pdf

  • Mehta M, Reece R. WVU Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions. Updated 12/13/2020.Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting. December 10 2020.

  • US Department of Health and Human Services. Vaccine side effects. Available from https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/safety/side_effects

  • Vaccine Management System. Deloitte. Available from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/publicsector/solutions/vaccine-management-system.html

  • Zhang et al. Advances in mRNA vaccine for infectious diseases. Front. Immunol. March 2019; 10:594


This information is based on currently available evidence, resources, information, emergency use authorization, and expert opinion, and is subject to change. As evidence regarding the use of COVID-19 vaccine for individuals emerges, it will be necessary to modify this document.


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