STAC's "resident experts" from Health and Wellness Services and our Biology Department have provided answers to some frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, booster, and sign-up process.
#SpartansShieldSpartans #STACBoosted #GetBoostedForAFriend — let’s continue to keep each other’s health and safety at the forefront. Shields up, Spartans — get vaccinated and boosted!
Spartan Startup Resource: Locations to Receive Booster Vaccinations
Need a ride to your appointment?
STAC Campus Safety is offering rides to clinics or pharmacies (local to the College) to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule transportation with the College, please reach out to Campus Safety and Security and coordinate with Mr. Jim Nawoichyk or Mr. Michael Viohl.
Here are some of the ways you can find transportation to a vaccine site. STAC is not recommending any individual provider, but has provided the following widely-used suggestions. STAC is not responsible for any transactions with the provider:
Where can I get the COVID-19 Vaccination?
- Rockland County Department of Health
- NYS COVID Vaccine Appointments
- NJ COVID Vaccine Appointments
- CT COVID Vaccine Appointments
- CDC Vaccine.Gov
How do I sign up for a vaccine/booster?
There are several starting points for signing up for an appointment:
- Rockland County Department of Health
- Vaccine Finder
- Refuah Health Get The Shot
- New York State’s Am I Eligible*
- New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub
- Connecticut COVID-19 Vaccine Portal
- Pennsylvania Department of Health
Use any or all of these sites, be persistent, and make an appointment as soon as you can. Many vaccination sites have social media notifications you can sign up for to make sure you know when appointments become available. Once you have completed your vaccination process, please fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation Form so that we have it on record that you are vaccinated. If we have this information, you can be exempt from quarantine if you are a close contact of a COVID-positive individual.
*New York State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline can be reached at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
The Omicron and Delta Variants: the Added Importance of Vaccination
The CDC is now calling the COVID-19 pandemic a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States have proven extremely safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, including against variants of concern such as the Omicron and Delta variants. For more COVID-19 information, visit COVID-19 vaccines for young adults and Myths and Facts about COVID-19.
Why should I get the vaccine?
All of the approved vaccines will help to protect you from getting sick with COVID-19! This will not only be beneficial for you, but it will also serve to protect others around you, especially those that are at risk of severe illness and death. Additionally, the more people that get vaccinated, and the more quickly they do, the faster that life will begin to return to normal. Plus, there is more evidence to support that the virus causing COVID-19 can cause long-term effects in our body following an infection.
Yes, all 3 available vaccines in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective. Over 386 million doses of these vaccines have been administered since December 2020 under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. All 3 available vaccines have met the Food and Drug Administrations rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality and have therefore all received emergency use authorization. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety, please visit: CDC Safety of COVID Vaccines; CDC COVID Vaccine Information for Specific Groups; WHO Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines; US Dept. of Health & Human Services Vaccine Safety.
Which vaccine should I get? Is there a difference?
Any of them. All 3 available vaccines in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) have been demonstrated to be safe and effective. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two-dose mRNA-based vaccines. The J&J vaccine is a one-dose, DNA-based vaccine delivered by a disabled adenovirus.
Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. None of the available vaccines are made with the virus itself, which means that you cannot get COVID-19 from getting the vaccine. All available vaccines are made with mRNA, which are harmless recipes that tell your cells to make a piece of the virus so that your immune system will learn to recognize and destroy the virus if you are exposed to it. Sometimes, individuals will experience symptoms after receiving the vaccine that makes them feel sick, such as low fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, and/or arm pain. These are signs that your immune system is working hard to protect itself from any future exposure to the virus.
Am I eligible?
Yes! In New York, all individuals 5 years of age and older that reside in the United States are eligible to receive the vaccine. Eligibility may differ for other states. However, if you live, work, or go to school in New York, you can be vaccinated in New York.
How should I prepare for receiving the vaccine?
It is important to stay hydrated prior to receiving the vaccine to help your immune response. Also, you should refrain from taking any anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen prior to receiving the vaccine, as these can weaken your immune response. After receiving the vaccine, please speak with your healthcare provider about taking anti-inflammatory medications for pain, swelling, or fever.
Confidential Question Form
Vaccines can be a very confusing and stressful topic. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please fill out this form and one of STAC's resident experts will get back to you with answers. (Please note your name will be kept confidential and used for response purposes only.)
STAC “Resident Experts”
Eileen Mastrovito, RN, BS
Health and Wellness Services
Clara Tóth, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Bianca Wentzell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology