Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am to noon
Closed Sundays and holidays

Please follow & like us!
Follow by Email
RSS Feed
Subscribe by email
Get new posts by email:

Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19 Vaccine’

Update on COVID-19 Vaccines. By Our Student Pharmacist, Dakota Arledge.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination has emerged as a crucial tool in the fight against the virus. As our understanding of the virus evolves and new data becomes available, guidelines for COVID-19 vaccines have been subject to periodic updates. It’s crucial to stay on top of the latest information available.

Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines provide robust protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, emerging data has indicated that the duration of protection offered by some vaccines may wane over time. As a result, updated guidelines emphasize the need for booster shots to maintain optimal immunity, particularly among vulnerable populations and those at high risk of exposure.

This past May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidelines regarding who should receive what dose of the COVID vaccine.

As it stands right now, only the Bivalent forms of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are recommended.

The number of doses a patient should receive is based on their age, how many vaccines they’ve received previously, and whether or not they are immunocompromised.

Listed below is a useful graphic for determining what dose a patient should need based on the above factors.


COVID pic1

One interesting thing that is peculiar regarding COVID vaccines is the fact that guidelines allow for mix-and-match strategies, enabling individuals to receive different brands of COVID-19 vaccines for their primary and booster shots. This is done to address supply chain issues and ensure that patients receive  adequate coverage, regardless of what shots they have received previously.

Some studies have shown that combining different vaccines can stimulate a robust immune response and provide enhanced protection.

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and have been proven safe for most individuals.

However, recent guideline changes have highlighted the identification of rare adverse events associated with specific vaccines.

These events include:

  • blood clotting disorders
  • myocarditis
  • pericarditis

Updated guidelines on the CDC’s website provide detailed information regarding the risk-benefit assessment for each vaccine and specific recommendations for certain age groups or individuals with underlying health conditions.

To facilitate safe travel and international movement, some countries have introduced vaccination passports or certificates. These documents serve as proof of vaccination status and may exempt individuals from certain quarantine requirements or provide access to specific venues. Guidelines outline the necessary information, standardized formats, and privacy considerations for implementing such vaccination passports.

The evolution of COVID-19 vaccine guidelines reflects our increasing understanding of the virus, its variants, and the long-term effectiveness of available vaccines. The recent changes focus on the need for booster shots, expanded eligibility to younger age groups, mix-and-match strategies, variant-specific efficacy, and rare adverse events.

By staying informed on the latest guidelines provided by the CDC, pharmacists can help individuals within the community make informed decisions about vaccination and mitigate the impact of the ongoing pandemic.



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, May 12). Interim clinical considerations for use of covid-19 vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html
  2. Covid-19 vaccine—interim covid-19 immunization schedule for persons 6 … (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/COVID-19-immunization-schedule-ages-6months-older.pdf

Life After the Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Sam Berens.


As more people receive their COVID-19 vaccine, everyone is beginning to ask when their lives can get back to normal.

You might assume that you no longer need to wear a mask if have received the vaccine, but there is actually not enough information available for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others.

The goal is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so experts need to completely understand the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine provides to others in real-world conditions before a decision is made on wearing masks and social distancing.

The CDC plans to continuously update what they know about the vaccine as they continue learning.

One of the most important factors necessary for life getting back to normal is how many people are getting vaccinated.  While it has been difficult for many of us during these times, we all can make a difference in getting our normal lives back by encouraging others to get the vaccine. There are a lot of people that will not be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons, so those that are able to get the vaccine should try to get their vaccine to protect those who cannot.

As we continue to vaccinate everyone, I think it is important to remember all the ways that we can help slow the spread of the virus.

It is possible to spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick, so following these recommendations can protect you and everyone around you:

  • Continue to wear a mask over your nose and mouth to protect yourself and others.
    • Remember that some people are not able to wear a mask due to medical issues, so you are also protecting them by wearing a mask correctly.
  • Try to stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds.
    • Continue minimizing your social interactions to the best of your ability.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds to help prevent the spread of the virus, especially if you have been or are in a public place.
  • Clean and disinfect anything that may be dirty on a daily basis.
    • When disinfecting surfaces, be sure to use a product that is known to kill the virus.
  • Monitor your health daily by checking for symptoms and taking your temperature.
    • Try to stay ahead of the virus by being alert to protect yourself and others.

While the end of the pandemic is finally in sight, we still have a lot to do to get back to our normal lives. It is estimated that 70-80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve indirect protection from COVID-19. We are far from this goal at this time, but we can get there if we work together.

References: CDC.gov/coronavirus


COVID-19 Vaccine: All Your Questions Answered. By Our Student Pharmacist, Sarwar Ghani.


With the recent progress on the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, the possibility of approved COVID vaccines is a reality. It is normal to have questions regarding the vaccine. With this post we aim to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

How will the vaccine work?

The COVID-19 vaccines will help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without getting us ill.

At the moment there are three main types of vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large scale clinical trials in the United States. Although the different types of vaccine will work in different ways to offer protection, all three types will result in the body being left with a supply of memory T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that will trigger an immune response when we get exposed to the virus, and B-lymphocytes, defensive white blood cells that produce antibodies. Usually it takes a few weeks for the body to produce the T and B-lymphocytes after vaccination so it is still possible that a person could be infected with the virus just before or just after vaccination and get sick as the vaccine didn’t have enough time to provide protection.

mRNA vaccine

What are the types of vaccines being studied?

  • mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 to instruct our cells to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. Once our immune system recognizes that the protein is from a different organism, it starts building an immune response.
  • Protein subunit vaccines include harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that cause COVID-19, instead of the entire germ, to trigger the immune response.
  • Vector vaccines–this process involves inserting the genetic material from the COVID-19 virus into a weakened version of a harmless virus to start an immune response to COVID-19 without getting us ill.

Can anyone get the vaccine as soon as it is approved?

With the very high demand and limited current availability of the vaccines it is unlikely that everyone will be able to get the vaccine as soon as it is approved for use. Vaccines are expected to set out for transportation as early as 24 hours after approval. It is expected that vaccines will be available for all adults in US around mid-2021. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s phased allocation guideline released on 12/01/2020, the vaccine will be made available in phases.

During the writing of this post, the CDC released their plan for phase-1 rollout which has been divided into three categories:

  • Phase-1a includes health care personnel and long-term care facility residents.
  • Phase-1b includes essential workers.
  • Phase-1c includes adults with high risk medication conditions and adults over the age of 65.

This allocation was done using results from a risk analysis and survey polls. Although this is the recommendation by the CDC, each state will have its own plan for rollout.

How much will it cost?

The vaccines will be available for all Americans at no cost to the patient regardless of their insurance status.

Will the vaccine be safe?

Under Operation Warp speed, the federal government has been working to make a Covid-19 vaccine available as soon as possible. This accelerated timeline may raise concerns for some people that safety may be sacrificed in favor of speed. However, as with all vaccines, safety is a top priority.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a group of 15 medical and public health experts who are voting members and are responsible for making vaccine recommendations. Even before a vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an ACIP work group will thoroughly review all available scientific information about the vaccine to present the information to the ACIP committee about the vaccine. The ACIP reviews the safety and effectiveness for each vaccine. Normally the process of authorization of a vaccine can take several years, but due to the severe nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccines, under Operation Warp Speed, are being given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

In an emergency, like a pandemic, it may not be possible to have all the evidence that the FDA would usually have before approving a drug, device, or a test. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. FDA has issued many emergency use authorizations for tests, as well as treatments.

During a declared emergency, the FDA can decide if it is worth releasing something for use even without all the evidence that would fully establish its effectiveness and safety under normal circumstances. If there’s evidence that strongly suggests that patients have benefited from a treatment or test, the agency can issue an EUA to make it available. The FDA will take into account the scientific data available on the vaccines and the recommendations made by the ACIP and if it satisfies all the required conditions before providing an EUA. After a vaccine receives an EUA, the FDA and the CDC will continue to monitor the safety of the vaccines to make sure every rare side effect is identified.

What are some of the expected side effects?

Side effects from vaccine are not uncommon. A vaccine as common as the flu shot can cause muscle soreness and fatigue among other symptoms. Some of the adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • allergic reaction
  • pain and swelling at the site of injection
  • muscle soreness
  • mild fever
  • headache
  • joint pain

The prevalence of the adverse effects was higher in younger patients and with the second dose compared to the first dose. It should also be noted that in most cases the effects resolved within 24 hours after administration.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get the vaccine?

At the moment there is not enough information available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19. Evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. During the time of writing this post there was no available recommendation from the CDC.


Can I stop wearing masks after I get the vaccine?

The vaccine works with the immune system so that our body is able to fight the virus if we are exposed. Precautions like wearing a mask and staying six feet away help reduce our chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus.

Even after you get vaccinated, it takes a few weeks to build immunity to a disease, so it is possible to get sick with COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. As experts learn more about the protection the COVID-19 vaccine provides under real-life conditions, it is important we use all the tools available to us until there is a change in the recommendations.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, it is recommended that you reach out to your Doctor or your neighborhood Pharmacist.