Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs
Last Updated: April 22, 2021
Now that several coronavirus vaccines are becoming available, you probably have some questions about the vaccines and when you and your family can expect to receive them. To help you, we’ve compiled some FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Children's National Hospital Vaccinations
Children’s National and HSC are administering the COVID-19 vaccine to qualified patients who reside in Prince George’s County, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Children’s National is administering the Pfizer vaccine. The minimum age to receive Pfizer is 16 years old.
Appointments for vaccination are made BY INVITATION ONLY. According to health department guidelines, we are only permitted to vaccinate residents of Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C.
Children’s National and HSC inpatients who meet age requirements will also be provided the vaccine when it’s considered appropriate for them by the medical team.
The FDA has not approved vaccines for children younger than 16 at this time.
If you are a Children’s National or HSC patient over the age of 16, please contact your Children’s National or HSC provider to be placed on an invitation waitlist.
Individuals who live in Washington, D.C., and are aged 16-17 can register to request an appointment here.
Individuals who are over the age of 18 and are not Children’s National or HSC patients can obtain a vaccine at all community sites.
No, one parent or guardian must be on-site to consent to their 16-17-year-old dependent child getting the vaccine. Parental consent for dependent children is required since the vaccine has been approved through an FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Telephone or electronic consent is not permitted – the parent or guardian must be present at the vaccine appointment.
We are vaccinating eligible Prince George’s County, Maryland and D.C. residents and are:
- Children’s National or HSC patients who are over the age of 16 OR
- Individuals aged 16 and 17 who are Washington, D.C., residents and not current patients of Children’s National or HSC
Those vaccines will be administered BY INVITATION ONLY.
Parents and caregivers should check with local health departments to receive vaccinations.
For children younger than 16, we won’t know the safety and efficacy of an adult vaccine until we do trials in children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging federal agencies to support timely, but safe, development of COVID-19 vaccines for children, to help understand any potential unique immune responses and/or safety concerns in children.
As of April 13, 2021,
- Pfizer was conducting phase 3 clinical trials of their vaccines with children under 12 years old.
- Moderna has begun a separate study to test its vaccine in children ages six months to less than 12 years old.
- Both Pfizer and Moderna have been testing their vaccines in children 12 and older and expect those results soon.
- AstraZeneca began testing its vaccine in children six months and older.
- Johnson & Johnson had plans to extend trials of its vaccine to young children after assessing its performance in older children. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance on April 13, 2021 recommending the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate several reports of a rare but severe side effect.
Yes, after the FDA issued the emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we developed a plan to administer the vaccine to inpatients. Since we began on April 1, 2021, we administered 15 doses.
Yes, we suspended our use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on guidance from the FDA and CDC. We will continue to rely on their recommendations related to use of this vaccine.
General Vaccine Information
There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available — one created by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, one created by Moderna and one created by Johnson & Johnson.
- The Pfizer vaccine can be administered to people aged 16 years and older, while the Moderna vaccine is for use in people aged 18 years and older.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance on April 13, 2021 recommending the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate several reports of a rare but severe side effect.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance on April 13, 2021 recommending the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate several reports of a rare but severe side effect.
Yes, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies are the manufacturer of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a part of the company.
Pfizer and Moderna have reported no serious safety concerns from their vaccines. All the participants in their clinical trials have been followed for at least two months after getting vaccinated to look for side effects and will continue to be followed for 1-2 years. Some participants have reported sore arms, fatigue, fever and joint and muscle aches that last for a day or two. It is important to know that if you experience any of these reactions, it’s normal and means the vaccine is working.
As of April 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate several reports of a rare but severe side effect.
MIS-C, or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, is a condition in which different body parts become inflamed, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, gastrointestinal tract, skin or eyes. One of the reasons clinical trials are important is to make sure that the vaccines do not have any side effects, such as causing MIS-C. While the vaccines are still being tested in children, adult clinical trials have not resulted in any cases of MIS-A (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults). In fact, it is possible that by protecting against COVID-19, a vaccine will also protect against MIS-C.
If you have already had COVID-19, you can still benefit from being vaccinated. A vaccine will add to your immunity to the virus and protect you from getting the virus again.
No. You should not stop wearing a mask, especially since coronavirus infection levels are currently rising all over the world. Even when the vaccines become widely available, many experts say that safety measures like social distancing, handwashing and mask wearing will still be necessary until the threat has subsided.
As of March 16, 2021, two COVID-19 vaccines were in phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. They were created by the following companies:
None of the vaccines contain the COVID-19 virus. Instead, they work by using an mRNA or DNA molecule that instructs your cells to make copies of a harmless protein that is on the outer shell of the COVID-19 virus. When your immune system detects this protein, it begins to produce antibodies as if the body has been infected. The antibodies will help your immune system fight off future COVID-19 infections.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are given in two doses, several weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. Please note: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance on April 13, 2021 recommending the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate several reports of a rare but severe side effect.
Learn more from the National Institutes of Health about the COVID-19 vaccines and they will work to protect those who get vaccinated and the people around them.
It is unknown how long a COVID-19 vaccine will protect you. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will follow their clinical trial participants for at least a year and will be able to provide information about lasting protection in the future.
Vaccine availability and distribution varies from state to state. For the most current information on vaccine distribution, contact your local health department: