The director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has signed a standing order for administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the state.
Director Randall Williams says he’s incredibly excited about the first doses being administered to front line health care workers across the state.
Williams and his team spent last weekend working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to incorporate their final recommendations, which were released on Sunday.
Those recommendations are reflected in the statewide order issued by DHSS.
Here are some common questions answered by the latest guidance:
What do I do if I miss the second dose 21 days after the first dose?
Patients who do not receive the second vaccination dose at 21 days should still receive that second dose as soon as possible thereafter.
Should you get the vaccine if you have already contracted COVID-19?
Yes, but for both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, you should defer vaccination until you have met criteria to discontinue isolation.
Can you receive the vaccine if you are pregnant?
Yes, pregnant females are recommended for the vaccine depending on the individual’s risk of acquisition due to the level of community transmission, personal risk of contracting COVID-19 due to occupation or other activities, risks of COVID-19 to the mother and potential risks to the fetus, efficacy of the vaccine, known side effects of the vaccine and the lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy. Special counseling and a 15-minute observation period after vaccination, if chosen, is recommended.
Should you have a pregnancy test or antibody test prior to receiving the vaccine?
Routine testing for pregnancy or antibody tests is not recommended in relation to vaccine use.
Can you get this vaccine if you are in quarantine due to an exposure with a positive COVID-19 case?
You should delay your vaccination if you have had a known SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) exposure until your quarantine period has ended, unless residing in a congregate setting (health care/long-term care facility, correctional facility, homeless shelter, etc.).
Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
There is no information on co-administration of this COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine should be spaced at least 14 days from any other vaccine.
If you have been vaccinated, can you stop from using other precautions?
No. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
Who is not recommended for the Pfizer vaccine?
Those under age 16.
An individual who has experienced a serious reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components. For information on vaccine components, refer to the manufacturers’ package insert.