GCHC has secured COVID-19 vaccines and has been administering them to our healthcare workers and patients. Pfizer has been FDA approved while other vaccines remain under emergency use authorization.
As with any vaccine, short-term side effects are possible. Few patients may experience things like pain, redness or swelling on the arm where the vaccine was administered as well as tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea after each dose of the vaccination.
However, this indicates the vaccine is working to produce protective virus antibodies; the possibility of long-term, dangerous side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are exceptionally low.
As the vaccine continues to reach frontline workers and at-risk individuals across the country, Gulf Coast Health Care continues to uphold our quality of care and ensure the safety of all our patients.
Watch President Brett Barnett receive the vaccine
Brett Barnett has received both doses of his COVID-19 vaccine and is feeling great. Watch below as he goes through the process. The GCHC team is proud of Brett for taking this tremendous step toward ending the pandemic, which has strained our patients, employees and community members. It’s a gesture that reflects the company’s stated mission of fighting against the spread of COVID-19 and bringing the best and most vital healthcare treatments to our patients. Join us on the road to recovery. Watch the video now.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Why should patients and healthcare professionals receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is the best and safest way to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. It’s also the only way to ensure COVID-19 does not worsen the severe, chronic or underlying health conditions of our patients. COVID-19 vaccinations protect more than just our patients—they protect their physicians, friends and family, and fellow patients.
Healthcare professionals play an essential role in ending the pandemic. Because their jobs require them to occasionally be in close contact with patients who are Covid positive, they have an increased risk of contracting and spreading the virus to other patients in the facility. That’s why it’s crucial for them to receive both doses of the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are a top priority for keeping GCHC centers as safe as possible.
Should you delay routine vaccinations until the pandemic is over?
Vaccines are essential for maintaining health and wellness. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend staying up to date on all routine vaccinations during the pandemic. If you’re concerned about being exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19, consider scheduling alternate times or locations to decrease your risk.
Were the COVID-19 vaccines developed too fast to be safe?
While COVID-19 vaccines were made available to the public within a year, the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used to develop them isn’t new. In fact, this technology has been studied extensively for other vaccines and used for cancer research for decades. Extensive clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines were conducted with the same rigor as all vaccine trials, and the results were reviewed and approved by multiple independent advisory panels. A global emergency paired with early coordination made it possible to deliver a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine to the public. These resources included:
- Large-scale clinical trials using pre-existing networks established in the pursuit of an HIV vaccine.
- Temporarily reallocating pre-built manufacturing facilities originally assigned to several different vaccines that are still in development.
- Pre-existing approvals on the mRNA vaccine platform meant researchers could focus on and complete animal models and early human trials more quickly.
- Qualified individuals worked nights, days and weekends on parallel teams to systematically review the test data to shorten the review timeline from 6-9 months to weeks.
Were there enough clinical trial participants to declare the vaccines safe?
Absolutely. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, etc.) enrolled tens of thousands of human clinical trial participants. They were followed for two months after receiving the second dose, which is common with vaccine trials. Why two months? Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within 6 weeks of receiving a vaccine dose.
Do I need the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?
Yes. The CDC recommends recovering COVID-19 patients get the COVID-19 vaccine no sooner than 90 days after being infected. It’s not clear how long a natural infection with COVID-19 provides immunity from the disease and there are reports of individuals being reinfected with the virus, even after being very ill with COVID-19.
Does the vaccine alter my DNA?
No. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. It isn’t possible and here’s why; both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to the cell’s cytoplasm (the semifluid solution that is external to the nuclear membrane) and never enter the cell nucleus, where your genetic material (DNA) lives. These instructions tell your cells to start building protection (also known as spike proteins or antibodies) against the virus that causes COVID-19. Once the mRNA relays the message, it’s broken down quickly. The spike protein also breaks down once there is no longer any mRNA information inside the cell.
Most viruses have either RNA or DNA as their genetic material. The adenovirus vaccine platform uses DNA encoding instead of RNA encoding on the spike protein, which does enter the cell’s nucleus. However, it does not alter the cell’s (and therefore the person’s) DNA in any way.
Do the COVID-19 vaccines deliver a microchip into my body?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines in development contain software or microchips of any kind. This is a false rumor that started after comments about digital vaccine records. Electronic immunization records help patients and physicians track the vaccines they’ve received. They are typically added to your digital patient file at the pharmacy, clinic, urgent care or doctor’s office you visited.
Do I still need to wear a mask after I’m vaccinated?
On July 27, 2021, the CDC released updated guidance and recommended that everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission to wear a mask in public places—even if they are fully vaccinated. While COVID-19 vaccines offer significant protection from serious symptoms of COVID-10, like all vaccines, it’s not 100% effective. Fully vaccinated people, whether they’re showing symptoms of COVID-19 or asymptomatic, may still be able to transmit the virus to others. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and maintain physical distance until more is known and more people have been vaccinated.
Should I wait for the more effective vaccine?
During clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections in people who received two doses and had no evidence of being previously infected. Waiting for a more effective vaccine is the worst thing you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill and possibly dying of COVID-10. All COVID-19 vaccines approved under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization were 100% effective in stopping hospitalizations and death during human clinical trials.