COVID-19 Response

Thank you for choosing Valley Health to be your trusted healthcare provider. We know many of you have questions about COVID-19 and we will continue to provide updates about this rapidly changing situation on our webpage and via [email protected] As always, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider during your scheduled appointment about any questions you may have. 

 

For information about COVID-19 testing, see COVID-19 Testing Information below, or call our COVID-19 Testing Hotline at: 304.399.3362

 

For the most updated information about vaccinations, see Current Vaccine Information below, or call our COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at: 304.399.3343

 

We are in this together.

Current Vaccine Information

Last Updated: September 27, 2021

CDC Recommends Booster Dose of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Populations and Those in High-Risk Settings

On September 24, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and recommended a booster dose for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.

This booster dose recommendation does not apply to people who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC recommends the booster dose for individuals who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • People aged 50 - 64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • People aged 18 - 49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and

  • People aged 18 - 64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

West Virginians who meet CDC eligibility recommendations are strongly encouraged to choose COVID-19 vaccination, which now includes a booster dose for the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

Do you qualify for a booster dose? Call us at 304.399.3343 to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination booster.


Last Updated: September 08, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines: BOOSTER vs. 3rd Dose. What’s the difference?

Third (or “additional”) Doses at this time are for those individuals who:

  • Are moderately to severely immunocompromised and who have completed the 2 dose vaccine series with either Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This recommendation DOES NOT apply to the one dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.    
  • Have received their Pfizer or Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine at least 28 days prior.
  • Both Pfizer and Moderna have been granted authorization for use as a third dose for immunocompromised patients at this time

The third (or “additional”) dose implies that the patient did not achieve full immunity from the initial vaccine series due to being immunocompromised so an additional dose is needed for adequate coverage.

Booster Doses are for those individuals who:

  • Received the initial vaccine series and developed adequate immunity to the COVID-19 virus.  Over time after the initial vaccine series, we may see a decrease in immunity and coverage against COVID-19.  The booster dose is designed to “boost” the immunity back up to desired levels after a period of time has elapsed from the initial vaccine series.
  • The FDA has not yet approved any of the COVID-19 vaccines to be used as booster doses. 

Think you might qualify for a third dose? Call us at 304.399.3343.

Please note that Valley Health will not be giving any booster doses until these are approved by the FDA and CDC.  We are actively working with state agencies to ensure we can vaccinate those who need it. We will let you know when these are available.


Last Updated: September 02, 2021

Valley Health has the following days, times, and locations for vaccinations:

Valley Health Milton Harbour Way

Tuesday:   8:30am - 4pm – Janssen Only
Wednesday: 8:30am – 4 pm – Moderna Only
Thursday: 8:30 am – 4 pm – Pfizer Only
By appointment only-Call 304-399-3343


The Cabell Huntington Health Department has the following days/times/locations:

COVID-19 Vaccine Center
LOCATION CHANGE
8 Mall Road (Storefront next to Best Buy)
Barboursville, WV 25504
Tues, Wed, Fri: 8 am – 4 pm
Thursday: 8 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 12 pm 
Walk-ins are welcome for both first and second doses.

COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Through
Centennial Fire Station
839 7th Ave
Huntington, WV 25701
Thursday: 8 am – 4 pm
No appointment needed. First and second doses are available.

A.D. Lewis Center Vaccine Clinic
A.D. Lewis Community Center
1450 A D Lewis Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
Tuesday: 9 am – 1 pm
Ages 18 & older. No appointment needed.


Last Updated: August 23, 2021

The U.S Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age, and for an additional dose for immunocompromised individuals. 

This approval is an achievement for public health as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines meet the scientific standards to be approved for emergency use authorization, the FDA approval of a vaccine is another step closer to changing the course of the pandemic.

For more information, see the full FDA News Release "FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine".

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our COVID-19 Vaccine clinic at 304-399-3343.


Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Additional Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized for Immunocompromised Individuals

On August 13, 2021 the CDC recommended an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and who have completed the 2 dose vaccine series with either Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This recommendation DOES NOT apply to the one dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.    

Factors leading to the decision:

  • People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
  • People who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19.
  • The current FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines and are therefore safe for immunocompromised individuals.

This additional dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.  Every attempt should be made to use the same brand of vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) that the patient received for the original series.  If this is not possible, either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be used.  

Those patients who are considered to be moderately to severely immunocompromised have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency 
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Been receiving certain immunosuppressive medications (discuss with your doctor or pharmacist)

Patients are not required to produce documentation that they are immunocompromised; their verbal declaration is acceptable to receive the booster.  
 


Last Updated: August 16, 2021

Vaccines are available at:

  • Harbour Way Vaccination Clinic 
    • Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson - 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    • Wednesday: Moderna -  8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

    • Thursday: Pfizer -  8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    • Friday:  8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (no vaccinations)

      This office is closed for lunch from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • Your preferred health center to schedule an appointment. View our list of locations here. (https://valleyhealth.org/locations/)

Last Updated: April 7, 2021

Vaccines Available through Valley Health at:

Questions about Vaccines or other Vaccine Centers?

Patient Care and Services Updates

Last Updated: August 27, 2021

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or have come into contact with someone who is, call our COVID-19 hotline at 304-399-3362. A Valley Health staff member will be able to assist you with scheduling a telehealth visit and locating a Valley Health testing location. COVID-19 testing is available at most health centers and can be conducted from the safety of your vehicle.


Last Updated: August 16, 2021

As COVID-19 variants arise and conditions change we must carefully analyze and react to the need to balance safety with access to care. Valley Health Systems remains committed to providing high-quality healthcare in person and through Telehealth, while maintaining important in-person protocols to keep our patients and our staff safe.

  • Infection Controls: All of our infection controls remain in place: we will continue to use entrance triage, vehicle waiting if you feel that you can safely do so, proper hand-washing, and social distancing in our offices.
  • Visitors: Patients are asked to come to appointments alone if they can safely do so. If you cannot come to an appointment alone, visitors accompanying you must be limited to one.
  • Waiting rooms vs. vehicles: We must continue to enforce social distancing, so our waiting room chairs will remain appropriately spaces and/or marked to allow for distancing.  If a patient is safe and comfortable waiting in their vehicle, they may continue to do so.

Thank you for helping keep one another safe and healthy as we all work together during this time.


Last Updated: April 5, 2021

Our Harbour Way vaccination clinic is accepting appointments for COVID-19 Vaccinations today! Please call the Harbour Way vaccination clinic location at 304.399.3343 (open 8:00am-4:30pm) to schedule an appointment. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations are also being offered at many of our other health centers! Please call your local Valley Health center to schedule an appointment. If the location you are calling is not currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations, they can help you get an appointment at one of our other facilities, such as our Harbour Way vaccination clinic. You can find your most convenient location here: 

Valley Health Locations

School-Based Vaccination Clinics Offered at Cabell High Schools this Week

Cabell County Schools is offering students age 16 and older an opportunity to receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the school day.

Working with its partners at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Valley Health Systems, Marshall University School of Pharmacy, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the West Virginia Department of Education, the district will operate student vaccine clinics at its high school facilities this week on the following schedule:

  • Cabell Midland High School - Wednesday, April 7, 8:00 to 11:00 AM
  • Huntington High School - Thursday, April 8, 8:00 to 11:00 AM
  • Cabell County Career Technology Center – Thursday, April 8, 12:30 to 3:30 PM

Release forms will be sent home with students at the end of the day Monday. Forms must be signed by a legal parent or guardian and returned to the school before a student may receive a vaccination. A printable copy of the form is available on the district’s website, www.cabellschools.com.

Again, a student must be 16 years of age or older to be eligible to receive the vaccine. Students should not have received any other vaccine, within 14 days prior to the school-based vaccination clinic and should not receive any vaccine until 14 days after the second dose has been given.

A date for students to receive the recommended second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be announced in the future. If you have COVID-19 or vaccine-related questions or concerns, please contact the Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline by calling (304) 526-3383.


Last Updated: March 16, 2021

As COVID-19 levels continue to decline, and as increasing numbers of people are getting vaccinated against the virus, we must carefully analyze and react to the need to balance safety with access to care. While Telehealth remains an option, we also recognize that critically important tools, like physical exams, vital signs, labs, immunizations, and other care elements are needed and cannot be easily performed via Telehealth. As we welcome you back into our offices for these important in-person visits here are some of the ways we plan to keep both our patients and staff safe.

  • In-person access: Unless the COVID-19 situation worsens in such a way that we need to reverse course, we will move towards more in-person care. If you still wish to be seen via Telehealth, and your provider doesn’t feel it necessary to see you in person, we will do our best to accommodate these requests.
  • Infection Controls: All of our infection controls remain in place: we will continue to use entrance triage, vehicle waiting if you feel that you can safely do so, proper hand-washing, and social distancing in our offices.
  • Visitors: Patients may now bring one visitor with them to appointments.
  • Waiting rooms vs. vehicles: We must continue to enforce social distancing, so our waiting room chairs will remain appropriately spaces and/or marked to allow for distancing.  If a patient is safe and comfortable waiting in their vehicle, they may continue to do so.

We really appreciate the resilience and caution shown over the past year, and we will continue to work together to stay safe and provide the best care possible to you, our patients. We are so excited to see you!


Last Updated: February 11, 2021

The safety of our patients always comes first. Due to the impending weather we have made the decision to reschedule all patients originally scheduled for their COVID vaccines today (2/11/21) to a different time this week. Our teams have been reaching out to all patients individually to set them up with a different appointment time. If you received a call from us about your appointment or if you have questions about a different clinic this week that you were scheduled for please call 304.399.3343 and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.


Last Updated: February 10, 2021

As we continue to follow the weather forecast we want to make sure we are putting your safety first. We have made the decision to reschedule all patients originally scheduled for their COVID vaccine Thursday, 2/11/21 to a different time this week. Our teams are attempting to reach out to each patient individually to talk through appointment options.

If you have received a call from us about your appointment tomorrow or if you have questions about other vaccination clinics this week please call 304.399.3343. Wait times for these clinics will be running on time and patients should not expect to wait for more than 30 minutes total. We ask that you arrive at your scheduled appointment time and not earlier. Thank you for your continued patience with the entire Valley Health team as we continue keeping our communities safe.


Last Updated: February 1, 2021

As we continue working to vaccinate our communities we want to share some updates. Valley Health continues to work with local and state agencies to set up vaccination events. We’re continuing to focus our efforts on the eligible population of 65 years old and older. At this time we do not know when we will have access to further vaccine allotments for healthcare workers or other populations but we will keep you updated as we learn more.

On Monday January 25th, online registration using the Everbridge platform started. All patients will need to register using the online portal at http://vaccinate.wv.gov. If assistance is needed with registration, please contact the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965. This line is open Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm and Saturday from 9am-5pm.

We appreciate your patience with us during these unprecedented times.


Last Updated: January 26, 2021

Valley Health is continuing to keep our communities safe by offering the COVID-19 vaccine as they are available.  If you are interested in being added to the vaccine registry please visit http://vaccinate.wv.gov. Patients who need assistance with registration may call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line for help at 1-833-734-0965. The call center is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this process.

We’re in this together!


Last Updated: January 19, 2021

Appointments with our Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at 1 Harbour Way in Milton are currently full, but individuals (65 and older) who are interested in being put on the waitlist should call: (304) 526-3383, or use the link below to register online. We will not be able to see anyone without an existing appointment. Thank you for your patience.

Click Here to Register


Last Updated: January 18, 2021

Dear patients, we are sure many of you are wondering about the COVID-19 vaccine and when it might become available to you as a patient. We are working very closely with the state and will be following the phases put forth by the Governor and his team regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. We will continue to provide updates to our patients via social media, email, and telephone to alert you when we are able to vaccinate you according to the governor’s plan.

The rollout process for vaccination moves quickly so please continue to be on the lookout for updates from us and if you receive a call from our office about your ability to get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of our locations, please try to return it promptly.

For more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan please visit: dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Vaccine


Last Updated: May 7, 2020

Thank you for choosing Valley Health to be your trusted healthcare provider through these unprecedented times. We want you to know that our team is here to support your medical needs in every way we can. While we are working diligently to safely re-open our health centers for in-office appointments, we continue to encourage all new and existing patients to utilize telehealth services for their care whenever possible.

As the State of West Virginia begins its plans to reopen, we at Valley Health want to take a moment to share with you how we plan to maintain employee and patient safety during this transition. Valley Health intends on being as cautious as we are able in the reopening of services. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to serve our patients predominantly through telehealth. Based upon the feedback we have received from providers and patients alike, telehealth has become critical in providing care to those who may be concerned with an in-person visit or who may be at high risk for COVID-19 complications. While we will continue to utilize telehealth your provider may recommend an in-person visit if necessary and appropriate. If you are seen for an in-person visit, rest assured that Valley Health will continue to follow strict infection control protocols to maintain the safety of patients and employees. Some of those protocols are below:

Visitors: Adult patients must attend appointments alone unless a visitor or aide is needed
Social Distancing: Patients must maintain a physical distance from each other and from staff except for when contact is needed for physical exam purposes.
Masks: All patients and staff must wear facemasks at all times. If you have a facemask, please wear it to your appointment. If you do not have a facemask, you will be given one upon entrance to the building.
Vehicle Waiting: You will be asked to wait in your vehicle if you are able to do so safely. You will be called to come into the building when the exam room is ready.
Online Check-In: To help keep you safe, soon you will have the ability to check-in from your car. When you arrive at your provider’s office please look for the signs with the directions on how to virtually check-in.
Sick symptoms: If you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, you will be asked to reschedule your routine or well visit. Please let us know if you are having symptoms. We are happy to see you for your illness through a telehealth visit or in-person if needed.
Disinfecting: Staff is going to follow infection protocols and will be routinely cleaning all common areas and exam rooms.

COVID-19 Testing Information

If you feel sick with fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, please call our COVID-19 Testing Hotline at 304-399-3362 to schedule a telehealth visit with a Valley Health provider.

During your virtual Telehealth visit, your Valley Health provider will review symptoms, exposure risk factors, medical history, medications and other relevant information. Based on the Telehealth evaluation, the provider will give recommendations, which may include additional screening at one of our screening sites.

All community members, including those seeing other health care professionals, are welcome to schedule a telehealth assessment.

For additional information on how to prepare for your telehealth appointment and how to access telehealth for routine medical and behavioral health care, please click here

Where Can I Get Tested for COVID-19?
Valley Health is now safely offering drive-thru/on-site screening at health centers across our network. Testing is open to all community members but restricted to those who have completed a telehealth assessment with a Valley Health provider and who have been instructed by their provider to proceed to a testing site. At this time, we are not taking outside provider lab orders at Valley Health screening locations.

How much does COVID-19 testing cost?
The cost for the COVID-19 diagnostic test is $120.00, however, our patients will not have any out of pocket expense for this testing.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, which appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19, and when do they start?
Symptoms of COVID-19 typically start 4 or 5 days after being infected with the virus. Some people may never show symptoms, or have very mild symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches or muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or diarrhea

How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread through particles from the infected person’s lungs and airway, and usually spreads when they cough, sneeze, or talk near other people.

It is easily passed between families and people who live together, but can be spread at gatherings where people talk closely together, hug, or share food or drink.

People can be infected and spread the virus without even having symptoms, and some strains or variants of the virus may be more contagious.

Can people who are vaccinated still spread the virus?
Vaccines work incredibly well to prevent serious illness and death, but nothing prevents 100 percent of infections. It is possible for a person who has been vaccinated to get COVID-19, and this is sometimes referred to as “breakthrough infections”. While it may seem that lots of breakthrough infections have been reported, most cases of COVID-19 are occurring in unvaccinated people.

Do I need to wear a mask after being vaccinated?
If you live in an area where COVID-19 is spreading quickly, experts recommend that you wear a mask indoors or around other people, or while traveling. Even if you have been vaccinated, it is still possible to get the virus and spread it to others.

What are the different variants of the virus that cause COVID-19?
Viruses can change or “mutate” which creates new strains or variants. Most of the time new variants won’t change how a virus works, but some can affect virus’s ability to spread and may make people sicker.

The more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 the harder it will be for the virus to spread and create new variants.

How long are you contagious?
Most people are no longer contagious by 10 to 14 days after their symptoms started, but it is important to talk to your doctor to figure out when you are no longer considered contagious.

How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?
Most people who get COVID-19 feel better within a few weeks. Those who experience more severe illness may have ongoing symptoms. Your recovery can depend on factors like age or overall health.

 

COVID-19 and Kids

Are COVID-19 symptoms different in children than adults?
Most COVID-19 symptoms are the same for children as it is for adults and include fever, cough, tiredness, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, diarrhea, or vomiting. Children are less likely than adults to have severe symptoms. Some children may not have any symptoms at all (asymptomatic). Serious symptoms may be more common in children who have certain health problems.

What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?
Call your child’s doctor. They can tell you what to do, including testing information and advice to best treat and care for your child.

How are children treated for COVID-19?
Most healthy children who get infected are able to recover at home. It is important that they get rest and stay hydrated. Monitor your child for worsening symptoms, and call your child’s doctor with any questions or concerns.

Can COVID-19 lead to other illnesses in children?
There are rare reports of children with COVID-19 experiencing inflammation throughout the body called Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This can be serious and lead to organ damage if not treated quickly.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Fever that lasts for longer than 24 hours
  • Belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Confusion, irritability, or being extra tired

Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any of these symptoms.

 

How can I talk to my child about the pandemic?

Helping your child feel comfortable during this time is especially important. Talking about COVID-19 shouldn’t increase your child’s anxiety-- knowledge is powerful and gives children reliable and predictable information about what is happening.

Make them feel safe by staying calm and reassure them that you are there to take care of them. Offer them comfort, but be truthful.

Let them lead the conversation, and ask what they already know. This will give you an idea of what they are concerned about, or if they have been hearing the wrong information.

If your child is expressing fear or anxiety, let them know that kids don’t seem to get as sick as adults. You can let them know that precautions like quarantining and social distancing help keep everyone safe.

You can be an example to your children by being vaccinated, washing your hands frequently and encouraging them to do the same, and wearing your mask.

COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Facts

There are many myths circulating about the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here are the facts.

Myth: The COVID-19 Vaccine can affect a woman's fertility.

Fact: According to Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H, a senior director of infection prevention, and Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of Critical Event Preparedness and Response at Johns Hopkins Medicine, "The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility. The truth is that the COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’s surface. This “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.

Confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility. The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss had not received the actual vaccine, but a placebo.

Getting COVID-19, on the other hand, can have potentially serious impact on pregnancy and the mother’s health. Learn more about coronavirus and pregnancy. Johns Hopkins Medicine encourages women to reach out to their medical providers to discuss other questions they have about COVID-19 as it relates to fertility or pregnancy."*

*For more information, please visit the John's Hopkins Medicine website here.


Myth: People with immunocompromising conditions should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact: The CDC says that people with HIV infection or other immunocompromising conditions or people who take immunosuppressive medications or therapies might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. No data are available to establish COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy in these groups. However, the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines and therefore can be safely administered to immunocompromised people. People with stable HIV infection were included in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, though data remain limited.

Immunocompromised people CAN receive COVID-19 vaccination. Data are currently insufficient to inform optimal timing of COVID-19 vaccination among people who are planning to receive immunosuppressive therapies. However, based on general best practices for vaccination of immunocompromised people, ideally COVID-19 vaccination should be completed at least two weeks before initiation of immunosuppressive therapies. When it is not possible to administer a complete COVID-19 vaccine series (i.e., two doses of an mRNA vaccine or a single dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine) in advance, people on immunosuppressive therapy can still receive COVID-19 vaccination. Decisions to delay immunosuppressive therapy to complete COVID-19 vaccination should consider the person’s risks related to their underlying condition.

People should be counseled about the unknown vaccine safety profile and effectiveness in immunocompromised populations, the potential for reduced immune responses, and the need to continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19.*

*For more information, please visit the CDC website here.


Myth: Researchers rushed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, so its effectiveness and safety cannot be trusted.

Fact: Studies found that the two initial vaccines are both about 95% effective — and reported no serious or life-threatening side effects. There are many reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines could be developed so quickly. Here are just a few:

  • The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were created with a method that has been in development for years, so the companies could start the vaccine development process early in the pandemic.

  • China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 promptly, so scientists could start working on vaccines.

  • The vaccine developers didn’t skip any testing steps, but conducted some of the steps on an overlapping schedule to gather data faster.

  • Vaccine projects had plenty of resources, as governments invested in research and/or paid for vaccines in advance.

  • Some types of COVID-19 vaccines were created using messenger RNA (mRNA), which allows a faster approach than the traditional way that vaccines are made.

  • Social media helped companies find and engage study volunteers, and many were willing to help with COVID-19 vaccine research.

  • Because COVID-19 is so contagious and widespread, it did not take long to see if the vaccine worked for the study volunteers who were vaccinated.

  • Companies began making vaccines early in the process — even before FDA authorization — so some supplies were ready when authorization occurred.


Myth: If I’ve already had COVID-19, I don’t need a vaccine.

Fact: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long people are protected from getting COVID-19 after they have had it (natural immunity). Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Several subjects in the Pfizer trial who were previously infected got vaccinated without ill effects. Some scientists believe the vaccine offers better protection for coronavirus than natural infection.


Myth: There are severe side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Fact: The Mayo Clinic states there are short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury. The early phase studies of the Pfizer vaccine show that it is safe. About 15% of people developed short lived symptoms at the site of the injection. 50% developed systemic reactions primarily headache, chills, fatigue or muscle pain or fever lasting for a day or two. Keep in mind that these side effects are indicators that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and are common when receiving vaccines.


Myth: More people will die as a result of a negative side effect to the COVID-19 vaccine than would actually die from the virus.

Fact: Circulating on social media is the claim that COVID-19's mortality rate is 1%-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely and is influenced by age, sex and underlying health condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While some people that receive the vaccine may develop symptoms as their immune system responds, remember that this is common when receiving any vaccine and not considered serious or life-threatening. You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines; they are inactivated vaccines and not live viruses.

It's important to recognize that getting the vaccine is not just about survival from COVID-19. It's about preventing spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that can lead to long-term negative health effects. While no vaccine is 100% effective, they are far better than not getting a vaccine. The benefits certainly outweigh the risks in healthy people.


Myth: I am allergic to eggs so I shouldn't get the COVID-19 vaccine

Fact: Neither the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine nor the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines contain egg nor were eggs used the development or production of either vaccine. However, those with severe allergic reactions to eggs or any other substance (i.e., anaphylaxis) are encouraged to remain after vaccination for 30 minutes for observation.

For more information, please visit the Mayo Clinic website here

Updated Location Hours

Valley Health has temporarily adjusted site hours to better ensure the safety of our patients and staff. To schedule, please call your preferred health center during normal business hours.

Temporarily Adjusted Hours:
Cabell County WIC | Monday– Friday: 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Kanawha County WIC | Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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