Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine answered by the Franklin County Department of HealthThe following frequently asked questions were created by Franklin County Public Health in a series of press releases on December 9th, 2020 , December 15th, 2020, December 30th, 2020, January 5th, 2021, January 13th, 2021, January 29th, 2021, February 16th, 2021, May 3rd, 2021, and October 1st, 2021.
Who is eligible to be vaccinated in New York?
Anyone who is 12 and older may be vaccinated against COVID-19.
When will children under 12 be eligible for vaccination?
On September 28th, Pfizer submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clear its COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 -11. The FDA is expected to take several weeks to analyze the data before it will grant emergency use authorization.
Pfizer states that trial data will be available for those 2-4 years of age by the end of this year.
What vaccines are available?
Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and New York State's independent Clinical Advisory Task Force for emergency use. They are:
- Pfizer (approved for those 12-15 years old)
- Moderna (approved for those 18 and older)
- Johnson and Johnson (approved for those 18 and older)
One vaccine has been fully approved for use by the FDA:
- Pfizer (approved for those 16 and older)
I want to be vaccinated or get a booster shot, how do I find a COVID-19 vaccine provider?
Go to https://vaccinefinder.org/. This site will direct you to vaccine that is within a 50 mile radius of your zip code.
Vaccines are available at Walmart, Walgreens, and Kinney Drug pharmacies.
Franklin County Public Health Services is arranging Pfizer booster clinics effective early October. Registration links will be posted when the clinics are scheduled.
COVID-19 vaccination information is posted on our website at https://covid19.franklincountyny.gov
What if I want to schedule a vaccination appointment and don't have a computer or access to the internet?
Give one of these agencies in Franklin County a call. They will help you find and make a vaccination appointment.
- Community Connections 518 521-3507
- Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living 518 891- 5295
- Office for the Aging 518 481-1526
- Public Health 518 481-1710
- COVID-19 Call Center 518 481-1111
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who does not have access to a computer or the internet.
Is it necessary to register for vaccination on the internet?
No. Not always. Many clinics are now open to people without prior registration. Look for clinics advertised as “Walk-in” or “Open”.
I need transportation assistance to my COVID-19 vaccination site. What are my options?
Below are three options available for Franklin County residents who need transportation assistance to their vaccination appointments:
Franklin County Public Transportation is available on the Demand Runs within Malone, Tupper Lake, and Saranac Lake. The hours of operation of these service are as follows:
Malone: 8:00am to 4:00pm (Monday- Friday)
Tupper Lake: 7:00am to 3:00pm (Monday- Friday)
Saranac Lake: 8:00am to 2:00pm (Monday –Friday)
This service can be used for transportation to and from pre-arranged COVID-19 vaccine appointments within those towns. There will be no fee charged for transportation services used to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Public Transportation requires a 24-hour notice to arrange transportation. Schedule these on demand appointments by calling 518-483-9000 (during business hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm).
Residents who have Medicaid can schedule transportation to a vaccine appointment by calling Franklin County Medicaid Transportation at 1-888-262-3975.
Contact the Franklin County Office for the Aging 518-481-1526, Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living 518 891- 5295, or Community Connections 518 521-3507 for assistance.
For one reason or another, I didn't get my scheduled 2nd dose of Moderna. Is it possible to get my 2nd dose at a Franklin County Public Health clinic?
Yes. People in need of their second dose of Moderna can come to one of our open clinics. We ask that people arriving for second doses bring their vaccination card or proof of first dose with them. This is especially important if the first dose was given outside of New York State – we will not be able to administer the vaccine without proof of first dose including type of vaccine and date administered. If you got your first dose in New York State, we should be able to look you up in our system. See us at one of our open clinics or call us at 518 481-1710 if you have any questions regarding a missed 2nd dose.
How many doses will I need?
Pfizer and Moderna require two doses of their vaccine. Johnson and Johnson requires one dose.
I'm vaccinated and I've been hearing I might need a booster shot –
On 9/26/21, New York State Department of Health approved COVID-19 booster shots for those who received the second dose of Pfizer vaccine more than 6 months ago and are:
- Age 65 and older,
- Residents and staff in long term care facilities,
- Age 18 and older and have underlying medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, obesity,
- Age 18 and older and work in high-risk settings including healthcare workers, teachers, grocery store workers.
Booster shot guidance for Moderna and J&J recipients will be forthcoming.
What about third doses for immunocompromised residents?
CDC and NYSDOH are recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who 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 (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
In these instances, a third dose is recommended 28 days after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
How much will it cost for me to be vaccinated?
The vaccines will be available at no cost. An administration fee may be billed to your insurance company.
Why should I get vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of contracting COVID-19, protects you from severe illness requiring hospitalization, and helps to eliminate the virus’ ability to mutate and create new variants. Getting vaccinated also helps to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as children 11 and under, from contracting COVID-19.
How do the vaccines work?
Pfizer and Moderna use a new messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid) technology in their vaccines. Both vaccines use a strip of genetic material to instruct cells to build the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus which teaches the immune system to recognize the real coronavirus.
Johnson and Johnson is an adenovirus vector vaccine. It employs a harmless cold virus to deliver a gene that carries the blueprint for the spiky protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. This primes the immune system to respond to future infections with Sars-Cov-2.
How do I find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and safety?
Some helpful links are:
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility app - https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Phases of Distribution - https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine
FAQs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine - https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/frequently-asked-questions-0
What should I do while waiting to get vaccinated?
While waiting to get vaccinated and until the population is fully vaccinated, it is strongly recommended that county residents continue to follow all of the safety measures that have been in place since March - wear face coverings, distance by 6 feet or more, wash hands often, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. During the colder months, limiting indoor socializing with people from other households is very important. Gather outside, in groups of 10 or less, whenever possible or make use of virtual meeting platforms to visit with friends and non-household family members as safely as possible. If you must socialize indoors with people from other households, wearing a face covering and distancing by at least 6 feet is now strongly recommended.