COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Updated 04/13/21

Vaccine Pre-registration

Vaccine 

COVID-19 General Questions

Second Dose Vaccine Questions

Vaccine Pre-registration

I already registered for my vaccine, but haven’t heard anything yet; when and where can I get my vaccine?

The pre-registration portal is intended to identify individuals interested in the vaccine and to establish a means of communication with the health department for when doses of vaccine are available for eligible populations.

The availability of appointments is dictated by the local supply of vaccines. Thus far, the supply has been very small. When doses become available, invitations to schedule an appointment are sent to community members. Upon scheduling an appointment for vaccination, individuals will be given a time and location for their vaccine clinic.

Where can I go to get my vaccine?

Upon scheduling an appointment for vaccination, you will be given a time and location for a vaccine clinic. There are no “walk-up” vaccine clinics at this time.

Why is it that people who are not immune compromised can get vaccinated but I can’t?

Currently, our supply of vaccines has been very small and remains unpredictable from week to week. The Health Department is working with local medical providers to identify those at highest risk due to pre-existing health conditions. While the Health Department hasn't received enough doses locally to complete vaccinations within all early priority populations, they are making progress.

How is the Health Department going to know what category we fall into i.e. essential worker, health care, etc.?

Pre-registration does not replace prioritization due to work, service or health conditions. The health department is working directly with the local medical community and employers to identify those at most risk due to pre-existing health issues or the nature of their work.

I missed my appointment – what do I do now?

Check the reminder email you received after scheduling your vaccination appointment for a link to reschedule.

No. Currently, our supply of vaccines has been very small and remains unpredictable from week to week. When you share your link with someone, you are taking a vaccine away from someone else.

While the Health Department hasn't received enough doses locally to complete vaccinations within all early priority populations, they are making progress. We ask all citizens to please be patient.

What information is collected during pre-registration?

Name, date of birth, home address, email, phone number (cell or home) and name of primary care provider. No personal health information will be collected. 

Is pre-registration required? 

It is not required, however, the Calvert County Health Department is encouraging pre-registration in order to prioritize individuals desiring the vaccination and to help demonstrate local demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Should I pre-register my children?

Currently, the Calvert County Health Department is only pre-registering adults 18 and older. Additional information will be provided when the Health Department can begin registering individuals under the age of 18.

How do I pre-register an individual with special needs for whom I am the primary caregiver?

Enter the individual’s information (name, date of birth, home address) for the individual 18 years of age or older. Please provide your phone contact information on the registration form.

How do I pre-register an elderly person for whom I am the primary caregiver?

Enter the individual’s information (name, date of birth, home address) for the individual. Please provide your phone contact information on the registration form.

Will the information provided for the pre-registration remain confidential/HIPPA compliant?

Yes. Your information will only be accessed by the Calvert County Health Department. No personal health information will be collected during pre-registration.

When and how will I be notified of when I can receive the vaccine?

The Calvert County Health Department will contact you when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for you to arrange an appointment. 

When will I be able to get vaccinated?

The goal of the Calvert County Health Department is to ensure everyone who wants to be vaccinated can do so as soon as possible. Vaccine supply is very limited, and it could be weeks or months before you are able to receive your vaccination. The Health Department is working within the state of Maryland guidelines for vaccine distribution.

A concerted effort between the Calvert County Health Department, Calvert County Government, and CalvertHealth Medical Center is in place to administer available vaccine doses as quickly as possible. 

COVID-19 General Questions


What symptoms occur with COVID-19?

COVID-19 is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms vary from individual to individual. Please visit symptoms and warning signs for additional information. 

What information is available about the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 disease?

The Center for Disease Control provides a guidance on a variety of information topics related to COVID-19 for the general public. Please visit their COVID-19 FAQs for more detailed information.

Vaccine Questions


How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. For more information, please visit the CDC website on how vaccines work.

How many vaccines are available to prevent people from getting infected?

There are three COVID-19 vaccines that have received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after thorough review for safety and effectiveness. 

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received authorization for individuals 16 and older. The Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine was approved for individuals 18 and older. Both vaccines require two doses. 
  • The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine was approved for individuals 18 and older. This vaccine requires one dose. 

Are the COVID-19 Vaccines safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for three COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data and findings from large clinical trials. Please visit the vaccine safety page for additional information.

Can I choose which vaccine to get?

Local health department supply is determined by allocation from the state. The availability of specific vaccines will vary from clinic to clinic based on this supply. Health department vaccine clinics will administer the vaccine that is available at the time of each respective clinic.

Is it possible to make comparisons about the effectiveness among the three COVID-19 vaccines that the FDA has authorized for emergency use to date?

No. The only way to accurately compare the effectiveness of medical products, such as vaccines or drugs, is by direct comparison in head-to-head clinical trials, which did not occur for these vaccines. Furthermore, the clinical trials for these vaccines occurred in different geographic regions and at different points in time with varying incidence of COVID-19, as well as varying incidence of COVID-19 variants.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

How effective are the vaccines?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in clinical trials, both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were shown to be about 95% effective at preventing severe illness caused by COVID-19. In clinical trials, the Janssen vaccine was shown to be 85% effective at preventing severe illness.

Were the vaccines tested in people of different races, ethnicities and ages?

Yes. All approved COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials that included participants who roughly correspond to the racial, ethnic and age distribution of the U.S. population.

Which vaccine(s) are available in Calvert County?

All three authorized vaccines are available in Calvert County.

How are the vaccines administered?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses delivered via an intramuscular injection in the arm. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a second dose at 21 days. The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose at 28 days. The second dose of vaccine must be the same brand of vaccine as the first dose. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is also delivered via intramuscular injection, but only requires one dose.

Why do I need a second dose?

Research shows that the second dose increases the short-term protection of the vaccine and sustains immunity compared to a single dose, which is common with vaccines. The first dose stimulates your immune system and the second dose strengthens the immune response.

How long will I be protected from COVID-19 after I am vaccinated?

Researchers continue to monitor people who received vaccinations during the study trials. It is likely that protection will last for at least several years, but they will not know for certain until more time passes.

Are the vaccines effective against COVID-19 variants?

Yes. Studies indicate that the currently authorized vaccines are effective against the COVID-19 variants that have been identified in the United States. Ongoing monitoring of variants and research on vaccine effectiveness will continue.

Should I pre-register for vaccination if I have already tested positive and recovered from COVID-19?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. Please visit the CDC guidance on vaccination for individuals who have already had COVID-19.

Are there dangerous side effects?

As of today, there have been an extremely small number of potentially dangerous allergic reactions. Please visit the CDC what to expect after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination for information on potential side effects.

What should I do to protect myself until I can receive my vaccination?

To best protect yourself until you receive the vaccine, you should continue to avoid crowds, practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.

Why can’t I get vaccinated now?

The Calvert County Health Department’s goal is to ensure everyone who wants to be vaccinated is able to do so as soon as possible.

It is important to remember that the national supply and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines has been very limited preventing widespread distribution of vaccines across Maryland. Due to the very limited vaccine supply, national and state experts prioritized who received the vaccine first based on certain criteria. Please visit the vaccination phase plan for more information.

Can I get vaccinated by my medical provider? 

Not at this time. The Calvert County Health Department is working with Calvert County’s primary care practices to prepare them for administering vaccines once authorized and supply is available. 

Can I get vaccinated at my pharmacy? 

Some local pharmacies are providing vaccination appointments. Visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine to find locations where vaccination is available. Each pharmacy offering vaccination appointments has their own registration process. Pharmacy appointments are not coordinated with the pre-registration process established in Calvert County.

Where will I receive my vaccination?

When the Calvert County Health Department contacts you to receive your vaccination, you will be provided detailed instructions on where to receive the vaccine.

What do I do if I do not have transportation to receive the vaccine?

The Calvert County Health Department will collect information during appointment registration to identify individuals who may need assistance with transportation. The Health Department is coordinating with the Calvert County Government Department of Community Resources, Division of Public Transportation to assist individuals in coordinating transportation needs to receive the vaccine. The Health Department is also working with the Calvert County Office on Aging to identify transportation needs of senior citizens.

Second Dose Vaccine Questions (Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines)


Why do I need a second dose? 

Research on these vaccines shows that the second dose increases the short-term protection of the vaccine and sustains immunity compared to a single dose, which is common with vaccines. The first dose stimulates your immune system and the second dose strengthens the immune response. 

Why does the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine only require a single dose?

After a comprehensive review of the available data, the Food and Drug Administration determined that the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine met the standards for effectiveness and safety appropriate for emergency use authorization. 

Can the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine be used to complete a vaccination series initiated with another COVID-19 vaccine?

No, this scenario has not been tested. The second dose of vaccine must be the same brand of vaccine as the first dose

Although the second dose of vaccine should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible (28 days for the Moderna or 21 days for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine), this is not always possible. Even if it is a few days after the recommended date, get the second dose as soon as possible to maximize your protection. It is better to get the second dose late, rather than not at all.  A delay of up to 30 days will still yield optimal results. 

NOTE: At the time of the first dose, you will be given a vaccination card with the information about the vaccine you received. Your second dose of vaccine must be from the same manufacturer (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech) as the first dose.    

How will I be notified to schedule my second dose?

You will be contacted in the same way you were contacted for the first dose. If you were contacted by email, you will be contacted again by email; if you were contacted by phone, you will be contacted again by phone. 

IMPORTANT: You must receive both vaccine doses from the same source (health department clinic, mass vaccination site, pharmacy, etc.). If you have registered through multiple providers, be vigilant when you receive a second appointment invitation and ensure you schedule your second dose with the same provider.

I registered for vaccination through multiple sources and have received my first dose. Can I get my second dose someplace else?

You must receive both vaccine doses from the same source (health department clinic, mass vaccination site, pharmacy, etc.). If you have registered through multiple providers, be vigilant when you receive a second appointment invitation and ensure you schedule your second dose with the same provider.