For more information on Prisma Health’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, sites and news, visit: https://prismahealth.org/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine
Will the vaccine be mandatory for students, faculty & scholars?
At this time, there are no plans to make the vaccine mandatory.
When and how will the vaccine be offered to students, faculty & scholars?
As of Feb. 1, Prisma Health transitioned to using MyChart, which utilizes Epic, for booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments at our locations instead of the CDC Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) platform. The change will allow us to register patients more easily, manage appointments more effectively, and provide better technical assistance.
How will I schedule my second/follow-up COVID-19 vaccine appointment?
If you have an appointment in VAMS, keep that appointment. Your appointment will be moved to MyChart, and you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have a MyChart account, the email will contain an activation link to sign up. You are not required to sign up for MyChart, but if you want to schedule an appointment for your second dose versus walking in and waiting in line, you will need a MyChart account after Feb. 28.
If you do not have an appointment in VAMS for the second dose, you can sign-up for a second dose appointment in MyChart or walk in to a Prisma Health vaccination site. Please indicate that you have already received your first dose and need to schedule your second.
If I receive an invite to take the vaccine but want to wait, will I be able to schedule an appointment at a later time?
Yes, but as of January 5, 2021, South Carolina Governor McMaster has stated that all individuals who are in the priority group 1a must schedule their vaccine by January 15, 2021 or they will go to the “back of the line.” This will likely cause delays in future scheduling opportunities if you choose to wait. Your enrollment in the CDC’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) will remain but it’s important that you go ahead and make an appointment if you’re interested in remaining in this priority group.
Will the vaccine cost anything?
No, the vaccine will be free for students, faculty & scholars. For additional details, visit SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (SC DHEC) COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination FAQs page here.
Which pharmaceutical company will be the provider of the Prisma Health supply?
At this time, our initial supply will be the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech.
How do I know if I should get the vaccine through my university or through Prisma Health?
Students, faculty or scholars should get their COVID-19 vaccine throughout whichever entity is able to offer it to them first.
If I experience any side effects to the vaccine and need to take time off from my clinical rotation, what do I do?
Those needing to take time off are asked to do so through the normal process. Please connect directly with your supervisor or preceptor at Prisma Health and/or your university faculty/coordinators to discuss any time away from your clinical rotation.
What should I do if I experience symptoms following my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Temporary symptoms such as fatigue and body aches represent the normal immune response and are experienced more frequently after the second vaccine dose. For most, these symptoms are not to the degree where activity is limited. You are clear to continue working.
- If symptoms extend or worsen beyond two days, call Employee Health at 803-434-2431 (Midlands) or 864-454-2358 (Upstate).
- A fever can also occur as part of the body’s normal immune response. Individuals should not work until they have gone 24 hours without fever.
Respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell are not related to the vaccine. If you experience these symptoms, call Employee Health at 803-434-2431 (Midlands) or 864-454-2358 (Upstate).
Will masks still be required for those who get vaccinated?
Yes. All team members, students, faculty & scholars will continue to follow Prisma Health’s Universal Masking policy.
Will the vaccine be available to our direct family members?
No. This wave of vaccine distributions is intended for team members, students, faculty & scholars.
What is the plan for public roll-out of the vaccine?
We expect to be able to offer the vaccine to the public throughout early 2021 using a phased approach. First responders are being offered the vaccine now. Next will be essential workers and individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19, followed by the general public.
I had COVID-19 and recovered. Do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. If you have had a positive COVID-19 test, you should still be vaccinated.
If I am currently COVID positive, can I still be vaccinated?
Those who are currently COVID positive must wait to receive the COVID vaccine until they are officially cleared to return to the clinical learning environment (CLE) by Prisma Health Employee Health. Typically this is approximately 10 days if the student is asymptomatic and afebrile (without fever).
Exception: If individuals have been treated with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID treatment, it is recommended that they wait 90 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
I have tested positive for antibodies. Should I wait to be vaccinated?
No, you do not have to wait. You can receive the vaccine even with a positive antibody test.
Is the vaccine safe for someone who is pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak with your primary care provider before taking the vaccine. At this time, no clinical trial data exists for those that are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is the vaccine recommended for people with allergies?
Yes. Only individuals with severe anaphylactic allergic reactions should hold off on receiving the vaccine as we learn more.
What if I need to receive other vaccines? Can I get them at the same time?
No, the COVID vaccine cannot be taken within 14 days of receiving any other vaccine. In addition, the CDC recommends waiting 4 weeks after receiving the COVID vaccine before getting a PPD or Quantiferon blood test. There is no harm if someone gets these tests within 4 weeks of the vaccine, but it may potentially produce a false positive.
Many answers to questions can be found on the SC DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination FAQs page and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine information page. These pages will continue to be updated with the latest information, including:
- Potential side effects.
- Vaccine safety.
- Vaccine effectiveness.
- Overview of available vaccines, their differences and how they work.