- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
All students, faculty, and staff are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Duke students, faculty and staff can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost by either scheduling an appointment for one of Duke's vaccination clinics.
Up-to-date COVID vaccination or an approved medical or religious exemption is required for all Duke students, faculty and staff. Anyone who received the COVID-19 vaccine outside of the Duke employee vaccination clinic (e.g. pharmacy, health department, other institution) can submit a completed vaccination card through Duke VaxTrax.
Initial vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart. The Pfizer booster only requires one dose. The Janssen vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) and booster shot requires one dose. Initial vaccination requires two consecutive doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines three or four weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. Duke is now administering Pfizer and limited supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those for whom the mRNA vaccine is contraindicated.
The CDC has said that individuals can choose any of the three boosters now authorized regardless of the manufacturer of their original dose(s). Duke medical experts suggest that anyone who received the J&J vaccine preferentially get a booster shot of Pfizer, which has been proven highly effective in preventing infection and severe illness.
The appointment for vaccination will take approximately 30 minutes, including a 15-minute observation period after receiving the vaccine.
Please bring your mobile phone; your employee ID; a government ID.
Yes, masks are still required inside all Duke owned and leased facilities, until further notice.
This requirement applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
There are many strict protections in place and steps taken during vaccine development to ensure that any vaccine authorized for use is proven to be safe and effective. Vaccine developers are required to go through a rigorous, multi-stage process including large (phase III) trials that involve tens of thousands of participants.
More than 70,000 people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities participated in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. Clinical trials for the three vaccines included White, Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian, and other races/ethnicities.
After the clinical trials show that the vaccines are safe and effective, a series of independent reviews and evidence is required to demonstrate efficacy and safety. The FDA is responsible for making sure that FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Duke experts in vaccine science reviewed all available safety and efficacy data for any authorized vaccine to ensure the evidence supports its broad use.
There is a potential for injection site reactions (redness, swelling, and pain) as well as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and/or joint pain. These are adverse reactions commonly seen with other vaccines. There may be other reactions that are not currently known. If you are receiving a two-dose vaccine, it is important that you receive the second dose to ensure the vaccine is effective, even if you experience side effects after the first dose.
If you have a severe allergic reaction following the first dose of a two-dose vaccine course, such as anaphylaxis, you should not receive the second dose. The incidence of this occurring is low, about one in six per million doses.
You can receive the vaccine if you have allergies to injectable medicines, antibiotics, pets, environmental substances, or foods. The three approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain egg protein, and are safe for people who have egg allergies. If you have questions about allergies, your doctor can help you determine if the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
Yes. Early findings suggest natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last long. More studies are needed. We generally recommend getting vaccinated 10 days from the isolation period after recovering from COVID-19 infection. Your natural immunity should protect you during this and it may allow non-immune people to get the vaccine sooner.
The COVID-19 virus poses serious health risks for pregnant women, who are at 3-fold increased risk for ICU admission, a 2.4-fold increased risk for needing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and a 1.7-fold increased risk of death due to COVID-19, compared with symptomatic nonpregnant patients.
COVID-19 vaccination protects you and your baby from severe disease. Vaccination with one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines is not associated with increased risks to your pregnancy, including miscarriage or poor pregnancy outcomes. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and our own Duke Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology have all issued guidance recommending that pregnant, postpartum and lactating individuals and those considering pregnancy receive the COVID-19 vaccination. There also is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause female or male fertility problems—problems getting pregnant.
The consensus of the medical community on this advice should help reassure individuals who need to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their unborn children. At Duke, we are deeply concerned for the health and well-being and of all of our employees and expect everyone to become vaccinated by the required deadline.
We also respect the unique and deeply personal wishes people have to control healthcare decisions during pregnancy. While we expect all of our employees to take advantage of medical advice and become vaccinated as soon as possible, we are also allowing employees to defer compliance with the policy until eight weeks after the completion of their pregnancy.
The approved COVID-19 vaccines were not studied in people who are breastfeeding. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no data indicating that the vaccines would be a risk to infants who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, discuss your concerns with your care providers. Duke Health will offer breastfeeding people the option to get vaccinated in accordance with North Carolina guidelines for vaccine distribution.
No. There is no evidence to suggest the vaccines cause infertility or affects your ability to become pregnant. A rumor on the Internet claims a protein created by the body after vaccination is similar to a protein that is needed for placental formation. This is not true. The proteins are not similar nor do they impact fertility or affect a pregnancy. The vaccine manufacturers are monitoring people in the clinical trials who became pregnant.
COVID-19 is signicantly more dangerous than the inflfluenza and is 10 times more likely to cause death than the flu. There can be very serous long-term effects from COVID-19, with some individual developing “long-hauler syndrome.”
COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. The vaccines deliver genetic material to our cells, which gives them instructions to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, that material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.