COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Please note: Grand Itasca is currently offering Pfizer vaccines to everyone 12 years of age or older. Third dose shots are now available to certain immunocompromised populations as well. Vaccines are available by appointment or walk-in Monday - Friday from 8 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 4:30 PM.
COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
After a 10-day pause in April, the CDC and FDA said on April 23 that health systems can resume giving out the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. The temporary pause gave experts time to review reports that a rare blood clot disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) was occurring in women younger than 50 after they received the vaccination.
More than 8 million doses of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) have been given out across the country. As of April 25, 2021, experts found 15 reports of the blood clot disorder in women under 50 – or a rate of approximately 0.9 per 1 million vaccinations.
Grand Itasca has resumed Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine at our sites based on these recently issued recommendations. We have every indication that the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is safe, and we consider the risk to patients to be extremely small. The chance of severe complications or hospitalization due to COVID-19 is far higher, and vaccination remains the fastest and safest way to end the pandemic.
If you have experienced concerning symptoms after receiving the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, please go to an emergency department, call 911, or reach out to your primary care provider.
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt for ease of receiving the vaccine.
- Wear a mask and maintain a social distance of six feet from others, when possible, at your appointment. Only those getting a vaccine should come to the appointment.
- After receiving the vaccination, you will be asked to wait nearby for a 15-minute observation period to monitor you for immediate adverse reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to a vaccine, you will be asked to wait nearby for a 30-minute observation period. Our vaccinators are prepared to respond to adverse reactions during the observation time. They will have access to EpiPens and guidance on how to care for individuals experiencing reactions.
- If you are pregnant, lactating (nursing) or have a weak immune system, review special details about the vaccine on the CDC Website.
- If you have questions, be sure to ask your regular care team before you arrive.
- After each dose of vaccine, we'll check on you through an online platform called GetWell Loop. If you have questions about this platform, please read about GetWell Loop: Frequently Asked Questions.
- Review the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, Moderna Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Emergency Use Authorization for more details about the vaccines.
. You will be scheduled for the second dose during your first vaccination appointment.
These vaccines are not interchangeable. For example, you should not mix a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with a second dose of the Moderna vaccine. If you received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine during your first appointment, then you should also get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine during your second dose, so that the vaccine is fully effective.
The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine comes in a single dose and uses a “vector vaccine” method. Vector vaccines use another weakened virus – in this case, it’s an adenovirus called Ad26 – to deliver genetic material that tricks your body into making a protein which stimulates your body’s immune response.
Boosters are not yet available for the general public but third dose shots are now approved for certain immunocompromised patients who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their first doses. Patients should get the same vaccine for their third dose as they had for the first two doses, however, if patients are unable to access that vaccine, they may get either of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) for their third dose. Patients who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not eligible for a third shot. Please note that patients receiving a third dose will need to wait 30 minutes following the administration of their vaccine.