COVID-19 vaccines with HealthPartners & Park Nicollet

Latest COVID-19 vaccination eligibility

We’re able to schedule vaccination appointments for anyone 6 months old or older. You don’t have to be a current patient of ours to make an appointment.Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax) and Novavax vaccine appointments can be scheduled online.

Many moderately to severely immunocompromised vaccine recipients are eligible for an additional dose. This immunocompromised dose supplements the primary vaccine series.

Please note:

  • Novavax vaccine recipients aren’t eligible for immunocompromised doses at this time.
  • For Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 6 months through 4 years old, the primary series includes three doses, and no additional immunocompromised dose is recommended at this time.
  • The CDC recommends that your immunocompromised dose should be the same type as your primary vaccine series.
  • Many immunocompromised patients are also eligible for booster shots following their immunocompromised dose

    Many previous vaccine recipients are eligible for a bivalent booster shot.

    Bivalent booster shots help protect against the original strain of the coronavirus as well as newer variants, commonly called omicron. These boosters are currently available for many vaccine recipients who’ve completed their primary vaccination series. To be eligible for a bivalent booster shot, you must be:

    • At least 6 years old AND have completed your primary vaccination series; OR
    • 5 years old AND have completed your primary vaccination series with the Pfizer vaccine

    Bivalent booster shots first became available in September 2022. If you received a booster shot before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster shot now.

    People who are 6 years old or older may receive a bivalent booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Children who are 5 years old may receive a bivalent booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

    Monovalent booster shots of the Novavax vaccine which help protect against the original strain of the coronavirus are available instead of a bivalent booster shot for people who are 18 years old or older. Monovalent booster shots should be received 6 months after your primary series.

    COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children who are at least 6 months old may be scheduled online.

    • Additional information about the patient’s parent or guardian must be provided in order to schedule an appointment.
    • A parent or guardian should attend vaccine appointments with their child. Parental consent is required for anyone under 18 years old to be vaccinated.

    Preparing for your COVID-19 vaccine

    At your appointment, you’ll receive a COVID-19 vaccine currently approved or authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All vaccines are effective against COVID-19.

    The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine

    The Pfizer vaccine has been approved (as Comirnaty) for people 16 years old and older – it’s also been authorized for emergency use in people 6 months through 15 years old.

    • For most people, this vaccine requires two or three doses.
      • Children who are 6 months through 4 years old require three doses. The first two doses are given 21 days apart, while the third dose is given eight weeks after the second dose.
      • People who are at least 5 years old require two doses given 21 days apart. For some immunocompromised patients, an additional dose is recommended 28 days after the second dose.
      • People 64 years old or younger may consider waiting eight weeks for their second dose if they aren’t at high risk of severe COVID-19.
      • Please note: For Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 6 months through 4 years old, the primary series includes three doses, and no additional immunocompromised dose is recommended at this time.
    • For all patients at least 5 years old, a bivalent booster dose is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose.
      • Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now.
      • For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.
    • For detailed information, please review Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheets – Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine .

    The Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine

    The Moderna vaccine has been approved (as Spikevax) for people 18 years old or older – it’s also been authorized for emergency use in people 6 months through 17 years old.

    • For most people, this vaccine requires two doses given 28 days apart.
      • People 64 years old or younger may consider waiting eight weeks for their second dose if they aren’t at high risk of severe COVID-19.
      • For some immunocompromised patients, an additional dose is recommended 28 days after the second dose.
    • For all patients at least 6 years old, a bivalent booster dose is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose.
      • Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now.
      • For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.
    • For detailed information, please review Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheets – Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine .

    The Novavax vaccine

    The Novavax vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in people 12 years old or older.

    • This vaccine requires two doses given 21 days apart.
    • A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least two months after the second dose.
      • For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.
    • For detailed information, please review Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheets – Novavax vaccine .

    The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in people 18 years old or older.

    • This vaccine is given as a single dose.
      • An additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended for some immunocompromised patients 28 days after the single dose.
    • A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose.
      • Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now.
      • For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.
    • For detailed information, please review Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheets – Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine .

    We’re not currently offering the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.

    During your appointment

    Your appointment will last roughly 30 minutes, including check-in and consent, vaccination, and observation. Wear a T-shirt or other loose-fitting clothing so we can easily access your upper arm to deliver the vaccine.

    You’ll get a record card with information about the COVID-19 vaccine you received. Keep this card with your other important documents.

    If you need a second dose, immunocompromised dose or booster dose, we’ll help you schedule before you leave. Please bring your vaccination card with you to any future appointments.

    After your appointment: 5 things to do

    If you receive the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine, your initial vaccination requires two or three doses. Before you leave your first appointment, we’ll help you schedule future appointments for the right times.

    • An additional dose – at least 28 days after your second dose – is recommended for some immunocompromised patients who are at least 5 years old.
    • A bivalent booster dose –  at least two months after your most recent dose – is recommended for all patients who are at least 5 years old. (If you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters first became available in September 2022, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose.) Or you may also choose to receive a monovalent booster dose of the Novavax vaccine six months after your primary series.

    If you receive the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine, your initial vaccination requires two doses. Before you leave your first appointment, we’ll help you schedule future appointments for the right times.

    • An additional dose – at least 28 days after your second dose – is recommended for some immunocompromised patients.
    • A bivalent booster dose –  at least two months after your most recent dose – is recommended for all patients who are at least 6 years old. (If you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters first became available in September 2022, you’re also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose.) Or you may also choose to receive a monovalent booster dose of the Novavax vaccine six months after your primary series.

    If you receive the Novavax vaccine, your initial vaccination requires two doses. Before you leave your first appointment, we’ll help you schedule future appointments for the right times.

    • A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine –  at least two months after your most recent dose – is recommended for all patients. Or you may also choose to receive a monovalent booster dose of the Novavax vaccine six months after your primary series.

    If you receive the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, your initial vaccination is a single dose. Before you leave your appointment, we’ll help you schedule future appointments for the right times.

    • An additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine – at least 28 days after your single dose – is recommended for some immunocompromised patients.
    • A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine –  at least two months after your most recent dose – is recommended for all patients. (If you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters first became available in September 2022, you’re also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose.) Or you may also choose to receive a monovalent booster dose of the Novavax vaccine six months after your primary series.

    If you’re eligible for a future dose and you didn’t schedule it when you received a previous dose, you can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine dose online.

    V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that provides personalized health check-ins after you’re vaccinated. V-safe can also remind you to get your second dose. Through v-safe, you can report your health experiences to help keep COVID-19 vaccines safe for everyone.

    When you get vaccinated, you’ll receive information about how to enroll in v-safe. If you can’t find this information, giveus a call. V-safe is a service of the CDC – V-safe is not affiliated with HealthPartners.

    For the first 72 hours after vaccination, you may experience side effects. Symptoms are typically temporary, mild to moderate, and can be managed at home with over-the-counter remedies.

    • In some cases, children and teenagers may experience more side effects than adults. This is not unusual – because younger people tend to have stronger immune systems, the vaccine creates a more robust response as it trains the body.

    If you need help managing your side effects, or in the unlikely event they appear to be worsening, please call your doctor. You can also call our nurses 24/7 at 800-551-0859 (HealthPartners CareLine℠) or 952-993-4665 (Park Nicollet Nurse Line).

    VAERS

    The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national program managed by the CDC and FDA to monitor the safety of all vaccines licensed in the United States. VAERS (PDF) collects and reviews reports of adverse events that happen after vaccination.

    An “adverse event” is any health problem or “side effect” that happens after a vaccination. VAERS cannot determine if a vaccine caused an adverse event but can determine if further investigation is needed. VAERS is a service of the CDC and FDA – VAERS is not affiliated with HealthPartners.

    After you’ve been vaccinated, there are still steps you should take to help keep vulnerable people in your community safe and healthy.

    Store the vaccination card you received with your other important documents. You may need this card for future reference.

    In addition, after you complete your initial vaccination series, you can use myHP for iOS to add a proof of vaccination to your iPhone’s Apple Wallet (not available for patients under 18 years old).

    Not sure about the vaccines or have questions?

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. With so much information out there, sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. We’re here to help you feel confident about your choice to get vaccinated.

    Want a personalized vaccine consultation? You can schedule a virtual visit with one of our nurses or doctors. We can help you learn more about the vaccines so you can decide if you’d like to receive one.

    Below you can find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

    FAQs on availability

    You may be offered a COVID-19 vaccine during a regular in-person appointment at one of our clinics. If we can vaccinate you at that time, we’ll let you know and walk you through the process.

    If you’d like to make an appointment just for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can get vaccinated at one of our convenient locations in Minnesota or western Wisconsin. Different locations have different vaccines – you’ll be able to choose where you want to be vaccinated. Availability of vaccines may change from time to time.

    The Pfizer vaccine is available at:

    • HealthPartners Clinic – Arden Hills, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Bloomington, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Brooklyn Center, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Coon Rapids, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Maplewood, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Minneapolis, MN (Nokomis)
    • HealthPartners Clinic – St. Louis Park, MN (West End)
    • HealthPartners Clinic – St. Paul, MN (Como)
    • HealthPartners Clinic – St. Paul, MN (Wabasha)
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Stillwater, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – White Bear Lake, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Woodbury, MN
    • HealthPartners Health Center for Women – St. Paul, MN
    • HealthPartners Riverway Clinic – Anoka, MN
    • HealthPartners Riverway Clinic – Elk River, MN
    • Hutchinson Health – Hutchinson, MN
    • Melrose Center – St. Louis Park, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Brooklyn Center, MN (Brookdale)
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Champlin, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Chanhassen, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Golden Valley, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Lakeville, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Minnetonka, MN (Carlson Parkway)
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Rogers, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic & Specialty Center – Burnsville, MN (14000 Building)
    • Park Nicollet Clinic & Specialty Center – Shakopee, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic & Specialty Center – St. Louis Park, MN (3850 Building)
    • Olivia Hospital – Olivia, MN
    • Westfields Hospital – New Richmond, WI

    The Moderna vaccine is available at:

    • Amery Hospital & Clinic – Amery Clinic – Amery, WI
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Apple Valley, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Inver Grove Heights, MN
    • HealthPartners Clinic – Hudson, WI
    • HealthPartners Clinic – St. Paul, MN (Midway/Center for International Health)
    • HealthPartners North Suburban Family Physicians – Hugo, MN
    • HealthPartners North Suburban Family Physicians – Lino Lakes, MN
    • HealthPartners North Suburban Family Physicians – Roseville, MN
    • HealthPartners Riverway Clinic – Andover, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic ­– Bloomington, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic ­– Eagan, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Eden Prairie, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Minneapolis, MN (Blaisdell)
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Plymouth, MN
    • Park Nicollet Clinic & Specialty Center – Maple Grove, MN

    The Novavax vaccine is available at:

    • HealthPartners Clinic – Somerset, WI
    • Park Nicollet Clinic – Prior Lake, MN

    We’re not currently offering the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.

    Many of our Well@Work clinics and OB-GYN clinics also offer COVID-19 vaccines. Please call your clinic to get the latest details.

    The CDC currently recommends that many moderately to severely immunocompromised vaccine recipients get an additional dose. This immunocompromised dose supplements the primary vaccine series.

    • If your initial vaccination was with the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine, you can schedule your immunocompromised dose at least 28 days after your second dose. Your immunocompromised dose should be the same type as your first and second dose.
    • If your initial vaccination was with the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, you can schedule your immunocompromised dose at least 28 days after your single dose. Your immunocompromised dose should be the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
    • Novavax vaccine recipients aren’t eligible for immunocompromised doses at this time.
    • For Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 6 months through 4 years old, the primary series includes three doses, and no additional immunocompromised dose is recommended at this time.
    • Many immunocompromised patients are also eligible for booster shots following their immunocompromised dose.

    Many previous vaccine recipients are eligible for a bivalent booster shot.

    Bivalent booster shots help protect against the original strain of the coronavirus as well as newer variants, commonly called omicron. These boosters are currently available for many previous vaccine recipients who’ve completed their primary vaccination series.

    If you’re at least 6 years old AND you’ve completed your primary vaccination series, you’re eligible for a booster shot at least two months after your most recent dose.

    If you’re 5 years old AND you’ve completed your primary vaccination series with the Pfizer vaccine, you’re eligible for a booster shot at least two months after your most recent dose.

    Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022. If you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now.

    People who are 6 years old or older may receive a bivalent booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Children who are 5 years old may receive a bivalent booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

    Monovalent booster shots of the Novavax vaccine which help protect against the original strain of the coronavirus are also available six months after your primary series for people who are 18 years old or older.

    Yes. Anyone who is eligible for a second, immunocompromised or booster dose can schedule it at HealthPartners, regardless of where you received your previous dose(s).

    Yes. You may have vaccine access through your nursing home, pharmacies, the Veterans Health Administration (the VA), your employer or the state.

    For vaccinations (except at Veterans Health Administration) in Minnesota or Wisconsin, your medical record will be automatically updated during your next appointment with us. There’s nothing else you need to do.

    For vaccinations at Veterans Health Administration or in other states, please bring your vaccination card with you to your next appointment with us. We’ll use the information on your card to update your medical record.

    After you get vaccinated, you’ll get a record card with information about the COVID-19 vaccine you received. Keep this card with your other important documents.

    In addition, after you complete your initial vaccination series, you can use myHP for iOS to add a proof of vaccination to your iPhone’s Apple Wallet (not available for patients under 18 years old).

    We’re dedicated to equity in vaccine distribution.

    The CDC also emphasizes the importance of equity , noting, “To reduce the substantial toll COVID-19 has had on individuals and communities, we need to work together to address inequities in the social determinants of health that increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for racial and ethnic minority groups.”

    FAQs on eligibility

    COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children who are at least 6 months old may be scheduled online.

    • Additional information about the patient’s parent or guardian must be provided in order to schedule an appointment.
    • A parent or guardian should attend vaccine appointments with their child. Parental consent is required for anyone under 18 years old to be vaccinated.

    For your initial vaccination, you should complete your series as recommended:

    • For Pfizer (Comirnaty) recipients who are 6 months through 4 years old, three doses with a 21-day gap between the first and second dose and an eight-week gap between the second and third dose
    • For Pfizer (Comirnaty) recipients who are at least 5 years old, two doses that are 21 days apart for most people
    • For Moderna (Spikevax) recipients, two doses that are 28 days apart for most people
    • For Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) recipients, one single dose
    • For Novavax recipients, two doses that are 21 days apart

    For an additional immunocompromised dose (if you’re eligible):

    • If your initial vaccination was with the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine, your immunocompromised dose should also be with the Pfizer vaccine.
    • If your initial vaccination was with the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine, your immunocompromised dose should also be with the Moderna vaccine.
    • If your initial vaccination was with the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, your immunocompromised dose should be with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
    • If your initial vaccination was with the Novavax vaccine, you’re not eligible for an immunocompromised dose at this time.

    For a booster dose (if you’re eligible):

    • If you’re 5 years old AND a Pfizer vaccine recipient, you should receive the Pfizer bivalent vaccine.
    • If you’re at least 6 years old, you can choose to receive the Pfizer (Comirnaty) bivalent vaccine or Moderna (Spikevax) bivalent vaccine.
    • If you're at least 18 years old, you can choose to receive the Novavax monovalent vaccine instead of a bivalent vaccine.

    The CDC recommends all people who are pregnant or breastfeeding get vaccinated against COVID-19. This recommendation is based on an analysis of nearly 2,500 pregnant people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series before 20 weeks of pregnancy. In particular, the rate of miscarriages among pregnant women who received a COVID-19 vaccine was similar to the expected rate of miscarriage among all women. This suggests there isn’t any evidence for an increased risk of miscarriage due to vaccination.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, also recommend pregnant or nursing mothers get vaccinated against COVID-19. To help you make an informed decision, discuss COVID-19 vaccination with your doctor or midwife.

    Yes. While there’s likely some natural immunity following a COVID-19 infection, immunity can vary by individual. And natural immunity may be weaker if you had a mild or asymptomatic infection.

    Vaccination is recommended as soon as your COVID-19 symptoms resolve and your isolation period has passed.

    No, you can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine if you currently have COVID-19.

    Follow the CDC’s isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19 . After your isolation ends, you can then get vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Yes. There’s no waiting period between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and receiving other vaccines – you can receive your vaccines on any schedule, or at the same time.

    It’s especially important for kids and teens to keep up with their doctor-recommended vaccination schedule while also getting protected against COVID-19.

    If you were vaccinated outside the U.S., we recommend scheduling a nurse consultation. During your phone visit, we’ll learn more about which vaccine(s) you received and tell you which follow-up doses are recommended.

    If you’re currently enrolled in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial, you can learn whether you received a placebo or the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is called unblinding.

    If you’re interested in another vaccine, please call 651-254-5331 to start the unblinding process. Unblinded participants are still eligible to continue in the study.

    • Unblinded participants who received a placebo should schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. You’ll receive a COVID-19 vaccine that’s currently approved or authorized for use in the U.S.
    • Unblinded participants who received the AstraZeneca vaccine are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose.
      • An additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, at least 28 days after your final AstraZeneca dose, is recommended for some immunocompromised patients.
      • A booster dose may be needed. To learn more, we recommend scheduling a nurse consultation.

    If you’re currently enrolled in a COVID-19 vaccine trial and you’re interested in an approved or authorized vaccine, please contact your trial’s administrator. Your trial’s administrator can tell you more about unblinding procedures so you can learn whether you received a placebo or an active vaccine.

    • Unblinded participants who received a placebo should schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. You’ll receive a COVID-19 vaccine that’s currently approved or authorized for use in the U.S.
    • Unblinded participants who received an active vaccine should schedule a nurse consultation. During your phone visit, we’ll learn more about which vaccine(s) you received and tell you which follow-up doses are recommended.

    If you can’t be vaccinated because you’re allergic to components of the COVID-19 vaccines or your immune system wouldn’t respond strongly enough, you may be able to receive monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that have proven effective at helping prevent COVID-19. Supply of this medicine, called Evusheld, is very limited.

    • If you’re a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient and you may be eligible for Evusheld, we’ll call you to schedule an appointment as our supply allows.
    • If you’re not a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient and you think you may be eligible for Evusheld, call a clinic or schedule a video visit to discuss your options.

    Evusheld isn’t a substitute for vaccination in people who are able to be vaccinated.

    While the cost of the actual vaccine is covered by the federal government, insurance plans will cover the cost of administering the vaccine – you won’t pay anything.

    HealthPartners health plan members have 100% coverage for the COVID-19 vaccine. Most other health plans are covering it as well.

    If you have any further questions, please check with your insurance company by calling the Member Services number located on your ID card.

    FAQs on effectiveness and safety

    We’re here to help you get trusted answers about the vaccines so you can feel confident in your choice to get vaccinated.

    Yes. The data suggest all currently approved or authorized vaccines are effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, with the greatest protection coming against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

    You must complete your full vaccine series for maximum protection. Efficacy of incomplete series has not been systematically evaluated. If you’re not sure whether you’ve completed your full vaccine series, please contact your care team.

    All vaccines are effective, and all vaccines are considered clinically equivalent in preventing hospitalization and death due to severe COVID-19.

    Given the excellent performance and effectiveness of all vaccines in this important measurement, we strongly encourage you to receive any approved or authorized vaccine that’s offered.

    No. The vaccines have always been effective and continue to offer excellent protection against COVID-19.

    With some vaccines (like tetanus or flu), your body’s immune response may decrease over time. Booster shots are a normal way to restore and extend a vaccine’s protection against illness.

    As scientists learn more about COVID-19, how it spreads and how to fight it, booster shots have emerged as an important tool. That means getting a booster shot can help make you, your friends and family, and your community safer and healthier.

    Very few vaccines are 100% effective, and the COVID-19 vaccines are no exception. Therefore it’s still possible for a person to get COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. The vaccines themselves do not cause COVID-19.

    If you do get COVID-19 after you’re vaccinated, your illness will very likely be less severe than if you hadn’t been vaccinated.

    All vaccine manufacturers must meet strict safety standards. These standards were established before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the COVID-19 vaccines went through the same rigorous clinical trials that other vaccines go through.

    While the COVID-19 vaccines do seem to cause more side effects than a typical flu vaccine, all evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines are very safe. Side effects are a sign the immune system is responding as it should.

    Based on the latest evidence and analysis, the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine may be associated with an increased risk of blood clots and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    Please note: Serious side effects after the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are extremely rare. Getting the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine remains a better choice than not getting any vaccine at all. To learn more, please schedule a nurse consultation.

    If you previously received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, serious side effects are extremely unlikely. However, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Leg swelling
    • Persistent abdominal pain
    • Severe or persistent headaches
    • Blurred vision, double vision or inability to move your eyes
    • Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection
    • Weakness or tingling sensations (especially in the legs or arms)
    • Difficulty walking
    • Difficulty with facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
    • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function

    No, there’s no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect development or fertility.

    The vaccines don’t change the body’s DNA or functioning in any way. Instead, they teach the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the coronavirus in case it’s ever encountered.

    The immune system is separate from the reproductive system, so there’s no reason to believe a vaccine would affect fertility, future offspring, or growth and development.

    If you still have questions, we recommend you talk with a doctor or talk with a nurse.

    The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine

    For most people, the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine requires two or three doses to be effective.

    • Children who are 6 months through 4 years old require three doses. The first two doses are given 21 days apart, while the third dose is given eight weeks after the second dose.
    • People who are at least 5 years old require two doses given 21 days apart. For some immunocompromised patients, an additional dose is recommended 28 days after the second dose.
    • People 64 years old or younger may consider waiting eight weeks for their second dose if they aren’t at high risk of severe COVID-19.
    • Please note: For Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 6 months through 4 years old, the primary series includes three doses, and no additional immunocompromised dose is recommended at this time.

    For all patients at least 5 years old, a bivalent booster dose is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose. Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now. For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.

    The Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine

    For most people, the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine requires two doses given 28 days apart.

    • People 64 years old or younger may consider waiting eight weeks for their second dose if they aren’t at high risk of severe COVID-19.
    • For some immunocompromised patients, an additional dose is recommended 28 days after the second dose.

    For all patients at least 6 years old, a bivalent booster dose is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose. Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now. For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.

    The Novavax vaccine

    The Novavax vaccine requires two doses given 21 days apart.

    A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least two months after the second dose. For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.

    The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine

    The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is given as a single dose.

    • An additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine – at least 28 days after your single dose – is recommended for some immunocompromised patients.

    A bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least two months after your most recent dose. Bivalent booster doses first became available in September 2022 – if you received a booster dose before bivalent boosters were available, you're also eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose now. For patients 18 years old and older a monovalent booster shot of the Novavax vaccine is available instead of a bivalent booster shot six months after your primary series.

    For the first 72 hours after vaccination, you may experience side effects. Symptoms are typically temporary, mild to moderate and can be managed at home with over-the-counter remedies.

    • In some cases, children and teenagers may experience more side effects than adults. This is not unusual – because younger people tend to have stronger immune systems, the vaccine creates a more robust response as it trains the body.

    If you need help managing your side effects, or in the unlikely event they appear to be worsening, please talk to your doctor. You can also call our nurses 24/7 at 800-551-0859 (HealthPartners CareLine℠) or 952-993-4665 (Park Nicollet Nurse Line).

    No. COVID-19 and the flu are caused by two different viruses. To be protected from both, you need two different vaccinations. You can get both vaccinations at the same time.

    We recommend everyone who’s able to get the COVID-19 vaccine does so.

    We don’t yet know enough about COVID-19 to know if population (herd) immunity is possible through vaccination. That’s what happens when a majority of the population is immune to a disease and protects those who aren’t by stopping the spread of it. We also don’t yet know how long population immunity could take to reach, even if it is possible.

    Vaccination is the best and clearest way to stop the spread of COVID-19 without many more people getting sick.