COVID-19 Vaccine Program FAQs

En Español

Updated September 27, 2022

Q: What is the bivalent booster vaccine?

A: The bivalent booster is the updated booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that provides protection against both the original strain and the omicron variant. This booster vaccine provides broader protection against COVID-19. The bivalent booster vaccine is given at least 2 months after the completion of the primary series.

Q: Who should receive the Pfizer bivalent booster?

A: The Pfizer bivalent booster is approved for use in adults and children 12 and older. Children older than 12 who are immunocompromised or have chronic lung disease (including asthma) should receive the bivalent booster. Your primary care provider can help you determine whether your child should receive the bivalent booster at this time. To schedule a bivalent booster appointment, contact your CHOP Primary Care Office. Bivalent boosters are also available during well and acute care appointments.

At this time, the Pfizer bivalent booster is not approved for children under 12. Children 5-11 can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine and monovalent booster at their CHOP Primary Care Office. Learn more about CHOP’s COVID-19 vaccine program here.

Q: Can patients 12 and older receive the Pfizer monovalent booster?

A: Under the updated EUA, patients 12 and older are no longer able to receive the Pfizer monovalent vaccine as a booster dose.

Q: Can my child receive the bivalent booster if they received a monovalent booster in the past year?

A: Yes, patients 12 and older can receive the bivalent booster vaccine as long as it has been at least 2 months since they received the monovalent booster dose.

Q: Can my child receive the COVID19 bivalent booster vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time? 

A: Yes, it safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (including the bivalent booster for patients 12 and older) at the same time as the flu vaccine. Other routinely recommended vaccines are also safe to receive during the same visit as the COVID-19 vaccine.

How is the vaccine for children under 5 different?

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is for children ages 6 months to less than 5 years and is given in three separate doses. The Moderna vaccine is for children 6 months to less than 6 years and is given in two separate doses. Scientists are still determining if infants and children will require a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination for children under 5.  

How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine for my child at CHOP?

At this time, CHOP is vaccinating CHOP patients only. Visit our COVID-19 Vaccination Program website for the latest details and instructions.

Community Vaccine Clinics are also available. Learn more here.

You can also search the vaccine finder (available in English and Spanish) to find a vaccine provider near you. 

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

There is no cost to you for the COVID-19 vaccine; however, we do collect a vaccine administration fee from applicable insurers.

Are eligible children and young adults receiving the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?

Refer to the CDC for the latest COVID-19 vaccine guidance, including eligibility for different ages, dosage and more. 

What ingredients are in the COVID-19 vaccines?

Review the ingredients of the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects?

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, some people may feel tired and some will experience headache and muscle aches. These types of side effects are the result of your immune system responding to the vaccine. Learn more about side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what we know about the possibility of long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine:

If I or my child experiences a vaccine side effect, who should I call?

If you/your child is experiencing unusual side effects and you are concerned, follow your usual approach to contacting your care provider. Routine side effects can be treated symptomatically with acetaminophen or similar products.

Can I prevent side effects by taking pain reliever prior to receiving the vaccine?

We do not advise taking pain or fever relieving medications prior to being vaccinated.

The CDC has indicated that you can take anti-fever or anti-inflammatory medications if necessary following COVID-19 vaccination, but it is important to know that doing so could diminish the level of immunity that develops. Learn more here.

If I or my child previously tested positive for COVID-19, do I still need to get the vaccine?

People who had COVID-19 are still recommended to get the vaccine after they have recovered. Learn more here.

I am fully vaccinated. Do I still need to wear a mask and physically distance from other fully-vaccinated individuals?

With new variants emerging and fluctuating infection rates across the country, please refer to the CDC’s most recent guidance for masking best practices for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals.

Do fully vaccinated individuals need to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19?

People who have completed a vaccine series AND received a booster shot, do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days and test five days after exposure if possible. Refer to the CDC for the latest guidelines.

I’ve heard there is now medication to treat and prevent COVID-19. How can I get it for my child?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued emergency use authorizations for several new medications to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection.

  • Paxlovid is an oral medication used to treat COVID-19 in patients at high risk for progression to severe disease, including hospitalization or death
  • Sotrovimab is an intravenous (IV) medication used to treat COVID-19 in patients at high risk for progression to severe disease, including hospitalization or death
  • Evusheld is a preventative treatment given as  two injections to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients who are not expected to mount a sufficiently protective immune response to COVID-19 vaccination

While CHOP is now offering these treatments to eligible patients, demand is currently greater than supply. If your child is immunocompromised and has tested positive for COVID-19, contact your specialty care provider to discuss options. 

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