- View MCN’s vaccination plan.
- Call our Vaccine Information Line 24/7.
- The news from Pfizer/BioNTech’s new vaccine is a cause for hope. Neil Lamb, PhD, Vice President for Educational Outreach at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology helps us understand what the November vaccine announcement tells us as well as what it doesn’t tell us. View the video here.
COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
All vaccines follow strict tests and trials before being approved and available to the general public. Although COVID-19 vaccines were created quickly, safety and efficacy were not compromised during the development or approval process. There will be continued monitoring for any adverse events associated with receiving the vaccine. More information is available at the CDC.
- What is the purpose of clinical trials in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine?
A trial is used to check the safety and efficacy of a vaccine. The trials for the COVID-19 vaccines included a large number of volunteers. Half of the volunteers are given the vaccine and the other half a placebo. To avoid bias, the researchers and participants are not told which group receives the vaccine or the placebo until the results have been analyzed. All of the findings are verified independently. The COVID-19 trials have been accelerated; however, they have not skipped any required steps.
- How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The Pfizer vaccine (which is currently available) and the Moderna vaccine (recommended by the FDA for approval), utilize mRNA genetic code to cause an immune response. These do not alter human cells. They only present the body with instructions to build immunity to COVID-19.
- Does the vaccine affect my DNA?
No. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
- Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me ill?
There could be localized reactions including but not limited to pain at the injection site, redness, and swelling. Other side effects identified during the clinical trials have included fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain. More safety information can be found at the CDC.
- How many shots are needed with the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine is a two (2) dose vaccine given 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine is also a two (2) dose vaccine given 28 days apart.
- Can I get the two doses from two different manufacturers?
No, this is not recommended. If you start the series with Pfizer, you must get both doses from Pfizer. This will ensure the greatest efficacy is achieved.
- Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?
No you will not be charged for the COVID-19 vaccine.
- What is the status of MCN's COVID-19 vaccine distribution?
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health (MCNDH) has received its first shipment of 465 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and began administering it to health care workers on Dec. 16, 2020. MCNDH will move through priority groups as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our plan is available here.
In the coming weeks, we expect to receive additional Pfizer shipments and will administer the Moderna vaccine when it is available.
- Am I eligible for the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?
Yes. You are still eligible and should receive the vaccine. The vaccine will further boost your immune response to fight COVID-19.
- Once I receive the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing?
No, the recommendation is to continue wearing a mask and social distancing even after you receive both vaccine doses. Even after receiving both doses of the vaccine, you could still be infected with COVID-19. These precautionary measures, combined with the vaccine, will help slow the spread of the virus.
- How will MCN distribute vaccinations?
- Who will be eligible to receive the first doses of the vaccine?
Health care workers will be the first to receive the vaccine. Following health care workers, the next group will be first responders, essential workers and childcare providers. We will distribute vaccines following the tier priority groups as recommended by the CDC.
- Will MCN’s vaccine be available to the general public and tribal citizens?
The vaccine will be available to the general public and tribal citizens as the vaccine becomes available. More information on vaccination dates will be disseminated as the vaccine becomes available to MCN.
- Is the vaccine recommended for children?
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently not recommended for children under the age of 16. More research is underway to determine if the vaccine will be safe and effective for infants, children and teens. More information is available here.
- Can I sign up to receive the vaccine?
We have established an automated vaccine information line to provide our citizens and patients with the most up-to-date vaccine information. You may call 918-758-3601 to hear information on the status of our vaccination plan. You can also leave a message to sign-up to receive the vaccine.
Please listen closely to all prompts. Messages will be answered during regular business hours and returned in the order received.
This line is not for emergency use. If you have received the vaccine and are experiencing a reaction outside of the normal side effects of vaccination, please call 911 or seek care through your local emergency room.