FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

A: The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.

A: Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough, congestion or runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

A: Yes, we do have tests available and are actively testing patients.  

A: in most cases, COVID-19 results will be received within 4 hours.  

Go to www.COVIDtests.gov to receive your free diagnostic test.  Each household is allowed up to four tests.  Orders will usually ship between 7-12 days.

A: Anyone over the age of 5 may receive the vaccine.

A: Pfizer vaccines are available by appointment at the following Sterling Physician Group clinics: 

Sterling Group Primary Care
Georgia South Family Medicine
The Kirk Clinic (must be a Kirk Clinic patient)
Sterling Group Internal Medicine (must be a Sterling Group Internal Medicine patient)

A: Personal protection – large population trials show 95% clinical effectiveness for the vaccine to prevent disease and greatly lessen the severity of symptoms in the limited people that may still contract the virus despite vaccination.

Decrease transmission – receiving the vaccine will not only protect you, but also others around you, including immediate family, coworkers, and friends. Decreasing transmission equates to saving lives.

A: The COVID virus has characteristic “spikes” on the surface of the virus, which are actually proteins. The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna teach the cells in your body to make these spikes, which then allows your body to learn how to fight off cells that contain the spikes. These vaccines are not the actual virus, which is one of the reasons there are only mild side effects. The vaccine is administered as 2 vaccines, spread 21 to 28 days apart (based on brand). Each dose is given as an IM injection.

A: Three forms of the vaccine are available, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Colquitt Regional is administering the Pfizer vaccine.

A: All vaccines administered by Colquitt Regional are Pfizer.

A: Clinical data from Pfizer/BioNTech includes testing on 43,000 patients. The FDA advisory committee approved use of the vaccination after presenting study information to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). After it was approved for use, subsequent endorsement has been issued by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

A: Emergency Use Authorization, granted by the FDA, is based on compelling medical evidence. This designation allows a product to come to market, but with the disclaimer that it has not gone through the full FDA medication approval process. Several therapies used for the treatment of COVID-19 are also being used under an EUA (remdesivir, bamlanivimab, etc).

A: Yes. In accordance with CDC guidelines, individuals should continue to wear masks in public places, even if they have received the vaccine or have antibodies.

A: Yes. All patients that have been confirmed to have had COVID-19 should consider the vaccine. It is recommended that individuals wait 90 days after a positive test before receiving a vaccine.

A: The vaccine has not been studied extensively with pregnancy, and those who are or could become pregnant or currently breast feeding are encouraged to talk with their healthcare provider. The CDC/ACIP guidance does recommend vaccination among pregnant or nursing women who desire receiving the vaccine. More information can be found here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

A: Historically, new drugs or vaccines can take up to 6 years for development and test through scientific methods prior to reaching the market. However, the US Government and World Health Organization dedicated unprecedented resources of scientists, labs, and money to accelerate the process. The genome for COVID-19 was already mapped prior to cases arriving in the United States. New technology methods as well as a lack of need for culturing the virus enabled acceleration of vaccine creation. Furthermore, the trials were also accelerated, allowing Phase 2 and 3 human studies to be conducted sooner and given priority review by appropriate medical review panels. Of note, the coronavirus vaccine is not the first vaccine to use an accelerated approval process – other vaccinations have gone through condensed processes in order to help stop the spread and transmission of communicable diseases, most recently the H1N1 flu virus.

A: Pain at the injection site is the most common side effect. Other, less common side effects included tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Most side effects were reported after the 2nd dose.

A: No. The vaccine is free of charge. 

Should I Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?