Questions and Answers about the COVID Vaccine
Updated November 18, 2021
(This page will be updated frequently)
NEW! COVID Booster Shots Available for existing Wheeler Patients.
NEW! COVID Vaccine Available for existing Wheeler Patients aged 5-11.
Patients are encouraged to call and schedule an appointment with their medical provider or utilize walk-in services.
Walk-in vaccine appointments are offered at our community health centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain or Waterbury, Monday through Friday, from 10 am until 3 pm. Arriving patients are advised to let our Front Desk know they are there to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine at Wheeler?
If you are an CURRENT Wheeler patient, or your child is an CURRENT Wheeler patient aged 5+...you will be offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine during your ongoing appointments as doses are available.
Please do NOT call Wheeler's Navigation Center. You will be unable to schedule a COVID vaccine appointment through the Navigation Center.
The TikTok below answers some common ones quickly, or scroll down for more authoritative answers.
Where can I find answers to my questions?
When can I get my COVID-19 vaccine?
We follow the guidelines set by the CDC and the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The DPH web site explains more about Connecticut's plans for when you may be able to get the vaccine.
Do I really need both (or even possibly three) shots?
Yes, you do, and they are given about 28 days apart. It isn't necessary to get them EXACTLY 28 days apart, but you should get as close as possible.
Who should get the third dose?
A third vaccine dose is recommended for individuals with certain underlying medical conditions that can weaken their immune system. Wheeler offers the third dose to EXISTING patients only.
Who was the vaccine tested on?
Moderna has published data on the demographic makeup of their Phase 3 COVE Study of 30,000 participants.
What are the side effects? Is is safe?
Generally, there are very few side effects from the first of the two doses. Most people seem to have just a sore arm.
Some people have minor side effects after the second dose, like aches, headache, fatigue, a fever, or other conditions. These side effects typically pass in 24-48 hours. This is actually a good sign! It shows that your body's immune system is working.
Can the vaccine give me COVID?
Is the vaccine really tested?
Will the vaccine alter my DNA?
Do we really know what is in the vaccine?
We understand there are concerns about the importance of vaccination, particularly in populations of color; we want to help you overcome your hesitancy in getting this vital vaccine! The CDC web site also has a very good listing of researched answers to these and other questions.
What are the benefits of getting the vaccine?
- The vaccine will help you from getting COVD-19
- The vaccine is a safer way to build protection for your health
- The vaccine will help us all stop the pandemic
- LEARN MORE: Benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine (CDC)
Is it free?
No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee. From the CDC web site: "Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving someone the shot. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for this by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee."