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Due to the impacts of COVID-19 and increased call volume, you may experience extended wait times when contacting our call center, billing center, and while using provider messaging through our patient portal. We appreciate your patience during this time and will respond to all calls and messages as soon as possible. For the latest COVID-19 information, visit vcuhealth.org/covid-19.

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What You Need To Know

Local pharmacies and local health districts now routinely offer vaccination appointments. VCU Health continues to vaccinate patients age 5 and up who live in Virginia. You are considered a patient if you have received care at one of our hospitals or clinics over the past three years.

Please do not call us for booster shot availability. Information on our role in administering COVID-19 booster shots to patients who are not categorized as immune-compromised is not yet available. We will share details as they become available.

View frequently asked questions View COVID-19 vaccine news

Current COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

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For our patients:

 

Sign up for VCU Health vaccine updates
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For members of the community:

It is our mission to serve all Virginians. This includes a deep commitment to protecting our most vulnerable community members.

  • Contact our community vaccination clinic at the VCU Health Hub at 25th by phone at (804) 628-6401 or by email at covid19vaccineinfo@vcuhealth.org to register for a vaccination appointment.
  • To find other locations offering vaccinations, please use the following websites or text options:
  • Please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call (877) VAX-IN-VA or (877) 829-4682, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., for a location near you.
    • The Richmond City Health District offers walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics. No appointment is necessary.
    • Henrico County residents can call (804) 205-3501 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can text your zip code to GETVAX or 438829 (English) or to VACUNA or 822862 (Spanish).

COVID-19 Vaccine News

Read the latest news, information and updates on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Pediatric vaccinations: What you need to know

We are currently vaccinating patients 12+ and caregivers who qualify under 1b. CHoR is here to give our community the latest information.

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COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy: Should I get the vaccine?

Our experts answer questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for those who're expecting.

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Is the vaccine safe for transplant patients?

Yes. The vaccine is safe. Transplant patients should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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A message from your Family Medicine team

Your Family Medicine team is committed to providing you the safest possible care.

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COVID-19 vaccine and heart patients: Is it safe?

VCU Health Pauley Heart Center answers your questions about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for heart patients.

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COVID-19 vaccine and cancer patients

Our experts from VCU Massey Cancer Center answer common questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for cancer patients.

What’s it like to get the vaccine? Hear first-hand accounts.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I get the vaccine?

COVID-19 isn’t the same as the flu. It’s extremely dangerous — to you and those you come in contact with. More than 850,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States.  

If you develop severe symptoms from COVID-19 and survive, your recovery typically isn’t easy. You may require lengthy, difficult rehabilitation.

Now that vaccines are available, don’t take chances. Get the vaccine — to protect yourself, your family and the surrounding community.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved all three vaccines available in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

To be approved, vaccines must go through a careful trial process with several phases to address safety and effectiveness. The COVID-19 vaccine trials did just that, and they included an extremely large number of participants. There were at least 30,000 people each in the Pfizer and Moderna trials, and 43,000 people in the Johnson & Johnson trials.

The COVID-19 vaccines were produced so rapidly not because they were rushed by cutting corners but because scientists had significant prior experience working with other coronaviruses, such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). Research on a COVID-19 vaccine did not start from scratch.

In addition, the U.S. government made vaccine development a priority once the COVID-19 coronavirus took off in the United States. We also have a huge amount of real-world experience with the vaccines now, and the vaccines have proven to be incredibly safe.

How effective are the vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe symptoms, hospitalizations and death. However, the strength of the vaccines does decline over time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a booster shot for everyone who received the full two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Does it matter which vaccine I get?

No. All three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are excellent at protecting you against COVID-19. Take whichever vaccine is offered to you.

Are there side effects?

As with most vaccines, you may experience mild to moderate side effects. These can include fatigue, mild fever, headache, muscle aches and pain in your arm at the injection site. These side effects may last a couple days but are completely normal.

Are there possible allergic reactions?

As with any medication, some people may experience an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. This risk is extremely small. To be on the safe side, health care workers may ask you to remain for a short period after your vaccination so they can monitor you for an allergic reaction and take action should one occur.

If you do suffer an allergic reaction, contact your doctor, as you may want to skip the second dose of the vaccine. An allergic reaction is considered severe if you require epinephrine or an EpiPen for treatment or you need to go to the hospital.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No. You cannot get COVID-19 from any of the vaccines. None of the vaccines contain the live coronavirus nor do they contain a weakened or dead version of the coronavirus. The vaccines have no coronavirus to pass on to you.

Do I need a booster shot?

Once I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing my mask?

Not entirely. None of the vaccines are 100% effective. Although vaccination is associated with a marked reduction in severe infection, we now know that breakthrough infections can occur. When these happen in vaccinated people, they tend to be mild — but infected people can still spread the virus to others. People who are unvaccinated, those who are immunocompromised and the elderly — even if vaccinated — are especially at risk of catching the virus from people with breakthrough infections.

It usually takes two weeks after you complete your vaccine series to acquire immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. You could get infected during this time, endangering your health. You might also still be able to spread the disease, both during this 2-week window as well as after you develop full immunity, endangering others.

With COVID-19 activity still strong, wearing a face mask is critical to preventing the spread of disease.

This is particularly important in indoor public spaces, but also in outdoor spaces where you cannot maintain 6-foot distance from others. You should mask regardless of whether or not you are vaccinated. To the extent possible, you should also practice social distancing, avoid crowds and wash your hands often.

If I've had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

We recommend you get the vaccine. Reinfection is possible. Some experts recommend waiting three months from when you developed COVID-19. This is because you probably have some degree of natural immunity. Importantly, it is not clear how long natural immunity will last. If you are in this three-month window, you should discuss the best time to get the vaccine with your doctor. If you've had symptoms of COVID-19 but were never diagnosed, don't assume you had the disease and are immune. Get the vaccine.

Will the vaccines protect me from omicron? What about new variants that come along in the future?

All COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States protect against the dominant variants in the U.S., including omicron. If you do get infected, your symptoms will likely be mild. By getting vaccinated, you reduce your risk of severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death. You also help prevent viral spread and thereby limit the emergence of new variants.

How do I get the vaccine?

If you are a patient at VCU Health, you may get the vaccine here. Please call us at (804) 628-0223 to schedule your vaccination. Calls are taken Wednesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are required. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Vaccines are also widely available in the community. Visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to find places near you that offer the vaccine.

Where can I find more information?

Please continue to check our COVID-19 website, as we are constantly adding new information. Also sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

Are you a current or prior bone marrow transplant or CARt patient?

Specific guidelines on vaccination timing, vaccine type and follow up after COVID-19 vaccination exist for patients after CARt, autologous or allogeneic transplants. Call the cellular immunotherapies and transplant program (CIT) COVID vaccination line at (804) 628-7290 to get clearance and vaccine access to ensure the best benefit and safety for your specific situation.

For information on pediatric vaccinations.

For information for cancer patients.

Please visit VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Do you plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is here. Learn more about the vaccine below. As we wait for broad vaccine availability, we urge you to keep using precautions for the safety of our community.

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COVID-19 pandemic help is here

Supporting the community with COVID-19 relief

We’re preparing to provide you and the community with the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll be releasing more details soon on how to measure your eligibility and how you can get the vaccine.

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Why is vaccination important?

Vaccines are critical to the fight against COVID-19

You may be considering receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but aren’t sure if you want to go through with it. We understand you need information to make the decision that’s right for you. Our staff is here to share their expertise and firsthand insight.

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Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Safety and efficacy are always top of mind

Are you concerned about getting the COVID-19 vaccine because it may not be safe? Hear from our team of experts on why the rewards outweigh the risks and the goal of a vaccinated community.

Sign up for COVID-19 and vaccine updates

Subscribe to receive our emails, alerts and newsletter updates.

Subscribe for updates
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COVID-19 information

Looking for COVID-19 information or need the latest update on our visitor policy? We have frequently asked questions, interviews with our experts and steps we’re taking to safely treat our patients.

View all COVID-19 Information
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Vaccine champions

Together, we can help support the health and wellbeing of our community.

Learn about our Vaccine Champions program
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