COVID-19 Vaccine | Northfield Hospital & Clinics

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID vaccines are rolling out. We want to help you be ready! With clear information and answers to your questions.

About the COVID-19 Vaccines     |     About Getting Your Vaccination

COVID-19 Information     |     COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist Form  

We are contacting patients 65 and older to schedule COVID vaccine.

Supply is very limited. Appointments are offered in order of age. You must hear from us before scheduling an appointment. Please join our COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist Form if you have not heard from us. 

Current patients of NH+C will be contacted in order of age (oldest first). The number of patients we contact depends on how much vaccine we have available. We contact patients by phone call and text. Sometimes, these automated calls do not get through with some phone carriers. If you are a NH+C patient and haven’t heard from us, please join our waitlist so we know you wish to be contacted. Fill out the form here: COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist Form  

Current patients of Allina Clinic in Northfield who have been Northfield Hospital patients will be contacted in order of age (oldest first) based on Allina criteria. Allina contacts its eligible patients by phone call or email with further instructions. All Allina patients continue to be eligible for randomized vaccinations at Allina’s own vaccination hubs.   

If you are 65 or older and live in NH+C’s service area, you may sign up on a waitlist. Appointments will be offered based on age, oldest first. Fill out the form here: COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist Form  

If you are contacted and your spouse is also eligible, we will schedule appointments for you both at the same time.

We will schedule your first and second doses (3 or 4 weeks apart) at the same time.

If you are contacted, you will be given a phone number to call to schedule your appointment. It’s important to call us at that number as soon as you can, because we have limited slots available.

This phone number is not for the general public. Callers cannot schedule an appointment at this phone number if they have not previously heard from us.

NH+C’s goal is to vaccinate people in our community as efficiently as possible when we have vaccine available. We are committed to serving all members of our community.

We encourage you to seek other options for vaccine. See options at mn.gov/covid19. It’s a good idea to try to get the vaccine through more than one organization. We don’t know how much or how frequently we will get vaccine.

Register at Minnesota’s new Vaccine Connector at vaccineconnector.mn.gov/ . Minnesotans 18 and older can complete the online form.

The Vaccine Connector will:

  • alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine
  • connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment
  • notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area

Insurance and identification are not needed. Learn more: MN COVID-19 Vaccine Connector FAQs

We have been vaccinating 1a healthcare workers and some 1b workers, including teachers, in coordination with Public Health. If you are a 1a healthcare worker in need of vaccine, contact Public Health in your county.

Plans will continue to evolve. Watch for updates on our website and this page. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine

On this page:  About the COVID-19 Vaccines     |     Getting Your Vaccination

Who should get a COVID vaccine?

Everyone over age 16 should get a vaccine. It’s a safe and effective way to build immunity against contracting COVID. This protects you, and others: The more people vaccinated, the less COVID can spread . . . the faster we can return to normal. You need two doses, 3-4 weeks apart, depending on which vaccine you receive. It’s important to get both doses, on time, for full effectiveness.

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes. Having a safe and effective vaccine is the top priority for us all. The science behind the vaccine (messenger RNA) has been in development for over a decade. And all the steps of research and testing have been followed to establish the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. Clinical trials had tens of thousands of volunteers (for Pfizer, about 40,000; for Moderna, 30,000) rather than a few thousand, for more data in a shorter time. Plus, federal funding enabled production of vaccines at the same time as clinical trials, so millions of doses were available quickly after each vaccine was proven safe and effective.

How effective are the vaccines?

A two-shot series gives 95% protection against contracting COVID. (The small percent who do get COVID have a mild case.) Plus, the vaccines are 100% effective in preventing severe COVID disease and death. 

How long does it take for the vaccine to take full effect?

It takes about two weeks after the second dose to build maximum immunity. It’s important to get both doses.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Possible side effects are typical of what happens with other vaccines: low-grade fever, body aches, headache, fatigue, joint pain, soreness at the injection site. Side effects may be greater with the second dose. Side effects may feel like flu and might even affect your daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Side effects are a sign that the vaccine is working: Your body is building immunity without having an actual infection or being infectious to others.

Can I get COVID from the vaccine?

No. The vaccine does not use live virus. You cannot catch COVID from the vaccine. It’s possible to become infected through community spread shortly after vaccination, before the vaccine has had enough time to build immunity (typically about two weeks). It’s important to keep using precautions after your vaccination: Wear a mask, keep distance, wash your hands.

The vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID. (The small percent who do get COVID have a mild case.) Plus, the vaccines are 100% effective in preventing severe COVID disease and death. 

It’s all so new. What if I want to wait and see how other people do with the vaccine?

We understand, new things make people wary – it’s a survival instinct. Remember: COVID is a deadly, highly contagious disease. We now have safe, effective vaccines to prevent it. It is safer to get a vaccine than it is to get COVID.

We encourage you to get a vaccine when it is available to you. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more people who get vaccinated, the less disease there is to spread. Stopping the spread of COVID gets us closer to the end of the pandemic. 

After I’m vaccinated, can I still spread COVID?

We don’t know yet. That’s why we need to continue other prevention methods along with vaccine: wear masks, keep distance, don’t gather, wash your hands. 

COVID is still widespread. These precautions help everyone. Until enough people are vaccinated for widespread immunity, we all need to continue our precautions.

Do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes. Keep wearing your mask to protect others who are not yet vaccinated. Keep using all precautions: wear a mask, keep distance, don’t gather, wash your hands. 

I’ve already had COVID. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. We don’t know how much immunity you get from having had the virus, or how long it lasts. Vaccine gives a clear, predictable level of protection. Plus, a second, new infection is possible without vaccination. You can become sick again, or make others sick. If you were recently diagnosed with COVID, talk to your primary care provider about when you should get vaccinated.

I wouldn’t get very sick if I got COVID. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. There’s no way to know how COVID will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. You can also spread the virus to family, friends, and others around you whether or not you have symptoms. Your vaccine protects others, too.

I have allergies. Should I get vaccinated?

If you have allergies so severe that you carry an EpiPen, talk with your provider and allergist about your options.

I’m pregnant. Should I get vaccinated?

Yes. Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. Getting COVID poses a bigger risk: Pregnant people who get COVID are at higher risk of severe illness or death, and COVID can affect your baby’s health. (Source: CDC) Talk with your provider if you have concerns. 

I’m breastfeeding. Should I get vaccinated?

The CDC says that mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. (There are no data at this time on the safety of COVID vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion.) People who are breastfeeding and in a group that’s recommended to get a COVID vaccine (such as healthcare workers) can choose to be vaccinated.

Does the vaccine affect fertility?

No. No vaccine affects fertility or sterility, in women or men, girls or boys. Getting sick with COVID can affect sperm count and motility in men.

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine uses “messenger RNA” (mRNA) to teach cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside the body. That immune response produces antibodies that protect you from getting infected if the real virus enters your body.

Can mRNA alter my DNA?

No. mRNA does not affect or interact with your DNA in any way. It never enters the nucleus of the cell, where DNA is kept. Instead, the vaccine uses mRNA to work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity.

Does my vaccine protect my loved ones?

Yes. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more people who get vaccinated, the less disease there is to spread. Stopping the spread of COVID gets us closer to the end of the pandemic. 

Three reasons to get the vaccine:

  1. We share a social responsibility to protect others. You might not be at high risk for becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID, but we all have a responsibility not to spread it to others who are at high risk. You can spread COVID without even becoming sick yourself. The more people who get vaccinated, the fewer people there are to spread COVID.
  2. Vaccines are the best way to develop immunity as safely as possible. COVID will continue to exist, a viral illness in our world like chickenpox, measles, and influenza. We will all need to become immune to this virus at some point in our lives. Science shows the vaccine is the safest way to build immunity.
  3. Widespread immunity helps us get back to normal. When 75% to 80% of the population is vaccinated, the country will develop widespread immunity that protects us all. The sooner we each get vaccinated to protect our family, friends, and neighbors from COVID, the sooner we can reopen and gather together once again.

There’s a lot of information being published about COVID vaccines. Please choose reliable sources to learn the facts, so you can make an informed decision about your health – and your loved ones.
•    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(link is external)
•    CDC-recommended sources(link is external)
•    Minnesota Department of Health(link is external)
•    Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center

How can I get on the vaccine waitlist?

NH+C’s goal is to vaccinate people in our community as efficiently as possible when we have vaccine available. We are committed to serving all members of our community.

If you are 65 and older and you live in NH+C’s service area, you may join our waitlist. Complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist form. Appointments are offered in order of age.

Who is getting vaccines now?

NH+C is working with Public Health and with Minnesota Department of Health to help vaccinate individuals in priority groups as vaccine doses become available. We follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for COVID vaccination. See state guidelines here: "Who's getting vaccinated?" 

Appointments will be offered in order of age. You must hear from us before scheduling an appointment. If you have not heard from us, please join our waitlist so we know you wish to be contacted. COVID Vaccine Waitlist Form

We contact patients when we have vaccine available, based on priority groups set by Minnesota Department of Health. Timing will depend on supplies and number of patients within a priority group. 

NH+C schedules COVID vaccination appointments when we have vaccine available. The number of appointments depends on the amount of vaccine we have available.

Current patients of NH+C will be contacted in order of age (oldest first). The number of patients we contact will depend on how much vaccine we have available. We will contact patients by phone call and text. If you have not heard from us, please join our waitlist so we know you wish to be contacted. COVID Vaccine Waitlist Form

Current patients of Allina Clinic in Northfield who have been Northfield Hospital patients will be contacted in order of age (oldest first) based on Allina criteria. Allina will contact its eligible patients by phone call or email with further instructions. All Allina patients continue to be eligible for randomized vaccinations at Allina’s own vaccination hubs.   

If you are not an NH+C patient or Allina patient and you live in NH+C’s service area and meet age and other criteria, you will have an option to sign up on a waitlist based on age. NH+C will have an online form for you to join the list for an invitation when vaccine is available. As soon as we can post the form on our website securely (to protect the website and your information), it will be posted on this website.

Federal and state governments drive the timeline and order of priority groups. Rollout plans will keep evolving. Get updates at mn.gov/covid19/(link is external)   

MDH lists other options for vaccination. Check here for options: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp

When I can get the vaccine?

Supply is very limited. Appointments are offered in order of age, when we have vaccine available. You must hear from us before scheduling an appointment. All Minnesotans will have access to the vaccine. Timing depends on how quickly vaccine is available. The federal government manages distribution to states. 

See updates on timing and who’s included in each phase on MDH’s webpage “Who’s getting vaccinated next?” 

How can I find out when it’s my turn?

We contact patients when we have vaccine available. Appointments are offered in order of age. You must hear from us before scheduling an appointment. If you have not heard from us, please join our waitlist so we know you wish to be contacted. COVID Vaccine Waitlist Form

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MDH share information publicly as they roll out more vaccines. You can follow CDC updates here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html(link is external)  and MDH updates here: mn.gov/covid19/(link is external)

We’ll also keep the community informed as best we can as the situation develops – on this page and through news outlets and social media.

When will the supply of vaccine increase?

Supply will increase in the weeks and months to come. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated as soon as large enough quantities are available. 

Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested. If more vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, then CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. All the vaccines ACIP recommends will be added to CDC’s plan. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have developed distribution plans to make sure all recommended vaccines are available to their communities. (Source: CDC)

Rollout plans will keep evolving. Get updates at mn.gov/covid19/

When will kids be able to get a vaccine?

CDC officials expect children and young teens (under 16) could have a vaccine available in the second half of 2021. Researchers need to examine the dosages, interval between doses, and the number of doses that work best in children.

What happens when I get my vaccine?

When you get the vaccine, you and your healthcare worker both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines. You’ll be given a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific vaccine you’re being offered, to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. The healthcare worker will review a few health questions with you before your injection. After injection, you’ll be monitored for any side effects for 15 minutes. You’ll be given a vaccination card or printout that tells you what vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Keep this card for your records. (Take a picture of it for back up.) Ask: When am I due for my second dose?

What will it cost?

There is no charge for vaccine doses from CDC; these doses are funded by the federal government. There may be a charge for getting the shot, to cover administration costs for the clinic or hospital. Vaccine administration costs will be billed to insurance. For patients who do not have coverage, administration costs may qualify for government funding.  

It’s all so new. What if I want to wait and see how other people do with the vaccine?

We understand, new things make people wary – it’s a survival instinct. Remember: COVID is a deadly, highly contagious disease. We now have safe, effective vaccines to prevent it. It is safer to get a vaccine than it is to get COVID. We encourage you to get a vaccine when it is available to you. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more people who get vaccinated, the less disease there is to spread. Stopping the spread of COVID gets us closer to the end of the pandemic. 

Three reasons to get the vaccine:

  1. We share a social responsibility to protect others. You might not be at high risk for becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID, but we all have a responsibility not to spread it to others who are at high risk. You can spread COVID without even becoming sick yourself. The more people who get vaccinated, the fewer people there are to spread COVID.
  2. Vaccines are the best way to develop immunity as safely as possible. COVID will continue to exist, a viral illness in our world like chickenpox, measles, and influenza. We will all need to become immune to this virus at some point in our lives. Science shows the vaccine is the safest way to build immunity.
  3. Widespread immunity helps us get back to normal. When 75% to 80% of the population is vaccinated, the country will develop widespread immunity that protects us all. The sooner we each get vaccinated to protect our family, friends, and neighbors from COVID, the sooner we can reopen and gather together once again.

There’s a lot of information being published about COVID vaccines. Please choose reliable sources to learn the facts, so you can make an informed decision about your health – and your loved ones.
•    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(link is external)
•    CDC-recommended sources(link is external)
•    Minnesota Department of Health(link is external)
•    Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center

I have an appointment. How do I prepare?

Do not get any other vaccinations before your appointment.

Before you arrive: You can review the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine information online. Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers  // Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers

Please keep your appointment time. Times are coordinated to space people out and maintain distance for COVID precautions.

What to bring: Photo ID with your birth date, and insurance information.

Where to go: Northfield Hospital main entrance. If someone is driving you, they can drop you off at the entrance. If you need assistance, one companion can accompany you to help you through your appointment. Plan to spend about 30 minutes for your appointment.

When you arrive: Wear a mask covering your mouth and nose. You will be screened to enter the building. We’ll check you in, review your consent form and some health questions. Please do not come if you have a fever or any COVID symptoms. 

When you get your vaccine: You’ll get your vaccine (a shot in your arm), then sit in a monitoring area for 15 or 30 minutes to monitor for side effects. If you wish, we can help you sign up for V-Safe – CDC’s text-based program to track side effects for everyone who’s gotten a vaccine.