Alliance Community Healthcare now carries the COVID-19 Vaccine

On December 28th, 2020, Alliance began vaccinating frontline healthcare staff against the coronavirus, starting with Dr. Norma B. Milanes-Roberts (pictured). We invite all of our patients to carefully review current vaccine information to make the informed decision to get vaccinated and join the solution towards controlling this contagion.

What we know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Alliance Community Healthcare is currently working under the NJ Coronavirus Vaccine schedule with the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use to increase COVID-19 prevention on December 11th, 2020 and officially approved by the FDA on August 23rd, 2021 for individuals aged 16+. The Moderna vaccine was authorized by the FDA for emergency use on December 18, 2020. The J&J Janssen vaccine was authorized for emergency use on February 28th, 2021.

The Pfizer vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that received an EUA for individuals 5 and older. It received official FDA approval for individuals 16 and older (now marketed as COMIRNATY). It is the only vaccine to date to receive FDA approval.  Pfizer claims overall 95% effective in prevention of the coronavirus with the second booster of the vaccine. The vaccine contains: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Moderna vaccine is also an mRNA vaccine currently authorized for adults 18 and older. Moderna claims overall 94.1 % effective in prevention of the coronavirus with the second booster of the vaccine. The vaccine contains: mRNA, lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMGJ, cholesterol, and 1, 2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPCJ), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate and sucrose.

The J&J Janssen vaccine is a viral vector vaccine also currently authorized for adults 18 and older. J&J Janssen claims overall 66.3% effective in prevention of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus as a one-shot vaccine per the CDC. The J&J Janssen Phase 3 Ensemble Study proved 85% effective in “preventing severe disease across all regions studied, and showed protection against COVID-19 related hospitalizations and death, beginning 28 days after vaccination.” The vaccine contains: recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride. Learn more about the Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J Janssen vaccine on the CDC’s vaccine hub page.

COVID-19 Boosters

Alliance Community Healthcare is following the CDC’s current recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine boosters. You can find their most current guidelines here. [November 19, 2021]

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was made available through Emergency Use Authorization by the United States Food & Drug Administration. It serves the best interest of the nation’s public health in emergency circumstances for the use of new drugs and biological products as in the case of the Moderna vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic. Being under an EUA, the vaccine has not undergone regulatory review with FDA approval. The decision for any EUA drug or product is made with substantial scientific evidence in support of the product and a lack of alternative resources. For the COVID-19 pandemic, the current available vaccine trials have shown effective prevention against the virus with ongoing study benefits that have been considered to outweigh the possible vaccine side effects.

What is an mRNA vaccine?

MRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines differ from the traditional vaccine which normally triggers the immune response through a small weakened or inactive form of a pathogen (virus or bacteria).

In contrast, the mRNA vaccine instead teaches the immune system what a virus looks like by producing its own harmless version of a spike protein—which is found on the surface of the coronavirus. This triggers the production of antibodies and builds prevention in the event of future exposure. Should a vaccinated individual be exposed to the coronavirus, the immune system will then be better equipped to battling the virus.

What is a viral vector vaccine?

Viral vector vaccines utilize a modified harmless virus (not COVID-19) as a vector to carry a coded gene into a human cell to produce a spike protein–like that which is found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. This triggers our immune response as it recognizes it as an intruder and begins production of antibodies to fight it. The vaccine does not cause COVID-19 infection or infection by the harmless virus used.

Who qualifies for the vaccine?

The Moderna and J&J Janssen vaccines received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for all individuals 18 years and older.

The Pfizer vaccine recived official FDA approval for those aged 16 and older. It currently has an EUA for people aged 5 to 15.

To ensure the safety of our community, all who apply to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be asked basic screening questions issued by the CDC to avoid severe and life threatening vaccine reactions or health complications. Find the prevaccine checklist here.

Learn more about the vaccines at the links below

Moderna Vaccine

J&J Janssen vaccine

Pfizer (COMIRNATY) vaccine

Who should not get the vaccine?

You should NOT get the Moderna vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.

How is the vaccine given?

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is a series of two doses injected into the muscle one month apart.

You will receive one injection on the day of your appointment, and you will be due for a second booster exactly one month after to complete the vaccine series.

Has the vaccine been given before it received an EUA?

The Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J Janssen vaccines were tested through clinical trials before receiving emergency use authorization.

Pfizer’s clinical trials consisted of 23,000 individuals 12 years of age and older receiving at least 1 dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Moderna’s clinical trials consisted of 15, 400 individuals 18 years and older receiving at least 1 dose of the Moderna vaccine.

The J&J Janssen clinical trials consisted of 21,895 individuals 18 years and older receiving the J&J Janssen single dose vaccine.

What are the benefits of the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J Janssen vaccines?

Pfizer has reported 95% efficacy in the prevention of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 following both doses.

Moderna has reported 94.1% efficacy in the prevention of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 following both doses.

Both Pfizer and Moderna displayed 94% efficacy against COVID-19 hospitalization among those fully vaccinated. The vaccines were 64% effective against COVID-19 hospitalizations for partially vaccinated adults 65 years and older. Read the full report here.

J&J Janssen reported 66.3% efficacy in prevention of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and 85% efficacy in prevention of severe COVID-19 disease (lowering the chance of hospitalization).

All authorized COVID-19 vaccines displayed high efficacy in preventing COVID-19 related deaths.

What are the risks?

All three vaccines have reported the same possible side effects, which include:

  • Injection site irritation: pain, hardness/swelling, soreness, redness, and lymph node swelling in arm that received vaccine.
  • General reported side effects: tiredness, muscle aches, headache, joint pain, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

You may be asked to remain at the vaccinating facility after receiving either vaccine for a short period of monitoring as there is a remote chance of a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions usually occur within a few minutes up to an hour. Severe allergic reactions include:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Swelling in face or throat
  • Severe body rash

What should I tell my doctor before scheduling for the vaccine?

Before scheduling for the vaccine, inform your provider of any previous history of medical conditions and other important medical factors that may trigger a negative reaction to the vaccine.
Please tell your provider if you:

•Previously received a COVID-19 vaccine.
•Recently received the flu shot or another vaccine/shot.
•Are feeling ill, feverish or were diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 3 months.
• Received antibody therapy for COVID-19 within the last 3 months.
•Are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant.
•Are breastfeeding.
•Have any allergies.
• Have cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDs or any condition affects your immune system.
• Are on a medication that may affect your immune system.
• Have a bleeding disorder.
• Are on blood thinners.

What should I do if I experience side effects?

Should you experience a severe allergic reaction, please call emergency services (9-1-1), or go to the nearest hospital immediately. For minor or persistent side effects, contact the vaccinating facility or your healthcare provider for consultation. All vaccine side effects can be reported to the FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). They can be reached via the toll-free number: 1-800-822-7967 or online via: https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 in your report.

Side effects of the Pfizer vaccine can be reported directly to Pfizer Inc. at http://www.pfizersafetyreporting.com/, through fax at 1-866-635-8337 and via phone at 1-800-438-1985.

Side effects can also be reported to ModernaTX at 1-866-663-3762 or you may be able to enroll to V-Safe. V-Safe is a smartphone-based tool that checks in with those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to keep track of potential side effects through text messaging and web surveys. With VSafe, you can receive second-dose reminders if needed and have access to telephone follow-ups by the CDC for any significant impacts to your health after receiving the vaccine. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/safe.

Side effects of the J&J Janssen vaccine can be reported directly to Janssen Biotech via email at JNJvaccineAE@its.jnj.com, through fax at 215-293-9955 and via phone through the following: US Toll Free: 1-800-565-4008 and US Toll: (908) 455-9922.


The CDC has received reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults after receiving the Moderna, or Pfizer vaccine. Per the CDC, “the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. The CDC continues to recommend vaccination.

For the J&J Janssen vaccine, the CDC has reported a possible increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend that use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, effective April 23, 2021. However, women younger than 50 years old should especially be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. There are other COVID-19 vaccines available for which this risk has not been seen. If you received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, here is what you need to know. Read the CDC/FDA statement.