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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 Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines. The Moderna vaccine was authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Admistration (FDA) for emergency use to increase COVID-19 prevention on December 18, 2020. The J&J Janssen vaccine was authorized for emergency use on February 28th, 2021. Currently, there are no FDA approved vaccines for the virus.

The Moderna vaccine is an mRNA vaccine currently authorized for adults 18 and older that fall under the Phase 1B qualifications. Moderna claims overall 94.1 % effective in prevention of the coronavirus with the second booster of the vaccine. The vaccine contains: messenger ribonucleic acid (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 that fall under Phase 1B qualifications. 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.” There is also early evidence suggesting that the vaccine may provide protection against asymptomatic infection (when the virus infects the body but the individual shows no signs of illness). 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 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 FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 18 years of age and older. Alliance Community Healthcare is currently abiding by the NJ Vaccine Plan Schedule (Phase 1B): the police force, firefighters and other first responders. Other groups that will be up next to receive the vaccine include: essential workers such as food service employees, public transit workers, educators, daycare staff and those who work in public media services. Those aged 75+ and high-risk adults with severe medical conditions also qualify for the Phase 1B vaccine administration.

See the full schedule here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html

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.

Have the Moderna, and J&J Janssen vaccines been given before?

The Moderna and J&J Janssen vaccine have been administered through clinical trials to adults 18 years and older. Its clinical trials involved 30,420 adults Both vaccines continue to be under study to ensure public safety as we are also still learning more about the virus itself.

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

Moderna has reported 94.1% efficacy in the prevention of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 following both doses. Those who did get infected with COVID-19 after receiving the Moderna vaccine had significantly lower hospitalization rates than those unvaccinated. The Moderna vaccine may also help prevent infection transmission between individuals.

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). The vaccine also carries promising evidence of protection against asymptomatic infection.

What are the risks?

Both 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 heartrate
•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 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.