Covid-19 Vaccine FAQ

1.    How Do I get a COVID-19 Vaccine? 

  • Find COVID-19 vaccine near you, hospitals health centers are giving COVID 19 vaccine based on criteria that is agreed given the supply shortage. If you are eligible you can go and ask the nearest health facility to get the vaccine or the get the precise information on vaccination site.

2.    When will be vaccine available to me?

  • Given the supply shortage of COVID 19 vaccine higher risk population are getting the vaccine at the moment. However, Ministry of health will provide sufficient information when additional vaccine will come for other target population, hence kindly follow update and information that is being and will be provided by MoH

3.    Can I choose which COVID 19 vaccine get?

  • Given the shortage and the few types of vaccines being given in Ethiopia, that option is hardly available. The most important issue is all the COVID 19 vaccines currently authorized and recommended in Ethiopia are safe and effective, Ethiopian food and drug regulatory authority does not recommend one vaccine over another. The most important decision is to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
  • People should be aware that a risk of a rare condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported following vaccination with the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. TTS is a serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelet counts. Based on the data from other countries this problem is rare, and most reports were in women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of any age, this problem is even more rare.

4.    What are the most common side effects after getting COVID 19 vaccine?

  • After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days

5.    If I'm pregnant can I get COVID 19 vaccine?

  • Yes, if you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. What is most important is you might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination.
  • Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but is not required for vaccination

6.    If I am breastfeeding, can I get the vaccine?

  • Based on how these vaccines work in the body, COVID-19 vaccines are thought not to be a risk to lactating people or their breastfeeding babies. Therefore, lactating people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. Similar protection antibodies are expected on other COVID 19 vaccine technologies. More data are needed to determine what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.

7.    How long does protection from COVID 19 vaccine lasts?

  • We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
  • Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. MOH and EFDA will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

8.    When do I get a second dose?

  • The timing for the second dose vary with the vaccine type you got and strictly follow the health care provider advice. Ministry of health is working with government of Ethiopia to get the second dose on the recommended and required time interval, however given the current COVID situation in India and the global shortage of COVID 19 vaccine, it is expected that there could be challenges on this.  What is most important about the second dose is to maximize the protection of the first dose.

9.    Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of vaccine?

  • Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people in other settings, like when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.

10.    If I have already had COVID 19 and recovered do I still need to get vaccinated with COVID 19 vaccine?

  • Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible although rare that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions

11.    What are the ingredients in COVID 19 vaccines?

  • Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer. To learn more about the ingredients in authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Many ingredients found in vaccines are also commonly found in your pantry and many are just used to make the vaccine last longer in storage. Other parts of the vaccine are things already inside you, like water and salt.
  • The main ingredient in all vaccines is plain and simple water.

12.    How many doses of COVID 19 vaccines will need to get?

  • If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 12 weeks (90 days for AstraZeneca) and up to 4 weeks(30 days) Sinopharm  after the first dose, if necessary and available ..
  • You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

13.    If I have underlying illness can I get COVID 19 vaccine?

  • People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. 
  • Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

14.    Can I get vaccinated against COVID 19 while I'm currently sick with COVID 19?

  • No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation ; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

15.    Can I have the second dose with a different vaccine than the first dose?

  • Your second dose should be same vaccine as your first. 
  • Experts are currently examining the effectiveness and safety of mixing and matching different coronavirus vaccine. But MOH and EFDA advice for now is to get the same vaccine for your first and second doses.

16.    How will we know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe? 

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization 

17.    Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19? 

  • No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

18.    After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

  • No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. Neither can any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials.
  • If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.