Novant Health continues its mission to vaccinate the public against COVID-19, and more appointments are opening daily. While COVID-19 vaccine supply is very limited, Novant Health will not stop until everyone who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine. 

Here are answers to the latest batch of questions from Healthy Headlines readers. Have a question? Send it to us using the comment function at the bottom of the story. Because of the high volume of questions, we’ll answer the most common questions in upcoming stories, so keep an eye on our site and check the COVID-19 section.

When do I make an appointment date and time for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

You’ll make your appointment for the second dose when you get the first shot. Before you walk out, you’ll have your second appointment booked.

I am not eligible, but I am the primary caregiver for someone with a compromised immune system. Can I get the vaccine early?

Individuals providing medical care of medically fragile adults and children qualify as a health care worker – placing them in group 1 and eligible to receive the vaccine now.

I am over 65 but do not live in Mecklenburg or Forsyth County. Can I come there and get the vaccine?

Yes. It does not matter which county is home. If you are a North Carolina resident and eligible by state guidelines, you may receive the vaccine at one of our Novant Health vaccine locations.

While signing up to receive my COVID-19 vaccination, I checked the incorrect box and have been placed in group 4 instead of group 2. How can this be changed?

During pre-registration, you are told your group number about halfway through, before you submit it. If you already realize the group number is not correct, you should review your answers and make any changes necessary. You will also be shown your group number one more time on the last screen just before you submit.

If you realize there is an error after submitting the form, you can correct this by simply resubmitting the form, using the same MyChart account.  If we have more than one submission per MyChart user, we will only use the most recent submission.

Can I give blood before receiving the vaccine? And what about after?

There is no specific guidance on donating blood before receiving the vaccine. If you have not previously donated blood, it may be advisable not to schedule both donation and vaccination close together in the event of a reaction to either (e.g., dizziness, lightheadedness, etc.).

The Food and Drug Administration said there is no deferral time for otherwise eligible donors following vaccination with either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, you are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. The Red Cross recommends that you bring your vaccine card with you to your donation.

Regardless of vaccination status, all donors must be symptom-free (e.g., no fever) and feeling well at the time of donation. More information for donation-specific eligibility criteria can be found here.

Can cancer patients receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

In most cases, yes. The American Society of Clinical Oncology states that a “panel of oncology and infectious disease experts agreed that the Pfizer, and now Moderna, vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective for the general population and there was no evidence that they would not be safe for most cancer patients. Although, it should be noted that patients receiving immunosuppressive and cytotoxic treatments were excluded from participation in the vaccine trials to date, so there is little to no data on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in cancer patients.”

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