As people wait their turn to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Novant Health experts continue to answer some of the most common questions from Healthy Headlines readers.

Have a question? Use the comment function at the bottom to send it to us. Because of the high volume of questions, we’ll answer the most common questions in Healthy Headlines stories, so keep an eye on our site and check the COVID-19 section.

If someone has had COVID-19 can they get it again and if so, how long before they are susceptible again?

Recent data suggests that people under the age of 65 who have had COVID-19 are protected about 80% in the six months after infection.  Individuals who are over 65 are protected 47% of the time in the six months after having COVID-19. So, it is very important for those who have had COVID-19 to still get vaccinated.

I am skeptical of getting my 16-year-old child vaccinated. Should I wait until he gets older or take advantage now?

The Pfizer product EUA (emergency use authorization) included individuals age 16 and older, so it has been tested in that age group.

Preregister for your vaccine now

Act now

What is a good response when people say they do not want to get vaccinated because they do not know the long-term side effects?

The mRNA technology in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, is very fragile and disintegrates in roughly 48 hours. It does not affect DNA at all, so it has no long-term effects. It simply helps the body make a protein that looks like a COVID-19 protein, so your immune system recognizes it.

If someone who is vaccinated happens to get COVID-19, do they shed less of the virus?

Yes. Vaccinated people not only are protected from infection and symptoms, but also a reduction in the chance they are asymptomatic spreaders of virus.

What is the main difference between the J&J, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines?

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is a more traditional vaccine. It is a single dose. Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines that are new as a delivery mechanism. They both help you form antibody to the spike protein which is how the SARS-CoV-2 enters the cell. Both require two vaccinations three or four weeks apart. They are all very effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalizations.

How can I volunteer at a COVID-19 vaccination event?

Novant Health is looking for non-clinical volunteers, ages 16 and up, to help greet people as they arrive, escort people through the line, assist with traffic flow, help with paperwork and more. Each volunteer will be provided with personal protective equipment, and most shifts are four hours long. Click here to sign up.