COVID-19 Resources
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Alert IconEveryone, age 5 and older, is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccination resources for more information.  Masks are required for patients, visitors and vendors to enter our facilities.

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

Find a Vaccine Location

To find a clinic location conducting COVID-19 vaccinations in your area, visit the vaccine finder.

Screening Form

To save time, please print the COVID-19 Vaccine Screening Form and bring with to your appointment.

Insurance Card Needed for Vaccine

Please bring your health insurance or Medicare card to your vaccine appointment. If you do not have health insurance, bring your driver's license or Social Security number, if available. The vaccine is available to all recipients at no out-of-pocket expense.

Get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Get the full series of doses to ensure you are fully protected.

If you experience symptoms, call your Avera clinic, and:

  • Stay home when sick and isolate yourself.
  • Wait for results of any tests that are ordered.
  • Don’t share items.
  • Don’t share bathroom or bedroom areas.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated, you should:

  • Continue to mask, distance and practice frequent hand hygiene.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Avoid crowds.

Trusted Voices - Dr. Dayana Maita

Trusted Voices - Dr. Dayana Maita - Spanish

Trusted Voices - Jen Stearns

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

I’m fully vaccinated but heard there are booster shots available for some people who are at risk of getting COVID-19 or getting really sick from it. How do I know if I qualify?

You need to have gotten your second Pfizer shot at least six calendar months before you are eligible for a booster – for example, if your second Pfizer vaccine was March 18, you were eligible for a booster on September 18. You can get your booster any time after that six-month window has passed. If you got the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson shot, you are not eligible for a booster.

In addition, you need to be within one of these groups:

  • 65 years old or older
  • Living in a long term care facility, homeless shelter or correctional facility
  • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, such as cancer; cerebrovascular disease; COPD; diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2; heart conditions like heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; obesity with a BMI over 30; pregnancy/recent pregnancy; and a history of current or past smoking.
  • At increased risk for being exposed to COVID-19 because of where you live or work, including:
    • Front line and non-front line essential workers, such as health care workers, teachers, day care staff, grocery workers.
    • Paid and unpaid workers who interact within less than 6 feet of others.
    • Unpaid caregiver of a frail or immunocompromised person.

I'm immunocompromised. How do I know if I should get a COVID-19 vaccine third dose?

Immunocompromised includes those who:

  • Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Have advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Have active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

Only mRNA vaccines are approved as boosters for immunocompromised people. You should try to get the same brand of shot if you got two doses of the mRNA vaccine the first time. If you did not, it’s OK just to get a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as your booster. You should wait at least 28 days after your first two doses to get the third dose.

This vaccine is new, how do we know it’s safe?

The vaccines authorized by the FDA are safe. They have met the FDA’s high safety standards, and have been reviewed by independent scientists in public meetings.

What are the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

There is no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccine will any cause long-term effects.

I’m pregnant. Is the vaccine safe for me and my baby?

Avera’s OB-GYN, family practice/obstetrics and midwifery providers join the CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine in endorsing COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

This endorsement is based on a growing body of evidence about the safety and effectiveness of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, which suggests that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.

Is there a waiting time between the COVID vaccine and other vaccines?

No. You can even get the COVID vaccine on the same day as other vaccines.

Do I need the vaccine if I live in a rural area?

COVID-19 rates have been higher in rural areas than in urban and suburban areas, partly because more people are over the age of 65. The vaccine will protect you and everyone around you.

I’ve already had COVID, why do I need the vaccine?

The latest scientific data has shown us that unvaccinated individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 are still five times as likely to become infected with COVID-19.

Why should I vaccinate my child?

With the rise of the Delta variant across the U.S., COVID cases have shifted to younger ages, with more than 200 children hospitalized a day.

The vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children, and no serious adverse reactions to the vaccine have been detected.

Children who have been vaccinated are less likely to:

  • Pass COVID along to more high-risk people,
  • Miss school due to COVID,
  • Be pulled from sports and other activities due to COVID,
  • Miss days at their after-school job and other obligations due to COVID.

According to the CDC, while children are less likely to develop severe illness from COVID-19, they are still at risk of complications like respiratory failure, heart inflammation, shock, kidney failure, long-haul symptoms and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (or MIS-C). 

I've heard that COVID vaccine can cause heart problems. Should I be worried?

  • There have been a very small number of cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis/pericarditis) after vaccination - about 1,200 cases in 300 million vaccine recipients.
  • The cases have mostly occurred in male adolescents and young adults age 16 and older showing up as chest pain within the first several days after vaccination, and typically resolves with no long-term effects.
  • Due to the very small risk of this condition, especially when weighed against the very serious risk of COVID and serious COVID complications, the CDC and Avera continue to strongly recommend COVID vaccination for everyone ages 12 and older.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for breastfeeding women?

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for breastfeeding women. Avera’s OB/GYN Service Line joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine in endorsing COVID-19 vaccines for breastfeeding women.

  • The vaccine is shown to be as much as 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, and even more effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19.
  • The vaccine is well-tolerated among breastfeeding women.
  • Breastfeeding women who receive the COVID-19 vaccine pass antibodies to their children through their breastmilk.
  • In one study, some breastfeeding women did notice a reduction in milk supply, which in all cases returned to normal within 72 hours of vaccination, without any intervention.

Without the vaccine, you risk getting COVID-19 and passing it along to your baby.

Learn more:

Need Testing for COVID-19?

Call Your Local Clinic

Most insurances cover COVID-19 testing at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Check with your insurance plan to learn more.

If you are symptomatic, get tested.
Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • New fatigue and muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose

Vaccine Side Effects

Side effects like headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and mild fever are all common and show that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If you experience more serious symptoms after your vaccination, contact your clinic or primary care provider, either by phone or by sending a message through AveraChart. Your primary care provider has the best understanding of your health history.

In a true emergency, dial 911.

The public is encouraged to report adverse reactions to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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