Information about the Coronavirus

Griffin Health is committed to the care and safety of our patients. Please call your doctor or provider before your visit. General COVID-19 information is available here. Questions about vaccination, testing, and assistance with VAMS call 203-204-1053. If you are currently eligible for a vaccination (CT State eligibility info) and have not already made an appointment, please call 203-433-3394 to speak to an appointment scheduling specialist.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Griffin Health is partnering with the State of Connecticut to efficiently administer COVID-19 vaccines according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Griffin, along with health organizations and infectious disease specialists around the world, strongly recommend that everyone get vaccinated for COVID-19 once it is widely available.

We trust that the vaccines are safe. The COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards, and were reviewed by the federal government and the Science Subcommittee of Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offers protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.

Connecticut is currently in Phase 1b of its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. Click here for information on eligible individuals.

Register for your vaccine through VAMS

Click here to begin the process

COVID-19 Employee Vaccination

Griffin Hospital is a designated COVID-19 vaccination site by the State of Connecticut and is taking vaccination appointments for qualifying individuals. Click here for information on vaccination for employers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective?

Yes. Evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and work to prevent COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine was 94% effective in phase 3 clinical trials with more than 70,000 participants between the two studies. Although the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed recently, the technology used in mRNA vaccines, like those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, has been studied for decades.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine require two doses. Individuals who receive a dose of a particular vaccine must receive a second dose of the vaccine from the same manufacturer, as they are not interchangeable.

Can I still get COVID-19 after my first shot? What about after my second shot?

Yes, you can get COVID-19 after both shots. While you will have some protection from COVID-19 after the first shot, you will not receive the full benefit of the vaccine until roughly 10-14 days after your second shot. As with the flu vaccine, you may still contract, and transmit, COVID-19 after you are fully vaccinated, but any symptoms you may experience should be less severe and resolve quicker. Therefore, it is important that you continue wearing a face mask, social distancing and taking other precautions even after vaccination.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Those who receive the vaccine may experience mild symptoms of COVID-19 and soreness at the site of injection. Information about rare allergic reactions to the vaccination can be found on the CDC website.

Since the vaccine is so new, how do you know there won’t be long term health effects from taking it?

Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinates to learn about very rare or possible long-term effects. At least 8 weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the COVD-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.

Is it safe to get vaccinated if I have an underlying health condition?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. It is recommended that people with these conditions get vaccinated. Individuals who have had prior allergic reactions to injectable medicines should consult with their medical providers before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

I’ve had allergic reactions to other shots, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You should talk with your provider about what allergies may make it risky for you to get the COVID-19 vaccination, but, it has proven safe in the vast majority of instances.

Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe for children?

Vaccinations are only authorized for those over 16 at this time, and more research needs to be done to develop a vaccine for children, but we are hopeful that there will be an update in the future.

Can people who have already have COVID-19 get the vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or nursing?

Yes. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend getting the vaccine to prevent severe illness secondary to COVID-19 in Pregancy.

Does this vaccine cause infertility?

No. There is no scientific evidence for this claim.

I have a food allergy, can I get the vaccine?

Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.

I have seasonal allergies, can I get the vaccine?

Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.

What is the timeline for Connecticut to make vaccine available?

Vaccines will start to become available quickly after the required Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) are in place. We expect to receive roughly 180,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of the calendar year. We are currently in Phase 1a, and expect Phase 1b to begin in the first quarter of 2021 – hopefully as soon as January, depending upon the supply of vaccine. There may be some overlap between phases as new populations are made eligible even as groups in the first phase continue to receive vaccination.

Where do I go for a vaccination?

When you are eligible for a vaccination, you will most likely work through your physician, or the employer coordinator at your workplace to learn about the specifics of your eligibility requirements. Vaccines will be able to be administered in a wide range of places: physician’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, and other locations that would normally administer vaccinations.

Do I get to choose which vaccine brand I want to receive?

In general, given scarce supply, only one vaccine may be available through your provider. You can talk with your medical provider if you have specific questions or concerns that may lead you to want to seek out one specific COVID-19 vaccine versus another.

How do I know when to schedule my second vaccination?

Most providers will ask you to schedule your first and second vaccination at the same time, and will help you set up reminders via text, email, or phone call about your second dose.

What if I miss my second shot?

You should talk to your provider about what next steps you need to take if you miss an appointment for your second vaccination. You will need to get the second shot to be fully vaccinated but will not have to repeat the 2 shot series if you miss your second shot.

My relative is in a nursing home, can I visit once the residents are vaccinated?

You should continue to follow guidelines released by the Department of Public Health. While you or your family member may be vaccinated, you may come into others who are not, so it is critical to continue to use caution.

If I’m vaccinated, can I visit family in the hospital or nursing home?

You should continue to follow guidelines released by the Department of Public Health. While you or your family member may be vaccinated, you may come into others who are not, so it is critical to continue to use caution.

Am I going to be required to carry verification that I’ve been vaccinated?

No. Although your provider will make sure that their records reflect you have received vaccine in order to most effectively treat you in the future.

Once I’m vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing?

No. Not everyone you come into contact with will have received the vaccine. It is critical to follow basic public health best practices for the foreseeable future

I received my first COVID-19 vaccine dose from another vaccination provider. Can I receive my second vaccine dose at Griffin?

We recommend that individuals receive their first and second vaccine dose from the same provider. You should make every effort to schedule your second vaccine dose from the same provider who administered your first dose. If you received your first vaccine dose from another provider and that provider is unable to administer your second dose, you can schedule your second dose with Griffin.

Which COVID-19 vaccine is being given – Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna?

Griffin is administering both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA has determined that both vaccines are safe and effective. We administer the initial vaccine dose based on the supply available. There is no option for patients to choose which vaccine brand they receive.

As new vaccines are approved for use by the FDA, brands other than Pfizer-BioNTech-BioNTech and Moderna will be administered by Griffin.

PLEASE BE AWARE - Individuals must receive the same COVID-19 vaccine brand for their first and second dose.

Can I interchange COVID-19 vaccines?

Individuals must receive the same COVID-19 vaccine brand (for example, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) for their first and second dose. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are not interchangeable with each other or with other COVID-19 vaccine products. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the vaccination series should be completed with the same vaccine brand. Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html#Interchangeability

How do I make an appointment for second COVID-19 vaccine dose?

You should make your appointment for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine using the same method that you used to schedule your first dose. For example, if you scheduled your first appointment using the VAMS system, you should use VAMS to schedule your second dose. If you scheduled your first appointment by phone on Griffin’s COVID-19 Scheduling Line, please schedule your second dose through the scheduling line. Usually Griffin’s Scheduling Line staff will make your first and second appointments at the same time to make scheduling vaccination easier.

How soon after my COVID-19 first shot should I receive my second shot?

If you receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for your first dose, your second dose should be at least 21 days later. If you receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for your first dose, your second dose should be at least 28 days later. Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html.

What if my second COVID-19 vaccine appointment is more than 21 days (for Pfizer-BioNTech) or 28 days (for Moderna) after receiving my first dose?

It is best to receive your second dose as close to the recommended time interval as possible. However, individuals can receive the second dose up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose and attain full effectiveness of the vaccine. What’s most important is that you return to receive your second dose to complete the process and get full protection from the vaccine. Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

Questions about COVID-19?

Call the Griffin Health Hotline at 203-204-1053

Griffin Health is offering a call center for patients, visitors and members of the community who have questions about COVID-19. Griffin Health caregivers are available to answer your specific questions Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We are experiencing higher-than-normal call volume at the moment. For a faster vaccination scheduling process, register online through VAMS.