COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A: Insight From Our Family Doctors in Lincoln, NE

Our primary care doctors in Lincoln, NE answer common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out throughout the country, we wanted to take a moment and answer common questions about the vaccine and offer further insight into the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any further questions after reading the below information, please don’t hesitate to call us at (402) 483-2987!

When will a COVID-19 vaccination be available to me? 

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a plan for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed to prioritized populations in phases. These phases will occur over the next several months.

  • Phase 1A-Healthcare personnel & Long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Phase 1B-Persons 75 and older, First responders, Education sector, and Critical Infrastructure (those at highest risk for work-related exposure)
  • Phase 1C-Persons 65-74, Persons with high-risk medical conditions, vulnerable populations (homeless, disabled)
  • Phase 2-Large number of vaccine doses available, sufficient to meet the need of the general population

Where will I be able to receive the vaccine when one comes available?

At this time, our office will not be distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. It is anticipated that the local health department, hospital systems, and community pharmacies will be the primary vaccination sites.  Please, monitor the local DHHS website for up-to-date information regarding vaccination plans. 

How many injections of the vaccine will be needed for optimal immunity?

Currently, there are COVID-19 vaccines available from the companies of Pfizer and Moderna. Both require 2 injections separated by 21 or 28 days, depending on the manufacturer.

How long after the second injection does it take to meet maximum immunity?

It will take 10-14 days after receiving the second vaccination to reach maximum immunity.

What are the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The most common side effects found in research studies include injection site pain and redness, fatigue, joint and muscle aches, chills, fever, and headache. In most cases, these were mild or moderate in severity and resolved in around 24 hours.   

How long does immunity last after completing the COVID-19 vaccination series?

It is not yet known how long immunity will last in those who have recovered from the disease or in those who have been vaccinated. The research will continue to provide answers in this area; vaccines may require an additional booster at some point after the first two doses.

If I’ve recovered from COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated? 

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease and varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long immunity will last. Based upon some early evidence, immunity may not last longer than a few months, so the vaccine is still needed. If you’ve had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, it would be acceptable to delay vaccination for a short period of time.

Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. The government is providing vaccine doses to people across the country at no cost. 

Will children be vaccinated?

Initially, only those over 16 will be vaccinated. 

When can I stop wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others after I have been vaccinated?

There is not enough information currently available to make that determination. Until we know more, all preventative measures currently in place, such as masks, distancing, and handwashing should be maintained.

Important Note:

The residents of Lancaster County will be able to register to receive the COVID 19 vaccine. Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department is set to begin registrations, Wednesday, 1/20/2021 at 0800 at or people can call 402-441-8006 to have the LLCHD help them register. Officials are encouraging everyone to register and, if you qualify, you will be notified when and where to get the vaccine. Those who may not qualify for this round of vaccines will be put on a waitlist and notified when the vaccine is available. Health Director Pat Lopez said Pinnacle Bank Arena will be used as a vaccination clinic on Friday for some health care workers in Phase 1A. As soon as vaccinations for people in Phase 1A are complete, vaccinations for people in Phase 1B will begin.

Primary Care Partners will continue to share information with our patients via the website and social media as we receive information from the Department of Health and Human Services. Once again, we encourage everyone to monitor the local DHHS website for up-to-date information regarding vaccination plans.