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COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

If you are still thinking about getting the vaccine, take a moment to watch a powerful message from two patients who spent Christmas in our ICU battling COVID. Unfortunately, one of those patients lost that battle.

University Health (UH) has been a leader in COVID testing and safely distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to all communities in Jackson County. We know you may have many questions so please check back regularly for updates about COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Download the COVID-19 FAQ Sheet (PDF)

Updated 3-3-22

COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Chart

University Health is now providing Pfizer, Moderna and J & J booster shots for COVID-19. If you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment by calling 816-404-CARE or walk in at any of the two locations below.

Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots are available to everyone 12 years and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen* boosters are available to all adults 18 years and older. The CDC approved a booster shot for any adult who received their first two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago, or for any adult who received a single dose of the J & J vaccine at least two months ago.

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is easy and convenient.
Come to one of our two clinics where we offer Pfizer vaccine to people 12 and older:

Call 816.404.3280

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to children 5-11 at University Health 2 (2211 Charlotte St., KCMO 64108) and University Health Lakewood Medical Center (7900 Lee’s Summit Rd., KCMO 64139). Established patients may make an appointment with their child’s provider at the Med/Ped’s clinic at UHTMC or the Family Medicine Clinic at UHLMC. Call 816-404-2273 (CARE) to schedule those appointments.

Vaccines are available by appointment or walk-in at any of the two locations listed below. If you would like to schedule an appointment call 816.404.CARE to speak with someone.

Hours are as follows:
University Health 2, 2211 Charlotte Street
Monday-Friday 7:00am – 3:20pm
(Pfizer boosters available daily. Moderna boosters are available by appointment Monday through Friday).

University Health Lakewood Medical Center, 7900 Lee’s Summit Road
Open Tuesday and Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm
(Pfizer boosters available daily. Moderna boosters are available by appointment Monday through Friday).

When patients receive their first dose, the second dose will be scheduled on the spot.

Need a free ride to get the vaccine?

Free Ride to get the COVID-19 Vaccine

It's easy! Call 913.647.0010 and use code “VACCINE ME”. The ride is free to our downtown location. There's no cost to you for the vaccine.

Updated November 4, 2021:

The CDC states that if you are at least 18 years old and received a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you are eligible for a booster shot at least 2 months after your initial vaccine. You may receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.

The CDC has recommended immunocompromised people receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine. On Wednesday, August 18th, Truman Medical Centers/University Health began distributing dose 3 of the Moderna and Pfizer for the following conditions:

These conditions and treatments include but are not limited to:

  • Active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Receipt of CAR-T cell or stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking medicine to suppress the immune system)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that may suppress the immune system
  • If you request the third dose, you will need to complete an attestation form that shows you meet one of the above conditions when you arrive. You can schedule an appointment by calling 816.404.CARE (2273), or walk in to one of our clinics (see above times/locations). If you received Moderna, it’s recommended you schedule an appointment by calling 404-CARE.

Also on August 18, public health and medical experts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a plan to begin offering a booster shot beginning the week of September 20, subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All U.S. adults who received a two-dose vaccine would be eligible for an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine eight months from when they got their second one. Details are still being worked out. Continue to check our website for updates.

Pfizer vaccine available for children aged 5-11 starting Monday, November 8, 2021

University Health offers the Pfizer vaccine to minors age 5-11 years old with parental or guardian consent. Parents are strongly encouraged to be present. The vaccine will be administered at University Health 2 or UH Lakewood Medical Center. Established patients may make an appointment with their child’s provider at the Med/Ped’s clinic at UH Truman Medical Center or the Family Medicine Clinic at UH Lakewood Medical Center.

A second vaccine will be scheduled for three weeks following the first shot. Appointments are strongly encouraged. You can schedule an appointment by calling 816.404.CARE (2273).

Pfizer vaccine available for children 12-17 years old

University Health offers the Pfizer vaccine to minors age 12 to 17 years old with parental or guardian consent. Anyone age 12-17 years old will need a parent/guardian to sign this form and bring with them to receive the vaccine (click here to download the COVID vaccine form). You can schedule an appointment by calling 816.404.CARE (2273) or we will accept walk-ins at any of our clinics listed above.

Health order for COVID-19 vaccinations of non-Missouri residents

With the execution of a new health order issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, effective today, Friday, April 30, Missouri providers may begin vaccinating non-Missouri residents ages 16 and older.

Replacement vaccine card

ShowMeVax immunization records can be requested via email or fax. Individuals are able to complete the Request for Official State of Missouri Immunization Records form and the DHSS will send them a copy of the immunization record on file in ShowMeVax - our statewide registry. Or email the completed form to or fax to 573.526.0238.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease, as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, because if you are protected from getting infected and from disease, you are less likely to infect someone else. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as healthcare providers, older or elderly adults, and people with other medical conditions.

What information do I need to provide to get vaccinated?
Please bring your photo ID and insurance card if you have one. When you return for your second dose, please bring your vaccine card, along with your photo ID and insurance information.

What is in the vaccine?
What is an mRNA vaccine? mRNA stands for “messenger ribonucleic acid” and it encodes the instructions for your body to make a specific protein (Spike protein) on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When your body makes this viral protein, your body develops antibodies to it. These antibodies protect you if you later encounter the virus.

  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial with over 40,000 participants resulted in a 95-percent effective rate against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first of two doses of the vaccine. Pfizer reports the vaccine was well tolerated with headache and fatigue as the most common side effects. For the latest on the Pfizer vaccine visit
  • The Moderna Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial with 30,000 participants of its two-dose vaccine resulted in a 94.1% efficacy against COVID-19 and 100% efficacy against severe COVID-19. Moderna reports the most common side effects as being headache, fatigue, and pain, and redness at the injection site. For the latest on the Moderna vaccine visit
  • The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine - The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause.

    The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different method to prime the body to fight off Covid-19: a viral vector called Ad26. Viral vectors are common viruses that have been genetically altered so that they do not cause illness but can still cause the immune system to build up its defenses. For the latest on the Johnson& Johnson vaccine visit

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID?
Is there live virus in the vaccine? None of the COVID-19 vaccines have live SARS-CoV-2 virus. The mRNA vaccines cannot give you or anyone else COVID-19. The vaccine does not make you contagious.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me test positive for COVID-19 if I am tested after being vaccinated?
No. The vaccine will not cause you to test positive on viral tests for COVID-19 infection. The vaccine will likely cause you to test positive for antibody tests (also called serology) since the vaccine helps build antibodies to COVID-19.

Should I worry that the vaccine was made so quickly?
No. All vaccines going for approval must meet high U.S. standards of safety. The COVID-19 vaccines for the U.S. were supported by government funds to speed up: trial enrollment, so the trials could quickly enroll tens of thousands of participants; manufacturing, to increase manufacturing sites and employees; and distribution, to enable produced vaccines to be shipped rapidly around the U.S. and worldwide.

What is the difference between Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status and full FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for a vaccine?
When a vaccine has proven effective in a trial with 2 months of post-vaccine safety data, it can apply for EUA status. In order to apply for full FDA approval, 6 months of post-vaccine safety data is required. Both mRNA vaccines have reported outstanding safety data with no serious side effects.

Am I protected as soon as I receive the vaccine?
Can I stop wearing a mask? No. You should follow all policies, protocols, and public health orders related to COVID-19. Experts believe that 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated before the pandemic will be over.

What side effects do the vaccines have? Do I have to do any planning?
There may be side effects that feel like the flu, but that doesn’t mean you are infected or contagious. Instead, it means that your body is successfully generating an immune response to provide you protection. Get your vaccine when you don’t have anything important planned in the next day or two, just in case you experience side effects.

What if I get the first dose and then don’t want the next dose?
Even though the overall data suggests some benefit after the first dose, you should plan to receive a second dose for the best protection against COVID-19.

What if I missed my second dose? Can I get it late?
Try to be on time with your second dose because the data on vaccine benefit was based upon a fixed number of weeks between doses (3 weeks between Pfizer doses; 4 weeks between Moderna doses). If you are late, you should still receive the second dose.

I already had COVID-19. Am I supposed to get the vaccine?
Yes. If you have had COVID-19, you should still receive the vaccine. Don’t receive the vaccine while you are infected, but after you recover and return to normal activities, you can and should receive the vaccine.

If I have allergies to food or medication, should I worry about having an allergic reaction to the vaccine?
Having a significant allergy to a food or medication does not necessarily mean that you are at higher risk for an allergic reaction to the COVID vaccine. For individuals who have serious allergies, please consult with your doctor.

How much will the vaccine cost?
If you have Medicaid, Medicare, or the UH gold or purple card or if you are uninsured, there will be no cost to you. Most private insurance carriers are covering the COVID administrative fee with no cost to consumers. To confirm you should check with your insurance company first.

Is there any way to protect myself from the new strain of COVID-19 that made its way to the U.S. from England?
Mark Steele, M.D., Executive Chief Clinical Officer at University Health, explains that it is not unusual for a virus to mutate or change. While we continue to learn more about this new strain, Dr. Steele said it does not appear to be more deadly than the original. He urges everyone to continue to wash hands, wear a mask, and maintain social distance. “The good news is if we continue to practice infection control measures, we should be able to keep it under control as well,” said Dr. Steele.

Should I take anything like Tylenol or ibuprofen before getting the vaccine dose?
At this time, it is not known for certain if taking an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen prior to the shot will somehow impede its effectiveness. The best time to take any over-the-counter medication is if you develop symptoms after you receive the vaccine. However, if you regularly take these types of over-the-counter medications for other medical conditions, please continue to do so as recommended by your doctor or as needed.

Other video content

See what University Health is doing to make certain the COVID-19 vaccine reaches people and communities in need.

Jackson County Executive Frank White and wife Teresa received their COVID-19 vaccine at UH. Watch as Mr. White explains why taking this step is important to him, his family, and the Jackson County community.

Still questioning whether you should get the vaccine? Take a moment to see UH staff explain why they decided to get it.

Should pregnant women get COVID-19 vaccine? Kansas City OB-GYN weighs in.
Dr. Devika Maulik of University Health and Children's Mercy lays out the pros and cons of the vaccine for pregnant women.

Faith Communities Town Hall

University Health is working to provide accurate information to you about the COVID-19 vaccine. This week, we gathered a group of our physicians, a financial advisor, and a local pastor for a virtual town hall. The group addressed important questions provided by church leaders and their members in our faith communities. To watch the town hall in its entirety, click here.

If you have additional questions about the vaccine click here to get more information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.