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COVID-19 Vaccination

Missouri is now vaccinating anyone age 5 and older, including non-residents.

COVID-19 vaccines for all age groups, as well as booster doses and additional doses, are available at each of Lake Regional’s seven primary care clinics. Call the clinic of your choice to make an appointment. There is no cost to any patient for the vaccine or office visit. The Pfizer vaccine for children is a two-dose series, and a parent or guardian will need to be present for both appointments.

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COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

Children ages 5 years old and older are now eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 5 years of age and older.

Although COVID-19 is generally milder in children than adults, children can still get infected and become very sick. Getting vaccinated can protect children from serious illness.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 years old through 11 years old has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. However, children receive a dose that is one-third of what adolescents and adults receive.

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Pfizer data show that its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in kids ages 5 to 11 years old after more than 2,000 children participated in their clinical trial. The study did not examine whether vaccination slowed asymptomatic disease or spread of SARS-CoV-2 to others in contact with the vaccinated children. The FDA gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 years old through 15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years old and older.

Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines in children and adults are very similar and include sore arm, body aches, chills, headache, nausea, tiredness or fever. These side effects may affect a child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Some children will have no side effects. Severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, and complications such as myocarditis and pericarditis are rare. Learn more about possible side effects in children at

Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine, at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines. However, some providers recommend spacing out vaccinations.

Booster Shots

Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines are now available. The FDA and CDC approved boosters based on clinical trials suggesting that the protection of the vaccines lessens with time and that immunity levels rise after another dose.

For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago. For individuals who received a Pfizer-Biotech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, anyone 18 and older may receive a booster shot at least six months after their initial series. According to the CDC, everyone 18 years and older should get a booster shot. Read CDC Guidelines here.

The recommendations allow individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

All seven Lake Regional primary care clinics provide COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses. Learn more at

Additional mRNA Doses

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, Lake Regional Health System is now offering an additional mRNA dose at its primary care clinics to people whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised.

The CDC has stated that people who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose.

For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. Currently, this recommendation only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and not to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

It is not necessary to be an established patient with Lake Regional to receive a vaccination appointment. There is no cost to any patient for the vaccine or office visit. Patients should bring their vaccination card to the appointment. Before receiving an additional mRNA dose, patients will be required to sign a statement indicating they personally consider themselves moderately to severely immunocompromised and thus are eligible for an additional dose.

Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine?

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people includes people 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
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

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COVID Vaccine and the Flu Vaccine

The flu shot can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, but some providers recommend spacing out vaccinations. Talk to your provider to discuss what is best.

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Beyond Lake Regional, find the most convenient location to get a vaccine.

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Get the Vax Facts:

The vaccines were created quickly. Are they really safe?

A: Yes. Here are the facts about vaccine development, side effects and those rumors you’ve heard:

Vaccine Development: Large clinical trials showed that all approved vaccines are safe and effective, and there were no safety shortcuts. While the COVID-19 vaccines are new, scientists have been working with the technology for mRNA and viral vector vaccines for more than 20 years.

Side Effects: Most side effects are mild, such as sore arm or tiredness. Some people have no side effects at all. Serious allergic reactions or blood clots are extremely rare.

Rumor Control: The vaccines do not: alter your DNA, cause infertility, contain a tracking chip or give you COVID-19.

Further Reading:

What about long-term effects?

A: Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects have been detected.

The CDC continues to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. If scientists find a connection between a safety issue and a vaccine, FDA and the vaccine manufacturer will work toward an appropriate solution to address the specific safety concern (for example, a problem with a specific lot, a manufacturing issue, or the vaccine itself).

Are the vaccines effective?

A: Yes, all of the COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against illness.

Efficacy Rates: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an approximate 95% efficacy rate and are highly effective in preventing severe disease. Johnson & Johnson's has an 85% efficacy rate in preventing hospitalization and complete protection against death caused by COVID-19.

Best Defense: You should not risk the possibility of severe illness and death from COVID-19 when you can acquire immunity from the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. Plus, it is unknown how long natural immunity lasts after contracting COVID-19.

Further Reading:

I'm healthy. Do I really need to be vaccinated?

A: Yes, the vaccine is recommended for healthy people, too.

Even though some groups of people have had lower rates of hospitalization and mortality, they still might be vulnerable to medical problems from COVID-19 or even at risk for potential death. The new coronavirus variants also may pose a greater risk to younger people because some are more contagious.

Currently, a rise in coronavirus infections among young people appears to be driving new outbreaks in many states. According to the Missouri Hospital Association, the demographic group of 20-44 year olds currently make up the largest group of positive cases. In addition, the most recent data from the CDC shows that adults younger than 50 account for the most hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Further Reading:

What should I know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

A: Use of the vaccine has resumed because a review of all available data shows that the J&J COVID-19 vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.

Nearly 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States. Side effects of concern have been extremely rare, affecting less than 30 people in the 8 million.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, individuals who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Patients with other clinical questions should contact their health care provider or call the state's COVID-19 hotline at 877.435.8411.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccinated?

A: COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.

Further reading:

I've been vaccinated, but I lost my card. What do I do?

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is not offering replacement cards. However, individuals can be directed to complete a Request for Official State of Missouri Immunization Records form, and DHSS can send them a copy of the immunization record on file in ShowMeVax, the statewide immunizations registry. Completed forms should be sent to DHSS via email at, or fax at 573-526-0238.

Sources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services

Take Action: Contact a Lake Regional primary care clinic today to schedule a vaccination appointment.

More Information

The COVID-19 vaccine itself is provided at no charge. However, there is a vaccine administration charge that will be billed to your insurance, including Medicare, if you are insured. At this time, there is no copay or co-insurance and therefore no out-of-pocket costs. Uninsured patients will have no out-of-pocket costs.

If you receive a bill, it is an error. For assistance, please submit a Contact Us form or call our Patient Financial Services department at 573.348.8798.

To learn more about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine visit