COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
For questions about Montgomery County, Pennsylvania's COVID-19 vaccine registration, appointments, and provider enrollment, please see below.
Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot?
Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine boosters are available to everyone ages 18 and older. Pfizer boosters are available to those aged 12 & older. Appointments are required, no walk-ups will be accepted.*
*Appointments for boosters are released one month at a time. If the date you're eligible to receive your booster on falls outside that range, you will not yet be able to make an appointment or receive a booster and should check back later.
Individuals who received the Moderna vaccine as their primary COVID-19 series must wait at least a full six calendar months (not 180 days) to receive a booster dose. Those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are recommended to receive a booster five months after the completion of their primary series. Those who do not meet these criteria will be unable to receive their booster dose and will be asked to reschedule their appointment. The booster dose can be either the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J vaccine. (Note only Pfizer is approved for people under the age of 18.)
J&J (Janssen) Booster Eligibility
People 18 and older who received the J&J (Janssen) single-shot COVID-19 vaccine must wait at least two months (8 weeks) to receive a booster dose. The booster dose can be either the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J (Janssen) vaccine.
Who is eligible to receive a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine?
Pfizer vaccine is available for those 5 years and up and Moderna vaccine is available for those 18 years and up who are immunocompromised. For a list of qualifying conditions, click here. To schedule, you should be at least 28 days from your last dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
What vaccines are authorized for 5 to 11-year-olds?
What is the process for getting vaccinated as a minor?
I'm eligible for a booster, why can't I book my appointment?
At this time, we are only booking appointments for boosters roughly one month out from today's date. If the date you're eligible to receive your booster on falls outside that range, you will not yet be able to make an appointment and should check back later.
I'm trying to schedule my appointment for a third dose/booster, but your website isn't working!
Please make sure you are using either the Google Chrome or Firefox browser when registering. If you continue to have problems, email COVID19@montcopa.org.
Do I need an appointment for my third dose/booster or can I just walk up?
Appointments are required for all third dose or booster shots. Walk-ups are not accepted for these vaccinations at this time.
Am I able to edit my personal information in the vaccine registration system?
No. You are only able to reschedule your appointment using your initial confirmation email.
What email address does the confirmation come from?
Can I use the same email address for multiple people?
Yes. You will get multiple emails, one for each of the registrant(s).
How can I update my registration to include a medical condition?
You cannot update your registration with a medical condition.
I registered multiple people and only got a response about one.
Each registration is for an individual. You can use the same email address. You will just need to hatcheck to whom the email is addressed.
I am homebound/I know someone is homebound.
Montgomery County’s Department of Public Safety is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to homebound individuals who are eligible through its Mobile Integrated Health Unit. Anyone who wants to setup a vaccination appointment for a homebound person should call (610) 631-3079 and leave a voicemail for a call back.
Can you confirm that I am registered?
No. We do not have the ability to confirm you are registered at this time. You should have received an email confirming your registration.
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FOR VACCINE APPOINTMENTS
HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED IF MY APPOINTMENT IS CANCELED/RESCHEDULED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER?
DOES A PARENT/GUARDIAN NEED TO BE PRESENT WITH THEIR 12 TO 17-YEAR-OLD AT THE VACCINE CLINIC?
I RECEIVED MY FIRST DOSE, WHEN WILL I RECEIVE AN EMAIL TO SCHEDULE MY SECOND DOSE?
I NEVER RECEIVED AN EMAIL ABOUT MY SECOND DOSE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
HOW CAN I RESCHEDULE THE SECOND DOSE APPOINTMENT?
IF I RECEIVED MY FIRST DOSE SOMEWHERE ELSE, CAN I SCHEDULE MY SECOND DOSE AT A MONTGOMERY COUNTY CLINIC?
I'M ELIGIBLE FOR A BOOSTER, WHY CAN'T I BOOK MY APPOINTMENT?
I'M TRYING TO SCHEDULE MY APPOINTMENT FOR A THIRD DOSE/BOOSTER, BUT YOUR WEBSITE ISN'T WORKING!
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY THIRD DOSE/BOOSTER OR CAN I JUST WALK UP?
WHAT EMAIL ADDRESS DOES THE CONFIRMATION COME FROM?
HOW DO I CANCEL MY APPOINTMENT?
I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT BUT NEED TO CANCEL. WILL I RECEIVE ANOTHER LINK TO RESCHEDULE?
HOW DO I KNOW WHERE TO GO ONCE I RECEIVE CONFIRMATION OF MY APPOINTMENT?
IF MY GROUP/PRACTICE REGISTERS STAFF, DOES THE GROUP/PRACTICE MAKE ALL STAFF APPOINTMENTS OR DOES EACH STAFF MAKE THEIR OWN APPOINTMENT?
IF I’M FEELING SICK, SHOULD I CANCEL MY VACCINE APPOINTMENT?
CAN I RECEIVE A SMART HEALTH CARD (QR CODES) FROM OPH VACCINATION SITES?
Why do I need to wear a mask if I’m fully vaccinated?
Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and, if infected, to develop symptoms of COVID-19. They are at substantially reduced risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated people.
Infections (breakthrough infections) can happen in a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated. Moreover, when these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected can be infectious and can spread the virus to others. For this reason, when the county is in a condition of substantial or high transmission, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health aligns with the CDC recommendations for all people, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to use masks when in close contact indoors.
Is the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine safe?
Yes. The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine, after a temporary pause. A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old who had received the J&J/Janssen vaccine. There are other COVID-19 vaccine options available where this risk has not been seen in women.
CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Seek medical care right away if you develop any of the symptoms listed here after receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic.
For more info on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the following sites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19 Vaccine Page (Information for the Public and Healthcare Professionals)
- The Vaccine Education Center: Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Vaccinate Your Family and Other Medical/Public Health Experts: COVID-19 and COVID-19 Vaccines
What vaccines are approved for use for 5 to 11-year-olds?
Only the Pediatric Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in children aged 5 to 11. When registering for your appointment, please select a clinic that is administering the Pediatric Pfizer vaccine. All minors (under age 18) that are to be vaccinated MUST be physically accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
How can I get a copy of my COVID-19 vaccination record?
If you were vaccinated in PA and have an immunization record in PA SIIS (Pennsylvania’s Immunization Registry) you must call an OPH Public Health Center or email firstname.lastname@example.org and include full name, date of birth, contact number, and email address. We will not accept walk-ins. If your request can be processed, you will be informed when and where you can pick up your vaccination record or card. We will not mail COVID-19 vaccination cards to you.
Locations and Hours:
Norristown Public Health Center: 610-278-5145
- Tuesday - Friday from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (this service is not available on Mondays)
Pottstown Public Health Center: 610-970-5040
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (this service is not available on Wednesdays)
Willow Grove Public Health Center: 215-784-5415
- Tuesday - Friday from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (this service is not available on Mondays)
Does asking for vaccination status violate HIPAA law?
It is not a violation of HIPAA for entities to ask for proof of vaccination, but everyone has the right to refuse to disclose this information. Check with your legal counsel in order to decide if requiring vaccination proof or asking about vaccination history would be prudent for your organization.
Can I get vaccinated if I currently have COVID-19?
No. Anyone who is in the active stage of an acute COVID infection or who has been in close contact with a person who has had a COVID positive test result should remain in self-isolation or quarantine and NOT come to a vaccination site.
If I had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you have recovered from a COVID infection, you can choose to wait up to 90 days (about 3 months) for a vaccination, as your antibody level will likely protect you from infection for at least that long. Or, you can choose to be vaccinated within that 90-day period. You may have a response to the vaccine-like those who have not had a COVID infection.
Are COVID-19 vaccines recommended during pregnancy?
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. 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. Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, although limited, 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. For more information, please review CDC guidance.
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Common side effects on the arm where you got the shot include:
Throughout the rest of your body:
When should I get the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
Moderna first doses will be administered exactly 28 days after the first dose. Pfizer second doses will be administered exactly 21 days after the first dose. Please plan for this when you schedule your first appointment. You will be provided with the date to return for your second dose by the nurse administering your first dose. If you are unable to return on that date you will be asked to defer your first dose. You will receive an e-mail with instructions on how you will register and make your second dose appointment a week prior to the 28th or 21st day after you received your first dose. It is possible that you will have a choice of clinics for your second dose.
I’m fully vaccinated (2 doses of A two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or 1 Dose of a one-dose covid-19 vaccine). do I need to quarantine after traveling within the United States?
No. Please click here for current travel guidelines for Pennsylvania.
I'm fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine and traveling internationally. Do I need to quarantine after arriving back in the United States?
No. Please click here for current international travel guidelines.
Where is COVID-19 vaccine available in Montgomery County?
How do I enroll as a COVID-19 vaccine provider?
To receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine, providers must be credentialed/licensed in Pennsylvania; sign and agree to the conditions in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, and fully complete the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Profile form for each location where COVID-19 vaccine will be administered.
Where do I send the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement form once it is completed?
Click here to email provider agreement forms.
For general COVID-19 questions please email email@example.com or call the Montgomery County COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967. The hotline is open five days a week, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please note the hotline cannot provide updates or timelines on vaccine pre-registration, or troubleshoot issues with vaccine appointments. Please refer to the instructions received in your confirmation email.