Select a language from the menu on the right.

COVID Vaccine Information

Let BMS call the shots! Baltimore Medical System provides information for COVID vaccines and boosters to current patients and the greater Baltimore area. Get answers to common COVID vaccination questions here.

Resources:

  • +Is the COVID vaccine safe?

    Yes, The COVID vaccination is safe.

    • Before recommending COVID vaccination for any age from 6 months and up, many scientists, doctors, and pharmacists checked, double checked, triple checked, and still keep checking — to make sure the vaccine is safe.
    • The COVID vaccine has been checked just as much as other vaccines. It continues to be checked constantly to make sure it is safe.
    • Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked closely at all the many studies of the COVID vaccine before approving the use of the COVID vaccine.

    View More Here:
    Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
    Source: umms.org, 2022

  • +Can I go to work right after I get a COVID shot?

    Yes, you can go to work immediately after the 15-minute observation period.

    • After you receive your COVID shot, we will have you sit down for about 15-minutes to make sure you are feeling ok. The goal of the observation period is to make sure you are safe to leave the health center. Then you can go right to work.
    • You may have some mild discomfort for a few days or less. That might include:
      • a sore arm where you got the shot
      • tiredness
      • fever
      • chills
      • muscle aches
      • headaches
  • +Can I get a shot at any BMS Clinic?

    Yes, you can get a COVID shot at a BMS clinic.

    • BMS patients can call (443) 703-3600 to schedule an appointment for a COVID shot.
    • BMS patients who go to a BMS center for an appointment can get a COVID shot while they are waiting for their doctor. Just let the Check-in desk staff know you want a COVID shot.
    • For a COVID shot, please call (443) 703-3600 for the nearest BMS location or find a BMS center online.
  • +Can I bring my whole family for a COVID shot?

    Yes, BMS has COVID shots for everyone ages 6 months and older.

    • Absolutely, you can bring your whole family: mom, dad, kids over 6 months old, grandparents, aunts, uncles, partners, and anyone else who you live with, or who you know needs a COVID shot.
    • If they are BMS patients of any BMS centers, call (443) 703-3600 or visit Our Centers page to schedule an appointment for the family at the BMS location you want to go to.
  • +Does BMS have both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

    Yes, BMS has both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

    The state provides BMS both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

    • BMS has Pfizer vaccine and booster shots for anyone 5 years or older.
    • BMS has Moderna vaccines for ages 6 months to 4 years old.
    • BMS uses Moderna for young children 6 months through 4 years old because you only need to give them 2 shots that are 1 month apart. (Pfizer requires 3 shots for this age group).
    • The CDC does not recommend mixing products for your primary series shots. If you got Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax for the first dose of your primary series, you should get the same product for the rest of your primary series. You can get a Booster shot from either Pfizer or Moderna.

    View More Here:

  • +I had a booster shot. Do I need the new one?

    Yes, BMS has the new Bivalent booster shots.

    • The new Bivalent booster shot is recommended for anyone 5 years old and older.
    • Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that even if you had one of the other Booster shots, you should still get the Bivalent booster shot to protect you from getting sick from Omicron.

    View More Here:
    COVID classifications of variants

  • +What is Omicron?

    Omicron is a less severe form of the COVID virus.

    • COVID is a virus, and viruses continuously change. The changes are called “variants.” Variants of the COVID virus are given a name. You may have heard about the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID.
    • The Omicron variant was found in 2021 and is being watched by scientists who have found it to be less severe but more contagious, so it is important that you get the Booster shot “A study of patients at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California showed that when both the Delta and Omicron variants were circulating in December 2021, patients who had coronavirus infections with the omicron variant had substantially less risk of severe illness and shorter hospital stays than those infected with the delta variant. The study was published June 8, 2022, in Nature Medicine.”

    View More Here:
    COVID classifications of variants

  • +How do I know if I have COVID?

    These are the main symptoms of COVID:

    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Shortness of breath
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Tiredness and/or fatigue
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Fever and/or chills
    • Sore throat

    Look for emergency warning signs for COVID. If someone is showing any of these signs:

    • Trouble breathing
    • New confusion
    • Chest pain or tightness that will now stop

    Seek emergency medical care immediately. Find more information here.

  • +Is it safe to get a COVID shot with a flu shot?

    Yes, you can get any of the COVID shots at the same time you get your flu shot.

    • A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published July 15, 2022, found it is safe.
    • “Studies conducted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic indicate that it is safe to get both a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same visit. A CDC study published this summer showed people who got a flu vaccine and an mRNA COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time were slightly more likely (8% to 11%) to have reactions including fatigue, headache, and muscle ache than people who only got a COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccine, but these reactions were mostly mild and went away quickly. The findings of this study are consistent with safety data from clinical trials that did not find any safety concerns with giving both vaccines at the same time.”

    View More Here:
    Getting a Flu Vaccine and a COVID-19 Vaccine at the Same Time

  • +If I get a COVID shot and flu shot at the same time, will both my arms be sore?

    Some people, not all, may have a sore arm after the shot. If that happens, you can apply a warm compress to the sore arm. The soreness may last a few hours up to a day.

    • If you decide to get your COVID shot and flu shot at the same time, you can get both vaccines in one arm (at least 1 inch apart), or a vaccine in each arm. It is up to you.
    • If you decide to get your flu shot separate from your COVID shot, you can get the second one any time, even the next day. There is no required waiting time between the COVID shot and flu shot.

    View More Here:
    Getting a Flu Vaccine and a COVID-19 Vaccine at the Same Time

  • +Where can I get tested to see if I have COVID?

    Here is how to get tested for COVID:

    • BMS has free COVID home test kits, while supplies last.
    • At your next visit, ask for a free test kit so you have it at home to test yourself if you think you have COVID.
    • Most Baltimore County libraries and health departments have free at home do it yourself COVID test kits.
    • Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS also have test kits but there may be a charge for them.
    • For COVID tests, please call (443) 703-3600 for the nearest BMS location or find a BMS center online.

    View More Here:
    Self-Testing At Home or Anywhere

  • +Do I have to stay away from my family and work if I have COVID?

    Here is what to do if the COVID test says you have COVID:

    • Stay home for at least 5 days and stay away from others in your home.
    • Tell the people you live and work with so they can watch themselves for signs of COVID.
    • Wear a mask that fits well when around others. N95 masks are the best, and you can buy them at a drugstore.
    • Watch for symptoms that could become an emergency.
      • Trouble breathing
      • New confusion
      • Chest pain or tightness that will not stop
    • Tell your doctor. Contact them as soon as possible if:
      • Your symptoms get worse.
      • You are an older adult or have other illness.

    View More Here:
    Self-Testing At Home or Anywhere

  • +Is there any medicine I can take if I have COVID?

    There is a pill to help stop people with COVID from getting more sick.

    • Pfizer has developed a pill called PAXLOVID to help people with COVID not get real sick. The drug must be ordered by your doctor and as soon as possible after you get COVID.
    • They are still studying the drug, but it has been approved for emergency use by FDA.
    • It can be given to anyone 12 years old or over and weighing at least 88 pounds who has mild-to-moderate COVID and other medical conditions.
    • You must call your doctor as soon as you have a positive test to see if you can get a prescription for the pill. If you are a current patient or need to find a doctor, please call (443) 703-3600 for the nearest BMS location or find a BMS center online.
    • The person must have a positive result of a direct SARS-CoV-2 viral test and be considered at high risk for worsening symptoms like hospitalization or death.

    View More Here:
    13 Things To Know About Paxlovid, the Latest COVID-19 Pill

  • +If I have COVID, what symptoms are dangerous?

    Contact your doctor right away if you have any emergency warning signs for COVID.

    If someone is showing any of these signs:

    • Trouble breathing
    • New confusion
    • Chest pain or tightness that will not stop

    Seek emergency medical care immediately.

    View More Here:
    Symptoms of COVID-19

  • +Can I get COVID if I had all my shots?

    Yes, you can still get COVID after having all your shots.

    • The shots help you avoid getting COVID, but you can still get COVID in a milder form.
    • The shots act to make the symptoms of COVID less severe.
    • If you had all your shots and still get COVID you will probably not need to be put in a hospital.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “COVID-19 vaccines help protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death. COVID-19
    • Vaccines also help protect against infection. People who are vaccinated may still get COVID-19. When people who have been vaccinated get COVID-19, they are much less likely to experience severe symptoms than people who are unvaccinated.”

    View More Here:
    COVID-19 after Vaccination: Possible Breakthrough Infection

  • +Can I get COVID again if I already had it?

    Yes, you can still get COVID if you had it before.

    • Even if you had COVID in the past, you can still get it again.
    • That is because COVID is changing, and new and different strains (also called variants) of COVID keep appearing.
    • But remember, if you had all your shots and the new Bivalent booster, you will not have a really bad case of COVID.
    • You will be less likely to have all the symptoms if you had all of your shots.
    • You still need to isolate (stay away from all other people) so you do not pass it to someone who has not had their shots.

    View More Here:
    COVID-19 after Vaccination: Possible Breakthrough Infection