Vaccine Education, Information & Other Resources
on-campus Vaccine Appointments
Pat Walker Health Center offers on-campus COVID-19 vaccine appointments for University of Arkansas students, employees and spouses of students/employees.
Appointments can be scheduled online at myhealth.uark.edu or by calling 479-575-4451, option 1.
The health center offers the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, as well as the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are administered on-site at Pat Walker Health Center — 525 N. Garland Ave.
Parking Information: Parking for vaccine appointments is available across the street in the Garland Avenue Garage – Level 6 (Top Level).
Please make sure to bring to your appointment:
A completed Vaccine Consent Form (must be completed prior to appointment)
University photo identification
Driver's license or other form of photo identification and age verification
Health Insurance card (only required if you have insurance)
Required Observation Period: All patients are required to complete at least a 15-minute, on-site obersvation period.
Cost: There is no cost to you for the COVID-19 vaccine, however PWCH will charge an administration fee to your insurance provider to cover vaccine-related expenses.
Uninsured patients will have fees covered by the Health Resource and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Off-Campus Vaccination Opportunities
The Arkansas Department of Health provides a map and searchable list of pharmacies providing vaccinations across the state. In addition, the state now has a toll-free hotline for assistance with scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. The line - (800) 985-6030 - will be answered Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Translation services are available.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. On-campus vaccination is available through Pat Walker Health Center for university employees, students and spouses of students/employees.
University community can also be vaccinated off-campus at any participating pharmacy or vaccine provider.
Pat Walker Health Center strongly recommends getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine will not only help protect against COVID-19 but can also help prevent serious illness if you still contract the virus that causes COVID-19.
You alone make the decision about whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine once available to you. Pat Walker Health Center encourages you to talk to your primary care doctor and review the resources provided, as well as resources from other health care organizations.
No. There is no requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
The university does strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated once they are able to.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Before the widespread use of vaccines, people routinely died from infectious diseases, several of which have since been eradicated thanks to robust immunization programs.
With the information currently available, Pat Walker Health Center firmly believes the benefit of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is greater than the risks of getting COVID-19.
Not only will COVID-19 vaccination help prevent COVID-19, but it is a safer way to build protection and achieve herd immunity.
Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccine Process & Administration
The COVID-19 vaccination process will include check-in, vaccine administration and a required 15-30 minute observation time. It is important to plan your time accordingly and prepare for any potential wait.
- When you get the vaccine, you need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
- You will receive a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. This card will also be needed for the second dose appointment.
- You will receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are getting.
What to bring to your appointment: To receive the vaccine from eligible providers including mass vaccination clinics, you must bring the following:
- Driver’s license or other form of photo identification (that includes birth date)
- University photo identification (if required)
- Health insurance card
- Any individualized letter/proof of vaccination approval.
Remember, it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. Additionally, we know vaccination will prevent you from getting sick, but we do not know if the vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to others yet if infected.
To prevent unvaccinated and vulnerable populations from getting sick, it's important to continue washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and limiting gatherings until enough people have received the vaccine.
If you choose to be vaccinated, it will be provided to you with no out-of-pocket cost.
Vaccines purchased with taxpayer dollars will be given at no cost. However, vaccination providers — such as clinics, pharmacies and hospitals — will charge an administration fee to cover related expenses for giving the shot to someone.
Providers can be reimbursed by a patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
To avoid any unexpected costs, always check with your insurance provider for an explanation of benefits.
After getting vaccinated, you may experience some side effects like sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19 — it just means the vaccine is working to build immunity. Side effects usually go away in a day or two, but if they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor.
If you have allergies, especially severe ones that require you to carry an EpiPen, discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with your doctor, who can assess your risk and provide more information on if and how you can get vaccinated safely.
The CDC has also launched a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. After enrolling you will be able to use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
- Registration is completely voluntary and provides personalized check-ins, surveys, and a reminder to let you know when it is time to get your second shot. Depending upon your responses, someone from the CDC may call to check on you.
The CDC does not recommend getting the vaccine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine or if you have a severe allergic reaction after getting the first shot.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should talk to you doctor first. Your doctor can help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated. If you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care.
The CDC recommends vaccination for anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications — such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex.
People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have a milder allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis) — may also still get vaccinated.
Currently authorized vaccines — and most vaccines under development — require two doses of vaccine. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection.
Getting more than one dose for a vaccine is not unusual. In fact, it's the norm. Many routine vaccinations require more than one dose for maximum protection.
Please remember that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available require two doses administered three to four weeks apart. Your second dose must be the same type of vaccine as the first one. Not getting your second dose could leave you unprotected.
Yes. COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be administered simultaneous, as well as within 14 days of each other.
No, the vaccine won’t cause you to test positive on a COVID-19 viral test, such as the PCR or antigen tests.
However, you may test positive on an antibody test, since your body is developing an immune response.
No. Individuals with an active case of COVID-19 need to wait until they have recovered before receiving the vaccine.
However, given the limited number of vaccines currently available, it is recommended to wait 90 days from the date you are infected to get the vaccine because reinfection appears uncommon in the first 90 day.
Availability & Distribution
All Arkansans age 12 or older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Yes. Pat Walker Health Center currently administers the Pfizer two-dose vaccine series, as well as the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
FDA has authorized three vaccines for distribution — Pfizer’s vaccine is suitable for people age 12 and older, Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines are for those age 18 and older.
Because supply of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be limited at first, ADH has provided recommendations about who should be vaccinated first. See the ADH COVID-19 vaccine plan for more details on phases and tiers.
Rigorous studies have found all three vaccines to be safe and effective for most people, however there are select individuals who should not get the vaccine or must follow special procedures.
People who should NOT get the COVID-19 vaccine:
Anyone with a severe allergy to a vaccine component (i.e., one that causes anaphylaxis or requires medical intervention).
Individuals with a history of severe allergy to any vaccine or injectable medication.
Those younger than 12 years old.
Anyone currently isolating or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Once symptoms resolve and isolation finish, vaccination can occur.
People who should follow special procedures:
Someone with a history of severe allergy to anything other than a vaccine or injectable medication can get the vaccine, but they should remain at the vaccination location for medical observation for 30 minutes after receipt of the vaccine.
People who recently had COVID-19 and were treated with antibody-based therapies (e.g., monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma) should wait until 90 days after treatment to be vaccinated.
People with a known COVID-19 exposure should wait until their quarantine is over before getting vaccinated.
People who received a non-COVID-19 vaccine should wait at least 14 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Likewise, if a person received the COVID-19 vaccine, they should wait at least 14 days before getting any non-COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC has also provided recommendations and guidance for individuals with specific circumstances:
COVID-19 Recovered Individuals: People who have already been infected with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting a vaccine. It is not yet known how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts. It’s also not yet known how long the immunity provided by the vaccine will last.
Individuals with Allergies: The CDC says people with allergies to certain foods, insects, latex and other common allergens can have the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, anyone who has a severe allergy (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any of the vaccine ingredients should not receive this vaccine. If you have allergies — especially severe ones that require you to carry an EpiPen — discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with your doctor who can assess your risk and provide more information on if and how you can get vaccinated safely.
Underlying Medical Conditions: People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines if they have nothad an immediate or severe allergic reactionto a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for persons with underlying medical conditions.
Pregnant or Breastfeeding: People who are pregnant or breastfeeding — and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — may choose to be vaccinated. Always talk with your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about getting vaccinated. Although not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants, data is not yet available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines. The CDC and FDA have safety monitoring systems in place to capture information about vaccination during pregnancy and will closely monitor reports. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Children: Children are not a priority group for the COVID-19 vaccine just yet. Clinical trials so far have focused on adults, but research is currently being conducted to learn about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for children.
You alone make the decision about whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine once available to you. Pat Walker Health Center encourages you to talk to your primary care doctor and review the resources provided, as well as resources from other health care organizations.
Yes — the CDC recommends getting vaccinated even if you have recovered from COVID-19.
While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, it is still possible to catch it more than once.
Natural immunity can vary from person-to-person, however early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
Safety & Efficacy
The CDC and FDA has found no serious safety concerns with currently available vaccines, however — like with all vaccines — medical experts continue to study the efficacy and look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.
All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities.
The CDC has also launched a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- After enrolling you will be able to use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
To learn more visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
Absolutely not. None of the COVID-19 vaccines in development in the U.S. use the live virus.
The goal of a vaccine is to teach our immune system how to recognize and fight a specific virus. Sometimes this process can cause mild side effects, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected just before or just after getting vaccinated.
In the past, vaccines have taken many years to develop. However, the relatively quick development of the COVID-19 vaccine does not mean safety measures were skipped — in fact, the testing processes for the vaccine didn’t skip any steps, rather some stages of the process were conducted at the same time.
There are several reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines were developed faster than other vaccines:
- The type of vaccine developed for COVID-19 has been years in development for other infectious viruses like influenza and other coronaviruses, and the arrival of COVID-19 provided vaccine manufacturers a chance to use it.
- The genetic information about COVID-19 was identified and shared early on so vaccine developers were able to get started much more quickly.
- Increased government and charitable funding ensured scientists had the resources they needed.
- Clinical trials took a shorter time to see if the vaccine worked because many volunteers who got the vaccine were exposed to the virus given COVID-19 is so contagious and widespread.
- Companies also began manufacturing vaccines ahead of their emergency approval so some doses would be ready to ship out once authorized.
The U.S. vaccine safety system works to make sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Vaccines that meet FDA safety and effectiveness standards can be made available in the United States by approval or by emergency use authorization.
Generally, if there are problems with a vaccine, they most likely emerge early in the testing process when they can be identified and addressed. For the COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA set up rigorous standards for vaccine developers to meet. So far, none of the vaccine trials have reported any serious safety concerns.
All available vaccines have had fully independent safety monitoring boards, and safety data are continuously reviewed by the FDA and expert panels.
Additionally, the CDC also has rigorous safety monitoring steps in place for the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity.
People with these conditions are more susceptible to developing serious complications from COVID-19.
The vaccine immediately begins teaching your immune system what to look for and how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. However to be fully vaccinated:
- If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two shots, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two shots.
- If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires one shot, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your shot. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot.
If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second shot, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot).
Remember: Even vaccinated, there is still a chance you could contract the virus that causes COVID-19, however researchers have found the vaccine to be highly effective at preventing mild-to-severe symptoms, including hospitalization.
Medical experts and researchers are still unsure how long both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity to COVID-19 lasts.
These are important aspects of COVID-19 experts continue to learn more about every day.
Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection from a virus or bacteria — either from previous infection or vaccination — that it is unlikely the disease can spread. As a result, herd immunity community is protection even if some people don't have any immunity themselves.
Although this has been a widely common talking point throughout this pandemic, the percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.
Health Guidance Once fully vaccinated
The CDC has released public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).
Fully vaccinated people should also continue to follow guidance in public spaces — and as directed under local and business ordinances —to protect themselves and others.
Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19
Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Follow guidance issued by individual employers
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
JOHNSON & JOHNSON/Janssen VACCINE
The J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine works in a slightly different way than the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, however the end result is the same – protection against COVID-19.
The J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a one-time intramuscular dose – unlike Pfizer/Moderna vaccines which require two-doses several weeks apart.
The J&J/Janssen vaccine uses a modified human adenovirus (a common cold virus) that contains genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but cannot replicate or cause COVID-19. The science and methods behind using adenoviruses to deliver a vaccine target have been used for decades.
Like the mRNA vaccines, the adenovirus introduces the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is then presented on the outside of our cells. This is the same protein that is made as a result of the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.
Once your immune system recognizes the spike protein, it starts developing antibodies and immune T-cell responses to the spike protein. Based on the data reviewed, the protective effects of the vaccine become apparent approximately 14 days after the dose is administered.
The J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials (efficacy) at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. People had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated.
The vaccine had high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick. No one who got COVID-19 at least 4 weeks after receiving the J&J/Janssen vaccine had to be hospitalized.
Early evidence suggests that the J&J/Janssen vaccine might provide protection against asymptomatic infection, which is when a person is infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 but does not get sick.
Most common side effects reported have been:
In the arm where you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine. Side effects might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days
The addition of an effective single-dose vaccination will help us more quickly increase the total numbers of people who are protected from becoming infected with COVID-19, and also will help to significantly limit the ability of the virus to continue to spread throughout communities.
Pfizer & Moderna Vaccines
Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a technology called messenger RNA (mRNA). COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein” — found on the surface of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After the protein is made, the mRNA is destroyed.
Our bodies’ immune system then recognizes that the protein should not be there and produces antibodies, as well as T-cells and B-cells that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future. This will protect you from infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approximately 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. Efficacy for both vaccines was consistent across all age, race and ethnicity demographics. Both vaccines also significantly reduce the risks of developing severe infection.
The data from both research studies and from the initial phase of vaccinations under the Emergency Use Authorization indicate that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very safe.
Both vaccines have gone through rigorous, and large Phase III clinical trials with strict standards set forth by the FDA.
No. There is no live virus in the vaccine and the vaccine cannot cause COVID-19.
The mRNA material in the vaccines does not interact with our DNA in any way, nor does it enter the nucleus of the cell (where our DNA / genetic material resides). Once the cell has used the instructions to produce the spike protein, it breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA.
The reported post-vaccine side effects have been minimal. Like all vaccines, the new COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Most people who received the vaccines and experienced side effects described them as “mild” or “moderate” and usually resolved within a day or two. According to the CDC these symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
The most common side effects reported have been:
- pain, redness, warmness, and/or swelling at the injection site
- muscle pain or joint pain
The chances of you experiencing these side effects are higher after receiving your second dose of the vaccine.
No. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection.
- If you receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the second dose is needed no sooner than 21 days.
- If you receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the second dose is needed no sooner than 28 days.
Not getting the second dose could leave you unprotected.
Yes, there FDA has authorized the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, which is a viral vector vaccine. Although different from an mRNA vaccine, the end result is the same.