Frequently asked questions about getting vaccinated for COVID-19

In order to fight this pandemic, it's important to use every tool we have to defend ourselves. In addition to masks and social distancing, vaccines work with your immune system to give your body a better chance of fighting off the virus if you do get it. The CDC further explains the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.


Why get vaccinated?

There are many reasons to get vaccinated. Different people also have their own individual reasons why vaccination is important to them, including:

  • To protect yourself & others
  • To kickstart widespread immunity
  • To return to the activities, people & places you love
  • To demonstrate trust in medical science

Why did the COVID-19 vaccines get approved so quickly?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes an emergency vaccine only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.

How were the vaccines evaluated?

The safety and efficacy of the vaccines were reviewed by panels of independent experts.

There are no reported serious safety concerns from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The CDC and the FDA will continue to monitor individuals who have received the vaccines to ensure there’s no evidence of even rare safety issues.

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How do we know the COVID vaccines are safe?

Many people are concerned about vaccine safety because of how quickly the vaccines have been developed. In an emergency like a pandemic, the FDA can make a judgment that it’s worth releasing something for use, even without the typical timeline for a new vaccine or drug.

The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued was based on evidence that strongly suggests patients have benefited from the vaccine in clinical trials.

Current data from the manufacturers for both vaccines strongly indicate they are safe and effective. You can read more about the benefits of being vaccinated. These vaccines will continue to be studied, as is true with all vaccines.

What if I'm immunocompromised?

Vaccination is a personal decision. If you are immunocompromised or have concerns about vaccine side effects, make an appointment to discuss these concerns with your health care provider. The CDC has more information available for people who are immunocompromised.

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What if I'm pregnant? Do I still get vaccinated?

Pregnant patients may be vaccinated, but it's important to talk with your provider to help you decide whether vaccination is right for you. Vaccination for disease such as COVID-19, which has been authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), often demonstrates greater benefit than risk. Here is more information on COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What are the COVID-19 vaccination side effects?

As with any vaccination, side effects vary. Some people may have some; others none at all. Here is what you need to know:

  • The immunization process can cause minor symptoms. This is normal.
  • Both Pfizer and Moderna reported side effects as mild to moderate.
  • Shots may cause mild flu-like effects, including sore arms, muscle aches and fever.
  • You will be monitored for 15 minutes after your vaccination.

Can I be vaccinated if I have my mammogram scheduled?

COVID-19 vaccines may lead to temporary swelling in the lymph nodes, which may make your breast screening study difficult to interpret. If you are scheduled for a routine screening mammogram or breast MRI, schedule your screening before you receive your first dose or wait until four to six weeks after receiving your second dose. If you are scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram, keep your regularly scheduled appointment.

Do not delay preventive screening further. The earlier breast cancer is found, the greater the chance for better outcomes. If you have questions or concerns, talk with your health care provider about what is best for you.

Can I get COVID from being vaccinated?

You cannot get COVID-19 from being vaccinated. The vaccines being produced in the United States contain no live virus. Research continues regarding vaccination and antibody testing. Get the COVID-19 facts from the CDC.

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How do I sign up to get my vaccine at Main Line Health?

Currently, we are only scheduling appointments via MyChart. Any patient who wishes to be vaccinated must have an active Main Line Health MyChart account and have been seen at a Main Line Health facility within the last two years to be considered eligible to receive the vaccine. Once a vaccination appointment is available, patients will receive a ticket via MyChart to schedule.

If you are not yet signed up for a Main Line Health MyChart, you can sign up at: mainlinehealth.org/mychart or download step-by-step instructions (pdf).

What is MyChart?

Main Line Health MyChart is Main Line Health's secure patient portal. It can be accessed via mobile or desktop, and makes it easy for you to schedule appointments, request prescription refills, pay your bills, send messages to your doctor's office when you have non-urgent medical needs, and more.

I already have a MyChart account through another health system. Do I need a separate Main Line Health MyChart to receive vaccination notifications?

Yes, you will need a separate MLH MyChart account.

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I don't have access to a computer and can't download MyChart. Does this mean I won't get my vaccine?

The first phase of our vaccine invitations are being sent to individuals who are Main Line Health patients that have an active Main Line Health MyChart account and have been seen at a Main Line Health facility in the past two years. Future phases will include outreach to those who do not have access to MyChart and our website will be updated with this information as it becomes available.

You can also look to other vaccination sites in your community that do not require computer access, such as pharmacies or local departments of health.

Can I call my provider to schedule a vaccination?

No, you cannot call to schedule a vaccination. Walk-ins are also not accepted. An appointment scheduled via MyChart is the only way you can receive a vaccine at Main Line Health. Please do not call your provider or a Main Line Health facility to schedule a vaccination. You will not be able to do so.

What is the expected timeline? When might I expect to receive an invitation?

We are working as quickly as possible to offer vaccinations to as many individuals as we can with a limited supply. Please do not call your provider's office or our facilities to ask this question, as they will not have a timeline for this, either.

We understand that many of you are eager to be vaccinated. We ask for your patience and cooperation as we seek to reach out to all of our eligible patients. This is a time-consuming process, but we are committed to vaccinating as many members of our community as we can with the vaccine supply that is made available to us, which is very limited.

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I have a MyChart, but I did not receive an opportunity to schedule a vaccine.

Invitations are being sent incrementally sent to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for vaccination. Please be advised: There are thousands of patients in our database who meet the eligibility criteria for vaccinations, but we do not have the supply to vaccinate everyone at once.

With this in mind, we are gradually deploying vaccination invitations to our patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine. These will be sent in phases, so we ask that you please be patient as you wait to receive an invitation.

How will I know when I receive the invitation?

Main Line Health MyChart users will receive a notification to their MyChart account when they are eligible to schedule the vaccine. If you have the MyChart mobile app and have notifications enabled, you will receive a notification to your cell phone. You will also receive an email to the email address you used to register for an account, so please check your account for updates regularly.

How do I schedule my vaccine once I get the invitation?

Below is a video with more information about how to schedule your vaccination.

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I met the state guidelines to receive the vaccine but I did not receive an opportunity to schedule a vaccine.

Please be advised: There are thousands of patients in our patient database who meet the eligibility criteria for vaccinations, but we do not have the supply to vaccinate everyone at once.

With this in mind, we are gradually deploying vaccination invitations to our patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine. These will be sent in phases, so we ask that you please be patient as you wait to receive an invitation.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit your local or state department of health website for additional vaccination opportunities:

I was invited to schedule a vaccine, but someone I know with the same physician did not. Why is that?

It's important that anyone who is awaiting a vaccine invitation at this time have an active Main Line Health MyChart account.

If the person has a Main Line Health MyChart account and has been seen at a Main Line Health facility in the past two years, it is likely that they have just not yet received the invitation. We are gradually deploying vaccination invitations to our patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine. These will be sent in phases, so if someone you know with the same provider has not received their invitation yet, we ask that they please be patient.

I can't access my MyChart account. Who can help me?

We apologize for any difficulty. Please reach out to our MyChart Help Desk at 484.580.1080 or visit our website to submit a message via our secure support form.

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Register for MyChart

Main Line Health is utilizing MyChart patient portal to schedule vaccinations for eligible patients. If you are a Main Line Health patient and do not have a MyChart account, we invite you to register.

Register for MyChart