Tarrytown Pharmacy’s COVID-19 Vaccine Process
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this exciting time of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution! Our pharmacy team has been working tirelessly to educate, equip and promote public health.
Vaccine distribution information continues to evolve, and we are doing our best to move forward within the state mandated guidelines.
Our pharmacy team has been inundated with phone calls, emails, and walk-in questions concerning the vaccine. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide more information about Tarrytown Pharmacy’s vaccine process.
Tarrytown Pharmacy’s COVID-19 Vaccine Process
*When Tarrytown Pharmacy receives a new shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, we will EMAIL those that are on our communication list, that are in the current and appropriate phase(s)*
*As defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
*More information is available on their website https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx
*The EMAIL will contain a unique scheduling link for people to book an appointment.
*DSHS is strongly encouraging and demanding for vaccinating locations to immunize as many people as quickly as possible.
*Because vaccine supply is limited, receiving an email with the scheduling link will NOT guarantee a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
*Due to the evolving and unpredictable nature of vaccine allocation from the state, we strongly encourage you to monitor your email for the scheduling link or other vaccine-related correspondence.
Please know that all COVID-19 vaccine-related scheduling information will come via email. Refer to our website for vaccine-specific information, and answers to frequently asked questions.
We have received such a large volume of phone calls over the past few weeks, we ask that vaccine-related phone calls be limited, to free up our pharmacy team and phone lines.
Tarrytown Pharmacy is committed to the continued care of our patients and community. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Please read the following information to learn about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Get ahead of the game!
COVID-19 Vaccine Communication List
Sign-up for our communication list form, so Tarrytown Pharmacy can alert you when the COVID-19 Vaccine is available and whether or not you qualify to receive one at that time. Please answer the questions as applicable to you.
Tarrytown Pharmacy is NOT liable for promising when the vaccine will be available for wide administration, or that you will be guaranteed an immunization.
Who can get the vaccine?
For most up-to-date information about vaccine phases, allocations, and other information. Please visit the Texas State Department of Health Website!
Ultra-Low Freezer Storage
Way back in September, we were already taking action to serve our community and the city of Austin. We invested in an Ultra-Low Freezer that can achieve temperatures as low as -89 C, to prepare for storing certain COVID-19 Vaccines (Pfizer).Our ultra-low freezer is now installed in our pharmacy!
We've also been working for months to become a COVID-19 Provider though the Texas Department of State Health Services, been in contact with Pfizer and Austin Public Health so we can better educate the public, and we have logistics for immunizing on a large scale in-store, at multiple locations, and through mobile clinics. Initial distribution of the vaccine in Texas is through the Texas Department of State Health Services, and we want them to know that we are ready to serve the community, like we've done for the past 79 years! #since1941
Pharmacists have traditionally been the only healthcare providers to be immunization certified and trained for decades. We have provided millions of vaccines over the years, and are the most accessible healthcare professional in the #usa.
Independent pharmacies are in cities big and small, have strong ties to local businesses and nursing homes, and want to see our communities heal and thrive.
About the Vaccine
Learn about the different types of COVID vaccines, and common misconceptions about them.
Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines
How do mRNA vaccines work?
- Conventional vaccines like influenza, shingles, and pneumonia vaccines usually contain either an inactivated portion of a virus, a live viral vector, a protein subunit, or a virus-like particle. These are all considered antigens, which are recognized by the body as an infectious agent. By doing so, these vaccines stimulate the body’s immune system to fight the infectious agent and be ready to provide a more rapid response if exposed to it again in the future.
- Unlike normal vaccines, an mRNA vaccine works by using your body’s existing machinery: the cell’s processes of making DNA, RNA, and eventually proteins! Rather than injecting a protein into the body, the vaccine inserts a messengerRNA (mRNA) sequence (the genetic sequence that contains directions for what molecules to build) which is coded to produce only a fragment of the disease-specific antigen for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Once produced within the body, the antigen will be recognized by your immune system, preparing it to fight the real virus if it is exposed to it in the future, without causing the actual disease. The body does this by making their own proteins, called antibodies, that can neutralize the antigen and the real virus if you ever get infected. Your body will also make memory cells that can produce antibodies at a much faster rate during future exposures.
Timing of the vaccine
How many doses?
Each person will require two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Two doses allows your body the chance to produce more immune-system barriers against the virus.
COVID mRNA Vaccines vs. Traditional Vaccines:
Safety: Normal vaccines use either weakened or inactivated viral pathogens, which have a very low chance of causing disease, but are still potentially infectious. mRNA vaccines are not made with either, and do not last in our body’s genes to be passed on through cell replication. Rather, it’s degraded by natural processes after making the antigen. In terms of adverse effects, mRNA vaccine sequences are designed to mimic those produced by mammalian cells to minimize the risk of immune reactions.
Effectiveness: Clinical trial results indicate that mRNA vaccines generate a strong immune response (Both Pfizer and Moderna’s leading COVID-19 vaccines have > 90% effectiveness) and are well-tolerated by most individuals. While Pfizer has not released official safety information, no serious side effects have appeared to date, and most adverse effects to vaccines occur within the first few weeks of vaccination.
Production Efficiency: mRNA vaccines have the advantage of being able to be produced in laboratories using DNA templates and standard vaccine materials. This makes it easier to make rather than having to use chicken eggs or mammalian cells, which takes months to grow, harvest, and purify. This is why mRNA vaccines can be produced several months faster than normal, and cost less than traditional vaccines!
Stability and Route of Administration: Because free mRNA is degraded quickly in our body, the mRNA strand is packaged into a larger particle to help stabilize it after injection. It also has particular storage requirements, which differs dependent on the vaccine:
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will need to be stored at -94 °F, and will degrade in around 5 days at normal refrigerator temperatures. However Pfizer is developing shipping containers using dry ice to keep the vaccine stable during shipping, and healthcare facilities will use ultra-low freezers to store the vaccine before administration.
The Moderna vaccine can be maintained at regular freezer temperatures for up to 6 months, and up to 30 days after thawing in standard refrigerated conditions (36 to 46 °F).
Side effects: Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported vaccine side effects that are similar to mild covid-19 or common flu symptoms, such as muscle pain, chills and headache (this is common to the Shingles vaccine as well, though muscle pain/vaccine site irritation is possible with all vaccines). Patients in both trials for the vaccines reported that they experienced high fever, body aches, headaches, daylong exhaustion and other symptoms after receiving the shots but that they resolved within a day.
If you have additional questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine, feel free to call Tarrytown Pharmacy and discuss with a pharmacist.