Get your COVID vaccine

Students Employees Patients Community

illustration of a needle and container for a vaccine

We are encouraged by the good news that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine available to the UAB community has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We hope that this testament to its high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality — plus incentives — will motivate more of our campus community to get vaccinated.

At this time, everyone age 12 and older is eligible for vaccination according to the Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines. An appointment can easily be scheduled below. You may also receive your vaccine without an appointment at several locations.

It is important to note that vaccinated individuals will not be required to serve a 14-day quarantine after a confirmed close contact exposure in most circumstances. (See the latest Close Contact Exposure guidance for students and faculty/staff.)

Updated Vaccine Requirement

UAB and UAB Medicine recently implemented an employee COVID-19 vaccination requirement to comply with multiple federal mandates. Specifically, President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 mandates that employees of federal contractors are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated vaccination of employees of healthcare facilities. On Nov. 30, 2021, a federal court issued a nationwide order to suspend the CMS vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Executive Order 14042 remains in effect and still applies to UAB and UAB Medicine. The Executive Order requires COVID-19 vaccination for all federal contractors and their employees. As a result, the COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all employees, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff and postdocs (Status 21) and student employees. Under the Executive Order, employees must receive their final COVID-19 vaccination dose by Jan. 4, 2022 and submit proof to Employee Health or have an approved medical, disability or religious exemption.

A resource is now available to let you confirm your COVID vaccination record with UAB. This online tool will tell you whether Employee Health already has a record of your vaccine and enable you to upload your card if one is not already on file.

  • Frequently asked questions documents are available for university employees and for healthcare workers.
  • Deadlines for vaccines and exemptions have changed
    • UAB and UAB Medicine employees must have their final COVID-19 dose by Jan. 4, 2022.
    • The preferred deadline to request a vaccine exemption is now Jan. 4, 2022.
  • Previously communicated dosing timelines based on manufacturers will change
    • Deadlines for first and second doses for Moderna and Pfizer and the single Johnson & Johnson dose will be updated and communicated.

Updated information will be posted to this page and UAB Medicine ONE as it is available, and questions can be directed to 205-934-SAFE.

Vaccines are the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic, and more than 90 percent of UAB full-time faculty and staff are already in compliance with the federal vaccine requirement.

UAB Employee Health provides safe and effective COVID vaccines free of charge.

UAB student employees can book an appointment with Student Health to receive their free, safe and effective COVID vaccines.

Resources

Students

ALL UAB STUDENTS can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Student vaccines are not required but highly encouraged. Students can receive the vaccine through Student Health Services.

Book an appointment online

Already vaccinated?

Upload an image of your vaccination card through the Student Health Patient Portal.

UAB Medicine Vaccine Clinics

At this time, everyone age 5 and older is eligible for vaccination according to the Alabama Department of Public Health Guidelines. An appointment can easily be scheduled through UAB Medicine.

Incentives for Vaccinated Students

Student Affairs is offering multiple incentives to students who are vaccinated. Read about them online.

Employees

All UAB employees can now make an appointment to receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Employee vaccines are required. UAB is administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which requires two shots separated by at least 21 days.

Boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose for many people who previously received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. The booster is for those who received their second dose of Pfizer at least six months ago, with the exception of those who are immunocompromised. They may receive a third dose as soon as 28 days following their second vaccine.* Additionally, those who have received monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19 must wait at least 90 days following the treatment to receive their vaccine or booster dose.

Data on mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccine products or on Moderna or Johnson & Johnson boosters has not been analyzed. This new guidance only applies to individuals who initially received the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine product.

The Guidance offers recommendations on who should receive the booster dose and other who may receive booster doses.

People recommended to receive booster doses are the following:

  • Individuals 65 years of age and older should receive a booster shot
  • Residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot
  • People aged 50-64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot

Other groups of people who may receive booster doses are the following:

  • People aged 18-49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • Individuals aged 18-64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.

UAB Medicine employees are eligible for boosters because they fall under the category of those at higher risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to their workplaces or congregate settings. Teachers and day care staff, grocery workers, and those in homeless shelters or prisons could also be eligible.

Booster Information: Campus Locations

If UAB employees initially received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, they may receive their COVID-19 booster dose without an appointment from Monday-Friday at the following locations. Remember to bring your vaccination card so it may be updated with the booster information:

  • The Kirklin Clinic from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
  • UAB Hospital Highlands from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
  • UAB Injection Clinic (located in the old Regions location at the corner of the TKC parking deck) from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

First and Second Doses: Campus Locations

We are continuing to provide first and second COVID vaccine doses for employees at The Kirklin Clinic, UAB Hospital Highlands, and the UAB Injection Clinic (see location information above). You can make an appointment for first and second doses only.

All Doses: Off-campus Locations

Additionally, UAB Medicine is providing COVID vaccinations and booster doses for employees and the community at the drive-through vaccination clinic at the Hoover Met. Please direct patients and other community members to UABMedicineVaccine.org for more information.

Learn more about the COVID-19 booster from the CDC.

*Immunocompromised patients may also receive a booster dose at least six months following a third dose of Pfizer vaccine.

Patients and Community

Everyone age 5 and older is eligible for vaccination.

Schedule your vaccination appointment

You can receive your vaccine without an appointment at the Hoover Met drive thru vaccinations site and UAB Medicine Injection Clinic. The Hoover Met drive-through clinic operates Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The UAB Injection Clinic operates Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for hours and directions.

***Children under 19 years of age must have parent of guardian consent form signed.***

The Vaccine and How It Works

The active ingredient in the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and another company, Moderna, is messenger RNA, which is genetic information used to make the spike protein found on the outside of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The spike protein is the part of the virus that attaches to human cells. The spike protein is recognized by the body’s immune system to develop protection from infection.

The spike protein alone cannot cause COVID-19. Once the spike protein is created, it causes the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. These antibodies can then provide protection if a person comes into contact with the virus. mRNA vaccines are non-infectious and do not enter the human cell nucleus, so the mRNA cannot be inserted into human DNA. mRNA vaccines do not have the ability to cause cancer.

All vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. Vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. When germs, such as viruses, invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. The immune system uses several tools to fight infection. The first time the body encounters a germ or virus, it can take several days for the body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to fight the infection. After the infection, the immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

While some vaccines, such as flu vaccines, use dead or deactivated virus to imitate the infection, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine approved for COVID-19 does not. It uses the body’s messenger RNA to teach the immune system to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A person cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

According to the FDA, there were no safety concerns identified in the 43,448 participants in the clinical trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and no enhanced disease in the recipients. The most commonly reported side effects were mild and include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. Side effects were more common with the second of the two required doses of the vaccine. Historically, long-term side effects from vaccines have been rare.

The clinical trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccines included participation from African American and Hispanic people — more than 10 percent of participants were African American and more than 20 percent were Hispanic in the Pfizer/BioNTech trials and more than 20 percent of participants in the Moderna trials were African American — said School of Medicine Dean Selwyn Vickers, M.D. “These studies have included our people to prove they are safe,” Vickers said.

The CDC recommends that people who have experienced severe reactions to prior vaccines or injectable drugs can still get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19, but should discuss the risks with their doctors and be monitored for 30 minutes afterward.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on ACIP-recommended priority groups.

Effectiveness

According to Phase 3 clinical trial results, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 seven days after the second dose. (This vaccine requires two doses, given at least 21 days apart.) The vaccine was 94 percent effective in adults over the age of 65. This means that getting vaccinated reduces the chances of a confirmed coronavirus infection to just 5 percent. The Moderna vaccine showed a 94 percent efficacy rate 14 days after the second dose. These results were consistent across gender, age, race, and ethnicity.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were shown to prevent COVID-19 in people compared to those who received a placebo. Experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you are exposed to COVID-19 by boosting your immune response should you be exposed to COVID-19 in the future. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on the severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

Precautions Needed After Vaccination

Each person receiving the vaccination will be monitored for 15 minutes following the vaccination for reactions. Medical staff will be on hand for those that may need immediate attention. According to the FDA, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine starts working within about two weeks of the first dose. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is still important after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. There will be limited doses available initially, and because people will be vaccinated in waves, it will take time to vaccinate enough of the population to stop the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, it is not known how long immunity will last. Furthermore, infection after receiving a vaccine may still be possible, although it is likely that it would be less severe, such as a mild or asymptomatic infection. Others can still be infected in this scenario, necessitating the continued use of masks.

The vaccine does not kill or destroy the virus if you are exposed. It simply trains your body to successfully fight off the virus so you do not get sick. You can still infect others, so mask wearing and social distancing is still recommended. The vaccine will take effect roughly 14 days after the first dose. The second dose likely extends the duration of that protection but only a bit more, if any, to the protection.

Even after you receive your vaccine, we are advising UAB faculty, students and staff to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. The vaccine is not fool proof and you may still contract COVID or spread the virus to others, so continued precautions will still be important.