Bellin Health physicians recommend that you should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available to you. The vaccine distribution will occur in phases with healthcare and other essential workers and those at highest risk receiving the vaccine in the earliest phases. Bellin is working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on vaccine distribution, using the CDC framework to guide its efforts. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and follow state and local recommendations.
The following Q&A's were developed by Bellin's medical staff to address some common questions and concerns.
Who determines the COVID-19 vaccine priority? Can I put my name on a waiting list?
Who gets the vaccine and when is determined by the state of WI in accordance with the prioritization laid out by the CDC.
There is no waiting list at this time. We will keep our patients updated through a variety of channels including:
As always, the Bellin Health COVID-19 Hotline is available to answer your questions 24/7 at 920-445-7313.
Who is currently eligible for the vaccine?
Adults 65+, frontline healthcare workers, EMS, nursing facility staff, local fire department, local police department
Adults 65+, first responders, police officers, frontline state and federal workers, preK-12 teachers, childcare providers, jail and prison staff
How to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination?
If you don’t have a MyBellinHealth account, we encourage you to register for a free account by going to mybellin.org, clicking the New User button, and following the prompts. Once registered, click on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) banner on the homepage and follow the prompts to schedule your vaccination.
You can also schedule your vaccination by calling the Bellin Health COVID-19 hotline at 920-445-7313.
Where will the COVID-19 vaccinations take place?
Green Bay: Bellin Health Ashwaubenon clinic campus, 1630 Commanche Avenue (vaccinations will be given in the turf gym area just inside the Northwest entrance)
Oconto: Bellin Health Bond Community Center, 1201 Park Avenue
Marinette: Details will be shared once available
Iron Mountain: Bellin Health, 440 Woodward Avenue Unit 101, Iron Mountain, MI 49801
Why should I be vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccine is critical to ending this pandemic and eventually returning us to life as normal. It is safe, it is remarkably effective, and it is recommended for almost all individuals who meet age criteria (16-plus or 18-plus, depending on vaccine version). Bellin Health strongly recommends you receive the vaccine when it becomes available to you.
Does the vaccine actually protect against serious COVID-19 illness?
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without you having to become sick with COVID-19. If you get COVID-19, the vaccine might keep you from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications.Early results from clinical trials have shown that some vaccines may be 94–95% effective in preventing the spread of illness from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
How long does protection against COVID-19 last once I receive the vaccine?
We do not know how long protection will last following vaccination,but further information from ongoing clinical trials will become public over time. In comparison, immunity to two similar coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, lasted at least three years.
What are the side effects to this vaccine?
The most common side effects found in the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain. Side effects tended to be more frequent after the second dose, according to the analysis. No serious long-term effects of the vaccine have been found to date, and monitoring will be continued in trial participants for two years.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine actually make a COVID-19 infection worse?
No, there is no evidence that any of the coronavirus vaccines in development worsen a coronavirus infection. In fact, if you get COVID-19 infection after getting vaccinated, it will be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated.
Can I develop COVID-19 infection from the vaccine?
No, the vaccines in development do not contain active viruses, but only small fragments of the spike protein that allows the body to develop an immunity to the virus. There is no chance of getting COVID-19 infection from these vaccines.
What ages are approved for the Pfizer vaccine?
It appears to be safe and effective for those 16 years and older and is approved for those ages.
When does protection against COVID-19 begin after the vaccine?
There is evidence of protection 12 days after the first dose. The 95% effectiveness is achieved seven days after the second dose.
What about allergic reactions to the vaccine?
There has been some recent media attention surrounding the allergy risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Bellin Health’s Medical Branch continues to monitor these risks, and there are a few key points they would like you to share with your teams:
Click here for CDC information on COVID-19 vaccine allergies.
Should we be worried that this vaccine is approved under Emergency Use Authorization? Is the vaccine less safe than other vaccines because it was developed so quickly?
No, the EUA process has been deliberative, and despite some experts' fears, the authorization wasn't rushed to meet the artificial deadline of Election Day. People in the studies for new COVID-19 vaccines have been followed for at least two months after vaccination, which is long enough to see almost all side effects from any vaccine. Plus, because the new coronavirus has surged so severely in recent weeks, we've seen a mounting number of COVID-19 cases among placebo recipients—even as those who received the vaccine enjoyed robust protection. In that sense, the worsening of the pandemic has actually increased our confidence that Pfizer's vaccine is effective. As with any new drug or vaccine, there will be ongoing monitoring and reporting of side effects.
Should the vaccine be given to those previously infected with COVID-19?
Yes, data from clinical trials suggest the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and likely effective in people who were previously infected with the coronavirus, and vaccination should be offered to them. However, people with a current infection should not be vaccinated until the person has recovered, if they had symptoms, and if they're clear to leave isolation. There's no recommended minimum period between infection and vaccination, but since it appears reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, vaccination could be delayed until near the end of that period.
Should the vaccine be given to children?
Currently, neither vaccine is approved for children under 16. Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization covers ages 16-plus and Moderna’s ages 18-plus.
Should pregnant/nursing mothers get the vaccine?
There have been a lot of questions — and some unfortunate misinformation — surrounding COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for pregnant or nursing mothers and rumors that vaccination can affect fertility. Here’s what you should know:
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
Internet rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine inhibiting fertility are just that — rumors. There is no scientific evidence that the vaccine has any impact on fertility. Here are some key points:
Should we just give one dose of the vaccine to individuals in order to extend the supply to more people?
No, that is not recommended by the FDA. We recommend that people complete the two-dose series in order to achieve the 95% efficacy rate.
Can I finally stop wearing a mask after I get the vaccine?
No, masks and social distancing will still be recommended for some time after people are vaccinated. While the vaccine is highly effective, it is not 100%, and it is not yet known how well it prevents asymptomatic infection or how long its effects will last. Everyone will need to continue taking precautions like masking and physical distancing until the spread has stopped.
Messenger RNA technology is new. How do we know it is safe?
There are several reasons why we know mRNA technology is safe. First, mRNA vaccine technology is not entirely new. Human trials of cancer vaccines using the same mRNA technology have been taking place since at least 2011.
Second, mRNA vaccines do not alter your DNA. That idea is completely false and has no scientific basis or rationale for that to happen. Once the injected mRNA enters a human cell, it degrades quickly and only stays in the body for a couple of minutes or hours. This is why people need two injections to develop the best immune response.
Third, mRNA vaccines are very specific. They are designed to only trigger an immune response to the virus's spike protein, which is just one component of the viral membrane and enables the virus to invade our cells.
An easy way to access COVID-19 testing, or to determine if you have symptoms, is to sign up for MyBellinHealth. It’s free, easy to do, and gives you access to online tools that make healthcare more effective, efficient, and convenient.
When might you want to be tested?
To determine if you need a test (or other care) and to sign up for a testing time:
Bellin has testing sites in Wisconsin and Michigan at the following locations:
When and how can I expect results?
Note: Please do not present to your local clinic or hospital for COVID-19 testing or schedule a standard clinic appointment online for COVID-19 testing. If you are seriously ill, call 911.
Bellin offers COVID-19 testing for current and new patients. Learn more.
Will I owe for testing?
Ultimately, you should not owe anything for your test. Here is how it breaks down:
Why do I see a balance in MyBellinHealth?
What’s the difference between viral testing and antibody testing?
There are two kinds of tests for COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to the virus, Bellin will perform a viral test, which shows if you have a current infection. That’s a simple nasal swab that will provide results within two to seven days.
The other kind of test is called an antibody test. This test determines whether you’ve been infected in the past and is performed via blood draw. It won’t determine if you’re infected now—the body takes one to three weeks to develop antibodies after infections. The serum antibody test takes about a week to provide results.
Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise all across the country. But the disease can only spread when people come in direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. You can take precautions to help prevent getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.
Why am I being asked to wear a mask?
The CDC recommends people wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public and around people who aren’t in their household. This is because it’s possible to have COVID-19, and to be contagious, without experiencing symptoms—you could have it and not know it. A mask keeps respiratory droplets from traveling into the air when someone speaks or coughs, where other people can inhale them and potentially become infected. When you wear a mask, it protects other people from you, and when they wear a mask, it protects you from them. Bellin encourages you to join us in looking out for each other, showing that you care by wearing a mask when you’re out of the house or around other people.
Are my groceries safe? What about my mail?
While it is possible to contract COVID-19 from contaminated surfaces, it’s the less common way of becoming infected. (Most infections come from person-to-person contact.) With some simple precautions, you can feel safe bringing your groceries and packages inside. After you put away your groceries or open your mail, recycle or toss the bags and packaging, rather than keeping them for future reuse. And always wash your hands, for 20 seconds with soap and water, immediately after touching anything that might be contaminated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about our daily lives, from work and school schedules to social calendars and, yes, the way we approach healthcare. And at every step of the way, Bellin Health has had your safety and well-being in mind.
Early on in the pandemic, we chose to postpone all non-urgent appointments to prevent the spread of the disease and conserve critical resources. Now, in light of our current circumstances and the progress that has been made, physician leadership at Bellin Health have determined that it’s not just safe, but important to reconnect with all of our patients for your healthcare needs.
Get the facts on COVID-19 and the virus that causes it.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans. The type of coronavirus causing the current pandemic is called SARS-CoV-2. This virus has never been seen before—scientists refer to it as “novel”—and much is still being learned about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes. Humans have no natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and currently, there is no vaccine.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. It’s an abbreviation of “coronavirus disease 2019” (2019 being the year the novel coronavirus was discovered).
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets from an infected person. This can happen when a person touches a surface that’s been contaminated with droplets, or when a person is in close physical contact—less than six feet—of an infected person.
Who is at risk for COVID-19?
Anyone of any age or level of health can become infected by COVID-19. But some people are more susceptible, and some people are at greater risk for severe illness if they get it. That includes:
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 comes with a variety of symptoms, but most have been described as “flu-like.” Symptoms appear an average of five to six days after exposure to the virus, although it can be as little as two days or as long as 14 days. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
First of all, don’t panic. Next, concentrate on keeping the virus from spreading more—don’t leave your house, don’t have guests over, and if you live with others, try to isolate yourself from them as much as possible. Keep this up for 14 days after your last contact with an infected person, and watch for a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
If you start to experience symptoms, please don’t show up at a clinic or hospital—stay home, call your healthcare provider or the Bellin Health COVID-19 hotline at 920-445-7313 and make arrangements to be tested in a safe location or to be seen by a provider should symptoms warrant. You can also visit MyBellinHealth to access our COVID-19 Self-Triage tool and to schedule a test.
Note: If you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911, tell them your symptoms, and tell them you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 so the ambulance crew can take the proper precautions.
Scheduling is open for vaccinations beginning Jan. 25
GREEN BAY — In accordance...
COVID-19 has changed a lot this year, and with the holidays coming up there’s a real desire...
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to this year’s flu season. The bad news, of course, is that...
Both the CDC and the World Health Organization recommend wearing cloth face coverings to prevent...
Scheduling is open for vaccinations beginning Jan. 25
GREEN BAY — In accordance with state of Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccination guidelines, Bellin Health will begin vaccinating individuals age 65 and older starting Monday, Jan. 25.
Vaccinations for individuals age 65 and older can be scheduled via an individual’s MyBellinHealth account or by calling the Bellin Health COVID-19 hotline at (920) 445-7313. Individuals do not need to be Bellin patients to schedule vaccinations.
Vaccinations will be administered at the following locations:
Please note: Appointment availability will be dependent on vaccine supply. A limited number of vaccinations for individuals ages 65-plus may be available this week.
Bellin Health will continue to keep patients and the community updated via the following channels:
Site opens Monday, Jan. 18 for individuals in Phase 1A
ASHWAUBENON — Bellin Health will open a COVID-19 vaccination site Monday, Jan. 18 at the Bellin Health Ashwaubenon clinic, 1630 Commanche Ave.
Vaccine prioritization is occurring in accordance with the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Currently, vaccination is available to individuals in Phase 1A, which includes healthcare providers and skilled nursing facility residents and staff. Phase 1B will include essential workers and individuals aged 70-plus. More details about Phase 1B, including when it will begin, will be shared soon. Click here for more information about DHS prioritization.
The new site will allow Bellin to vaccinate more individuals with a better logistical flow as additional phases open up, said Bellin Health President & CEO Chris Woleske.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in our area is exciting news for our community, and we want to make it as easy as possible for eligible individuals to be vaccinated as rollout proceeds,” Woleske said. “This new site offers a convenient location and ease of parking and building access, making the vaccination process as simple as possible for those we serve.”
Please note: Only individuals who qualify for the current phase of vaccination will be able to schedule vaccines. Bellin patients and community members are encouraged to create their MyBellin accounts now for quick and easy scheduling when they are eligible to be vaccinated.
Individuals who arrive at the new site to be vaccinated should enter the Ashwaubenon clinic at the Northwest entrance and follow the signage to the vaccination location. Masking is required. After receiving their vaccine, individuals will need to wait 15 minutes for monitoring before departing.
Bellin Fitness members should note that a section of the turf will be closed for use during vaccination hours, 7 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday and 8 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays. The other portions of the Fitness Center will remain open for use.
Bellin Health currently is vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A at Bellin Memorial Hospital in Green Bay. Scheduled vaccinations will continue there for the time being and eventually transfer to the Ashwaubenon site.
Bellin Health will share additional details about vaccination prioritization and process as they become available. More information about COVID-19 and the vaccine is available at bellin.org/covid19.