COVID-19 Vaccines

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is free for all residents.

When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Lithuanian residents are vaccinated according to the plan of the Ministry of Health, which is adjusted according to when, how many and which vaccines are approved and received. You can find the latest plan here: https://koronastop.lrv.lt/lt/vakcinavimas

When will I know that the time has come for me to get the vaccine?

Vilnius residents will get information that it is their time to get the vaccine by phone or SMS.

Why are people encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

The COVID-19 vaccine is the most reliable way to protect oneself against the coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 5,000 lives in Lithuania and causes long-term complications in some patients regardless of their age.

In addition, mass vaccination is the only way to end the pandemic in Lithuania and around the world, which is having a negative impact on the economy and society, and to return to normal life.

Is everyone recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

The COVID-19 vaccine is the most reliable way to protect oneself against the coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 5,000 lives in Lithuania and causes long-term complications in some patients regardless of their age.

In addition, mass vaccination is the only way to end the pandemic in Lithuania and around the world, which is having a negative impact on the economy and society, and to return to normal life.

If I have already had COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is the most reliable way to protect oneself against the coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 5,000 lives in Lithuania and causes long-term complications in some patients regardless of their age.

In addition, mass vaccination is the only way to end the pandemic in Lithuania and around the world, which is having a negative impact on the economy and society, and to return to normal life.

When will I gain immunity to COVID-19 after vaccination?

An immune response is already formed 2 to 3 weeks after the first dose of the vaccine, which may protect against severe forms of COVID-19. The second vaccine is given 3 to 12 weeks after the first vaccine (depending on the vaccine manufacturer). After the second vaccine, the immune resistance to COVID-19 is further enhanced and a longer duration of immunity is ensured. Stronger immunity also develops after 2 to 3 weeks following the second vaccination.

How effective is the first of the two doses of the vaccine?

An immune response is already formed 2 to 3 weeks after the first dose of the vaccine, which may protect against severe forms of COVID-19. However, after the second vaccine, immunity to COVID-19 is further enhanced and a longer duration of immunity is ensured. Stronger immunity also develops after 2 to 3 weeks following the second vaccination.

If I have been vaccinated against COVID-19, can I refuse to wear a mask or not to follow other requirements?

Even vaccinated individuals must continue to comply with safety requirements. Although vaccinated individuals gain immunity, it is not known whether they can carry the virus themselves and pass it on to others.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

All COVID-19 vaccines used in Lithuania are safe. They have passed tests that meet the highest safety standards applied to other vaccines and medicines. Lithuania uses only those vaccines that are approved by the EU institutions. The current vaccines used by Lithuania have already been used to millions of people in other Western countries, such as the USA or the United Kingdom. No severe or harmful side effects were observed.

Are there any preparations before COVID-19 vaccination?

As with all vaccines, when the person gets vaccinated against COVID-19, it is important that the person would feel well and would not have a fever or exacerbation of a chronic illness.

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective?

All vaccines used in Lithuania are effective. That is, they help the body produce antibodies and immune cells that protect the body against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease. Clinical trials of the vaccines have shown that they protect against severe COVID-19 disease by 100% and protects against getting the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in 70 to 95% of cases.

How do COVID-19 vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines help the human body to develop an immune response against the new SARS-CoV-2 virus and thus protect against the COVID-19 disease it causes. Different types of vaccines work differently, but the principle of action of them all is to trigger an immune response by helping the body to produce memory immune cells, i.e. T, B lymphocytes and protective antibodies. Usually, enough memory cells and antibodies are produced a few weeks after the vaccination.

What are the possible side effects after vaccination?

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, some people may experience short-term, non-hazardous side effects that are common to most other vaccines. These include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, fever, chills. This happens because the vaccine triggers an immune response in the human body, and these symptoms mean that your immune system is learning how to detect and destroy the coronavirus in the future. The side effects usually go away in 1-2 days.

No long-term side effects were observed in either clinical trials or mass vaccination of the general population.

According to the data of the State Medicines Control Agency published on 4 March the reports obtained on adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines amount to 0.5 per cent of the total number of people vaccinated in Lithuania. This accounts for 1201 reports on adverse reactions for more than 200.000 doses of vaccine used. 868 of these reports are classified as mild or moderate and 22 of them are classified as severe.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

You cannot get a COVID-19 or other virus disease from the vaccines because there are no active viruses in the vaccines.

What vaccines people get in Lithuanian?

The following vaccines are registered and used in Lithuania as well as in the entire EU:

  • Comirnaty (manufacturers BioNTech and Pfizer)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna (manufacturer Moderna)
  • AstraZeneca (manufacturers University of Oxford and AstraZeneca)

How are COVID-19 vaccines tested and approved?

  1. Like all medicines, vaccines are first tested in a laboratory.
  2. They are then tested on volunteers in a series of research cycles called clinical trials.
  3. These trials help to determine how vaccines work and ensure that their benefits outweigh any possible side effects or risks.
  4. Once sufficient data from research and clinical trials have been collected, companies may apply to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for an authorization to place the vaccine on the EU market.
  5. The EMA assesses all data and performs an independent comprehensive scientific assessment of the vaccine.
  6. On the basis of the EMA scientific assessment, the European Commission grants the EU marketing authorization. The vaccine can then be used.

What are the types of COVID-19 vaccines?

Currently, based on the mechanism of action, there are distinguished two main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are in the final stages of clinical trials or have already been approved in the EU and are used to vaccinate humans. These are mRNA vaccines (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna) and vector vaccines (AstraZeneca).

How does a mRNA vaccine work?

mRNA vaccines contain genetic information from the virus that allows human cells to produce only the surface spike protein specific for SARS-CoV-2. Following vaccination, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus reaches the human body, the immune system recognizes its surface protein, activates the immune response, and destroys the virus.

Two mRNA vaccines are currently used for vaccination: Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The principle of action of mRNA vaccines has been known to scientists for decades. The work has been done on the basis of this principle to find effective protection against influenza, Zika, rabies, CMV viruses.

How does a vector vaccine work?

These vaccines are made using an attenuated, harmless virus that cannot multiply in the human body, such as adenovirus. Genetic information from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been incorporated into the composition of the virus which cannot cause COVID-19 disease. When a carrier virus (vector) is injected into a human body with a vaccine, information is obtained on how to produce the surface protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After vaccination, when getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system is activated and the virus is killed, thus preventing COVID-19.

Vector vaccines include AstraZeneca. Viral vector technology has been in use for a long time, the beginning of its development was in 1970s.

Is it safe for people with chronic diseases to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes, it is. Clinical trial data show that people with immunological disorders or taking immunosuppressant drugs had no additional adverse reactions to vaccine. People with asthma, obesity, diabetes or pulmonary diseases can be vaccinated against COVID-19 and clinical trials show it is safe to do so.

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?

So far, children are not vaccinated against COVID-19 because they have not been included in the vaccine trials. Children will be vaccinated once trials have been done and the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in this age group. Pharmaceutical companies plan to start such trials this year.

Compared to adults, COVID-19 very rarely causes serious symptoms or complications in children. Preliminary data also show that children are less likely to be infected with COVID-19 disease. As a result, vaccination of adults for whom COVID-19 may cause complications or even death is still a priority.

Will foreigners residing in Lithuania be vaccinated against COVID-19?

In Lithuania foreigners have access to vaccination services if they have a permanent resident status in Lithuania and (or) are insured under the statutory health insurance scheme (are employed and make statutory health insurance contributions or have contributions made for them, as well as persons whose insurance is covered by budgetary contributions of the State).

Your vaccination (if you correspond to the priority group) COVID-19 vaccine will be carried out by Vilnius City Clinical Hospital but you must fill in the following survey form:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSchDEL5DTjslKAXlgiHG4qhaYq2MU75loecfy-XMVeKH_MbDQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0&gxids=7628.

The vaccinating institution will contact you at the specified contacts and invite you to be vaccinated.

Can I choose my vaccine?

Yes, you can choose your vaccine. The selection can be made from the manufacturer vaccines available at the vaccination centre at that time.

About vaccines used in Lithuania

Currently, three different vaccines are used in Lithuania:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna vaccine manufactured by Moderna
  • Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer / Biontech
  • AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca together with the University of Oxford

Safety and efficiency

All vaccines used in Lithuania are safe and effective. They are effective in protecting against severe forms of COVID-19 disease and the majority of vaccinated people are protected from getting infected with COVID-19 in general.

Millions of people have been vaccinated with these three vaccines all around the world, including such countries as the USA and the United Kingdom. No long-term side effects have been observed in clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines or in mass vaccination of general population in various countries.

Rate of the formation of immunity

Two doses of the vaccine are needed to achieve full effectiveness of vaccination. However, resistance develops 2-3 weeks after the first vaccination, which may protect you from severe forms of COVID-19. The second vaccine further enhances the immune response and ensures that resistance to COVID-19 would persist longer.

Possible side effects

Vaccination with any of these vaccines may cause short-term, non-hazardous side effects in humans. For example, pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, fever, chills. These symptoms are also common with other vaccines, such as the vaccine against the flu.

The side effects occur because the vaccine triggers an immune response in the human body. The mentioned symptoms mean that your immune system is learning how to detect and destroy the coronavirus in the future. The side effects usually go away in 1-2 days.

MODERNA VACCINE

Who can get the Moderna vaccine?

People older than 18 can get the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine can also be given to people who have problems with their immune system. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a healthcare professional about vaccination.

People who are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine should not get this vaccine.

How many doses of the Moderna vaccine are required?

Two injections are needed to achieve maximum effectiveness of the vaccine. Resistance develops 2-3 weeks after the first vaccination, which may protect you from severe forms of COVID-19 disease. The second vaccine further enhances the immune response and ensures that resistance to COVID-19 disease would persist longer.

What is the time interval between the Moderna vaccinations?

There is an interval of 28 days between the two injections of Moderna. That is, after the first vaccination, a second vaccination is given four weeks later.

What is the effectiveness of the vaccine?

Clinical trials have shown that the Moderna vaccine protects against severe forms of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization by 100%. Also, Moderna protects against getting infected with COVID-19 disease by 94.1%.

What are the possible common side effects of the Moderna vaccine?

The most common side effects are mild to moderate, and people’s health improves within a few days of vaccination. Some people may experience pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever after being vaccinated. Some may experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects occurred in more than 1 in 10 people in the clinical trial of the vaccine.

How does the Moderna vaccine work?

Moderna is the so-called mRNA vaccine. This means that the vaccine contains genetic information about the virus, which allows human cells to produce the surface spike protein that is specific only to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After vaccination, if the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body, the immune system recognizes its surface protein, activates the immune response, and destroys the virus. mRNA of the vaccine does not remain in the body and is decomposed shortly after vaccination.

What countries use Moderna?

The vaccine is used in many countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union. The USA has already injected more than 25 million doses of Moderna vaccine.

World Health Organization’s information on the Moderna vaccine:

In English: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-moderna-covid-19-mrna-1273-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know

In Russian: https://www.who.int/ru/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know

More information from the Lithuanian Ministry of Health on the Moderna vaccine: https://koronastop.lrv.lt/lt/duk/skiepai-nuo-covid-19/vakcinos-moderna

COMIRNATY (PFIZER/BIONTECH) VACCINE

Who can get the Comirnaty vaccine?

People older than 16 can get the Comirnaty vaccine. The vaccine can also be given to people who have problems with their immune system. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a healthcare professional about vaccination.

People who are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine should not get this vaccine.

How many doses of Comirnaty are required?

Two injections are needed to achieve maximum effectiveness of the vaccine. Resistance develops 2-3 weeks after the first vaccination, which may protect you from severe forms of COVID-19 disease. The second vaccine further enhances the immune response and ensures that resistance to COVID-19 disease would persist longer.

What is the time interval between the Comirnaty vaccinations?

There is an interval of 21 days between the two injections of Comirnaty. That is, after the first vaccination, a second vaccination is given three weeks later.

What is the effectiveness of the vaccine?

Clinical trials have shown that the Comirnaty vaccine protects against severe forms of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization by 100%. Also, clinical trials and preliminary data from Israel where 2.6 million people have already been given both doses of the Comirnaty doses shows that the effectiveness of the Comirnaty vaccine in preventing getting infected with the COVID-19 disease is 94%.

What are the possible common side effects of the Comirnaty vaccine?

The most common side effects are mild to moderate, and people’s health improves within a few days of vaccination. Some people may experience pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever after being vaccinated. Some may experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects occurred in more than 1 in 10 people in the clinical trial of the vaccine.

How does the Comirnaty vaccine work?

Comirnaty is the so-called mRNA vaccine. This means that the vaccine contains genetic information about the virus, which allows human cells to produce the surface spike protein that is specific only to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After vaccination, if the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body, the immune system recognizes its surface protein, activates the immune response, and destroys the virus. mRNA of the vaccine does not remain in the body and is decomposed shortly after vaccination.

What countries also use the Comirnaty vaccine?

The vaccine is used in many countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union. In Israel, even 70% of the citizens have been vaccinated with this vaccine.

World Health Organization’s information on the Comirnaty vaccine:

In English: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-can-take-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19–vaccine

In Russian: https://www.who.int/ru/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-can-take-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19–vaccine

More information from the Lithuanian Ministry of Health on the Comirnaty vaccine:

https://koronastop.lrv.lt/lt/duk/skiepai-nuo-covid-19/vakcinos-comirnaty

ASTRAZENECA

Who can get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

People older than 15 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine can also be given to people who have problems with their immune system. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a healthcare professional about vaccination.

People who are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine should not get this vaccine.

Is AstraZeneca recommended for older people?

Yes, it is. Studies show that antibodies that fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus develop in the blood of older people after the first vaccination. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which approves all medicines in the European Union, and the World Health Organization also recommend the use of AstraZeneca in people over 65 years of age.

In the United Kingdom, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been used for vaccination of all adults since early January. The vaccine was first given to a group of older people.

How many doses of AstraZeneca are required?

Two injections are needed to achieve maximum effectiveness of the vaccine. Resistance develops 2-3 weeks after the first vaccination, which may protect you from severe forms of COVID-19 disease. The second vaccine further enhances the immune response and ensures that resistance to COVID-19 disease would persist longer.

What is the time interval between AstraZeneca vaccinations?

There is an interval of 12 weeks between the two injections of AstraZeneca. The available data suggest that such a long interval provides a stronger immune response than when there is a shorter interval between vaccinations.

What is the effectiveness of the vaccine?

Clinical trials have shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine protects against severe forms of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization by 100%. A trial of 17,000 people from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil showed that there is 76% protection against getting infected with the COVID-19 virus already after the first AstraZeneca dose. This protection lasts for three months until the second dose. After the second dose, the effectiveness of protection rises to 82%.

What are the possible common side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine?

The most common side effects are mild to moderate, and people’s health improves within a few days of vaccination. Some people may experience pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever after being vaccinated. Some may experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects occurred in more than 1 in 10 people in the clinical trial of the vaccine.

How does the AstraZenec vaccine work?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the so-called vector vaccine. It is made using an attenuated, harmless adenovirus that cannot multiply in the human body. Genetic information from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been incorporated into the composition of this virus that cannot cause the COVID-19 disease. When a carrier virus (vector) is injected into a human body with a vaccine, information is obtained on how to produce the surface protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If a person gets infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus after the vaccination, the immune system is activated and the virus is killed, thus preventing COVID-19 disease.

What countries use the AstraZeneca vaccine?

The vaccine is used in many countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union.

World Health Organization’s information on the AstraZeneca vaccine:

In English: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know

In Russian: https://www.who.int/ru/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know

More information from the Lithuanian Ministry of Health on the AstraZeneca vaccine:

https://koronastop.lrv.lt/lt/duk/skiepai-nuo-covid-19/vakcinos-pagal-pavadinima/vakcinos-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

Vaccination information line 1808
Free transportation service for senior people with restricted mobility 85 211 25 55