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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question was not featured below, please contact your local location for more information.


What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms on the CDC website.

Who is considered high-risk?

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. For more information, visit the CDC website.

What if I recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19?

Please complete the survey on the North Dakota Health website to learn how you should monitor your health to protect yourself and your community.

For additional questions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 and information for travel, please visit the CDC website.

Can I get my prescription without visiting a pharmacy?

Yes. Altru Retail Pharmacy offers delivery and mail-out services in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Altru Retail Pharmacy offers curb-side pick-up for patients who are picking up prescriptions for COVID-19. For more information, visit

Where can I find more information on autoimmune disorders and COVID-19?

Altru recommends the following sources of information on COVID-19 for patients with an autoimmune disorder, serious illness, and chronic conditions.


What are the charges for COVID-19 testing?

If you have received a COVID-19 test you may see a charge for related services on your statement. A majority of employers and health insurers are required to pay for COVID-19 testing under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If your insurer is required, you will not be responsible for these charges. Please contact your insurance company about your out-of-pocket expenses, as some exclusions may apply. If you are uninsured, your COVID-19 related services will be covered under the CARES Act. If you have questions about your bill, please contact Altru’s Business Center at 701.780.1500

Vaccine FAQs

What safety measures were taken to develop the vaccine?

Click here to see how a new vaccine is developed, approved and manufactured.

What vaccines are available?

  • Pfizer and Moderna - mRNA Vaccine (Two Doses)
  • Janssen - Viral Vecor Vaccine (Single Dose)

For more information on the vaccines, please visit the CDC website.

How do we know the vaccine is safe?

There is a vaccine safety monitoring system (V-SAFE) program in place for all healthcare workers receiving the vaccine. Data regarding side effects is collected in almost real-time from people who received the vaccine.

How do we know the vaccine is safe because it is ready so quickly?

Although the process is called WARP speed, the scientific process with the study parameters was the same as all other vaccine development. The key difference is the vaccine was manufactured while the study was underway. Read more about operation WARP speed here.

What side effects can I expect?

Common side effects at the injection site include pain and swelling. Fever, chills, tiredness and headache are additional symptoms you may feel. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to view a full list of side effects and learn what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause Myocarditis/Pericarditis?

Based on data reported to VAERS, and data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), there is a likely association between myocarditis/pericarditis in adolescents and young adults after vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Myocarditis/Pericarditis Facts:

  • Myocarditis/pericarditis is more common in males, after the second dose, and generally occurred within 7 days (median 4 days) after vaccination.
  • The reported rates of myocarditis/pericarditis are 4.4 cases per one million doses administered after dose 1 and 12.6 cases per one million doses administered after dose 2 (32 cases per one million for males, 4.7 cases per one million for females).

Please note: COVID-19 vaccine efficacy is high and will prevent infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents clearly outweigh the harms.

How do mRNA vaccines work?

mRNA vaccines introduce a messenger RNA into your body, which causes cells to produce a protein that resembles one of the viral proteins. The protein gives the body instructions to build immunity against the virus. This does not change your DNA.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA. Vaccine developers have been working on mRNA vaccine technologies for years.

How do viral vector vaccines work?

Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells.

For COVID-19 viral vector vaccines, the vector (not the virus that causes COVID-19, but a different, harmless virus) will enter a cell in our body and then use the cell’s machinery to produce a harmless piece of the virus that causes COVID-19. This piece is known as a spike protein and it is only found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Learn more about how the vaccine works on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Vaccine Fact Sheets

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer Fact Sheet for Recipients
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Moderna Recipients
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for the Janssen Vaccine