COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Find answers to your questions


About the vaccine

Three COVID-19 vaccines, from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursuant to their emergency use authorizationThe vaccines will be available to all individuals free of charge (as required by the CARES Act).

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and we encourage you to get vaccinated.

Note: The FDA has attached warnings on the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more on the vaccine recipient and vaccination provider fact sheets.

Be aware of vaccine scams

As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, be aware that scams are starting to emerge. It’s important to know what signs to watch for, including:

  • You are asked to pay out-of-pocket to get the vaccine or early access to the vaccine
  • You are asked to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment

Learn more about how to protect yourself and report potential COVID-19 fraud here.

Frequently asked questions


What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body develop immunity and protects you from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is important to note that you cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine itself. The vaccines are safe and effective, and we encourage you to get vaccinated.

After you receive any vaccine, your body starts building immunity, which can sometimes cause mild side effects. This is normal and a sign that the vaccine is working. COVID-19 vaccine side effects are similar to those that other common vaccines can cause, such as temporary soreness in your arm, fever, chills, tiredness and headache.

Do I have to pay for the vaccine?

No, members will not have to pay cost sharing for COVID-19 vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursuant to their emergency use authorization.

Where and when can I get vaccinated?

People age 12 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is available at mass vaccination sites and select retail pharmacies. It may also be available through certain hospitals, medical practices and local boards of health. Visit www.vaccinefinder.org or check your state government’s website to find out where the COVID-19 vaccine is available in your area:

Which vaccines are currently available? Can I choose which one I receive?

COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have received emergency use authorization from the FDA. It is important to get the first vaccine that is available to you, as they all offer strong protection against hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.

I’ve heard that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are better than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Is that true?

No. All three vaccines protect you against severe illness due to COVID-19, which may lead to hospitalization and death. Their effectiveness numbers are slightly different for many reasons, namely:

  • They were tested among different populations and in different countries.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested when there was widespread transmission of more contagious and deadly variants of the virus.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested when there was a different, and perhaps higher, level of transmission in the community, which may have impacted the test results.

To remain healthy, it’s important to get the first vaccine that you are eligible to receive in your state or community. This will help protect you, and potentially your loved ones, from the virus.

Note: The CDC and FDA lifted a pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on April 23, 2021, after a thorough safety review that followed reports  of rare and severe blood clots, combined with low levels of blood platelets, in individuals who received the vaccine. Learn More

Are there any vaccines that do not require two doses?

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses; if you receive one of these vaccines, you should get the second dose at the recommended time. You should get whichever vaccine is available in your community.

Do I need to get two shots or doses?

If you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, it is important to get the two recommended doses. If you only receive one dose, your body may not develop the immunity that protects you from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, leaving you more vulnerable to infection by the variant strains of the virus. This will help protect you, and potentially your loved ones, from the virus.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Visit the CDC’s website, which provides the most up to date details on what to expect after getting the vaccine.

I get sick from the flu shot. Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick?

Like many other vaccines, you may experience side effects while your body is building immunity. Temporary soreness in your arm, fever, chills, tiredness and headache are all normal and should go away after a few days. If you have worrisome side effects that do not go away after a few days, or severe headaches/pain that start six or more days after your vaccine, contact your primary care provider.

How often will I need to get the vaccine? Just once? Annually?

We don’t know yet. Because the virus is so new, researchers will need time to monitor its response to determine how long the vaccine will protect you from the virus.

How do we know that the vaccine is safe?

We understand that you may have concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. A safety review was part of the FDA emergency use authorization process, and the FDA continues to actively monitor for safety. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and benefits, frequently asked questions and more.

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

COVID-19 vaccines approved for Emergency Use Authorization are currently available to and  recommended by the CDC for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The New England Journal of Medicine evaluated data from more than 35,000 pregnant individuals who received the mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines, and found no obvious safety concerns.

The vaccines may also protect your newborn infant from COVID-19 if you are infected during pregnancy. Two recent Israeli studies (Perl et al. & Shlomai et al) find that COVID-19 antibodies pass robustly from mothers to their infants in breast milk for six weeks after vaccination and that no infants breastfed by their COVID-19-positive mothers had evidence of infection. 

If you are pregnant and receive a COVID-19 vaccine, consider using v-safe, a tool from the CDC and FDA that uses text messaging and surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive your vaccination.  

If you have questions about getting the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding, we encourage you to speak to your health care provider.

What can I do after I’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19?

For those who have been fully vaccinated, the CDC provides guidelines for what you should and should not do during the remainder of the pandemic to keep yourself and others safe.

Will I receive anything to serve as proof of my vaccination?

At your vaccine appointment, you will receive a COVID-19 vaccination record card. The card will show your name and date of birth, as well as which COVID-19 vaccine you received, where you received it and the date of your vaccination. If you need to return for a second dose of the vaccine, the card will serve as a reminder; be sure to bring the card to your second appointment.

Please do not post pictures of your vaccination record card on social media or share proof of your immunization publicly. This is considered sensitive information that may put you at risk for vaccine scammers and identity theft.

We encourage you to hold on to your vaccine card and keep it with your personal records. The CDC offers tools to help you keep your vaccine records up to date.

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