Newsroom

01/21/21

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID‑19 Vaccination

WithMe Team

Covid-19 Vaccination FAQs


WithMe Health continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation across the country, and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to meet the needs of our clients and our members. As additional regulatory guidance and information are made available, we are prepared to adapt our policies and to ensure the appropriate coverage of approved COVID-19 vaccines. We will continue to update our communications accordingly.


Is the vaccine safe?

Yes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed data from large clinical trials and determined that the vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective for Emergency Use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has monitoring systems in place to add an additional layer of safety. We recommend downloading the CDC’s V-safe smartphone tool after you receive the vaccine – this tool will help you monitor your health after vaccination and will send you an appointment reminder for a second dose if you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.


How effective are the vaccines?

In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of a previous COVID-19 infection.

With a slightly different study design than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Janssen vaccine was 66.9% effective in preventing moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 infections in patients at least 14 days after vaccination and was 66.1% effective at least 28 days after vaccination. This study also included participants from Latin America and South Africa with new variations of SARS-CoV-2. There are no head to head trials comparing the effectiveness of the three vaccines.


Can I get sick with COVID if I get the vaccine?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the live virus. After getting the vaccine, your body will be building protection against the virus. During this period, some people may experience headache, fever, or flu-like symptoms which are considered normal. The continuation of safe practices such as mask wearing and social distancing is recommended while your body builds protection against the virus and afterwards, to prevent the spread to others.


Should I get the vaccine if I already had COVID?

Yes. The CDC recommends that all eligible individuals get vaccinated. It is currently unknown whether people who have had COVID will also have immunity. To decrease the risk of re-infection, getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, and social distancing are the best defenses.


Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccination in the United States?

The CDC has used a phased approach for vaccination eligibility (e.g., Phase 1a, Phase 1b, Phase 1c, etc.). During Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccination program, initial supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine were allocated to front line healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents.

Since that time, the CDC has recommended that additional groups (i.e., Phase 1b and Phase 1c) be vaccinated. Vaccine eligibility for each state differs. As the vaccine supply increases with time, it is anticipated that vaccinations will be available to the general public later into 2021.


Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html


Can pregnant, breastfeeding or immunocompromised patients get the vaccine?

Yes, people who meet the eligibility requirements in their state may get the vaccine. The benefit of getting the vaccine is considered to outweigh the risk of having health complications due to COVID-19. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or immunocompromised and have questions about getting vaccinated, we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider so that you can make an informed decision.


Should patients with previous allergic reactions get the vaccine?

The CDC recommends that those eligible people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications get vaccinated. This includes people with allergies to food, pets, venom, environmental factors, or latex, a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions. Patients who have experienced allergic reactions to vaccines or injectable therapies (severe or non-severe) should first consult with their healthcare provider before getting the vaccine.


Can my child get vaccinated?

Not at this time. Pediatric patients were not included in the vaccine studies for the Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 years of age and older. The Moderna and Janssen vaccines are approved for people 18 years of age and older.


Where can I get vaccinated?

Eligible individuals may be vaccinated at designated facilities by making an appointment. Please refer to your state or county/parish health department for information on vaccination locations and reservations. Due to increased call volume, we recommend visiting your local county’s/parish’s health department website page.

We anticipate that more facilities such as retail pharmacies and physician offices will offer vaccinations as additional supplies of the vaccine are available.


How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need to take?

The Janssen vaccine requires only one single dose whereas the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are administered in two separate doses. At the time of the first dose, patients will be required to schedule their second dosing – which will be scheduled for 21 days later for the Pfizer vaccine, and 28 days later for the Moderna vaccine.


Do both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have to be administered by the same provider?

No, however, it is important that if you receive the same COVID-19 vaccine for both of your doses. For example, if you receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for your first dose, then your second dose should also be the Pfizer formulation. You may elect to get your two doses by different providers.


How will I know when to get my second dose?

After receiving the first dose of your Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination, you will be provided with a mandated vaccine card with all pertinent vaccination information. This card will include information about the specific vaccine received, date and location of first dose, as well as a date for the second dose to be completed. It is encouraged that all patients schedule their second dose appointment, before leaving the site of their first dose administration. Individuals will be reminded when it is time to get their second shot. Downloading the CDC’s V-safe smartphone tool will also help remind you of your next appointment. The V-safe hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-232-4636.


What is the cost for the COVID-19 Vaccination?

The COVID-19 vaccination cost will be federally covered through The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Patients will have a $0 out of pocket cost and the fee for administering the vaccine will be paid for by the insurance company. The administration fee paid to the provider or pharmacy will be approximately $22 for both the first and second dose.


What other vaccines are being studied?

AstraZeneca and Novavax have COVID-19 vaccines in large-scale clinical trials right now. As emerging evidence on these vaccines becomes available, we will provide you with updated information.


Please check back with us for the latest information. If you are a member and you have questions, you may also contact us by calling 1‑866‑840‑1877.