COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Updated February 9, 2021
Prominence Health Plan is here to provide you with information about the COVID-19 vaccine to help you make an informed decision about whether the vaccine is right for you. Our goal is to assist you in living active and healthy lives and to encourage you to do your part in stopping the spread of the virus.
Does Prominence recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine and is the vaccine safe?
YES WE DO! We highly encourage you to get vaccinated. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, this does not mean shortcuts were taken during the testing process. In fact, more than 70,000 people participated in the COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials — the same way all FDA-approved drugs are tested — to ensure the vaccine is safe for the majority of Americans.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
There are very limited severe side effects. The most common side effects are pain or soreness at injection site, low-grade fever, fatigue, and muscle aches.
As with most vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine is intended to be administered to healthy people. It is important that you continue to follow guidelines for face covering, social distancing, and quarantine procedures to remain healthy and able to receive the vaccine when it is available to you. The vaccine is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
How does the vaccine work?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology. This means they do not contain a live virus. The way the vaccine works is quite remarkable and truly a feat of modern medicine. The vaccine delivers messenger RNA into the body to encourage our own immune systems to create the spike protein to attach to the antibody and immunize the person against contracting the COVID-19 virus. If you’re not a scientist, mRNA is a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its principal role is to act as a messenger to carry instructions to help the body create proteins.
While there are no guarantees of long-term outcomes with the COVID-19 vaccine and it is still unknown if an annual vaccine will be required like the flu vaccine, it is far less risky than contracting the COVID-19 virus and experiencing the severe symptoms of the illness.
Even if you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in the past, it is still recommended for you to take the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that there is not a specific amount of time to wait to get the vaccine after testing positive for COVID-19, only that you are asymptomatic and otherwise in generally good health.
Will the vaccine work against the new strain of COVID-19?
The vaccine is also effective against the more contagious strain of COVID-19 that was recently discovered in the United Kingdom and Colorado.
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available in my area and how do I get the vaccine?
Since vaccine supplies are limited, the first tier priority group includes the highest risk population such as healthcare personnel, hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient, home health, pharmacies, emergency medical services, law enforcement and public health workers. The second tier includes non-healthcare personnel such as food processors, water and agriculture, transportation, education, and essential workers. Subsequently, individuals older than 65 years and persons deemed extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will receive vaccines.
For the latest updates based on your location, state residents can register for alerts by texting FLCOVID19 to 888777.
- Palm Beach County Health Department
- Publix Pharmacies: At this time those looking to make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine should use a Publix pharmacy. There are 67 locations in Palm Beach County. Make an Appointment
- Florida vaccine FAQs
- Latest report showing Florida vaccinations by demographic
- Latest updates and a breakdown of distribution by county
- Register with the State of Nevada to receive updates based on your location
- For further resources, please visit the Immunize Nevada website
- Resources for Medicare Advantage Members
- Smith’s is vaccinating those 70 and older. Schedule an Appointment
- Walgreens is vaccinating those 70 and older. Schedule an Appointment
- Churchill County: Those 70 and older can schedule an appointment with Banner Churchill Community Hospital Clinic weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by calling 775-867-7740.
- Lyon County: Raley’s is vaccinating those 70 and older. Please call 775-463-1933 to schedule an appointment.
- Storey County: The Comstock Historic District Commission meeting room in Virginia City will serve as an official COVID-19 vaccine clinic site. Appointments are required. Those who qualify to receive the vaccine, including individuals over 70 years old, can schedule an appointment by calling 775-847-0957 or 775-847-9311.
- Washoe County: The Regional Information Center is asking Washoe County residents 65 years and older to sign up on a waiting list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on supply of the vaccine from the state and federal government, the Regional COVID-19 team will randomly select individuals on the list who are 70 years and older and contact them to schedule an appointment. You can sign up for the waiting list by filling out this form online, or call 775-328-2427 to sign up.
Use the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Availability map to find a provider near you with available vaccine. Check the provider’s website for how to best sign up for a vaccine. Call only if the provider’s website doesn’t answer your question.
Will I have to continue to wear a mask, social distance and follow lockdown restrictions once I have received the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you may still transmit the virus even though it won’t make you sick. Evidence suggests the vaccine likely limits transmission of the COVID-19 virus, however, it is still unclear whether a person who has been vaccinated can pass on the virus to others.
Even if you are immunized against COVID-19 it is still important to maintain vigilance when it comes to wearing a mask and social distancing. We need to achieve herd immunity, which means the virus will not spread as quickly through the population. Keep in mind that it takes a few weeks to build up an immunity to COVID-19 after vaccination. This means it is possible to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus either prior to or after receiving the vaccine.
What else do I need to know to help me make the right decision about the COVID-19 vaccine?
- There are no out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is funded by the federal government and is available at no cost to Americans. This applies to any vaccine that receives either approval or emergency use authorization.
- While data is limited, the CDC suggests that women who are pregnant and part of a high-risk group (e.g., healthcare personnel, frontline essential workers) may choose to be vaccinated. If they have questions about getting vaccinated, a discussion with their healthcare provider might help them make an informed decision.
- Pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness, including illness that results in ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death compared with non-pregnant women of reproductive age. Additionally, pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.
- The CDC does not recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 16 and younger. More studies need to be conducted before the vaccine is recommended for this age group.
- The COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses of the vaccine within 3 – 4 weeks apart. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need to get both to get the best protection.
- If you experience problems or bad reactions after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC encourages all vaccine recipients to enroll in v-safe, a smartphone tool you can use to inform the CDC of any side effects you have after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you report serious side effects, someone from the CDC will call to follow up.
Will I experience difficulty accessing standard medical care?
With the stress and demand of the COVID-19 crisis basic medical care has been more difficult to access, this includes providers and facilities contracted with Prominence Health Plan. Many hospitals are delaying elective procedures and diagnostic services to focus on caring for people who are sick with COVID-19.
If you are experiencing a delay in access to care with a Prominence network provider, please call a Care Advocate and we will be glad to help you navigate these challenges. We ask that you please be patient during these service delays as we work hard to advocate for you to receive the most appropriate care.
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Updated January 3, 2021
As you know, we are experiencing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have been doing our part to stay home and keep our distance from family and friends to try to help save lives and avoid the spread of this terrible disease. The development of a vaccine is an important strategy in reducing COVID-19 related illness and will help to stabilize the global economy. On a federal level, Operation Warp Speed was created in an effort to accelerate development of therapies and enable faster approval and production of safe and effective vaccines in the treatment of COVID-19.
Operation Warp Speed is a partnership between the public and the private sector to accelerate the testing, supply and distribution of safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics. The typical process of vaccine development takes years from the initial stage of research and development to clinical trials to manufacturing and distribution. With Operation Warp Speed, the United States Government is funding large scale manufacturing of the most promising candidates concurrently during the phase III clinical trial – before vaccines are authorized or approved. Vaccines are being produced during the clinical trial period with the intention of throwing them away if they are deemed to be unsafe or ineffective.
Is there a vaccine available for COVID-19?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons 16 years of age or older. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States.
Will I be able to get a vaccine for COVID-19?
Availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will be limited at first. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently developing guidelines and policies regarding distribution. Each state will develop their own tiered priority decision support tool.
With the anticipated limited vaccine supply, priority will be given to those who are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. The idea behind the tiered distribution is an anticipated limited vaccine allocation initially. With this is mind, there is consideration for many variables including the level and length of exposure in populations such as essential workers, the likelihood of mitigating community spread, mortality and morbidity and expected immunologic response to the vaccine.
The first tier priority group includes the highest risk population such as healthcare personnel, hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient, home health, pharmacies, emergency medical services, law enforcement and public health workers. The second tier includes non-healthcare personnel such as food processors, water and agriculture, transportation, education, and essential workers.
Will there be any out-of-pocket costs associated with receiving the vaccine?
No, there will be no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is funded by the federal government and will be available at no cost to Americans. This applies to any vaccine that receives either approval or emergency use authorization.
Will I feel sick after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Clinical trial data indicates that local reactions such as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site are common side effects. Some people may also experience low-grade fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue and/or headache which are self-limiting or temporary.
Will I have to continue to wear a mask and social distance and follow lockdown restrictions once I have been given the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, even if you are immunized against COVID-19 it will still be important to maintain vigilance when it comes to wearing a mask and social distancing. It is important to remember that many people will have to become immune before it is possible to control the spread of this disease. Keep in mind that it takes a few weeks to build up an immunity to COVID-19 after vaccination. This means it is possible to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus either prior to or after receiving the vaccine.