There are currently three FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines available. They are produced by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna. These vaccines are now widely available and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Note: The content below is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Immunizations are an essential and highly effective way to prevent infectious disease in large populations. WPS will cover initial doses, as well as an additional booster dose as recommended by your doctor and in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines.
Under the CARES Act passed in November 2020, individuals with health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccine shots, including a booster dose, and associated administration fees, without any cost sharing. That means you don’t have to pay for the vaccine! Recipients of Medicare can get the vaccine at no charge. The CARES Act does not apply to short-term health plans, so if you have this type of plan, coverage may vary. Check with your health insurer for details.
Note: Health care providers may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient. See the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website for details.
According to the CDC, the vaccine is generally safe. Although there are exceptions, especially for those with certain allergies, the vaccines have undergone rigorous safety testing. Check with your physician to see if the vaccine is safe for you.
The CDC has more information about the vaccination approval process and ongoing safety monitoring. The CDC also has more about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines on its Vaccinate with Confidence page.
The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years of age and older get immunized against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Probably not, although it could depend on your location and the availability of the vaccines.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two immunizations given a few weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine requires one immunization. Vaccines can take up to several weeks after the final dose to provide protection, so be sure to take precautions after getting immunized.
The duration of the protection is still unknown.
There can be, but most are mild. The most common are fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, and pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. A COVID-19 vaccination cannot give you the coronavirus.
The CDC recommends that you continue to follow its recommended guidelines:
Unfortunately, scammers have been trying to exploit people during the pandemic. The Medicare website has more information about vaccine-related scams, and the Federal Trade Commission has information about how to protect yourself from other COVID-19 scams.
CDC: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know