The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and will help us get back to our lives. We all look forward to the time when we can safely be with family and friends again. Protecting the ones you love and the people you know from COVID-19 starts by being protected yourself.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of three COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines can reduce the risk of getting the virus by up to 90 percent. Millions have already received their shots, but in order to finally Beat COVID-19, 80 percent of Americans must be vaccinated.
In Pennsylvania, everyone ages 12 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Need help finding a vaccination site? Visit vaccines.gov to locate vaccine distribution sites in your area.
Vaccine availability varies by state. A list of state and territorial health department websites can be found on the CDC website.
The Federal government is currently covering the cost of manufacturing the COVID‑19 vaccines. Independence will cover and waive all commercial members' cost-sharing (such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for vaccine administration.
For Medicare Advantage members, the cost of the vaccine and its administration will be covered by Original Medicare so long as the health care provider administering the vaccine participates in the Medicare program.
Visit our COVID-19 FAQs for more detailed information on vaccine coverage.
Watch the latest videos from Independence on our efforts to Beat COVID-19 and share important information about the vaccines.
The FDA authorizes use of a vaccine only after it has determined that the vaccine is safe to use, and provides effective protection against a virus. Clinical trials involving thousands of people must demonstrate that vaccination prevents a large percentage of people from being infected, and that any potential side effects are very rare.
The three vaccines that have received FDA authorization — Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson — have been proven to be safe* and effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, and death.
While some people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine experience flu-like symptoms, that doesn’t mean it has infected them. The vaccines contain no actual coronavirus. Instead, the vaccine teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response against the virus.
As with all vaccines, allergic reactions are possible. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, it’s important to talk to your doctor about possible side effects and whether it is safe for you to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is very easily transmitted, and infection rates in our country are still very high.
Getting vaccinated benefits you as an individual because you are then less likely to get and transmit the disease, get severely ill and be hospitalized, or to die from COVID-19. Being vaccinated also protects your community because your family, friends, colleagues, and other community members are less likely to contract COVID-19 and fall ill. As we collectively bring down cases, being vaccinated means you also contribute to reopening the activities we enjoy, like restaurants, sports, music, religious observance, and more.
Some people may not be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or experience its full benefit, based on their bodies’ ability to mount an antibody response — such as those who have compromised immune systems or are undergoing cancer treatment. And those who have a potential risk of allergic reactions should discuss the safety of the vaccine with their doctors.
Yet all of these individuals are also at risk of contracting COVID-19, so it’s even more vital that the people around them get vaccinated.
It’s important to continue following the CDC guidelines as carefully and consistently as possible:
Philadelphia Department of Health
*The Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was linked to a very rare blood clotting disorder found in a small number of individuals who received the vaccine, though the risk of this happening is extremely rare — less than one in a million.
Individuals who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be aware of the signs of rare and severe side effects, like severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. If you develop these symptoms within three weeks after vaccination, contact your health care provider right away.
Y0041_HM_95671_2021 Website last updated: 7/6/2021
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