Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

> Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

COVID-19 can cause serious illness or even death. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. A COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces the risk that you will develop COVID-19. In clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines have been highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19 that require hospital care or cause death.

 > ARE the COVID-19 vaccines safe? 

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines being used in the United States meet FDA’s rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness. Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States since December 14, 2020, and all COVID vaccines being used here will continue to be monitored for safety.

> Who is eligible to receive the vaccine?

The current vaccination eligibility in the State of Florida, as approved by Governor Ron DeSantis, include the following groups:

  • Florida residents 18 years of age and older; 
  • Florida residents ages 16-17 are authorized to receive the Pfizer vaccine but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

> Where can I find Vaccine information for Palm Beach County?

Check the COVID-19 Vaccine For Palm Beach County page for up-to-date information.

> Where when I go to get vaccinated?

Employees are encouraged to check with their private medical providers for available vaccine options. You are also encouraged to seek appointments through:

Vaccine Program Information
State of Florida COVID-19 Responsefloridahealthcovid19.gov
Palm Beach County Healthcare Districthttps://www.hcdpbc.org/
Baptist Healthhttps://baptisthealth.net/coronavirus/vaccine
Tenethttps://palmbeachhealthnetwork.com/
HCAhttps://hcaeastflorida.com/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-information/
VA Medical Center(561-422-6838 - veterans only)
Publix Pharmacieshttps://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida
Walmartwalmart.com/cp/1228302
Sam’s Club
samsclub.com/pharmacy/immunization?imzType=covid
Winn Dixie
winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine

**Appointments for the homebound can be made by sending an email to: homeboundvaccine@em.myflorida.com.  Provide name and phone number and someone from the State will call to set up an appointment.**

> What COVID-19 Vaccines are available, and what are the differences?

In the United States, there are currently two authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 that are FDA approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Additional COVID-19 vaccine products are anticipated. For more information about the vaccines, please refer to the CDC website.


Pfizer-BioNTech
Moderna
Johnson & Johnson's
Janssen
Who?People 16 years or olderPeople 18 years or olderPeople 18 years or older
Doses2 doses, 21 days apart2 doses, 28 days apart1 dose
Fully Vaccinated?2 weeks after
your second dose
2 weeks after
your second dose
2 weeks after
your second dose

> How will the vaccine be covered, and how much will it cost?

The federal government has mandated that non-grandfathered health plans and ASO employers pay 100% of the cost of administration of the vaccine, whether administered by medical HCPs or pharmacists both in- and out-of-network.  As such, the out-of-pocket cost for employees for the COVID-19 vaccine will be $0. Note that if other services are provided at the time of vaccine administration, such as a chronic condition evaluation, cost-share for these services may be applied.

> What are the benefits of the flu vaccine during the pandemic?

It’s important to stay vigilant against other illnesses like influenza, also known as the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19. The CDC recommends all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications get the flu vaccine, which is covered under your medical plan’s preventive benefit, usually at 100%. Although the flu vaccine does NOT provide protection against COVID-19, it does protect against getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. In addition, it may help identify when a patient has COVID-19 by potentially ruling out a flu diagnosis when a patient has flu-like symptoms.

Common COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Topics of Concern
ConcernFact*
Speed of developmentThe vaccines are proven safe and effective, and they were developed quickly because of the worldwide effort. Although developed in record time, they have gone through the same rigorous FDA process as every other vaccine, meeting all safety standards. No steps were skipped. The clinical trials and safety reviews actually took about the same amount of time as other vaccines.
Impact of DNAmRNA is simply a message that the body reads. It cannot change your DNA or modify your genes.
IngredientsmRNA vaccines are free of preservatives and only contain the mRNA, a fatty coating layer to protect the mRNA, PEG (polyethylene glycol), and a combination of salts, sugar and water.
Long-term dataMillions have been vaccinated. Clinical trials have shown us the vaccines are safe, and now we are seeking long-term data to learn how long the vaccine remains effective.

*University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy and UC Davis Health, real facts about common COVID-19 vaccine myths

> What side effects can be expected after receiving the vaccine?

Some side effects are normal and it signals that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.  Refer the the current CDC guidelines for more information.

> What type of activities can I do once I've been fully vaccinated?

After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces however, you may resume to do some of the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic.  For information on this topic, access the CDC Vaccine Information page.

Other Resources

Florida Department of Health—COVID-19 Response page
CDC - Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
FAQ— COVID-19 Vaccine For Palm Beach County
Department of Health and Human Services FAQ
What Fully Vaccinated People Need to Know
Moderna Information Page
Pfizer-BioNTech —The Facts About Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Cigna COVID-19 Podcasts—Vaccine Rollout & Costs
Cigna Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Individuals and Families