Now that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is opening up beyond health care workers, elderly populations and essential workers, more and more people are asking about the rollout. High demand, staggered eligibility and limited supply leaves many people with a long list of questions.
We're here to help you understand and navigate the guidelines, logistics and availability of getting vaccinated. The Journi Care Team is available to answer your questions, help schedule vaccination appointments, and, in this guide, we've gathered takeaways and go-to resources to keep you informed.
What are my vaccine options?
As of mid-March, three vaccines are authorized by the FDA for emergency use and in distribution. Here's a quick overview of the three:
- Pfizer and Moderna were the first to become available at the end of 2020 and both require two doses.
- In early March 2021, Johnson & Johnson released a single-dose vaccine into circulation.
- All three vaccines take 2 weeks to reach full protection after your final dose.
- The three vaccines are highly effective at reducing symptoms and are all nearly 100% effective in prevention of hospitalizations and death.1,2,3
- Side effects can vary, with the most common being soreness at the injection site and fatigue for 12 to 36 hours. About 10% of people also experience chills and fever for 1-2 days—but those are good signs that your body is responding and building its immunity to the virus.
What about coronavirus variants?
According to the World Health Organization, the vaccines that are currently authorized are expected to provide at least some protection against new coronavirus variants because these vaccines elicit a broad immune response4,5. However, we can reduce the amount of viral transmission and opportunities for mutations by continuing to follow public health measures such as frequent hand washing, mask wearing and physical distancing, and getting vaccinated when it's our turn.6
How much does the COVID vaccine cost?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all people in the United States, as required by law. Vaccine administration is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans.
Why is it important to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccination can help you, your loved ones and your community stay healthy and safe. Vaccination is an important step in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, its variants, and the development of new variants. By getting vaccinated when you're eligible, you can also help stimulate the economy, prevent further illnesses and deaths resulting from COVID-19, and help protect the people around you.
Is it safe to resume social activities after I'm vaccinated?
Vaccination is a big part of eliminating the threat of the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean we can get complacent. Public health experts urge us to keep following safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, avoiding crowds, especially indoors, and practicing good hygiene (handwashing, hand sanitizer, etc.). Check the CDC guidelines about how to protect yourself and others once fully vaccinated.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? When will it be available to me?
Start with your state health department or tribal nation website. State and local health authorities are determining priorities for vaccine eligibility based on federal guidance and prioritization varies by location. States, tribes and counties have resources that provide more information about vaccination centers administered by hospitals at large sites such as convention centers, arenas, and drive-through options in parking lots.
Vaccine Finder is a national tool where users can enter their zip code to search for clinics and pharmacies that offer vaccinations for eligible groups.
What to do while you wait + ways to stay on top of availability
While you wait, there's a few things you can do:
- Continue to follow safety precautions from medical experts.
- Sign up for provider newsletters and vaccine availability alert systems in your area. (If you’re a Journi user, you can ask a Care Guide for help with this.)
- Check out some alternate ways to get the vaccine, such as services that track and match you with clinics that have leftover vaccines.
- While vaccines are top of mind, make sure you and your family members are up to date on other important childhood and adult vaccines.
Access more resources and get future updates about COVID-19 from Journi
We’re keeping an eye on updates from health organizations daily and will update the blog to keep readers informed about vaccines and COVID developments as more information comes to light.
Connect with Journi about COVID-19 vaccines
Journi Users: You have access to a trusted resource who can help you understand guidelines, answer questions and provide accurate information. Contact a Care Guide for 1:1 support. A Care Guide can help you:
- Find vaccination and testing facilities
- Schedule a vaccination appointment
- Manage symptoms and vaccine side effects
- Understand benefits and coverage
- Access state schedules and priority grouping information
Where can I get more information?
You can also refer to the sources below for more detailed information about COVID-19, vaccines and acitivities in your state:
- Your State's Department of Health website
- Pharmacies Participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program by state (above)
- CDC’s Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
- CDC’s Vaccine Tracker Map and Stats
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Sources: 1. Polack F, et al. “Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine.” N Engl J Med. 2020 Dec 31. 2. FDA Briefing Document. Moderna COVI-19 Vaccine. 2020 Dec 17. 3. FDA Briefing Document. Janssen Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine for the Prevention of COVID-19. 2020 Feb 26. 4. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-effects-of-virus-variants-on-covid-19-vaccines 5. Rubin, R. COVID-19 Vaccines vs Variants—Determining How Much Immunity Is Enough. JAMA. 2021 Mar 17. 6. New SARS-CoV-2 variants: How can vaccines be adapted? Medical News Today.