COVID-19 vaccines

Frequently asked questions

Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available for everyone ages five and up. Additionally, booster shots can be administered to people ages 12 and up who already received the COVID-19 vaccine.

When and where can I get my vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are available throughout the United States. You can search a national vaccine site map to find a site near you.

Are COVID-19 vaccines – including booster shots and additional doses – covered at no cost to our members?

Yes. The federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine, and payers (health plans and self-funded groups) must cover the cost of administering the vaccines. That means Capital Blue Cross’ medical and prescription drug benefits will cover those services with no member cost share during the public health emergency.

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19, and may protect you from getting sick at all. It may also protect people around you. If you have concerns about your unique health situation, talk to your doctor about the best choice for you.

Vaccines prepare your immune system to fight the virus if you are exposed. Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination from the CDC.

I’m fully vaccinated. Should I get a booster shot?

Booster shots are available and can provide additional protection against COVID-19:

  • The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer booster for use in individuals ages 12 years and up.
  • The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots can be administered to adults 18 years and older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers more information on booster shots, including for those who are eligible for a second booster.

Can my booster shot be a different vaccine type than the one I received originally?

You may choose which vaccine you want to receive for your booster shot. The CDC’s recommendations now allow for mix and match boosters.

Can people with compromised immune systems get additional doses?

Yes. The CDC’s website offers vaccine recommendations for individuals ages 5 and older with moderately or severely compromised immune systems.

Some examples of individuals with moderately or severely compromised immune systems include people who are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood, organ transplant recipients, and those getting active treatment with drugs that suppress immune response.

I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I still need a vaccine?

Vaccination can still help protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

Which vaccines can be administered to children?

One COVID-19 vaccine – Pfizer-BioNTech – is available for children ages five and up. At this time, there are no vaccines authorized for children ages four and under.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends booster shots after the completion of the primary Pfizer series for children ages 12 and older.

The CDC offers additional guidance on COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.

What should I expect when I go to my vaccine appointment?

When you visit the vaccine provider site, you should expect that you will need to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth and stay at least six feet away from others while waiting in any lines. The vaccine provider will also wear a mask.

You should expect to receive a fact sheet that tells you about the specific vaccine you are being offered. After you receive your vaccination, you should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. If you need a second dose, it’s likely you will set up the date and time for that appointment before you leave the first.

You can expect to wait up to 20 minutes after your shot to be monitored for any immediate, serious side effects, which are rare.

What should I expect after I receive the vaccine?

Some people may experience minor side effects, such as soreness at the injection site, fatigue, or headache. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your side effects or to ask about ways to treat them.

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need a second shot to get the full protective benefit. In fact, the CDC is now recommending that people who got the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine get a booster shot at least two months after receiving their first dose. Talk to your vaccine provider about how and when to schedule the second appointment. Be sure to get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first one, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require two shots may not give you the vaccine’s full protective benefit until two weeks or so after your second shot.

Consider downloading v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool from the CDC that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one.

I’ve been hearing scary information about COVID-19 vaccines. Is it true?

Unfortunately, there have been myths about the vaccines spread through social media and other untrustworthy sources. To get accurate facts, visit the CDC’s website, which provides detailed and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic.