What to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are here. Here’s what you need to know.
COVID-19 vaccines are here. Here’s what you need to know.
COVID-19 vaccines are here and being given to people across the country. Different states and regions have different vaccination plans, and things are changing so quickly that it can be a lot to keep up with. We’re here for you and will provide important updates to help keep you informed, safe, and healthy.
Here’s what we know about the vaccine so far.
We at Clover strongly encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine as you find an appointment. We know how important the vaccine is to protect your health and safety. Also, once you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll be able to safely socialize indoors with other people who have been fully vaccinated. We want to remind you that it’s still necessary to maintain social distance, wash or sanitize hands often, and wear a mask to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19 with people who are not fully vaccinated or outside of your household. Click to see the updated CDC mask guidelines, which call for wearing a more snugly fitting mask and/or more mask layers.
At Clover, our doctors and healthcare professionals who care for you—our members—are also being vaccinated so we can deliver the best possible care to you. Here are some of the reasons why the vaccine is so important.
Search for a vaccine or call our COVID-19 vaccine help line at 1-877-770-4610 (TTY 711).*
The CDC also recommends checking your state’s health department website to search for available appointments at vaccine sites in your area. (See below.) We encourage you to keep trying until you are able to book a vaccine appointment.
Here is where our members can find vaccine information for their states:
Clover volunteers have shared their personal accounts of getting the vaccine in the videos linked below.
You can get your COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you at a location that is most convenient for you—don't wait.
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are based on the latest science. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is based on the same methods used for flu shots. Very large clinical trials have proven to have high rates of effectiveness with all three vaccines. And while it’s still too early to say that someone who has been vaccinated will not become infected, we can say with confidence that if you are vaccinated you will not develop serious disease.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested and has shown to be effective and well-tolerated by patients with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. If you are receiving active treatments that suppress your immune system, such as medications for organ transplants, active cancer treatments or management of autoimmune diseases, then COVID-19 vaccination is still recommended. However, in these cases, the timing of when and how you receive the vaccine should be coordinated with your doctor.
Individuals who receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are considered to be protected from developing moderate or severe disease 14 days after full immunization. For these vaccines, full immunization is after your second dose. Given the challenges of vaccine access, we believe that a delay in the timing of your second dose will still offer protection, but protection is based on 2 doses. For the single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) the timing of protection is 14 days after your vaccination.
After you've been fully vaccinated, you will be able to socialize without a mask when you're with other vaccinated people. Also, you and unvaccinated people from one other household will be able to visit indoors without masks. It will still be important to practice caution in public or around groups of people who have not been fully vaccinated. That includes wearing a mask, washing hands often, and watching your distance from others.
Even if you’ve already had COVID-19 infection, studies so far indicate that the immune response from the vaccine is stronger and longer lasting. The CDC recommends vaccination even for those who have already had COVID-19. You should wait 14 days after COVID-19 infection, but 90 days if you received COVID-19 antibody treatment, prior to being vaccinated. We are still learning how long immune protections from natural infection or a vaccine will last, but so far, it appears that natural infection immunity may only last several months.
So far millions of people have gotten the vaccine and the most common side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site. In some cases, people develop flu-like symptoms, which can include fever, but these symptoms pass within a few days. Overall, we are seeing a rate of side effects that’s less than 2%. The most serious side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allergic reactions—although the odds of having an allergic reaction are extremely low—and a 15-minute observation is required after getting the vaccine to be safe.
All of the evidence supports how effective and safe the vaccine is. Especially for those over age 65 or who have chronic medical conditions, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. In addition to causing death, there are serious long-term side effects from COVID-19, including heart, brain, and kidney damage—and we are not seeing those same long-term effects as a result of the vaccine. We strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination for all of our members.
In some situations, yes. After, you've been fully vaccinated, you may be around:
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
For more information on the vaccine and the virus, visit our COVID-19 resource center. We’ll continue to send our members important updates from Clover Health. And as always, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your Clover Health coverage. Just give us a call at 1-888-778-1478 (711).*
Updates from Dr. Sophia Chang. Dr. Chang is the Chief Clinical Informatics Officer at Clover Health, a tech company that manages care for its members as a Medicare Advantage plan. She brings clinical perspectives into Clover’s technology platform to improve care delivery and patient outcomes. Dr. Chang continues to practice general internal medicine at San Francisco General Hospital as a UCSF faculty member.