Search for a vaccine or call our COVID-19 help line at 1-877-770-4610 (TTY 711).*
Gloved Hand Holding a Vaccine

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 and being given to people across the country at no cost. 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.

What We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

  • The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses. When you get your vaccine, be sure to find out how many doses you need. It’s extremely important that you get both doses of a vaccine that requires two doses. You will not be fully protected with only one dose of a two dose vaccine.
  • The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is available and only requires a single dose. This vaccine, along with the first two, are all effective in preventing severe disease and death from COVID-19 infection.
  • States and regions are distributing the COVID-19 vaccine differently so as many people as possible receive them.

We at Clover Health strongly encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You may find vaccine availability using our online search tool, or call our COVID-19 vaccine help line at 1-877-770-4610 (TTY 711).*

Why We Recommend Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

  1. The vaccine is safe and is the result of years of scientific breakthroughs. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were created based on the latest and greatest scientific advances over the last 5 years. Scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals were able to quickly understand what the virus looks like, how it’s structured, and how it infects us—and these vaccines target the part of the virus that allows it to infect our bodies. Clinical trials and testing of the vaccine began very quickly around the world, and over 30,000 people got the vaccine during testing. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was proven to be effective when tested on over 43,000 patients. A third of the patients were over the age of 60 and 15% were Hispanic/Latinx, 13% were Black/African American, 6% were Asian, and 1% were Native American.
  2. The vaccine works. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have proven to be 94–95% effective in preventing the COVID-19 disease. We also know that it is effective for older adults, people of color, and people with chronic conditions, because large numbers of those groups participated in the studies. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85% effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease and was tested in regions where new virus variants had become more common.
  3. Serious side effects are rare. With millions of vaccine doses received, we are seeing very low rates of allergic reactions, and everyone is observed for 15 minutes after their vaccine to keep them safe. Careful scientific review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has confirmed that blood clotting is a very rare complication of the vaccine, with less than two cases per million doses. These complications have not been reported with the use of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. A review of all available data at this time shows that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine's known and potential benefits outweight its known and potential risks. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk. 
  4. You can start resuming certain activities once you're fully vaccinated. Take greater precautions in large groups and when you're around others who are not fully vaccinated. Click to see the latest CDC guidelines for how to stay safe when you've been fully vaccinated.

How Can I Get the Vaccine?

Search for a vaccine or call our COVID-19 vaccine help line to get help from a live representative at 1-877-770-4610 (TTY 711).* 

Here is where our members can find vaccine information for their states:

COVID-19 Vaccine Stories

Clover staff have shared their personal accounts of getting the vaccine in the videos linked below.

COVID-19 Vaccine Questions and Answers

Even with all of the research and studies, there have been lots of questions about the vaccine. We're answering some of the most commonly asked questions to help you better understand the vaccine.

Will I be charged when I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You can get your COVID-19 vaccine at no cost at a location that is most convenient for you—don't wait. 

Does the COVID-19 vaccine really work?

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 vaccines. Very large clinical trials have proven to have high rates of effectiveness with all three vaccines. Those who have been vaccinated rarely become infected with coronavirus, and are protected from developing serious disease. 

Should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have serious underlying conditions?

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.

When will I be protected after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or
  • 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.

If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?

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, or 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.

Are there side effects from the vaccine?

So far tens of 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 required 15-minute observation after getting further assures safety.

Is this a hoax? Am I part of an experiment?

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.

How will life change once I'm fully vaccinated?

Life will become more social as more of us become fully vaccinated. Every vaccinated person helps slow the spread of the virus and is protected from serious disease. So the end of the pandemic is in sight!

Once you are fully vaccinated, you can resume outdoor activities that you did before the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing. You will still be required to wear a mask in medical care settings;  transportation hubs, such as airports; and on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.

You should continue to be careful in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and in crowds where you are more likely to be around others who are not yet fully vaccinated. You should also continue to watch out for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.

The CDC has determined that vaccinated people may be safe indoors without a mask, but state and local jurisdictions, as well as employers and local establishments, may continue to require mask use, especially if local rates of COVID-19 infection remain high and/or vaccination rates are low.

For more information on the vaccine and the virus, visit our COVID-19 resource center. If you're having trouble finding available vaccine appointments in your area, Clover may be able to help. Search for a vaccine or call our COVID-19 help line at 1-877-770-4610 (TTY 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.

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