What Older Adults Need to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines
The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. This is why CDC recommends that adults 65 years and older are one of the first groups to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to help prevent getting sick from COVID-19. That said, it might take time before enough vaccines are made for everyone who wants to be vaccinated.
Tips for how to get a COVID-19 vaccine
- Contact your state or local health department for more information.
- Ask a family member or friend to help with scheduling an appointment.
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center if they plan to provide vaccines and ask them to let you know when vaccines are available.
Find a COVID-19 vaccine if you are among those currently recommended to get vaccinated.
Information about COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults
You can help protect yourself and the people around you by getting the vaccine when it is available.
- Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
- You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
- Depending on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you get, you might need a second shot 3 or 4 weeks after your first shot.
After getting the vaccine, some people have side effects. Common side effects include:
- Muscle pain
These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. Learn more about what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
After you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.
You will not be charged for a COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:
- Charge you for the vaccine
- Charge you any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out of network
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate
COVID-19 vaccination providers can:
- Seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program (e.g., private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee
- However, providers cannot charge the vaccine recipient the balance of the bill
- Providers may also seek reimbursement for uninsured vaccine recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program.external icon
Scam Alert: If anyone asks you to pay for access to vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam. Don’t share your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for an extra fee.