In the summer of 2020, hopes were high for an effective COVID-19 vaccination to be available by the end of the year. After testing and trials, multiple vaccines began to receive clearance from the FDA and the rollout began before year’s end. After our healthcare professionals, first responders, and essential workers received their COVID-19 vaccinations, seniors and other eligible candidates began to receive the vaccination this spring.
Although the COVID-19 vaccination numbers are high, there are still many seniors and their caregivers who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination. This may be due to a lack of communication regarding where seniors can receive their vaccine and/or insufficient information about the vaccines themselves.
To help answer some of the most asked questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, we’ve created this vaccination resource for seniors and their caregivers.
Question: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Free?
Since we are in a public health emergency, the federal government declared that the COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to all who are eligible – regardless of current healthcare insurance status. If you have Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance or no health insurance, you are eligible for one of the currently available vaccinations.
Question: Who is Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Currently, anyone 12 years of age or older is eligible for the available COVID-19 vaccines. Right now, more testing and trials are being conducted to see if the vaccines are safe and effective in children 6-11 years old.
Question: How many COVID-19 Vaccines are Available and What are the Differences?
In the United States, there are three COVID-19 vaccines available: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two-dose vaccines which means that the first dose prepares the body’s immune system to respond properly to the virus. The second dose (administered 21 days later for Pfizer and 28 days later Moderna) is a booster shot that provides optimum protection against the virus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-shot vaccine that does not require a follow-up dose.
Question: Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Safe?
Yes, the FDA has declared these vaccines safe and effective. As with any vaccination, side effects have been reported. The most common of these side effects include pain and tenderness in the injection site (typically the upper part of the left arm), headache, lethargy, chills and fever. The good news is that, although they’re not pleasant, side effects are an indication that the body is building the necessary protection against the virus. For increased patient safety, vaccine administrators require patients to spend 15-30 minutes in an observation area to ensure that they do not experience any rare side effects after their vaccination.
Question: Where Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccination?
Vaccinations are currently available in all states, including California and the Long Beach, South Bay and North Orange County communities. If you or your live-in caregiver requires a COVID-19 vaccination or would like more vaccine information, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!