Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

Updated March 2, 2021

What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free for most members. Most importantly, it can protect you from becoming ill and help stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Due to limited supply, COVID-19 vaccination is available in phases. This means not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away. Vaccine availability and eligibility varies locally.

Washington state’s health department to learn when you’ll be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and how to schedule your appointment.

You may also talk to your doctor or pharmacist to understand when and where you may be vaccinated. As more vaccines become available, vaccine distribution sites will expand to more locations, such as retail pharmacies, outpatient clinics, and other sites linked to hospitals and health systems.

Meantime, while you wait your turn – and even after you’ve been vaccinated – keep doing your part to protect yourself and your loved ones to stop the spread. The best way to do this is to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Wash your hands

Your vaccine questions answered

 How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

Asuris members can get the vaccine with no out-of-pocket cost. The federal government is purchasing enough vaccine to immunize every American throughout the course of the pandemic. Vaccine administration will be covered by Medicare or most private health plans.

Medicare members should bring their Medicare card to their vaccination appointment.

 Which COVID-19 vaccines are covered?

Vaccines that have approval or emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are covered.

 Should I get the vaccine?

Vaccination is recommended as one critical way to protect yourself and stop the spread of the pandemic. A vaccination can immunize you against becoming ill with this serious and deadly disease. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, call your doctor.

 Do I need the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?

Yes. You should be vaccinated even though you already had COVID-19. Medical experts still don’t know how long you’re protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The general recommendation is to wait 90 days from the onset of the COVID-19 infection and then get vaccinated when you are eligible. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should also wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received.

 When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines are distributed in phases, based on federal and state guidelines. Visit your state’s health department website to learn more about when you’ll become eligible to receive a vaccine.

You may also talk with your doctor or pharmacist about when it’s the right time for you. As vaccine supply and distribution increases, more people will be able to get the vaccine.

 Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC is working with hospital systems and pharmacy chains across the U.S. to administer the vaccines. Visit Washington state’s health department website to learn more about where you can receive a vaccine in your state. You may also talk with your doctor or pharmacist about what’s best for you.

 Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines that have applied for FDA approval use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for the vaccines is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Many people experience similar reactions to other vaccinations, such as those for flu and shingles. (CDC vaccine facts.)

 Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes. Vaccines undergo rigorous clinical trials to prove safety and effectiveness before they can receive approval from the FDA for broad distribution. Clinical trials involve tens of thousands of people who volunteer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA grants emergency use authorization only if independent analysis confirms the vaccines are safe and effective.

 What side effects may I experience when I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects are normal and are a sign that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are soreness at the site of the injection, mild fever, chills, headaches and fatigue. Although side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities, they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

 Do I still need to wear a mask and physical distance now that we have a vaccine?

Absolutely. It’s important for everyone to continue taking safety precautions like wearing a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to follow the CDC’s recommendations for protecting yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

 What are you doing to support COVID-19 vaccinations in the community?

We are working to encourage all members to get vaccinated. Asuris is also working with our community partners, public officials and others to ensure that underserved communities and people of color – groups that have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic – are vaccinated.

 Where can I go for more information?

Visit Washington state’s health department website to learn more about vaccine prioritization and distribution in your community.

The CDC provides these resources to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine:

To learn more about the status of the vaccines in development, visit the New York Times vaccine tracker, the FDA or the CDC.