Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

Updated December 18, 2020

 How much will the COVID-19 vaccine 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. Most Regence members can get the vaccine with no out-of-pocket cost.

 Is the vaccine covered by Medicare?

The COVID-19 vaccine is paid for by the federal government. Medicare will pay for administration of the vaccine with no out-of-pocket costs to members.

 Which COVID-19 vaccines are covered?

Vaccines must receive approval or emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be distributed to the public. The federal government is purchasing enough vaccine to immunize every American throughout the course of the pandemic.

 Should I get the vaccine?

Immunization is recommended as one critical way to protect yourself and stop the spread of the pandemic. An immunization can protect you and your loved ones from becoming ill with this serious and deadly disease.

 When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines will be distributed in phases, phases based on federal and state guidelines. Visit your state’s health department website to learn more about vaccine prioritization and distribution in your community.

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 your state’s health department website to learn more about vaccine prioritization and distribution 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?

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?

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.

 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.

And while you’re waiting to receive your COVID-19 vaccine, you can still get your flu shot if you haven’t already. If nothing else, it could relieve some anxiety if you become sick and don’t know whether it’s the flu or COVID-19.

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

We are working to encourage all members to work with their medical provider to get vaccinated. Regence 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 your state’s health department website for information about vaccine prioritization and distribution in your state.

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.