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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Last Updated: 04/13/2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

The agencies are reviewing data tied to six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in combination with low levels of blood platelets among individuals who received the J&J vaccine. While these events seem to be extremely rare, the CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in using the J&J vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

Please contact your health care provider if you have received the J&J vaccine within the last three weeks and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or difficulty breathing.

We will continue to monitor and provide updates as the situation evolves. Please visit the CDC’s website for additional information

Connecticut is in the process of providing a safe and effective delivery of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine. We know you have questions about the vaccine such as safety, coverage, and availability. Answers to common questions and resources for more information are provided below.   

When will it be available?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to any resident of Connecticut aged 16 and older.

The state of Connecticut is offering multiple vaccine appointment scheduling options and locations.  Vaccinations are available by appointment only. Please note: If you are scheduling an appointment for someone aged 16 or 17, they are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Schedule an appointment online, with our partners at Hartford HealthCare

See more options for scheduling a vaccine appointment

Please be patient as appointment availability is dependent on vaccine supply and more appointments will become available as vaccine supply increases.

We advise you to get the vaccine as soon as you can get an appointment. 

If you have already received your first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, a second dose is required for maximum protection. Please be sure your second shot has been scheduled with the same provider as your first.

Is the vaccine safe?

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Vaccines go through more testing than any other pharmaceuticals. And before any vaccine is made available, it must go through rigorous development and testing. The COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting severe COVID-19. The CDC has provided additional details about the safety of the vaccines.  

Is the vaccine covered?

Yes, the vaccine is covered under Medicare, and there is no cost for CarePartners of Connecticut members for either the COVID-19 vaccine or for the cost of administering it.  

Where can you get the vaccine?

There are multiple locations throughout Connecticut that will provide the vaccine. To find a location near you, visit CT.gov. You are covered to get the vaccine at any of the state of Connecticut approved vaccine sites.

Do all of the vaccines require two doses?  

The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require two doses. You should get whichever vaccine is available in your community.  Both vaccines protect you against severe illness due to COVID-19. One is not better than the other. To remain healthy, it's important to get the first vaccine that you are eligible to receive in your state or community. This will help protect you, and potentially your loved ones, from the virus.

Are there side effects?

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Side effects may feel like the flu with weakness and fatigue but should go away in a few days. The CDC has provided details on what to expect after getting the vaccine.

There have been reports of some people experiencing severe allergic reactions after getting the vaccine. If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you should not get that specific vaccine. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated. The CDC is monitoring reports of severe allergic reactions and will provide updated information on their website.  

Should you still get the vaccine if you had a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID 19?  

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless if you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

What if I am unable to get to a vaccination site?

Your local Health Department or local Senior Center can advise you of resources that might be able to help you obtain needed care, including the COVID-19 vaccine. If you need additional help, please call CarePartners of Connecticut Customer Service 1-888-341-1507 (TTY: 711) and ask to be connected with a member of our Care Management Team.

Continue to keep each other safe and limit the spread of COVID-19

A vaccine is only part of the solution for COVID-19. Please continue to use best practices for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. This includes:

  • Wearing a mask when around other people.
  • Practicing social/physical distance.
  • Avoiding indoor gatherings.
  • Washing your hands with both soap and water for 20 seconds every time you touch something that came from outside your home.

What happens after you're vaccinated?

For additional details on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC website.

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