COVID-19 Vaccines: What Seniors Need to Know

Mar 8, 2021 | Medicare

Article by Western Asset Protection

The COVID-19 vaccine is here – but not everyone can get it just yet. The supply is limited, and this means that some people will have to wait a while before they can be vaccinated. The CDC has issued guidelines for prioritizing access, but states are in charge of distribution, so where you live will have an impact on when you can get the vaccine.

CDC Phases and State Availability

The CDC has established recommendations for vaccine access based on phases. As of December 22, the CDC recommends offering the vaccine to people covered by Phase 1b, which includes frontline essential workers and people aged 75 and older, and people covered by Phase 1c, which includes people aged 65 to 74, people aged 16 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers.

The CDC also provides a tool that people can use to find out how to get vaccine access in their state.

In Arizona, people can visit the Arizona Department of Health Services to find a vaccine location and register for the vaccine. People can also call the Arizona COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-542-8201.

Scammers Are Taking Advantage

It is very important to make sure you are dealing with legitimate agencies, such as the CDC and the local department of health, when signing up for vaccines. There have been many reports of vaccine-related scams.

  • Scammers may pose as the CDC or health department and contact people via phone, text or email. For this reason, people who are interested in the vaccine should contact the appropriate agencies on their own instead of replying to messages they have received.
  • Scammers may try to charge a fee for access to the vaccine.
  • Scammers may offer free or discounted vaccines in phishing schemes designed to steal sensitive personal information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much will the vaccine cost? The COVID-19 vaccine is covered under Medicare Part B, and enrollees in Original Medicare will pay nothing for the vaccine. According to Healthline, the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be free to everyone in the U.S. regardless of coverage during the pandemic. However, people may be charged other fees, such as doctor visit copays for visits that include services not related to COVID-19. Enrollees with other types of health insurance, including Medicare Advantage, can check with their insurers to confirm coverage and costs.
  • Is the vaccine safe? As with all vaccines, some people may experience negative reactions. However, the CDC says that the two vaccines in use have been shown to be safe and effective and that the potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh the harms of COVID-19 infection.
  • How does immunity work? People may need two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, and protection from the vaccine may not develop until a week or two after the second shot. Because the vaccine is new, scientists do not know how long protection against COVID-19 infection will last.

Vaccine information is changing rapidly. Always check the CDC tool for the latest updates.

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