Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
1) How will I know that a COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective? Should I ask for one vaccine over the other?
COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have been FDA approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) at this time. It is recommended that you get the vaccine that is available when your priority group comes up. Most vaccine administrators or providers will have one vaccine available. If more than one dose is needed, generally the vaccine administrator will schedule a second dose at the time of the first. It is important to make sure to receive a second dose of the same type of vaccine.
2) Who is eligible to receive the vaccine?
At this time the vaccine is available for the groups identified below. Check the Florida Department of Health website for the most up-to-date information.
- Persons 65 years of age and older.
- Health care personnel with direct patient contact.
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
- Persons deemed to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers.
3) Where can I find Vaccine information for Palm Beach County?
Check the COVID-19 Vaccine For Palm Beach County page for up-to-date information.
4) How do I add my name to the vaccine program wait list?
Employees are encouraged to check with their private medical providers for available vaccine options. You are also encouraged to seek appointments through:
|Vaccine Program Information|
|VA Medical Center||(561-422-6838 - veterans only)|
|Palm Beach County Healthcare District (https://www.hcdpbc.org/). Please note that the Health Department is not currently taking additional appointment requests at this time. They are only scheduling appointments for those who are already on their waiting list.|
5) What COVID-19 Vaccines are available, and what are the differences?
In the United States, there are currently two authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 that are FDA approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Additional COVID-19 vaccine products are anticipated. For more information about the vaccines, please refer to the CDC website.
|Doses||2 doses, 21 days apart||2 doses, 28 days apart|
6) When will other COVID-19 vaccines be approved?
As of January 20, 2021, large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or are being planned for three COVID-19 vaccines in the United States:
- AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine
7) Will the COVID-19 vaccines be available for children?
Currently, vaccines have EUA for ages 18 and above (Moderna) and ages 16 and above (Pfizer-BioNTech). These vaccines were studied in adults only.
8) How will the vaccine be covered, and how much will it cost?
The federal government is distributing 200 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 200 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine free of cost. The federal government has mandated that non-grandfathered health plans and ASO employers pay 100% of the cost of administration of the vaccine, whether administered by medical HCPs or pharmacists both in- and out-of-network.
As such, the out-of-pocket cost for employees for the COVID-19 vaccine will be $0. Note that if other services are provided at the time of vaccine administration, such as a chronic condition evaluation, cost-share for these services may be applied.
9) What are the benefits of the flu vaccine during the pandemic?
It’s important to stay vigilant against other illnesses like influenza, also known as the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19. The CDC recommends all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications get the flu vaccine, which is covered under your medical plan’s preventive benefit, usually at 100%. Although the flu vaccine does NOT provide protection against COVID-19, it does protect against getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. In addition, it may help identify when a patient has COVID-19 by potentially ruling out a flu diagnosis when a patient has flu-like symptoms.
|Common COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Topics of Concern|
|Speed of development||The vaccines are proven safe and effective, and they were developed quickly because of the worldwide effort. Although developed in record time, they have gone through the same rigorous FDA process as every other vaccine, meeting all safety standards. No steps were skipped. The clinical trials and safety reviews actually took about the same amount of time as other vaccines.|
|Impact of DNA||mRNA is simply a message that the body reads. It cannot change your DNA or modify your genes.|
|Ingredients||mRNA vaccines are free of preservatives and only contain the mRNA, a fatty coating layer to protect the mRNA, PEG (polyethylene glycol), and a combination of salts, sugar and water.|
|Long-term data||Millions have been vaccinated. Clinical trials have shown us the vaccines are safe, and now we are seeking long-term data to learn how long the vaccine remains effective.|
*University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy and UC Davis Health, real facts about common COVID-19 vaccine myths