COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know

As you may be aware, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older from Pfizer Inc./BioNTech and plans to approve a vaccine from Moderna for individuals 18 years of age and older soon. 

Due to the limited supply, the vaccine will be distributed in phases to high-priority groups first. Phase I will include high-risk healthcare personnel with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure (emergency department staff, COVID-19 patient units, EMS transport, etc.), and staff and residents of long-term care facilities (nursing homes). Each company has reported that their vaccines are roughly 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections.

Both vaccines will require two doses, the initial dose and a repeat vaccination three or four weeks later. There will be no cost to Optima Health members for either COVID-19 vaccine dose. As we learn of any potential administration costs to groups, we will share those details. We would like to remind you that vaccines have reduced or eliminated many deadly diseases throughout our history and have saved millions of lives. Receiving an approved COVID-19 vaccine will lessen the risk of contracting the virus.

We understand some people may have concerns about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. While these vaccines were developed as quickly as possible, rigorous FDA standards and safety procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.

The combination of getting vaccinated and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Optima Health is actively monitoring the situation and will provide more detailed information as it becomes available. Please visit the Virginia Department of Health and CDC websites for more information.

You may also view our updated Frequently Asked Questions and check to stay informed.