What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and will help us get back to our lives. We all look forward to the time when we can safely be with family and friends again. Protecting the ones you love and the people you know from COVID-19 starts by being protected yourself.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of three COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines can reduce the risk of getting the virus by up to 90 percent. Millions have already received their shots, but in order to finally beat COVID-19, 80 percent of Americans must be vaccinated.

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Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccine availability varies by state. A list of state and territorial health department websites can be found on the CDC website.

In New Jersey, everyone ages 12 and older, is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Need help finding a vaccination site? Complete a Vaccine Interest Form and we will reach out to you based on where you live and the opportunities we have in your area.

New Jersey residents can also check New Jersey’s vaccination page for more information on vaccine availability.

Does AmeriHealth New Jersey cover vaccination?

The Federal government is currently covering the cost of the COVID 19 vaccine itself. AmeriHealth New Jersey will cover and waive all commercial and individual members’ cost-sharing (such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for its administration.

Visit our COVID-19 FAQs for more detailed information on vaccine coverage.

Is COVID-19 vaccination safe and effective?

The FDA grants a vaccine an EUA only after it has determined that the vaccine is safe to use, and provides effective protection against a virus. Clinical trials involving thousands of people must demonstrate that vaccination prevents a large percentage of people from being infected, and that any potential side effects are very rare.

The three vaccines that have received FDA authorization — Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson — have been proven to be safe* and effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, and death.While some people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine experience flu-like symptoms, that doesn’t mean it has infected them. The vaccine contains no actual coronavirus. Instead, the vaccine teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response against the virus.

As with all vaccines, allergic reactions are possible. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past it’s important to talk to your doctor about possible side effects and whether it is safe for you to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

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Why is vaccination so important?

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is very easily transmitted, and infection rates in our country are very high.

Getting vaccinated benefits you as an individual because you are then less likely to get and transmit the disease, get severely ill and be hospitalized, or to die from COVID-19. Being vaccinated also protects your community because your family, friends, colleagues, and other community members are less likely to contract COVID-19 and fall ill. As we collectively bring down cases, being vaccinated means you also contribute to reopening the activities we enjoy, like restaurants, sports, music, religious observance, and more.

Some people may not be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or to experience its full benefit, based on their bodies’ ability to mount an antibody response — such as those who have compromised immune systems or are undergoing cancer treatment. And those who have a potential risk of allergic reactions should discuss the safety of the vaccine with their doctors.

Yet all of these individuals are also at risk of contracting COVID-19, so it’s even more vital that the people around them do get vaccinated.

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Staying safe today

It’s very important to continue following the CDC guidelines as carefully and consistently as possible:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Stay at least six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds at all costs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds at a time, or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

It’s urgent that we all do our part until we can get vaccinated. And once it’s our turn to receive the vaccine, it’s urgent that we get vaccinated as soon as we can.

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AmeriHealth New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Health