Vaccine FAQ

Last updated 9/17/21

We are in this together!

COVID-19 significantly affects individuals, particularly those with other complicating health conditions. Because of this, getting your COVID-19 vaccine is important.

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

All Pennsylvanians 12 and older are now eligible to receive a vaccine. We encourage all members to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them. We recommend using the following resources to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you. Each available vaccine is safe and effective. Remember, if you receive the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccine, you will need to receive your second dose from the provider who administered the first, and both doses should be the same brand. Vaccine providers generally do not have additional second doses available for patients who received their first dose somewhere else.

While this is a unique and challenging time for all of us, please know that Community Care is working hard to advocate on behalf of all our members to bring you the latest information on the vaccine.

And in the meantime, be sure to practice physical distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. Visit the CDC for Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.


Try the CDC VaccineFinder Tool

Use this tool to search for locations such as pharmacies and clinics that are offering COVID-19 vaccines or near you.


Schedule your COVID-19 vaccine with UPMC

All Pennsylvanians over the age of 16 are eligible to be vaccinated.

I’m a Veteran. Where can I get my vaccine?

Pennsylvania is fortunate to have excellent hospitals and facilities available for our veterans. Veterans may have special opportunities to receive a vaccine from the VA System or facility in their area. Find out more about getting a vaccine from the VA.

Is the vaccine something that my insurance covers?

The COVID-19 vaccine is covered at no cost by most health plans no matter where in the country you get your vaccine. For Medicaid members, coverage is provided by your physical health care plan. If you are in a Special Needs Plan, coverage may be provided through Medicare. If you have specific questions about coverage, please contact your physical health care plan.

Do I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine from a primary care provider (PCP)?


Do I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine from a network provider?


Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy?

Yes, if/when available.

What about the COVID vaccine and kids?

Are any COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in children?

Yes. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in children ages 12 to 15, and it has full FDA approval for recipients who are 16 or older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for recipients who are 18 or older. While authorization for younger children is anticipated before the end of 2021, use of the vaccine outside of the currently authorized/approved age groups is not recommended and is considered to be off-label.

Information is current as of August 23, 2021.

When will COVID-19 vaccines be available for children under age 12 years?

Studies are underway to evaluate safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in younger children. While there is no definite timeline at present, researchers are hoping to have enough information to begin vaccinating children by the end of 2021.

Can my child get the COVID vaccine?

If your child is 12 years or older, they are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Talk to your child’s doctor.


Information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Is the vaccine safe?

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself and those around you from serious illnesses. Like all vaccines in the United States, before being made available, the COVID-19 vaccine(s) underwent clinical trials and scientific evaluation that includes multiple levels of review for safety and effectiveness. Even after authorization, the results of vaccination are continuously monitored across millions of patients to ensure ongoing safety. This process is administered by the FDA and the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

If you have questions about whether the COVID-19 or any vaccine is recommended for you, talk to your doctor.

We strongly believe in vaccination, and the more people who are vaccinated, the better protected are our loved ones and communities. Because the state is distributing vaccines to multiple providers and pharmacies, there may be providers and pharmacies in your area that have vaccines available. For the health and safety of all, we encourage you to get vaccinated anywhere you are able. Your vaccine will be at no cost to you wherever you receive it in the U.S..


Can I stop wearing my mask after I get my vaccines?

If you are fully vaccinated you should still follow federal, state, local, and other requirements, and regulations. Keep in mind that guidelines where you live, work, or travel may change and it is important to take safety precautions, like wearing a mask in certain situations, when they are recommended by federal, state, or local authorities. Remember, your mask should fit snugly against the side of your face and should not have any gaps.

If you need additional information, you can read more about when to wear a mask at

Once there are multiple types of vaccine available, can I choose the one that I receive?

Technically, yes. However, the limited distribution of vaccines and high demand for appointments means that most providers will not be able to offer this choice in the near future.

What are the differences between the vaccines authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.

Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19 and getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you.

Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.