The COVID-19 Vaccine and Me
This article was updated April 2.
With Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines released, the State of Colorado is actively distributing doses to Coloradans. As people start to receive inoculation against the virus, you may have a few questions – maybe a lot of questions. When will I receive the vaccine? Where do I get an appointment? Will my insurance cover it?
Employee Services has answers.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Me
Who can get vaccinated now?
The State of Colorado moved into Phase 2 of vaccine distribution on April 2. This expanded Colorado’s population eligible to receive a vaccine to the general public age 16 and over.
Where should I get vaccinated? How do I sign up?
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has compiled a list of all vaccine providers in every county. Vaccine supplies are limited, so this list is updated every Wednesday with locations that have received vaccine shipments in the past two weeks.
Regardless of your insurance provider, once your phase begins, you can receive a vaccine at any dispensing site. If you are in the current distribution phase, you will not be turned away, as long as you have an appointment.
How do I make an appointment?
Appointment scheduling will vary based on location.
In some cases, your health network (Anthem providers, Kaiser, UCHealth), will contact you when you are eligible, based on knowledge of your medical history. Others may provide a sign up to be contacted for vaccination appointments.
- Anthem: Contact Anthem’s dedicated customer service line at 1-800-735-6072 or visit Anthem.com/coronavirus/
- CVS Caremark: CVS administers pharmacy benefits for all Anthem CU Health Plans. Contact the 24/7 dedicated CU Health Plan Customer Care team at 1-888-964-0121.
- Kaiser: Kaiser’s Appointment and Advice Contact Center is experiencing very high call volumes and long wait times. Vaccine-eligible members are strongly encouraged to use KP.org/covidvaccine or the automated phone line (1-844-951-1932) to register.
- UCHealth: UCHealth is using its online patient portal, My Health Connection to communicate with patients. If you do not have an active My Health Connection account or are new to UCHealth, sign up to be placed on a list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available for your phase.
Many people have been making appointments at multiple locations for a greater chance of becoming vaccinated. If you do and are accepted, please cancel your other appointments to allow others to take these appointments.
How much will I pay?
Cost will not be an obstacle; it will be free. Whether you are insured or not, the federal government requires doses purchased with taxpayer dollars to be provided free of charge. Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are required to cover COVID-19 vaccines costs. Uninsured Coloradans will have access to free vaccines.
More importantly, if you are in the current distribution phase, a vaccine provider may not turn you away for the vaccine for inability to pay or your medical coverage status.
What can I expect at my vaccine appointment?
- You should receive an FDA fact sheet about the risks and benefits of the specific COVID-19 vaccine you received.
- You should also receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and the location where you received it.
- Keep this card as a reminder of when you need to get your second dose, if applicable.
What should I know about Moderna's and Pfizer's two-dose vaccines? Do I really need a second dose?
The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be the same vaccine product as your first dose. It is very important to get two doses, so your body develops the most protection to fight the COVID-19 virus.
You may experience side effects, especially after receiving the vaccine’s second dose. Don’t worry: These symptoms show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. These side effects typically go away after a few days.
What should I know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
This vaccine only requires one shot and has shown to protect against COVID-19 and its variants.
You may experience side effects after vaccination. Don’t worry: These symptoms typically show that your body’s immune system is responding to the vaccines. These side effects typically go away after a few days.
I’ve already had COVID-19. Will I still need to get the vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends that previously infected people should get vaccinated, as immunity from vaccines will last longer. If you have active COVID-19 symptoms, delay getting the vaccine until you’ve recovered and met criteria for ending isolation.
When am I considered fully vaccinated?
The CDC considers an individual fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or after they received the single Johnson & Johnson dose.
If I receive the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask?
According to CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or social distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk of COVID-19 indoors without masks or social distancing;
- Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in indoor public settings, like wearing a well-fitted mask
- Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Health Center at Auraria has been named a Point of Dispensing Center.
CU Anschutz Medical Campus is partnering with UCHealth and affiliate hospitals to ensure all university-affiliated personnel are vaccinated.
CU Boulder Medical Services will serve as a vaccine provider. A vaccine sign-up form is now avaialble to CU Boulder faculty, staff and students.
The campus has received approval to be a vaccine provider for UCCS faculty, staff and students.