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The COVID-19 Vaccine and Me

With Moderna and Pfizer vaccines released and others in the approval pipeline, 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 1B.2 of vaccine distribution on Feb. 8. This expanded Colorado’s population eligible to receive a vaccine to those age 65-69, pre-K-12 educators, child care workers in licensed child care programs, and state government Executive and Judicial branch members.

This phase encompasses roughly 1.15 million Coloradans; 884,000 were included in previous phases.

When can I get vaccinated?

Colorado’s phased approach to vaccine distribution intends to ensure those at higher risk are protected first. Discover what phase you are in and your estimated time of vaccination.

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 when my phase begns?

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 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.

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.

If I receive the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask?

No. It is important that everyone keep using all available methods – wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing – to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Campus Efforts

CU Denver

Health Center at Auraria has been named a Point of Dispensing Center.

Ready to offer drive-through vaccines at the Fifth Street Garage for campus affiliated individuals 70 and older, Auraria Campus Police, Emergency Management staff and Health Center of Auraria personnel and custodial staff.

UCD COVID Site

CU Anschutz

CU Anschutz Medical Campus is partnering with UCHealth and affiliate hospitals to ensure all university-affiliated personnel are vaccinated.

Anschutz COVID Site

CU Boulder

CU Boulder Medical Services has been asked to be a vaccine provider. The campus is currently analyzing logistics to prepare. This site will only provide vaccines to CU Boulder faculty, staff and students.

UCB COVID Site

UCCS

The campus anticipates it will be a vaccine provider, but details are being finalized. 

UCCS COVID Site

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