Planning for the COVID-19 vaccine began months ago, and the countywide vaccination began December 18, 2020. This is great news, however, supplies of the vaccine are very limited at this time. We’ve received questions from our members, so we pulled together information from the Monterey County Health Department on the COVID-19 vaccine in Monterey County.
With a limited supply, some groups are recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccine first. The California Department of Public Health has convened a Drafting Guidelines Workgroup for counties to follow. At the date of publication, a full diagram of the phases can be seen below:
Here some additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccine:
1. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Right now, there are two FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Federal partners work together to ensure safety, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also reviews vaccines before they become available in California. Here is more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
2. Where can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine (when available)?
As previously mentioned, unfortunately, vaccine supply is currently very limited. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be easier once large quantities are available. When the time comes, there will be many options including at your doctor’s office, retail pharmacy, urgent care center, hospital or Federally Qualified Health Center (similar to the flu shot).
3. Is Medicare going to cover the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes – Medicare covers the COVID-19 at no cost to you. Members of Aspire Health Plan Medicare Advantage plans will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to them once it is available. For more information on Medicare and the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Medicare.gov.
Note, it’s important to be alert for scammers. According to CMS, “if anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.” You cannot pay for early access, put your name on a waiting list or receive access for a fee, so please don’t share your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails.
Here are some links for more information related to seniors, COVID-19 and Monterey County:
- Alliance on Aging
- Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
- Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
At Aspire Health Plan, we will continue to keep our members and seniors in the Monterey County community updated on the COVID-19 vaccine and any other important updates related to the public health crisis. Any questions? Contact Member Services at (855) 570-1600. TTY users call 711. Also, visit our COVID-19 updates & resources alert banner on the home page of our website for the latest news or updated community information.