What You Need to Know
Sharing the key information you need to keep you, your loved ones, and our community safe.
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|Vaccines||If You’re Sick||Safety|
Frequently Asked Questions
Click below for answers to common questions related to COVID-19.
Are the vaccines safe? Are they effective?
- There is no question that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the U.S. have received shots.
- The technology used to develop the first two COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S., from Moderna and Pfizer, is not new. It has been studied and used for decades in other medical research.
- It’s true that the COVID vaccines were developed more quickly than other vaccines in the past. But research and clinical trials have demonstrated that the vaccines are effective for the prevention of COVID-19.
- All three vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently include: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines which are mRNA vaccines.
Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is also authorized, and is a protein subunit vaccine.
Learn more about the available vaccines. Experts, including the CDC, have expressed a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).
Are there side effects?
After you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience reactions that include tiredness, nausea, headache, sore muscles, chills, and fever. These may feel unpleasant, but they’re a sign that the vaccine is teaching your body how to protect itself against COVID-19. These symptoms should go away within a few days.
How much will it cost? What if I don't have insurance?
- Cost = $0. The federal government is covering the vaccine for free to all people living in the United States.
- You should not be charged any out-of-pocket costs. You should not get a bill from your provider, from the place where you got your shot, or from your insurer.
- If a provider charges “administration fee” for giving you the vaccine, this fee will be charged to your health insurance plan, e.g., CHPW, or to the federal program which will pay the provider.
How can communities of color trust these vaccines?
- The COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers of all races and ethnicities.
- In the trials, the vaccines protected adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages from the virus.
What people of color should know about the COVID-19 vaccines, by Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S., vice president and chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine
Visit Join the Conversation to hear from doctors, nurses, and community health workers who identify as people of color.
Do I need to share my ID or immigration status?
No. A provider may ask for immigration/citizenship status, Social Security number, and/or government ID, but they are not required to receive the vaccine.
You and your family members can get the care you need without fear. Testing, treatment, and vaccination for coronavirus will not count against you in a test of public charge.
CDC’s Bridge Access Program offers COVID-19 vaccines at no cost for adults 18 years and older without health insurance and adults whose health insurance does not provide zero-cost coverage for COVID-19 vaccines. No-cost COVID-19 vaccines through this program will be available until December 31, 2024.
What misinformation should I be aware of?
Watch the video below to hear local experts answer questions and address common misunderstandings about the COVID-19 vaccines (recorded March 2021; also available En Español).
Can I get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine?
No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines currently in development in the U.S. contain the live virus that causes COVID. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Will the vaccine damage or change my DNA?
- No, this is not possible. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s never enter the cell nucleus, where the DNA, your genetic material, lives.
- The vaccine is broken down quickly once it enters the cell and delivers the needed “message” to the cell’s machinery.
- Imagine the vaccine enters your body with an instruction manual. Your immune system memorizes the manual so it can fight COVID-19. It can’t change your DNA.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?
No. This is a myth circulated online by non-scientific sources. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.
How can I get a COVID test?
Note: for information about the types of tests available and when to use them, please see Testing for COVID-19 on the CDC website
COVID Test Options
- Find an in-person testing location in WA
- Schedule an in-person test with your health care provider
- Purchase at-home testing kits from retailers, such as Walgreens or Walmart
- Order free at-home tests, delivered by mail, from:
PCR and antigen tests ordered or administered by a health care provider are covered.
Apple Health: Effective for dates of service on and after May 12,2023. CHPW no longer reimburses for COVID-19 PCR tests and antigen tests when prescribed or administered by a pharmacist.
Coverage for CHPW Members
Additionally, the following options are available to current CHPW Apple Health (Medicaid), CHPW Medicare Advantage, and CHPW Individual and Family Plan members.
Get free at-home COVID-19 antigen tests:
- In person at one of your plan’s in-network pharmacies – show your member ID at the pharmacy counter to apply your $0 copay
- Online at express-scripts.com – log in*, submit your order ($0 copay will be automatically applied), and have your tests delivered by mail
- Medicare Advantage and Cascade Select only: You may submit receipts for reimbursement (up to $12 per individual test; based on the in-network plan limits) to:
PO Box 269002
Plano, Texas 75026‐9002
*Note: if you have not yet signed up for an Express Scripts online account, you will be prompted to do so.
Call our Customer Care team at 1-800-440-1561 (TTY: 711
Sources: CDC, FDA, CNN, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, EthnoMed, Greater Than COVID, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Immigration Law Center, National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants, WA Department of Health, Yale Medicine
CHPW joins health care providers across the state in our commitment to supporting COVID-19 vaccination.