We are so fortunate to see the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for our aging senior population who was direly impacted during the pandemic. There are still unknowns about the vaccine and businesses and government are working as diligently as they can to answer questions and provide access to the vaccine. What’s most important is to seek reliable information and do your part to stay healthy and keep others healthy as well. In an effort to help answer some of the most common and important questions, we’ve put together the following information that will allow our senior population to make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccine.
How do I get a vaccine?
The CDC makes recommendations for who should get the vaccine first, then each state makes its own plan. If you live in Pennsylvania, you’ll want to reference the PA Department of Health website for information specific to you and your location. You can also find more information about how to get the vaccine and who should get the vaccine first here.
Should older adults get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, it is especially important for older adults to get the vaccine because they have the highest risk of being very sick or dying from COVID-19. The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. By referencing the websites above, you will be able to determine when you are eligible and where you can receive the vaccine.
Is the vaccine safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).
What are the most common side effects in the elderly after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
The most common side effects are pain where the shot is given, fever, chills, tiredness, or a headache for 1-2 days. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. These side effects tended to be mild to moderate and went away on their own quickly.
What do I have to pay?
Medicare will pay for the vaccine, whether a person has traditional Medicare or if they are in a Medicare Advantage plan. Pennsylvania physicians are developing procedures for the efficient distribution of vaccines as soon as they are available.
And most importantly…be vigilant of scams!
Seniors should be wary of scams that ask you to pay for the vaccine, ask for your Social Security number, or promise to get you in a queue for the vaccine. If you are ever contacted by someone asking you for this information or who does not seem trustworthy, do not provide them with any personal information and immediately call a source you can trust.
You can find additional information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine for senior adults here. What’s most important is to stay informed and trust reliable sources for your information.