GETTING A COVID-19 VACCINE

The CDC continues to provide updates here on authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19. This is great news in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

During this time of a public health emergency, Blue KC members can get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Please refer to the Costs & Coverage page for more information.

When and where can I get the vaccine?

All Missouri and Kansas residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Specific information about vaccines for children and teens can be found on the CDC website. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 and older. The vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), and it is still available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and as a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. An additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.

There are a variety of resources available to help you obtain a vaccine.

  • Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination provider near you.
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you in the United States.
  • This website and this Twitter page are both helpful resources to find out where you can get a vaccine in the Kansas City area (these links are not managed by Blue KC).

Is it safe?

  • The authorized vaccines available today in the U.S. have gone through the same rigorous safety assessment as all vaccines available today by the FDA. That included trials with people from diverse racial and ethnic groups. When it comes to safety, you can rest assured there have been no shortcuts.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines help our immune system fight back without introducing the live virus. It does not contain the live virus and can't infect you with COVID-19.
  • Some people may experience mild side effects, but that's a sign the COVID-19 vaccine is working. Symptoms should only last 1-2 days.

Is it effective?

  • Wondering how effective the vaccine is against COVID-19? We totally get it. It’s been trialed, tested, and is truly effective
  • The vaccines available in the U.S. today are safe. Across the U.S., every family and neighborhood can expect effectiveness and protection. Learn more about the available vaccines here.

Why do I need it?

  • Current estimates are that at least 85% of our population will need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Many adults have medical conditions that will prevent them from getting the vaccine even if they want it. So, it's up to us to keep them protected by doing our part and getting the vaccine for them.
  • COVID-19 carries severe health risks, and we don’t yet know how long natural immunity lasts. So, it’s recommended to get the vaccine even if you've already had the virus.
  • It’s also safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if you’d like to get pregnant in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the FDA-approved vaccines? We’re here to help keep you well and well-informed. We’ll continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis and update these FAQs accordingly.

What vaccines are available for COVID-19?

The CDC continues to provide updates here on authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19. You can also learn more here about COVID-19 vaccine differences.

When can I get a vaccine?

All Missouri and Kansas residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Specific information about vaccines for children and teens can be found on the CDC website.

There are a variety of resources available to help you obtain a vaccine.

  • Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination provider near you.
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you in the United States.
  • This website and this Twitter page are both helpful resources to find out where you can get a vaccine in the Kansas City area (these links are not managed by Blue KC).

Will I have to pay for the vaccine?

There are no costs for the COVID-19 vaccine for Blue KC members during the public health emergency. Please refer to the Costs & Coverage page for more information.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

Since the vaccines were tested in different environments and are all equally effective at preventing death and hospitalizations, experts emphasize that people should get the first vaccine offered to them (unless you are allergic to specific vaccine ingredients).

How many doses will I need?

The CDC continues to provide updates here on authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19, including their dosage information. You can click on each authorized vaccine to learn general information about each vaccine.

Will there be side effects to taking the vaccine?

Similar to most vaccines, experts expect that the majority of individuals will experience mild side effects, much like getting a flu shot. Participants in vaccine trials reported minor side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore muscles
  • Joint pain

Some people have experienced allergic reactions. If you have a history of allergies, talk to your doctor before getting the vaccine. You can also learn more here about COVID-19 vaccine differences.

Does the vaccine infect me with COVID-19?

No. While the vaccine will make an immune response against COVID-19, it does not contain the active virus.

How can I learn more about COVID-19 vaccines?

For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC’s website.