Updated COVID-19 vaccination recommended for everyone 6 months and older
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older who’s eligible get vaccinated with the updated COVID-19 vaccine designed to target the latest variant. Hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 increased over the summer and health experts say cases are likely to increase again as we head inside for the winter. Vaccination is a great way to protect yourself and those around you from severe illness.
- Everyone 5 years and older should receive a single dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine if it’s at least two months after their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
- Children 6 months to 4 years, if previously vaccinated, should receive one or two doses of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (depending on the previous COVID-19 vaccine received); if unvaccinated, they should receive three doses of the updated authorized Pfizer vaccine or two doses of the updated authorized Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccines at the recommendation of their provider.
Where to get vaccinated
Contact your pharmacy or provider to schedule your vaccinations or visit vaccines.gov and enter your zip code to find vaccination locations near you. Be sure to choose an in-network provider. Pharmacies sometimes have restrictions around vaccinating children, so you may need to go to your pediatrician to get your kids vaccinated.
Choose an in-network provider for zero out of pocket costs
Most Regence health plans cover COVID-19 vaccinations with no out of pocket cost for eligible members when received from an in-network provider. Members (except those in Oregon) receiving vaccines from out-of-network providers may have to pay cost shares. In Oregon, per state mandate, vaccines are covered at 100% even when received from an out-of-network provider.
The new vaccines are safe and effective, the CDC says
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and have been found to be safe and effective. Millions of people have already been safely vaccinated. You may experience some mild side effects after being vaccination, such as swelling at the injection site or body aches and fatigue. Side effects generally go away in a few days and tend to be mild and temporary.
Consider getting other vaccinations while you’re at it
Hospitals last year were hit hard by a “tripledemic” of COVID-19, flu and RSV. Help prevent a repeat by getting your flu vaccine — and an RSV vaccine if you’re eligible. New RSV vaccines are available this year, one for adults 60 and older, and one for pregnant women that also passes immunity to their unborn child. There’s also an RSV preventive antibody shot available that can help prevent severe RSV disease in infants and young children. You can get COVID-19, flu and RSV vaccinations at the same time if you’re eligible. Talk to your provider to determine what might be right for your situation.
Get free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government
The federal government has restarted its program of mailing four free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests to every U.S. household. Visit covid.gov/tests to order your tests.
The government has also extended expiration dates for some old tests previously mailed. In some cases, the old tests are still valid. Check to see if you can still use your old tests.
We’re here to help
If you need help finding an in-network provider or pharmacy, or to learn more about your coverage, sign in at regence.com or on the Regence app, or call us at the number on your member ID card.