Important COVID-19 Vaccine Information for
Mary Washington Medicare Advantage Members

Vaccine production and distribution are currently ramping up with three different vaccines now approved for emergency authorization use. Virginia is now vaccinating tiers 1a, 1b, and 1c. If you are unsure of your tier, please visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov for more information.

Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) is proud to partner with the Virginia Department of Health and Rappahannock Area Health District to help vaccinate our community members. We encourage Mary Washington Medicare Advantage members to register; please visit vaccinate.mwhc.com to get started.

This is a rapidly changing situation, so please stay in touch with your primary care physician, health system, and your pharmacy for the latest news on vaccine availability. We will keep you posted as we learn any additional information. Meanwhile, it is very important to continue following CDC guidance around face coverings, social distancing, and other protective measures for the foreseeable future. These steps will remain important to protecting you and others.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions

Does the vaccine work?Yes. Large clinical trials have shown that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective in preventing you from getting sick with COVID-19. The newest vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson is 66% effective. All three vaccines report 100% effective in reducing the severity of infection and reducing the chances of hospitalization from COVID-19.
If I get a vaccine can I still catch and transmit the virus?We know the vaccines reduce the risk of getting sick from COVID-19, but we do not yet know if they prevent infection without symptoms. We also do not know if people who have been vaccinated can transmit the virus to other people.
What are the new coronavirus variants that we are hearing about in the news?The coronavirus mutates frequently. There are new strains being identified around the world that are now spreading here in the U.S., such as the so called “U.K. variant.” So far from what scientists know, the U.K. variant can be more infectious, but the good news is, the vaccines are still believed to be effective. More will need to be researched about other strains as they are identified. Getting the vaccine remains one of the best steps we can all take to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
I’ve already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?Yes. The CDC recommends that individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19 should be vaccinated. This is because natural immunity to COVID-19 (if it does develop at all) is believed to last for only a limited time and does not provide long-term protection against new infections.
Is the vaccine safe?Yes. Only mild to moderate temporary immune responses have been reported in most people. Common immune responses include fever, chills, body aches, headache, fatigue, and muscle soreness at injection site, generally resolving within a few days. If necessary, they can be easily managed by over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?No. None of the shots contain live coronavirus that can cause infection, so it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines contain a small part of the virus that gives the body a set of instructions to destroy the live virus if you come in contact with it.
When can I get the vaccine?The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all individuals age 65 or older and those with chronic medical conditions. As additional vaccines are distributed, more widespread vaccinations will become available. Depending upon which vaccine is provided in the clinic, you will receive either one shot or two shots a few weeks apart, based on FDA criteria. If you require a second shot, you’ll be told when to return after getting your first shot. It’s important that you return for your second shot so that you are fully protected.
What should I do now?All members are now eligible to receive the vaccine. To register for an appointment, visit vaccinate.mwhc.com. Consult your doctor if you have any questions prior to registering. Also, continue taking precautions to protect yourself and others including wearing a mask when out in public and practicing social distancing.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and additional tips for staying safe, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control website:

Centers for Disease Control
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