Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccination administration is available free of charge for all WellSense members.

You will not have any out-of-pocket fees or copays for getting the COVID-19 vaccination. You may be asked to provide insurance information by those administering the vaccine in order to bill back to insurance. However, you will not be charged. Those without insurance are still eligible to receive the vaccines free of charge.

For more details on how to get started, select your state.

Ready to get your COVID-19 Vaccine? Visit vaxifinder.mass.gov.

All MA residents over the age of 5 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Boosters are available to residents ages 12 and over. To find a vaccine appointment near you, visit vaxifinder.mass.gov. The goal is for everyone who wants it to eventually get the COVID-19 vaccine. The availability of vaccine appointments may vary based on your area and vaccine supply.

For the most up-to-date information on vaccine and booster eligibility, visit CDC.gov.

Steps to book an appointment

  1. Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to select a location and schedule an appointment online. If you have trouble scheduling your appointment online, call 2-1-1 for assistance.
  2. Have your important information with you, such as your insurance card.
  3. Fill out the self-attestation form, which may need to be presented at your appointment.

MassHealth is providing free transportation to vaccine appointments to any individual that has any type of MassHealth coverage or the Health Safety Net. Members can request transportation services directly through MassHealth’s Customer Service, rather than needing to request services through a health care provider. To schedule free transportation call 1-800-841-2900 (TTY: 800-497-4648). Visit the MassHealth webpage for more information on transportation and the COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 testing is covered for all WellSense members. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider.

If you are a Qualified Health Plan or ConnectorCare member, learn how to get a home testing kit

Learn more about how the state is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines by visiting mass.gov.

Visit www.vaccines.nh.gov to confirm your eligibility and register for your vaccine appointment in New Hampshire’s Vaccine & Immunization Network Interface (VINI). Once registered you will receive an email to activate your account and schedule your appointment(s).

Here are a couple of ways to make COVID-19 vaccine and booster appointments in New Hampshire:

  1. Visit www.vaccines.nh.gov and choose from a list of fixed vaccination sites, mobile clinics or find other convenient locations.
  2. Visit vini.nh.gov and complete the prescreening medical questionnaire. During the window of time given you'll be sent an email where you can then schedule your vaccination appointment.
Each New Hampshire Medicaid member can now receive up to eight (8) COVID-19 at-home testing kits per month, at no cost to the member. Learn how to get a home testing kit.

General FAQs

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that often cause respiratory illnesses in humans. Most cases of coronavirus are mild, and some, like the common cold, occur frequently throughout the world. 

Information around health plan coverage of COVID-19 is always evolving, so please check back for updates on the ways we are assisting our members. For additional resources and advice about COVID-19 you can visit our WellSense COVID-19 Member Guide.*

For the most up-to-date information on the virus, please refer to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website*. The situation is evolving and the CDC is updating their site regularly as new information becomes available.

Fraud Alert: In light of recent events you may get fake requests or messages from scammers asking for your personal information. As always, please use caution when taking any action with your health care. If you’re not sure whether something is coming from one of our official channels, please contact us to confirm.

The symptoms for the flu and COVID-19 are very similar and include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

There are things that you can do to help keep yourself, family and community healthy.

  • If you think that you may be sick or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, you should first call your primary care physician (PCP). They’ll be able to tell you what steps to take based on your situation.
  • Cover your sneezes and coughs with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • If you feel sick, stay home and avoid travel.
  • Avoid close contact with people with flu-like symptoms whenever possible.
  • Avoid large gatherings if you are at higher risk, including these groups:
      • Older adults
      • Anyone with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
      • Anyone with weakened immune systems
      • Anyone who is pregnant

For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the CDC website.

The first step is to contact your PCP and let them know about your concerns. Your PCP will be able to advise you on what steps you should take next based on your symptoms/situation.

A vaccine is a substance that can help protect you against specific diseases. Vaccines cause your immune system to make antibodies, which fight viruses and bacteria. If you get exposed to a disease you’ve been vaccinated against, the antibodies will fight the disease-causing bacteria or viruses before they make you sick. For more information on vaccines, visit the Centers for Disease Control

The first COVID-19 vaccines that will be available are mRNA vaccines. They work by telling our bodies to make a protein that then produces antibodies. These antibodies help protect you from the virus that causes COVID-19.

The vaccine will be given as a shot in the upper arm. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will require two doses.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the second shot will be three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, it will be four weeks after the first shot.

It’s important that you get both shots. If you don’t, you won’t be as well protected from COVID-19 as you could be.

  • Not everyone will get the vaccine at once.
  • Following public health guidelines will help protect anyone who hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet.
  • Although it’s not likely, it’s still possible to get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine, as no vaccine is 100% effective.

COVID-19 vaccines are very effective (about 95%) in preventing COVID-19. While they help prevent COVID-19 generally, they are particularly good at preventing severe cases of the disease.

It’s important that you get both shots if you started with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. If you don’t, you won’t be as well protected from COVID-19 as you could be.

However, it’s important to keep wearing a mask and distancing because:

  • Not everyone will get the vaccine at once. Following public health guidelines will help protect anyone who hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet.
  • Although it’s not likely, it’s still possible to get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine, as no vaccine is 100% effective.
  • Because COVID-19 vaccines are so new, we don’t know yet how long the vaccine will protect you from getting COVID-19.

Because COVID-19 vaccines are so new, we don’t know how long protection will last just yet. The studies that are going on now will help to answer that question. You may have to get vaccinated again in the future.

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same trials as other approved vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines have met the high safety standards these trials set.

The clinical trial process for COVID-19 vaccines was much quicker than for other vaccines, but it was done just as carefully. More than 70,000 people took the different COVID-19 vaccines as part of clinical trials. In addition, the clinical trials included 10 percent Black and 13 percent Hispanic/Latinx participants, which means vaccine safety was tested within a diverse group. There were no major safety concerns in any of the trials.

Vaccines have been approved under emergency authorization because of how serious the pandemic is. But the safety standards for emergency authorization are close to the same as the ones vaccines have to meet for regular authorization.

Expert groups will also keep looking at the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety after people start to take it.

Some people in the clinical trials did report side effects. However, these have generally been mild, and are a sign the immune system is working. Reported side effects include headaches, fatigue, chills, and soreness at the injection site. A small number of participants had a fever.

For some people, these side effects were worse after the second dose.

Side effects from a vaccine usually go away on their own within a few days.

If your side effects last more than 48 hours, contact your PCP as soon as possible.

No. There have been no serious safety concerns noted in the studies of these vaccines.

No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t actually contain the virus that causes COVID-19.

No. The current vaccines do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19, which means the vaccine itself won’t cause you to spread COVID-19.

While we know the COVID-19 vaccines can prevent severe COVID-19 infections, we do not yet know how effective the vaccines are in preventing asymptomatic infection, which is when you are infected with COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms. It may be possible to still spread COVID-19 after getting a vaccine, so it is still important to wear masks and keep distances between people.

As people start to get the vaccines, researchers will be looking at how well they prevent asymptomatic infection.

No. The cells that use the mRNA vaccine get rid of the mRNA after they finish using it. The mRNA never gets into the part of the cell where DNA is located.

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility. In the safety data from the Pfizer trial, the same proportion of people got pregnant in the vaccine group as the placebo group. Based on this, the vaccine is recommended even if you are planning to get pregnant soon.

The U.S. clinical trials included 10% Black and 13% Hispanic/Latinx participants.

Data from the Pfizer studies showed that the vaccine has similar success rates in white, Black, and Latinx people.

Yes. Experts recommend getting the vaccine even if you already had COVID-19 more than 90 days (about three months) ago. If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 90 days, please wait until the 90 days is over before receiving the vaccine.

Although there is currently no data specifically on COVID-19 vaccine safety in pregnant and breastfeeding people, there is very low concern for safety issues, based on experience with other vaccines and the science of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Therefore, based on guidance by the FDA and the CDC, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may choose to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please talk to your doctor about potential risks and benefits. We have seen that pregnant people are at increased risk for severe COVID-19, which means that the benefits may outweigh the risks for many.

As the vaccine is given to more people, researchers are looking at the benefits and potential risks for pregnant and breastfeeding people.

The FDA recommends that people who have severe allergies to any ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine do not get this vaccine. In addition, they recommend that you should not get the second dose if you have a severe allergic reaction to the first dose. Everyone who gets the vaccine will be watched for 15 minutes after the injection to make sure they do not have any signs of an allergic reaction. People who have severe allergies to other vaccines or injectable medications will be watched for 30 minutes.

The vaccine does not contain any food products, including eggs, or metals.

Once you are able to get the vaccine, talk to your allergist or PCP if you have concerns.

People with certain health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity were included in the vaccine studies. Therefore, we have evidence the vaccine is safe for people with these conditions. However, people who are immunosuppressed were not part of the trials.

When the FDA approves vaccines, they'll also give recommendations about who should or shouldn't get each vaccine. If you have concerns about whether or not you should get a COVID-19 vaccine when you're able to, talk to your doctor.

The Pfizer vaccine worked as well in older adults as it did in younger adults. In this trial, about 45% of participants were ages 56-85.

The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for anyone over 16 years of age. When they approve other vaccines, they'll give a recommended minimum age for each.

A small number of children as young as 12 years of age were included in the vaccine studies. There were no safety concerns noted for this group. However, COVID-19 vaccines haven’t been studied in younger children. These studies are now being planned.