After many long months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines will be a vital tool for controlling and eventually ending this pandemic that has caused so much loss, pain, and disruption around the world. This next essential step in the fight against COVID-19 will take time — but things are moving in the right direction.
Under normal circumstances, it takes years to develop a vaccine, test it, and make it available to people who need it. But because of COVID-19’s devastating impact — on public health, the economy, and daily life — we simply couldn’t wait that long. There are several factors that have helped expedite the development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, and get it to market as soon as possible:
There are several COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of development and approval. Both Pfizer and Moderna have been granted emergency use authorizations by the FDA for their COVID-19 vaccines. While it will take some time for approved vaccines to become widely available, this is excellent news — and a big step forward in the fight against the coronavirus.
As soon as COVID-19 vaccines get cleared for emergency use, states receive limited quantities and begin making them available to approved vaccine providers. Kaiser Permanente has been approved to be a vaccine provider in every market where we operate. However, the reality is that there will not be enough doses immediately available for everyone who wants the vaccine. Supplies will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021.
While more doses are being produced to meet the demand, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has identified high-risk, high-priority groups who will receive vaccines first — but ultimately, states and counties will determine who gets the vaccine and when.
The groups of people eligible to receive the vaccine will continue to expand as more vaccine doses become available.
Individuals who are eligible can get the vaccine from any provider that has been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine distributor by their state’s department of public health.
To find out when you or your employees might be able to get the vaccine, please see your state’s guidelines:
Individuals who believe they’re eligible to receive the vaccine should visit kp.org/covidvaccine. external link for information on how to schedule a vaccine appointment. Due to limited quantities of vaccines from public health authorities in each county, there are a limited number of vaccine appointments available.
While vaccines will be vital to ending the pandemic, it will take several months to achieve widespread vaccination. And with COVID-19 numbers higher than ever, public health measures are still the best way to protect yourself, your employees, and our communities against the coronavirus. So keep wearing your mask, staying 6 feet apart, washing your hands, and staying home when you can — and encouraging your employees to do the same.
Will members be able to get the vaccine outside of Kaiser Permanente?
Yes. Kaiser Permanente members will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost from facilities that have been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine provider by the state department of health.
Will there be a cost to Kaiser Permanente members for the COVID-19 vaccine?
No. Kaiser Permanente won’t charge members for the vaccine. Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars are required by the federal government to be given at no cost.
Will there be a cost to employers for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars under Operation Warp Speed are required by the federal government to be given at no cost and for these vaccine doses, there will be no costs passed on to employers. Where applicable, claims for administrating the vaccine to individuals will accumulate to an employer’s utilization and could impact future renewal rates.
Check out our latest science of coronavirus webinar for more detailed information about the development, progress, and current status of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Visit our member FAQ. external link to see the latest vaccine updates we’ve shared with your employees on kp.org.
“Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hhs.gov/coronavirus, accessed December 17, 2020.
“Pfizer and BioNTech Conclude Phase 3 Study of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, Meeting all Primary Efficacy Endpoints,” Pfizer press release, November 18, 2020.
“Moderna Announces Primary Efficacy Analysis in Phase 3 COVE Study for Its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate and Filing Today with U.S. FDA for Emergency Use Authorization,” Moderna press release, November 30, 2020.
Kathleen Dooling, MD, et al., “Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 1, 2020.
Priya Chidambaram, et al., “COVID-19 Has Claimed the Lives of 100,000 Long-Term Care Residents and Staff,” Kaiser Family Foundation, November 25, 2020.
Kathleen Dooling, MD, et al., “Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 20, 2020.
See note 6.
Services covered under your health plan are provided and/or arranged by Kaiser Permanente health plans: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., in Northern and Southern California and Hawaii • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Nine Piedmont Center, 3495 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404-364-7000 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., 2101 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, MD 20852 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, 500 NE Multnomah St., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97232 • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington or Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc., 320 Westlake Ave. N, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98109 • Self-insured plans are administered by Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company, One Kaiser Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
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