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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Updated July 20, 2021

List of the six facts you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.

6 Facts You Need to Know

It is important to understand the facts about COVID-19 vaccine. Providers from Children's Mercy share 6 facts you need to know. 

 

Frequently asked questions about children and the vaccine

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children 12 years and older. The safety and efficacy data for children younger than 12 years is expected soon.

Yes. Vaccinating your child as soon as they are eligible will help protect them and their contacts such as their parents, grandparents and other children who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

You should always discuss specific vaccine recommendations with your doctor, but the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for all people who meet eligibility criteria. The only contraindication to the vaccine is previous severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a previous vaccine dose or to a vaccine component (e.g., PEG). The vaccine should also not be given for 90 days following treatment with a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody.

Fully vaccinated people (two weeks after last vaccine dose) can visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. For more vaccination guidance, check out the CDC website.

 

While we don’t know for sure when vaccines will be authorized and recommended for all age groups, there are ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials in all age groups and data is expected to be available soon.

Yes. When the vaccines were tested in children, the side effects were the same as those for adults. The most common side effect was pain at the injection site, and it was generally mild. Other common reactions were fatigue, headaches, muscle pain and chills. Fever was an uncommon side effect. These post-vaccination symptoms are a sign that the body is reacting properly to the vaccine. Essentially, it shows you that your immune system is revving up to protect you. We will continue to evaluate new information as the trials in children continue.

The information available about how well the current vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson protect against new variant COVID-19 strains continues to change as the vaccines are tested against these variant strains and as new variant strains continue to emerge. It appears that the vaccines all provide some protection against the current variant strains, but the protection varies based on the vaccine and the variant strain.

Children’s Mercy will continue to provide vaccines to children who are eligible following authorization from the FDA and recommendations to give the vaccines from the CDC.

As of April 13, 2021, Children’s Mercy will bill for the cost of administering the vaccine. There will be no out-of-pocket cost for any vaccine recipient.

What will happen for those with insurance?

Vaccine recipients with insurance will not have any out-of-pocket costs for vaccine administration. If you have health insurance, you must provide that information at the time of scheduling and/or registration and we will bill your insurance

What will happen for those without insurance?

If you do not have insurance, we will submit your vaccine administration cost to the Provider Federal Uninsured program requesting reimbursement on your behalf. You will not incur any out-of-pocket cost.

What will happen if I receive an Explanation of Benefit (EOB) from my insurance showing that I owe a balance from my child’s COVID vaccine?

Your child’s insurance will be billed for COVID vaccine charges. However, any patient responsibility left from your insurance will not be billed to you on a statement.

Who can I call for questions related to COVID vaccine changes?

Children's Mercy Customer Service: (816) 701-5100 or RevenueCycleFeedback@cmh.edu

Health Resources and Administration has provided answers to frequently asked questions about claims reimbursement for testing, treatment and vaccines.

Frequently asked questions about the vaccine

Anyone who is 12 years old or older can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Anyone who is 18 years or old or older can get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The FDA has said that people who have a history of anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction) to the COVID-19 vaccine or its components should not get the vaccine for now. The FDA is planning to publish more guidance soon about what to do if you do have a history of anaphylaxis.

Even though most adults can get the vaccine, certain groups will get the vaccine first. All states have developed plans. Missouri and Kansas plans can be found here:

Experts estimate that healthy adults in the general population may be able to get the vaccine in the spring.

Yes, the vaccines are very effective. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are ~95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID infection and J&J is 72 % (US data) in preventing symptomatic COVID and 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations and death. This is considered to be a high level of effectiveness, comparable to other extremely effective vaccines such as ones for tetanus and measles.

Yes. When the vaccines were tested, the most common side effect was pain at the injection site, and it was generally mild. Other common reactions were fatigue, headaches, muscle pain and chills. Fever was an uncommon side effect. These post-vaccination symptoms are a sign that the body is reacting properly to the vaccine. Essentially, it shows you that your immune system is revving up to protect you.

It is normal to have questions about any new treatment or vaccine. However, COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same cycle of clinical trials and independent reviews as every other vaccine or medication. They were able to go through the cycle and be produced more quickly because of help from the U.S. government, but quality was not compromised.

Additionally, the vaccine uses modified RNA, which has been around for more than 10 years and has already been used as a treatment for cancer. This is not a completely new type of technology, which is one of the reasons that pharmaceutical companies were able to develop the vaccines quickly.

Yes. The vaccine is not contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women – meaning it has not been shown to be harmful to this group. Since the vaccine does not contain the live virus, it cannot cause COVID-19 infection. For this reason, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has determined that there is no safety risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of being vaccinated vs. contracting COVID-19.

Yes. The vaccine is not contraindicated for this group – meaning it has not been shown to be harmful to people in this group. Since the vaccine does not contain the live virus, it cannot cause COVID-19 infection. For this reason, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has determined that there is no safety risk to immunocompromised people. If you or your child are immunocompromised or take immunosuppressants, talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of being vaccinated vs. contracting COVID-19.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need to be taken in two doses. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is given three weeks after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine is given four weeks after the first dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine.

It’s important to take both doses of the vaccine from the same company – so, for example, if your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine, your second dose should also be from Pfizer.

Yes. If you have had a COVID infection, you may take the vaccine after the 10-day isolation period.

Yes. Eligible health care workers at Children’s Mercy will be offered the vaccine. In fact, the first employees received the vaccine on Dec. 16. More and more employees will be vaccinated as doses become available.