COVID-19 Information and Resources
Slow the Spread and Save Lives
Things you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine
It is safe. Your safety is the top priority of researchers and manufacturers who created the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine development process was similar to steps taken to develop the flu and measles vaccines. Clinical trials, FDA testing and advisory group review were part of this process. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are being thoughtfully distributed in phases.
Two doses of the current vaccine are required to have the greatest immunity. They are given a few weeks apart. The first vaccination prepares the body’s immune system and helps it recognize the virus. The second vaccination strengthens the immune response.
In the early phases of the vaccine, supply will be limited, but that will increase in the months to come. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available at no charge.
Adults and those 16 years and older are encouraged to get the vaccine when it is available.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine questions and answers from the Georgia Department of Public Health, click here.
Questions You May Have*
When will COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Georgia?
The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Georgia in mid-December. The first supply is limited. People getting the vaccine will be prioritized based on risk of exposure. It will take until spring of 2021 for the vaccine to be widely offered to the public.
Who will get vaccinated first?
Georgia will follow a phased plan. In the first vaccination phase, priority will be given to healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, adults over age 65 and police and fire personnel. As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to all Georgians who choose to be vaccinated. For more details on the phased plan, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Where will the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine be given?
Vaccines will be given at community locations referred to as closed points of dispensing (PODs). These sites include public health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, pharmacies and emergency medical services.
What COVID-19 vaccines are available now?
On December 11, 2020, Pfizer was given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine, and the Moderna vaccine was given EUA December 18, 2020.
There are large clinical trials currently in progress or being planned for other COVID-19 vaccines in the United States (US).
Is the vaccine safe?
It is safe. Your safety is the top priority of researchers and manufacturers who made the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine development process was similar to steps taken to develop the flu and measles vaccines. Clinical trials, FDA testing and advisory group review were part of this process.
What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
The most common side effects are very similar to the side effects seen with most vaccines.
This includes short-term injection site pain, fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches and joint pain. These symptoms are temporary.
Vaccines work to fight disease by producing an immune response within the body, and sometimes that means flu-like symptoms occur as your body responds to the vaccine. It is normal and expected.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not have the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause COVID-19.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children? What about pregnant women?
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be used for people 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine can be used for people 18 and older.
Current research and clinical trials will begin to study the vaccine safety and success in children.
Research is ongoing, but pregnancy-specific data does not yet exist. Based on how the COVID-19 vaccine works, medical experts do not believe the vaccine poses a risk for pregnant women and their babies. Pregnant women should discuss their options with their provider.
How many doses of vaccine will I need?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is a series of two doses, three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is a series of two doses, 28 days apart.
Both doses are needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against COVID-19.
If I had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to be vaccinated?
Georgians who have had and recovered from COVID-19 also should be vaccinated.
Do I still need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others once I receive two doses of vaccine?
Yes, you should still wear a mask and practice social distancing after being vaccinated. The vaccine will protect you from getting ill from COVID-19. Still, not enough is known about whether you can carry the virus and spread it to others. At this time, those who get the vaccine should still wear masks and practice social distancing.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine be free?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine will be free. Vaccine providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot but those fees will be billed to the health plan with no out-of pocket cost to the patient.
*This content does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Member Support & Resources
We want our members to know their health coverage through CareSource continues to offer many existing programs and services. This also includes state resources due to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Testing – COVID-19 testing is covered with no out-of-pocket costs for all members, regardless of their plan. Members will receive COVID-19 testing at approved locations.
- CareSource24® Nurse Advice Line – CareSource24® Nurse Advice Line provides around-the-clock access to a caring and experienced staff of registered nurses. They can answer questions you may have about your symptoms, general health and where to get care.
- Telehealth Services – Telehealth options are encouraged as available from your primary care provider (PCP) or through MYidealDOCTOR™. CareSource partners with MYidealDOCTOR to offer members access 24/7 to doctors by phone, mobile app or computer to evaluate symptoms or risk of infection, and triage next steps. Contact your PCP to see if they offer telehealth visits.
- Care Management – Care Management is available to support members at higher risk for more serious problems from COVID-19 illness.
Pharmacy – Prescription Drugs
- Early Medication Refills – Early refills of your medications for all CareSource members is available for most drugs. CareSource is temporarily waiving early refill limits on maintenance medications. Check for coverage of your prescriptions. Visit Find My Prescriptions.
- 90-day Medication Supply – One-time 90-day supply of non-controlled prescription drugs for CareSource members (where allowable). Check for coverage of your prescriptions. Visit Find My Prescriptions.
- Home Delivery for Prescription Drugs – Home delivery for prescription drugs is available to Georgia Marketplace members at participating pharmacies.
- MyResources – MyResources interactive tool connects members with programs and services. This includes access to food, shelter, financial support and more. Log into your My CareSource® account.
- State Resources
- File for Unemployment
- Apply for Medicaid
- Georgia Department of Public Health
- Resource for Services and Assistance amid COVID-19
- GA COVID-19 Telephone Hotline: 1-844-442-2681
CDC Resources: COVID-19 Information
If you are having trouble finding the information you are looking for on our website or have more questions, please call us. Our Member Services staff will be happy to answer your questions.