Jefferson Health started a phased roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine for our most at-risk patients, above age 65. Due to the limited vaccines that are available, we are distributing this vaccine in the most equitable way and in accordance with Department of Health and CDC guidelines.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
We understand that it may be a challenge to find an appointment. Even if you are eligible to receive a vaccine at this time, based on Department of Health guidance, we are limited by the vaccine supply we receive from the state. As we receive more vaccine, we will expand eligibility and our available appointments.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have all recently expanded the availability for the COVID-19 vaccine to include the following groups:
- Persons aged 65 and older
- Persons aged 16 to 64 years old, who have at least one of the following chronic medical conditions that poses high-risk for severe COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions (including heart failure, coronary artery disease, and cardiomyopathy)
- Obesity (BMI greater than 30)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type-2 diabetes
- Immunocompromised due to organ transplant (speak with your doctor)
- Pregnancy (speak with your doctor)
Registration for Vaccines
Philadelphia County and New Jersey
Registration notifications to patients who qualify for vaccination at this time will be sent through our patient portal, MyJeffersonHealth (formerly MyChart).
For patients who see providers affiliated with the following locations:
- Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital
- Jefferson Frankford Hospital
- Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience
- Jefferson Methodist Hospital
- Jefferson Stratford Hospital
- Jefferson Torresdale Hospital
- Jefferson Washington Township Hospital
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
You may complete a pre-registration questionnaire via the MyJeffersonHealth portal. This pre-registration form is available after log-in on the MyJeffersonHealth portal home page. See COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Registration Form.
Though you may not be eligible for a vaccine based on current state and local guidelines, pre-registration on MyJeffersonHealth will allow us to provide you with a scheduling notification when you are eligible and when there is sufficient vaccine supply.
If you do not have a MyJeffersonHealth account, visit my.jeffersonhealth.org to sign up. Our Frequently Asked Questions can provide help and guidance.
Montgomery and Bucks Counties
For patients of Abington Hospital -Jefferson Health, Abington-Lansdale Hospital – Jefferson Health and Jefferson Bucks Hospital, notifications to register for the vaccine will be sent through email over the coming weeks and months to our patients meeting these age and health risk factors.
For more information on Jefferson Health Montgomery and Bucks County vaccine clinics:
Other Vaccine Clinic Locations
You may also want to reach out to your local state or county health departments for information on vaccine distribution sites and appointments.
Individual counties in Pennsylvania may have pre-registration for residents, including:
For more information on Pennsylvania’s vaccine phases and location please visit PA’s Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine page.
In New Jersey, Camden County has a joint public health effort with Jefferson Health – New Jersey and a vaccination site at the Camden County College Blackwood Campus.
Schedule an Appointment
Burlington County has a vaccination site at the Moorestown Mall.
Register for an Appointment
You may also pre-register for a vaccine at other locations in New Jersey.
Pre-Register for an Appointment in New Jersey
Visit the Official Website of Delaware for a full list of vaccination sites and registration information.
For additional information, you can access Delaware’s COVID-19 information hub.
Schedule an Appointment in Delaware
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to all the questions you may have concerning the COVID-19 vaccine, we also have helpful information on what you can expect from the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a guide to debunking all of the myths and misunderstandings out there.
Should I Get the Vaccine?
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We understand that vaccination is a personal decision, but encourage everyone to base their decision on their own personal risk of developing COVID-19, and the risks of people with whom they come into contact regularly – either community members or loved ones. Learn more from the CDC on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.
If I had COVID already, should I still get the vaccine?
Yes, you should still get the vaccine as long as it has been at least 90 days since you had COVID-19. We believe immunity lasts for at least as long as 90 days. While there does not appear to be any downside to receiving a vaccine earlier than 90 days, we recommend this approach to allow prioritization of individuals who are not immune.
Can I get the vaccine if I have medical problems (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease)?
Yes, you can receive the vaccine. In fact, we strongly encourage individuals with medical problems such as these to be vaccinated since COVID-19 can be more severe in individuals with these conditions.
If I have a latex allergy, can I still receive vaccine?
Yes, you can. The vial stoppers of the vaccines are not made with natural rubber latex, and there is no reason that makes it inadvisable for individuals with latex allergy to receive the vaccine.
What do we know about the Moderna and PfizerBioNTech vaccines?
Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines – a new type of vaccine. A small bit of viral genetic material (mRNA) that is the genetic code for a COVID-19 viral protein is injected, like any vaccine, taken up by our cells, and produces a small bit of a viral protein which causes our immune system to produce antibodies that provide protective immunity against the virus.
How is the vaccine given?
It is given just like the influenza vaccine which is injected into the muscle. Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require 2 doses – an initial vaccination and repeat vaccination 3 or 4 weeks later. There are other vaccines under investigation that require only 1 dose, but they have not yet been approved by the FDA.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, scientifically, both Pfizer and Moderna are safe for pregnant women to take. Thousands of women in the U.S. have been vaccinated safely with these vaccines. All leading obstetrical organizations support vaccination of pregnant women and the Emergency Use Authorization includes use during pregnancy.
How can COVID-19 impact a pregnant woman?
Pregnant women are at a higher risk to develop severe COVID-19, for requiring ICU treatment and an increased risk of death. This is why the best way to keep both mom and baby healthy is to be vaccinated.
Does it matter what trimester of pregnancy a patient gets the vaccine?
No. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 during any stage in pregnancy.
What about women that are breastfeeding?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is safe during postpartum and lactation.
Should women who are trying to conceive get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for people trying to conceive. They are also safe for women undergoing fertility treatments.
What is the WHO’s stance on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy? What about leading OBGYN and MFM organizations?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe COVID-19. And while there is limited data available at this time to assess COVID-19 vaccine safety in pregnancy, WHO acknowledges that based on what is known about this type of vaccine, there is no reason to believe that any specific risks would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine released statements advising that no pregnant person should be withheld vaccination. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider if they have further questions.
What more do we know about COVID-19 vaccine side effects?
The common vaccine side effects continue to be pain, swelling and/or redness at the injection site and nearby lymph nodes, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting and fever. There have been some cases of more severe allergic reactions worldwide but those are uncommon. Those being vaccinated are typically observed for 15 minutes after vaccination.
Are side effects more common following the second vaccine dose?
Yes. We have known from clinical trials and from our own observation that these side effects are more common for people after their second dose. The symptoms are the same, but simply more common and can be a bit more intense and typically resolve over 12 to 36 hours.
If I have had no side effects from the vaccine, does that mean that the vaccine is not working?
No. We have no data or belief that the presence or absence of vaccine side effects correlates in any way with vaccine effectiveness.
Do these side effect symptoms mean that I may have gotten COVID-19 from one of the vaccines?
No. You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the vaccines since the vaccines do not contain live virus. The symptoms are oftentimes expected and are related to our body’s immune response to the components of the vaccine that lead to the development of immunity to COVID-19.
After the Vaccine
Can I take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever or pain at the injection site?
While it has been suggested that acetaminophen or ibuprofen could possibly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, in the vaccine trials that showed the two vaccines to be highly effective, many participants took one of these medications due to side effects. We believe that it is OK to take one of these medicines if side effects are very bothersome.
After receiving my first dose of COVID vaccine, I was exposed and tested positive for COVID. Can I still receive my second dose of the vaccine?
Per CDC guidance, vaccination of persons with COVID should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation. This recommendation applies to persons who have COVID before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who have COVID after the first dose, but before receipt of the second dose.
What should I do if I miss the recommended 3 to 4 week window for my second vaccine dose?
You should reschedule as soon as possible. The CDC suggests that you should certainly receive the second dose no later than 6 weeks after the first dose. If it is beyond 6 weeks, please call your healthcare provider for further guidance.
If I am fully vaccinated (2 doses), can I stop using personal protective equipment (PPE)?
No. While we know that vaccine has been highly effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 symptoms in vaccinated individuals, we are still learning about whether those who are vaccinated may spread the COVID-19 virus.
How long will I be protected from COVID-19 with the vaccine?
We do not know how long immunity from vaccination will last. Some vaccines require regular booster shots.
Patient Vaccine Billing
If you are a Jefferson patient who is currently eligible to receive vaccination, in accordance with state and local prioritized phases, you will receive the vaccine regardless of your ability to pay or whether you have insurance coverage. You will receive the vaccine at no cost to you.
Medicare and other third party payers will reimburse healthcare providers for the vaccine administration, at no cost to you. Therefore, you may be asked to provide your insurance information prior to receiving the vaccination. If you do not have insurance, you will still receive the vaccine at no cost, if you meet the eligibility requirements of the state and local prioritized phases.
Why does Jefferson need my insurance information? I thought the COVID-19 vaccines were free.
The initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines are federally purchased, and therefore the vaccine doses are provided to you at no cost. Medicare and other third party payers will reimburse providers for the vaccine administration (separate from the vaccine dose), at no cost to you. Therefore, Jefferson will bill Medicare or your insurance company for the administration of the vaccine, which includes supplies used (syringes, bandages) as well as the time dedicated by our teams to deliver the vaccine. You will incur no charges for vaccination, but you may receive an explanation of benefits from your insurance provider once they have processed the claim.
I heard other vaccine sites are not billing insurance for vaccine administration. Why is Jefferson billing insurance for vaccine administration?
Vaccine sites may be funded in different ways, possibly including federal, state, and local grant funding. Healthcare providers are eligible to bill insurance to support the costs and resources needed for vaccine administration in our communities. In addition, some grant and cost reimbursement programs may require that healthcare providers use reasonable efforts to recover available insurance coverages.
Why am I being asked for my traditional Medicare number when I have Medicare Advantage insurance?
Medicare has instructed all healthcare providers to bill traditional Medicare plans (not Medicare Advantage plans) for COVID-19 vaccine administration, even for Medicare Advantage enrollees. To do this, it requires us to obtain your traditional Medicare number.
What if I don’t have insurance? Will Jefferson Health bill me for the COVID-19 vaccine administration?
No. During the public health emergency, and while the vaccine is supplied by the federal government, you will not be billed for any charges related to the COVID-19 vaccine. This service is provided at no cost to you.
How effective do we believe these vaccines to be in preventing COVID-19 infection?
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna report that their vaccines are roughly 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection. These are highly effective vaccines.
Learn more about these vaccines here: