COVID-19 Vaccine Information

How to Get a Vaccine 

Getting a Booster Shot

 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently authorized a third (booster) dose of mRNA-style COVID-19 vaccine for people with compromised immune systems. We are waiting for CDC information on the authorization for boosters for the general public. Martin’s Point has booster vaccine available now and will begin offering it to our eligible patients only. Please read the important information below to see if you are eligible and, if so, how to receive your booster vaccine.

 

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible for the booster now, you must meet two conditions:

You must be considered to have a compromised immune system. This includes individuals with at least one of the following:

  • Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Have received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Have advanced or untreated HIV infectionHave active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

You must have completed two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It should be at least 28 days since you received your second dose. Patients who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are not yet approved for a booster at this time.

For Martin’s Point patients who meet the two requirements above, please contact your Health Care Center about scheduling a booster shot. Contact Us. You may also get a booster shot at participating pharmacies. 

Getting a Vaccine

For vaccine appointment options, please contact your Health Care Center. Contact Us.

Maine-Residing Martin’s Point Patients: You may also receive your vaccine through other public vaccine clinics or participating pharmacies in Maine. Visit the Maine CDC website for more information.

New Hampshire-Residing Martin’s Point Patients: You may also receive your vaccine through the New Hampshire state-run clinics or participating pharmacies in New Hampshire. Information is available on the website.

Things to Know Before Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

  • There is no cost to vaccine recipients regardless of medical insurance status. If you do have medical insurance, please bring your insurance card with you.
  • Medicare-eligible patients should bring their red, white, and blue Medicare card.
  • If you use an Epi-pen, please bring it to your vaccine appointment.

What to expect at your appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect.html

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Current Vaccination Phases

IMPORTANT NOTES: 

Martin’s Point offers scheduled vaccine appointments at our Health Care Centers located in Maine for patients who are Maine or New Hampshire residents. Currently those 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please continue to check our website and cdc.gov for the most current approval information. 

Maine:

For additional details about the Maine CDC vaccine phases are available on the Maine CDC website.

New Hampshire: 

For additional details about the New Hampshire CDC vaccine phases and registering for the vaccine are available on the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services website or call 211.

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Vaccine Information, Safety & Side Effects

How do we know if the vaccines are safe?

Clinical trials and FDA review are both highly regulated processes involving strict protocols that must be followed in all cases. These vaccines were able to be developed and reviewed in record time without cutting corners because the drug companies and federal agencies received significant workforce and financial resources to prioritize rigorous testing and reviews.


Are these vaccines effective?


Both Pfizer and Moderna products are “mRNA vaccines.” Learn more about mRNA vaccines at this CDC link. Both vaccines report an extremely high efficacy rate of over 94% and clinical trials show a high level of safety. The vaccines require two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot at least 3-4 weeks later (depending on the vaccine type) is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose injection with an 85% efficacy rate for prevention of severe COVID illness, hospitalization, or death. This vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus which triggers cells to create a spike protein. The spike protein triggers the body's immune response, developing antibodies to fight the virus. Vaccine efficacy cannot be compared head to head because of the differences in the studies' populations and the time periods in which they were conducted.

What side effects can I expect?

Some individuals reported tiredness, muscle/joint pain, mild headache, chills, or redness at the injection site. These are indications that your body is building protection against the disease. Side effects may be minimal or may impact day-to-day activities, but should go away in a few days. Learn more about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. The official reporting of coronavirus/COVID-19 vaccination side effects are published when the vaccine is reviewed by the FDA. Like with all vaccines, allergic reactions can occur, but are extremely rare.

Will I have a choice of which vaccine I receive?

At this time, there is not a choice of which vaccine you may receive. Vaccinations are being scheduled based on allocations received from state distributions of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. With the exception of those aged 16 and 17, the recommendation from all health officials is that you do not delay getting vaccinated and receive whichever vaccine first becomes available to you. Please note that the Pfizer vaccine is the only brand approved for use in those aged 16 and 17.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding?

The CDC has issued updated guidance around this topic, click here to read more

If I have already recovered from COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from reinfection, with some evidence that immunity may last two to three months. At this time, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends waiting no more than 90 days after onset of infection to receive the vaccine. Health care workers who have had COVID-19, and the general population, can receive the vaccine immediately after resolution of COVID-19 symptoms.

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After You Have Been Fully Vaccinated

As we prepare to return to some “normalcy” in our day-to-day lives, we wanted to share some great tips from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to safely return to enjoying time with friends and family—indoors and out. Below are just a few, with links to more helpful CDC information:


IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED:

  • You can resume all activities without masking or physically distancing, except where required by laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • Please note that Martin’s Point still requires masking for anyone entering our health care centers or facilities.
  • Please check your state’s CDC (Maine, New Hampshire) for the latest information.

 IF YOU ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED:

  • If you decide to engage in public activities, the CDC recommends that you continue to follow safe practices, including wearing a mask and physical distancing when you are in public.
  • When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. Guidance for unvaccinated people is available on the US CDC website.

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For Martin’s Point Health Plan Members

Martin's Point Generations Advantage and US Family Health Plan members, regardless of state of residence, may get your vaccine through your Primary Care Provider, any other state-designated public vaccine clinic or at participating pharmacies. 

Martin’s Point health plan members residing in New Hampshire can also register for their vaccine through the state. Visit https://www.vaccines.nh.gov or call 2-1-1 to learn more and to schedule a vaccine appointment at a state clinic.

Martin’s Point health plan members residing in other states should visit their state government COVID-19 websites for guidance or stay in close contact with their primary care provider (PCP) office for availability and scheduling of the vaccine.

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