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Vaccine FAQ's

Who is now eligible for vaccines?

All Marylanders 12 and older are eligible for vaccination. (NOTE: Only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for ages 12 to 17.)

What is a COVID-19 variant, and will the vaccine protect me from it?

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic, including here in Maryland.

Scientists are confident that the currently authorized vaccines are effective against the variants, but more studies are now being conducted to determine the best ways to maintain protection against COVID-19 illness.

For more information, see the latest from the CDC on New Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19.

Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination?

No, you will not have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine and insurance is not required. Vaccine providers may request insurance information to be reimbursed by your insurer, but Marylanders will not receive a bill for their COVID-19 vaccination.

Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents aged 12 to 15 are currently available.

According to the Maryland Department of Health Center for Immunization, parental consent is needed for all vaccinations for everyone under the age of 18 except for vaccines for HPV (human papillomavirus) and Hepatitis B. Each provider may develop its own procedures for handling parental consent.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for pregnant women?

Yes. If you are pregnant, you may choose to be vaccinated. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problem with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.

People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well. There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines. There is no routine recommendation for taking a pregnancy test before you get a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may help you make an informed decision. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Should women who are breastfeeding get the COVID-19 vaccine?

There is currently no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines, like Pfizer and Moderna, are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Please visit the official CDC website for more information to help you make an informed decision about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Should people with severe allergies get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC says that people who have experienced severe reactions to prior vaccines or injectable drugs can still get any of the approved vaccines for COVID-19, but should discuss the risks with their doctors ahead of time.

If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—severe or non-severe—to any ingredient in any of the approved vaccines, you should not receive that vaccine. If you had a severe or non-severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose.