COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages five and older get a COVID-19 vaccine and that all adults get a booster shot. Whether you aren't yet vaccinated or you’re eligible for a booster, you can make an appointment in Rhode Island at vaccinateri.org or outside of Rhode Island at vaccines.gov.

3 things to know about the COVID-19 vaccines

  1. You’re covered for the vaccines at no cost.
    In 2021, the U.S. government is providing the vaccine for free, and you won’t pay any costs when you receive the vaccine from a pharmacy, vaccination clinic, or other provider approved by the government.
  2. All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States met the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety.
    COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials, and millions of people in the United States have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. The vaccines were found to be effective in diverse groups of people.
    The COVID-19 vaccines were studied across a population of diverse ages, races, and sexes. The vaccines were tested in older adults and communities of color. 

Find out more about the vaccines
 

Haven't yet received your flu shot? Learn where BCBSRI members can get a no-cost flu shot.*

*This benefit is not available to Plan 65 members or members who only have dental coverage from BCBSRI.

Yes. In 2021, the U.S. government is providing the vaccine for free, and you won’t pay any costs when you receive the vaccine from a pharmacy, vaccination clinic, or other provider approved by the government. Sign up for a vaccine appointment in Rhode Island.

  • If you have a BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan or Plan 65 – Original Medicare will pay for the vaccine, so please use the Medicare number on your red, white, and blue Medicare card to register for your vaccination appointment and bring the card to your appointment. 
     
  • For members of all other BCBSRI plans – Please use your BCBSRI member ID card number.

The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.  Find out why children and teens should get vaccinated, how to find a vaccine, the safety and dosage of the vaccines, and much more on the CDC website. You can schedule your child’s shot in Rhode Island at vaccinateri.org or outside of Rhode Island at vaccines.gov.

 

The CDC recommends that all adults ages 18 and older get a booster shot. To find more about when and why to get a booster shot, please visit the CDC website. You can schedule your booster shot in Rhode Island at vaccinateri.org or outside of Rhode Island at vaccines.gov.

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with the Delta variant may decrease over time. Find out more about boosters on the CDC website.
 

You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix-and-match dosing for booster shots. Find out more on the CDC website.
 

There should be no costs, as the government-approved pharmacy or provider should directly bill BCBSRI or Original Medicare (for members with BCSBRI Medicare Advantage plans and Plan 65). If you do get a bill, please call us for assistance.

Please see these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Rhode Islanders can now get a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need a second dose of vaccine, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get your second dose. Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.

If you are having trouble finding your vaccination record or are not able to go online, you can call the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-8022 for help.
 

Please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By calling 2-1-1, people who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island also get additional support when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on VaccinateRI.org.

The CDC recommends the flu shot for everyone six months of age and older. Here’s why getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year:

  • The flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year.
  • You can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
  • Getting vaccinated may also protect those around you.

As a BCBSRI member, you can get a flu shot at no cost at participating pharmacies, in-network doctors' offices, and Rhode Island flu clinics.* In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy non-pregnant individuals ages 2 to 49 years. People with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine, so please check with your provider.

Please note that BCBSRI Medicare Advantage members can get their flu shot at any out-of-state pharmacy, even if it is not in the participating pharmacies list. Find out where to get a no-cost flu shot at bcbsri.com/flu

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be different procedures in place for getting your flu vaccine than in other years, so please check with the location. 

*This benefit is not available to Plan 65 members or members who only have dental coverage from BCBSRI.

As a BCBSRI member, you can get a flu shot at no cost at participating pharmacies, in-network doctors' offices, and Rhode Island flu clinics.* In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy non-pregnant individuals ages 2 to 49 years. People with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine, so please check with your provider.

Please note that BCBSRI Medicare Advantage members can get their flu shot at any out-of-state pharmacy, even if it is not in the participating pharmacies list. Find out where to get a no-cost flu shot at bcbsri.com/flu.

*This benefit is not available to Plan 65 members or members who only have dental coverage from BCBSRI.

Yes, the CDC has stated that you can receive both vaccines at the same time.