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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Quick Reference

To jump to the answer you need about COVID-19, click on the question that applies to you below. All questions and answers follow this Quick Reference section.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine FAQs

COVID-19 Symptoms & Prevention FAQs

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Q: Can I get the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Yes, the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine is available under a Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization (FDA-EUA) as a primary series to prevent COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 in those 18 years of age and older.  It's not authorized as a booster dose. It's been proven safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease. If you're interested in obtaining the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine or any other COVID-19 vaccine, contact your primary care manager or military hospital or clinic for availability.

Q: Why should I get the vaccine?

A: According to the CDC, a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic. It’s an effective way to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19. And it may help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do catch the virus. Unvaccinated individuals are more likely to have severe disease and be hospitalized. >>Learn more.

Getting vaccinated also protects the health of the people around you—especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Q: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe even though the vaccines were developed rapidly?
A: While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective. Learn more about developing COVID-19 vaccines.
Q: If I’m pregnant or planning to become pregnant, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Yes, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Q: Should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?
A: Vaccination is now recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one available to children ages 5 years and older. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Q: How is the vaccine given to children?
A: The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, 21 days apart. Each dose contains 10mg of the vaccine, which is one third the adult dose.
Q: How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?
A: Scientists are continuing to monitor how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. Recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led CDC to recommend that everyone ages 12 years and older get a booster shot after completing their primary vaccination series. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Q: How long do I need to wait after getting a flu vaccine or another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Q: If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, am I protected by natural immunity, or do I need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness with COVID-19, sometimes called “natural immunity.” The level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age. No currently available test can reliably determine if a person is protected from infection. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Q: Who should get an additional (second) booster dose?
A: On March 29, 2022 the FDA authorized and CDC expanded the eligibility for an additional (second) booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/interim-considerations-us.html#booster-dose.
Q: Has COVID impacted my medical costs/coverage?
A: There’s no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine itself. But there may be a cost based on your health plan for an office visit with a provider, or if you require follow-on care. >>Learn more.  

TRICARE covers the use of investigational drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening cases of COVID-19. These drugs don’t apply to drugs given under the TRICARE Pharmacy Program. This coverage is temporary during the national health emergency due to the pandemic.

The three-day prior hospital stay requirement before a skilled nursing facility admission has been waived. This waiver is temporary during the national health emergency due to the pandemic.
 
COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine FAQs
Q: Who should get tested?
A: The following should get tested:
  1. People who have symptoms of COVID-19
  2. People who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested to check for infection:
    1. Fully vaccinated persons should be tested 5-7 days after exposure.
    2. People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately. If negative, test again 5-7 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.
For more information on testing, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.
Q: What if my test result is positive?
A: If Positive Result:
  • Isolate for at least 5 days. Learn more about isolation timelines and precautions
  • Seek a confirmatory, follow-up laboratory test if recommended by healthcare professional
  • Monitor your symptoms
All testing protocols can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.

For more guidance on quarantine and isolation, visit your local public health website or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.
Q: What if my test result is negative?
A: If Negative Result:
  • If up to update on vaccines: return to normal activities. Wear a mask indoors in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high.
  • If not up to date on vaccines and have symptoms or exposure: quarantine for at least 5 days.
  • If not up to date on vaccines and have no symptoms or exposure: return to normal activities. Take steps to get up to date on vaccines to protect yourself and others.
All testing protocols can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.
Q: How long do I need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A: You can use the Quarantine and Isolation Calculator on https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html to help you determine the steps you need to take.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Prevention

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: View this information with potential updates on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
Q: What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2), and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. For more information on the differences, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
Q: How can I prevent getting sick?
A: You can wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
Masking is a critical public health tool and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask. For more information on masks, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/masks.html.
Q: How can I reduce my risk of serious illness?
A: COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying. As with vaccines for other diseases, people who are up to date are protected best. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster shot. For more information on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html.
Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.