COVID-19 vaccines are here and distribution around the country has started. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent group of experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that health care workers, other first responders and residents of long-term care facilities receive the first available doses. Yet how these will be distributed is still being worked out. As more vaccines become available, more people we be able to receive them and the ACIP will continue to update their recommendations. The vaccines are being shipped to federal- and state-approved locations, with each state making their own plans on how to distribute them.
While we await the final details regarding how and when to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important to keep several things in mind to avoid any vaccine-related scams:
- You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
- You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
- No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
If you get a call, text, email — or someone at your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. This is a scam. Report it to our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.