COVID Vaccine Information For Maryland Residents

COVID Vaccine Information for Maryland Residents

Updated March 30, 2021

Maryland is anticipating vaccine supply from the Federal Government to improve significantly in the coming weeks and has announced plans to move into Phase 2 of its vaccination plan. Kaiser Permanente’s ability to expand and speed vaccine distribution depends on vaccine supply made available to Maryland and then how much of that supply Maryland allocates to us. We expect with increased supply sent to the state, we will in turn see an increase in our allocation. 

Click here to read our frequently asked questions or scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on the vaccines and how to get vaccinated. You may also call 1-855-550-0951 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information about COVID vaccines and to speak with an agent, available in English and Spanish.  

Keep in mind there may be other places you can get vaccinated besides Kaiser Permanente, such as your employer, local department of health or some other place. If that opportunity is available to you, we encourage you to take it. Regardless of where you go, the vaccines are available by appointment only. 

If you live in one state and work in a different state:
To understand when you qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine based on your job (such as if you’re an essential worker), please look at the phases for the state where you work. To understand when you qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine based on your age or health conditions, look at the phases for the state where you live.

Below is detailed information on how the state of Maryland is defining the phases of COVID-19 vaccination. 

What phase is Maryland currently in? 

CURRENT PHASE:

Phase 1a (in progress*)

Who qualifies? 

  • Front line hospital staff and healthcare workers 
  • Nursing home residents and staff  
  • Law enforcement and firefighters, EMS workers
  • All licensed, registered and certified health care providers  
  • Correctional health care staff and officers  
  • Front line judiciary staff  

Phase 1b (in progress*)

Who qualifies?

  • Assisted living, other congregate settings 
  • Adults age 75 and older 
  • Educators and continuity of government employees

Phase 1c (in progress*)

Who qualifies?

  • Adults age 65-74
  • Essential workers in lab services, agriculture, manufacturing, postal service, and other qualifying workers

* Though the state has initiated these phases, we have not received enough vaccine to administer doses to everyone in each phase at this time. As supply allows, we are vaccinating people in Phase 1a and the oldest patients. 

Phase 2A (in progress*)

Who qualifies?

  • Adults age 60 and over

Phase 2B (in progress*)

Who qualifies?

  • People age 16 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses 

Phase 2C (expected to begin April 13, 2021)

Who qualifies?

  • Adults age 55 and older
  • Essential workers in critical industries including construction, food services, utilities, transportation, financial services, IT and other infrastructure

NEXT PHASE:

Phase 3 (expected to begin April 27, 2021)

Who qualifies? 

  • General population, including healthy adults age 16-64

For more information on each phase, click here. 


For Kaiser Permanente members – Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I get updates on when I can get the vaccine? Should I call or email my doctor’s office or member services?  

Answer: We know our patients have many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The best way for you to stay up to date on the vaccine is to visit this page often. We kindly ask that you do not email your doctor for information about vaccine appointments. We will reach out to you to set up an appointment when you qualify and we have enough supply from the state.

I currently qualify to receive the vaccine, but I haven’t been vaccinated yet. How can I get vaccinated? 

Answer: If you qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit kp.organd complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest questionnaire. After logging in, scroll down to “COVID-19 Vaccine Interest” and complete the questionnaire. You must be akp.orgregistered user to fill out this form. This questionnaire lets us know you are interested in receiving a vaccine.  Keep in mind, vaccine supply is extremely limited so it will take time to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated. As soon as the state supplies us with enough vaccine to vaccinate you, we will send you a secure message with a link to schedule your vaccine appointment. Please check yourkp.orgmessages frequently. 

After I complete the interest questionnaire, how long will it take to be called to get my vaccine?  

Answer: This questionnaire let us know that you want the vaccine when you are eligible.  You are not added on a “wait list” that is ordered based on when you completed the questionnaire.  We must follow the eligibility guidelines defined by each state. It is our goal to get you vaccinated as soon as possible but we are dependent on how much of the vaccine is allocated to us. At this time, supplies are limited so we are not able to give an estimate of how long it may take to get you in for an appointment. Be assured we will contact you as soon as we have sufficient supplies.

I want to see what my doctor thinks about me receiving the vaccine. 

Answer: Our physicians strongly recommend that all adults receive the vaccine as soon as they qualify, and vaccine supply allows.

If you have a history of allergies, our doctors still recommend you get the vaccine. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to prior non-COVID-19 immunization or anaphylactic food allergy, our physicians recommend staying for observation 30 minutes after you receive the injection. We urge all adults to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they qualify, and supply is available.  

To learn more about allergies and the COVID vaccine, please click here.The CDC also offers some great information about the COVID vaccinehere. 

I currently qualify to receive the vaccine, based on the type of work I do or my age, but I haven’t been vaccinated yet. How can I get vaccinated?

Answer: If you qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit kp.org and complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest questionnaire. After logging in, scroll down to “COVID-19 Vaccine Interest” and complete the questionnaire. You must be a kp.org registered user to fill out this form. Once you complete this questionnaire, you will be added to the appropriate wait list for your phase. Vaccine supply is extremely limited. As soon as the state supplies us with enough vaccine to vaccinate you, we will send you a secure message with a link to schedule your vaccine appointment. Please check your kp.org messages frequently.

Can I find out where I am on the wait list? 

Answer: If you filled out the vaccine interest questionnaire onkp.org, this let us know you are interested in getting the vaccine. We do not have a wait list” for the vaccine that is based on when you completed the interest questionnaire.  We are working through our membership based on the eligibility criteria defined by each state. At this time, vaccine supply is limited and unpredictable. Until we have a predictable vaccine supply, we can’t accurately estimate wait times.  We will reach out to you to schedule a vaccine appointment when you are eligible, and we have sufficient supply of the vaccine.    

What happens once it’s my turn to receive the vaccine (both when I qualify, and you have the supply to vaccinate me)? 

Answer: Once you qualify for the vaccine, and we have enough supply, we will reach out to you to schedule a vaccination appointment. The fastest way for us to contact you is by sending you a secure email throughkp.org. If you are a registeredkp.orgmember, that will be the first way we contact you. If you are not registered onkp.orgor if you do not open the secure message, we send you through kp.org, we will call you. If we cannot reach you bykp.orgor phone, we will send you a letter. 

If you are not registered on kp.org, pleaseregistertoday so we can quickly contact you. 

I’ve been offered a vaccine elsewhere. Should I take it, or should I wait to be vaccinated by Kaiser Permanente?

Answer: We encourage you to get vaccinated the first opportunity you get. If your employer, local health department or other vaccinator offers you an opportunity to get the shot, please do so. Please note: You will need to receive the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at the same place you received the first.

If I receive my COVID-19 vaccine outside Kaiser Permanente, how do I update my medical record?

Answer: Log on to kp.org, click on the “Medical Record,” and then select the “Questionnaires” option. Then click on the questionnaire titled “COVID-19 Immunizations Outside of Kaiser Permanente” and fill out all required fields.

I don’t yet qualify for the vaccine but would like to get on a wait list. What should I do?

Answer: Please fill out the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest questionnaireonkp.org. You will need to be a registered member ofkp.orgto do this. This questionnaire lets us know you are interested in receiving the vaccine when you are eligible. Completing the questionnaire does not add you to a “wait list” that is ordered based on when you filled it out. We must follow established eligibility guidelines. When you qualify for the vaccine and the state supplies us with enough vaccine to vaccinate you, we will send you a secure message with a link to schedule your appointment. 

Why can’t my spouse, who qualifies by the age on the news, get the vaccine, when I do? 

Answer: We are working hard to get as many of our oldest patients vaccinated as quickly and equitably as possible, so our working through our list of qualified patients from oldest to youngest. Even a difference of just a few weeks in age will mean different appointment slots. We are working hard to get all our patients vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Can I walk into a Kaiser Permanente medical center without an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Answer: No. COVID-19 vaccines can only be given to those with an appointment.

When will all Kaiser Permanente locations start having vaccine? 

Answer: We are currently determining which of our locations will offer the vaccine as supplies increase. 

Are there are others places besides Kaiser Permanente where I may be able to get vaccinated (once I qualify)?

Answer: For information on other locations offering the COVID-19 vaccine in Maryland, please visit coronavirus.maryland.gov. Click on the “Find a Vaccine” tab along the top of the page. In Maryland, the COVID-19 vaccinations are available through hospitals and local health departments statewide and some mass vaccination sites. You can enter your zip code to find a vaccination site near you. Vaccinations are by appointment only for those who qualify. You do not need to contact the Department of Health before getting a vaccine through Kaiser Permanente.  

What is the cost of the vaccine?

Answer: The vaccine is offered at no cost, regardless of where you are vaccinated. If you receive the vaccine outside of Kaiser Permanente, the outside provider may bill Kaiser Permanente; if they do, we will reimburse them. 

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? 

We recommend that people who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant get a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk with your health care provider if you have concerns.

There are several benefits of vaccination for women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant:

  • Being pregnant increases the risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Being pregnant may also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection, especially among Hispanic and Black women.
  • Pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of maternal and fetal complications such as preterm labor.
  • Getting vaccinated during pregnancy can protect your baby as well as you. 

Although the COVID-19 vaccines haven’t been tested in pregnant patients, they work similarly to existing vaccines that have been safely used during pregnancy for many years. During the first few months of vaccine administration, some 10,000 pregnant women received the vaccine, and there have been no reports of problems with these pregnancies.

You should not get the COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the vaccine or had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine. 

Learn more about COVID-19 and pregnancy at kp.org/maternity-covid.

Can children get a COVID-19 vaccine? 

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States are approved for children under 16 years of age.   

If I had the COVID-19 virus, how soon after, can I receive the vaccine?  

Answer: You can receive the vaccine once your symptoms have resolved and quarantine has ended. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.  

I just got my flu shot, can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine now? 

Answer: You cannot receive any vaccine, including the flu shot, in the two weeks before your scheduled COVID-19 vaccine. If you have, please let us know and we will reschedule your appointment. You also need to wait two weeks after your COVID-19 vaccination to receive any additional vaccines. 

If I miss my second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, do I need to start over?  

Answer: Currently the CDC recommends that if you miss the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you should return as quickly as possible to get that 2nd dose. There is no need to start the series over. 

Can I request a specific vaccine?

Answer: No. Due to limited supply, there won’t be an opportunity to choose among available vaccines. Fortunately, all of the vaccines approved for use in the United States have proved effective in clinical trials in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 infections and any side effects were mild and temporary. Public Health officials emphasize that the best way to protect yourself and to achieve large-scale immunity within our communities is to get vaccinated with any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines as soon as you are eligible and there is enough available supply for you to make an appointment. Waiting until you can possibly choose one vaccine over the other puts you at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and could contribute to the continuation of this public health crisis.

What are the differences between the three vaccines? 

Answer: The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are messenger RNA vaccines, also called mRNA vaccines. The mRNA vaccines use a small portion of the virus’s genetic make-up to create an immune response. It does not affect your DNA. The J&J/Janssen COVID vaccine uses a harmless, modified version of a cold virus to enter your cells and use their machinery to produce a harmless piece of the virus that causes COVID-19. This altered virus can’t make you sick, but it triggers an immune response that teaches your body to respond quickly should you become infected with COVID-19. 

Will the COVID-19 vaccines protect against newer variant strains of the virus?  

Answer: That’s still unknown. According to the CDC, information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them. Currently, there is no evidence that these variants, in general, cause more severe illness or increased risk of death.  

Kaiser Permanente is continuing to strictly follow CDC guidelines to help keep patients, physicians, and employees safe while our researchers and physician experts in infectious diseases work closely with public health officials to better understand new strains of the virus. 

How long will the vaccines provide protection from COVID-19 infection? Will it be longer than the natural immunity that comes from contracting COVID-19? 

Answer: The protection someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last.  

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccination, experts won’t know how long immunity lasts until there is more data on how well the vaccine works.   

COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness or putting yourself and others at risk of severe illness and death. 

Will I need a booster dose after I receive my second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

Answer: The need for and timing of booster doses for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has not been established. No additional doses beyond the two-dose primary series are recommended at this time. 

For people not covered by Kaiser Permanente insurance:

I am not covered by Kaiser Permanente insurance, but I would like to come to a Kaiser Permanente medical center to be vaccinated. Can I?
Answer: It depends. Please call your local health department to learn which sites are available for you to get the vaccine.

More COVID-19 vaccination resources: 

COVID-19 Vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson

What you need to know to prepare for and expect when you get your COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine: facts and myths 

The impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on your health 

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