Accessing the COVID-19 Vaccine
Living with multiple sclerosis comes with a lot of uncertainty — but one thing you should not feel uncertain about is how to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Below is a quick guide to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine — covering everything from costs to finding a vaccination site.
As of now, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have opened vaccine eligibility to adults 16 and older. The CDC has endorsed the use of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for adolescents 12 and older.
*Note that while eligibility may be open to you based on age, some populations (e.g., those in particular zip codes, immunocompromised, etc.) may continue to be prioritized depending on your state’s approach to vaccine rollout.
Find a Vaccination Site
There are two simple ways to find a vaccination site near you:
- Visit VaccineFinder
Recommended by the CDC, enter your zip code to find a vaccination site near you. Once you have found an available site, you will need to schedule an appointment directly through the vaccine site/provider.
- Visit your local state health department website
We have linked to all COVID-19 resource pages for each state and the District of Columbia below. Pages include information on vaccine eligibility and locating vaccination sites, including information on mass vaccination sites if your state offers them.
Regardless of your immigration status or health insurance coverage, COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot charge you for the vaccine or any service/fee related to receiving the vaccine. Vaccine providers cannot:
- Refuse to give you the vaccine, even if you are out-of-network, uninsured or underinsured
- Charge you for any copays, coinsurance or administration/office visit fees if the only service you received was a COVID-19 vaccination
- Require you to get additional services in order to get the vaccine
If you are insured, COVID-19 vaccination providers can get reimbursement from your plan or program (e.g., Medicare, private health insurance), but they cannot charge you the balance.
Our knowledgeable MS Navigators can:
- Connect you to information on vaccination sites in your state
- Assist with costs of transportation to a COVID-19 vaccination or testing site for those who qualify
- Connect you to the latest vaccine guidance for people living with MS, as well as information on timing MS medications with COVID-19 vaccines
If you are covered under Medicare or Medicaid, MS Navigators recommend reaching out to your plans for additional resources, such as transportation assistance.
If you are experiencing unemployment, need assistance navigating insurance, foreclosures or other financial impacts due to the pandemic, visit the Society’s Coronavirus Resources page or contact our MS Navigators at 1-800-344-4867, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with them live through the Society website.
View Your State’s Coronavirus Resources
For specific COVID-19 updates in your state or to find a vaccination site, visit your state’s health department website.
Update on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
As of April 25, the CDC and FDA have recommended the use of the Johnson & Johnson’s J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to resume in the U.S.