COVID Vaccine & Treatment Information
Updated May 13, 2021
Our goal is to vaccinate as many individuals as possible, as quickly as supply allows. In the meantime, we encourage everyone, including those who have received the vaccine, to wear a face covering, social distance and wash your hands frequently in order to help reduce your risk of COVID-19.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently being administered to individuals over the age of 12. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is currently being administered to individuals over the age of 18.
View the Latest Vaccine Fact Sheets
Learn more about the COVID vaccines that have been given Emergency Use Authorization.
About the Vaccine
Is the COVID-19 vaccine free and do I need insurance?
The only charge for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is an administrative fee, as the vaccine is being provided to us at no cost. The administrative fee is to cover costs we incur such as staffing, supplies, etc. This administrative fee will be billed to a patient's insurance company. Most insurance providers are covering the full cost of the administrative fee so there is no final patient cost/responsibility. For uninsured patients, we will bill the Health Resources and Services Administration's Provider Relief Fund and they will cover the cost in full. We recommend you contact your insurance carrier to determine your exact coverage.
COVID Vaccine Administration
|Per Dose/one injection
What if I'm having trouble finding transportation to my vaccine appointment?
Dane County Human Services and New Bridge are currently offering free transportation for Dane County adults age 50 and older who have exhausted all their options and need to get to their vaccine appointments. Call (608) 512-0000 Ext. 3 for more information.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Yes. In order to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, the vaccine must be proven safe and effective. The science is rooted in years of research, and every step of the vaccine process went through the same safety assessments as all other vaccines. We want our communities to know our clinical leaders and experts at UnityPoint Health have also thoroughly reviewed all the data surrounding the clinical trials of these vaccines.
How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child (12+ years)?
What are the ingredients in the COVID vaccine?
More than 2,000 12 – 15-year-olds were enrolled in the vaccine clinical trials. With continuous monitoring and millions of doses administered to adults over the past seven months, the vaccines have proven to be very safe. There are common, minor short-term side effects but nothing long-term has been identified.
Although children have significantly lower risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19, both severe disease and death can still occur. In addition, we know that some individuals have long-term illness associated with their initial COVID-19 disease, including children, so prevention of COVID-19 is key.
There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval by the FDA. Ingredients for the Pfizer COVID Vaccine may be found on the EUA Fact Sheet.
Ingredients for the Moderna COVID Vaccine may be found on the EUA Fact Sheet. Ingredients for the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine may be found on the EUA Fact Sheet.
What are the potential side effects?
Side effects are common, but generally mild to moderate
and occur within the first few days of getting the vaccine. For more information on vaccine safety, speed of development and potential side effects of vaccination, we recommend reading the Pfizer EUA Fact Sheet, Moderna EUA Fact Sheet, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen EUA Fact Sheet. All materials were created by the FDA and
include the latest information.
Will people need to mask after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, it's still important to follow all the guidelines we've come to know during the pandemic: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and stay home when you're sick. We don't know how long the immunity from the vaccine is going to last, and it's going to be a while before a large percentage of our communities get this vaccine.
Do I need a second dose?
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is one dose. Pfizer and Moderna are two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose at least 21 days after your first dose, and the Moderna vaccine requires a second dose at least 28 days after your first dose. These are the intervals utilized in the vaccine studies, so receiving your second dose close to the 21- or 28-day timeframe is advised.
The CDC states you can schedule the second dose up to six weeks after the first dose for both Pfizer and Moderna and still receive the full benefit of the vaccine. If your second dose is given outside of that six-week window, there is no need to restart the series. The second dose should be the same brand as the initial dose as there is not data to support interchanging brands. You will not be able to schedule your second dose appointment any sooner than the 21- or 28-day intervals.
Where can I find more information and/or data on the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccine?
Data for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is publicly available through the FDA website, found on the Pfizer EUA Fact Sheet, Moderna EUA Fact Sheet, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen EUA Fact Sheet.
Should I Get the Vaccine?
I am undocumented/do not have an ID Card. Can I get the vaccine?
Yes, even if you cannot provide proof of residency or state identification. All people in the U.S. – regardless of their immigration status – will be able to get vaccinated at no cost.
Is the vaccine mandatory for UnityPoint Health team members?
The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for UnityPoint Health team members at this time. Each team member will be provided educational materials so they can be equipped to make an informed decision on whether or not they choose to receive the vaccine.
Should pregnant or nursing individuals receive the vaccine?
Pregnant and nursing individuals are eligible to receive the vaccine. They were excluded from the clinical trials in the development of this vaccine, so no information has been collected regarding its safety during pregnancy. However, our Women's Service Line supports the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the position the vaccine should be offered to pregnant and lactating individuals. You can learn more about the American Academy of Pediatrics considerations and recommendations regarding receiving the vaccine while pregnant or nursing.
It is important to know that being pregnant puts a woman at increased risk of more severe COVID-19 with an increase in ICU admission and ventilator use when compared to non-pregnant women in the same age group. The bottom line – it's a personal decision, so we recommend pregnant individuals contact their provider to discuss their individual situation. Also, the COVID-19 vaccine does not impact fertility.
View our helpful decision-making guide
Should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
Yes. Although people who've had COVID-19 have built up antibodies to fight future infection, we don't know how long that immunity lasts. We recommend that people who've had COVID-19 wait 90 days from their infection to receive the vaccine. One of the reasons for this is simply the supply of the vaccine. We want everyone in our communities to be able to get the vaccine.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have allergies?
If you have severe anaphylaxis or an allergy to one of the components of this vaccine, please talk to your health care provider before getting this vaccine. For most people, even those with seasonal allergies or minor food allergies, it is safe and we highly recommend getting the vaccine.
Learn more about the treatments available for those who have COVID-19:
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment (bamlanivamimab)
UW Health and UnityPoint Health–Meriter have received a limited supply of bamlanivimab, an investigational therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients.
The medication was recently granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Bamlanivimab is currently authorized by the FDA for patients who meet the following criteria:
- Have positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing.
- Are 12 years of age and older and weigh at least 88 pounds.
- At high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. This includes those who are 65 years of age or older, or who have certain chronic medical conditions.
The treatment is available to all members of the community who meet criteria and all eligible patients will have an equal chance of receiving the drug. UW Health will administer doses on behalf of both Meriter and UW Health.
Bamlanivimab is not authorized for patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19.
To ensure equitable distribution of the limited supply of this medication, UW Health and Meriter will use a nationally recognized allocation framework designed to provide fair access to scarce COVID-19 medication. This allocation framework is grounded in two public health ethical obligations: the duty to steward scarce resources to promote the public's health, and the duty to lessen the impact of social inequities on COVID-19 outcomes in vulnerable communities. The framework was created by ethicists, legal scholars, public health and disaster medicine experts and diversity and inclusion experts.
To learn more about this treatment, or to inquire about eligibility, people should call the UW Health bamlanivimab screening hotline at (608) 720-3319. The hotline is staffed Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 5pm.
While the safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy continues to be evaluated, bamlanivimab was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo.
Convalescent Blood Plasma
UnityPoint Health – Meriter partners with the American Red Cross to deliver convalescent plasma to current COVID-19 patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization of convalescent plasma from people who have fully recovered from COVID-19. Current hospitalized patients with serious or life-threatening COVID-19 infections or those deemed at high risk are eligible to receive the plasma.
Recovered COVID-19 donors have antibodies in their plasma that neutralize the virus. Donated plasma from healthy donors who have recovered from COVID-19 is a promising treatment for patients with COVID-19 infections. At this time, convalescent plasma is in high demand, so we highly encourage healthy, COVID-19 recovered individuals to consider donating via the American Red Cross.
Some patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 may be treated with Remdesivir. We identify eligible patients and treat them with Remdesivir on a first come-first go basis. As with all care, our physicians evaluate each patient's case, create treatment plans specific to each person, and prescribe medications that are clinically appropriate for each individual.
Making a Difference - One Vaccine at a Time
History in the making as the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at UnityPoint Health campuses for our front-line team members. When it's your turn, we hope you'll roll up your sleeve, too.