Vaccines & Immunization
Vaccines provide protection against serious life-threatening infectious diseases from birth to adulthood. Immunizations will help stop the spread of disease, build community immunity, and protect people too sick, too young or too old to get vaccinated.
How do I know what vaccines I need?
At Community Health, providers have information about the available vaccines, the recommended age groups, and boosters needed to maintain full protection. It’s Important to have a discussion with your provider to understand if you are up to date with the recommended vaccines because recommendations can change over time.
Where can I get a vaccination?
Any of our medical offices administer vaccines. Ask at your next appointment if you are up to date on your vaccines.
Do pharmacies administer vaccines?
Some pharmacies administer vaccines. This includes shingles, pneumococcal, Tdap and recommended travel vaccinations. Check your insurance coverage for specific details.
What will it cost?
Most vaccines are free. Community Health is able to provide most vaccines at no cost to patients under the age of 65. We are able to do this because insurers pay into the Vermont state program that supplies vaccines to provider offices. If you are over 65, Medicare covers vaccinations.
No Out of Pocket Vaccines Costs for patients with Medicare Part D
Patients with Medicare drug plans will pay nothing out-of-pocket for adult vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Part 5, Section 11401 of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 requires these vaccines to be free to patients and makes Part D vaccine cost-sharing consistent with coverage under Part B where the patient has no coinsurance or deductible. The patient may have to pay a vaccine administration fee at the time of service, but they can get reimbursed in full for this fee from their Part D plan. (Inflation Reduction Act ) Medicare Part D Vaccines Fact Sheet | CMS
Can I get a vaccine at a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?
An immunization review is included in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), available at Community Health for Medicare patients who have been enrolled in Medicare Part B for at least 12 months. The Annual Wellness Visit focuses on prevention and is designed to lower the risk of illness and injury. If any vaccine is needed, it can be scheduled with your provider.
How do vaccines work?
Measles, mumps, Rubella, pneumonia, polio, HPV, chickenpox, shingles, flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis and covid vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to build protection and reduce the risk of getting a disease. When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds.
Vaccines are a vital part of your healthcare and save lives
Vaccines should be like any other part of your healthcare, and it is important to understand why you need to be immunized. The choice to receive a vaccine is a discussion you should have with your provider. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that millions of lives are saved each year thanks to immunizations that are available for more than 20 life-threatening diseases.
Do I need a flu vaccine each year?
For those with chronic health problems like diabetes or asthma, flu and covid symptoms can make chronic health conditions worse. Discuss whether or not you should receive flu and covid vaccines.
If you are unsure what vaccines you have received or if you are up to date on required boosters, check with your primary care provider or your pediatrician.
What’s the latest on the COVID vaccine?
As of September 12, the 2023-2024
COVID-19 vaccines that protect against the more current strains of the virus were approved and recommended for use. These new COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to locations across Vermont over the coming weeks.
Everyone 6 months and older should get at least one dose of the new 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax) to stay protected against serious illness and hospitalization. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the safer way to build protection from serious illness – even for those who have already had COVID-19. The older “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccines are no longer recommended in the United States.
- People ages 5 years and older can get one dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) if it has been at least two months since their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may need additional doses.
- Children ages 6 months through 4 years may need additional doses depending on timing and previous COVID-19 vaccinations.
Do I need a Shingles vaccine?
Anyone under the age of 65 can receive some of the adult vaccines from their Community Health primary care provider, such as the Shingles vaccine. You can get the Shingles vaccine starting at age 50. At Community Health we encourage that the vaccine be administered by your primary care provider before you turn 65 when there is no cost to you.
Here are additional links to information about vaccines and immunization:
- Adult immunization schedule and recommendation: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html
- For a full review of the COVID guidance, visit the CDC link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
- Hep B adult resources https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-b.html
- Shared decision-making vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/acip-scdm-faqs.html
Community Health, providers have information about vaccine availability, recommendations by age, and boosters needed to maintain full protection. Speak with your provider to ensure you are up-to-date.