COVID-19 vaccines and testing
Some of the most common vaccinations like flu vaccines are covered through your prescription plan. Check with your plan sponsor about specific coverage and copayment information.
If flu vaccines are covered, you and all other members covered by your plan can go to a local participating pharmacy to get the flu shot. Please note, every state has specific regulations regarding age restrictions, which vaccines can be administered by a certified pharmacist, and if a prescription is required.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in the 2018-19 flu season, only about 45% of adults received their flu shot. This year, more than ever, we encourage as many Americans as possible to get the flu vaccine – even those who haven’t been vaccinated in the past – to help in the fight against COVID-19. It’s especially important for pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions to get the flu vaccine not just this year, but every year.
Immunizations, more commonly referred to as vaccines, help protect you, your family and friends, and the community from contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases like seasonal flu, whooping cough, measles, shingles, pneumonia, and COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we vaccinate not only to protect ourselves and our children from seasonal illnesses like the flu, we vaccinate to protect our future because vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious side effects of certain diseases. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us take control of this pandemic.
Find out more of what the CDC has to say about the importance of vaccines at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/vaxwithme.html.
COVID-19 vaccines are covered through the pharmacy benefit for most plans. Check with your plan sponsor about specific coverage and copayment information.
If COVID-19 vaccines are covered, you and all other members covered by your plan can go to a local participating pharmacy to get the COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes widely available. Please note, every state has specific regulations regarding age restrictions, which vaccines can be administered by a certified pharmacist, and if a prescription is required. Call your pharmacy before visiting, to ensure the pharmacy is able to administer the COVID-19 vaccines, the pharmacy has vaccines available for administration, and to schedule an appointment if one is required by the pharmacy.
Paxlovid is an investigational medicine approved for the swift treatment of COVID-19. “Emergency Use Authorization” allows this treatment to reach the public faster than traditional treatments given the public health crisis. Due to this, some side effects and long-term results of Paxlovid may still be unknown.
At this time, the answer is unclear. Viruses tend to mutate over time, plus we do not yet completely understand how long vaccinations may provide protection from COVID-19 infection. This is a matter that will continue to be studied by the medical and scientific community.
If you were vaccinated at a retail pharmacy, you can easily view your vaccination status in the Express Scripts mobile app.
If you were vaccinated at a mass vaccination site and no claim was filed with Express Scripts, you will need to use your paper vaccination card. You can also check with your local state health registry for verification information.
Due to high demand, it may take up to 2 weeks to receive your tests.
Most at-home COVID-19 tests use a gentle self-collected anterior nasal swab sample to determine a positive or negative COVID-19 result. The swab is swirled in a chemical solution and applied to a test strip. Follow the specific instructions on your test for accurate results. You can also learn more on our blog.
Pfizer’s Paxlovid is an investigational medicine approved for emergency use to reduce the severity of mild to moderate COVID-19. The treatment may also reduce sick time or risk of hospitalization.
It’s recommended to take Paxlovid as soon as possible after diagnosis and within five days of the onset of symptoms.
If your plan covers Paxlovid, you may be able to get it prescribed by a pharmacist. If not, ask the pharmacy about your payment options.
Paxlovid may be used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years or older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40kg). These individuals must be at risk for severe COVID-19 and have recently tested positive for the virus.
Please be sure to mention if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding a child. You should also tell your pharmacist about any allergies you may have, as well as if you have liver or kidney disease or any serious illness.
Paxlovid is an investigational medicine approved for emergency use. As such, new side effects may be discovered.
Possible Paxlovid side effects include:
- Allergic reactions (hives, throat tightness, trouble swallowing, rash)
- Liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, pale stool, itchy stomach)
- Resistance to HIV medication
Less common Paxlovid side effects may include:
- Altered taste
- High blood pressure
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. You can report any side effects to the FDA online or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you can also contact Pfizer directly, either online or by calling 1-800-438-1985.
If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.