Effective September 1, Tower Health began focusing its COVID-19 vaccine efforts on providing the vaccine and booster shots to eligible employees.
Community members interested and eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or a COVID-19 booster shot can find the closest vaccine distribution site by searching vaccines.gov, texting a home zip code to 438829, or calling 1-800-232-0233. If you received your first and second COVID-19 shots from Tower Health and you have a MyTowerHealth account, you can access your vaccine information by following these instructions.
There is currently no guidance recommending one vaccine over the other based on health status or risk profile. The specific vaccine manufacturer offered is determined by what vaccine is available on the day of your appointment. You are unable to select a specific vaccine manufacturer during the scheduling process.
The current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full protection. Upon receiving a first dose, we will schedule your appointment for the second vaccine dose.
COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fee
There is no out-of-pocket cost for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, please bring your health insurance card with you to your vaccine appointment. Tower Health will bill your insurer for an administration fee for both vaccine doses. You will not be responsible for vaccination charges not covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance, we will not charge you an administration fee.
Vaccines and COVID-19 Safety
The COVID-19 vaccine is another tool to help the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does not mean the pandemic is over or ending. Positive COVID-19 cases continue in our region and across the country. Reducing the spread of the virus will enable to vaccine to do its work faster, making it crucial to continue:
- Wearing a mask in public
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Washing your hands
- Practicing proper social distancing
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
- Avoiding touching your face
How Vaccines Work
A vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies and cellular immunity to combat a disease. This helps people develop immunity to that disease without getting the disease first. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves vaccines when they are effective and safe for use, and monitors the ongoing safety along with the CDC.
Safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines are critical to reducing COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.
The Pfizer vaccine (referred to as Comirnaty), for ages 16 and older, has been fully approved by the FDA. The Pfizer (for 12-15 year old and dose 3 for immunocompromised), Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, while the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has shown a 66 percent effectiveness. Other vaccines are in different stages of development from AstraZeneca, Inovio, and Novavax.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use novel messenger-RNA (mRNA) technology, which uses genetic material to cause the body to create a protein from the virus. It does not alter your DNA in any way. Your immune system then recognizes the virus and attacks it if you are exposed to the virus. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses—both are critical for full protection from the virus. Pfizer’s doses are administered 21 days apart, while Moderna’s are administered 28 days apart.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which uses a weakened, harmless, and non-infectious virus to deliver instructions to cells. The cells then produce a piece of the virus that causes COVID-19, triggering the body’s immune system to recognize these pieces. In response, the immune system produces antibodies and activates other immune cells. This process trains the body to fight a future infection of COVID-19.
All vaccines are most effective two weeks after the last dose is administered.