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Vaccine FAQ: What You’ll Need, Making an Appointment, Where to Go

January 13, 2021

Here’s what Connecticut residents need to know about getting a COVID-19 vaccine:

Q: Will I need an appointment to receive the vaccine?
A: Yes, vaccination at Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinics is by appointment only. To ensure safety, no walk-ins are allowed. People eligible for a vaccine who already have a MyChartPlus account can log in and make an appointment at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic. If you don’t have a MyChartPlus account, set one up on Hartford HealthCare’s MyChartPlus.org website. Click here for instructions.

If you’d prefer to schedule your appointment by phone, call the Hartford HealthCare Access Center at 860.827.7690 or toll-free at 833.943.5721. Our call centers are experiencing high volume, so the quickest and easiest way to schedule an appointment is through MyChartPLUS.

Q: Do I need to have a Hartford HealthCare primary care physician or other doctor to get a vaccine at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic?
A: No. Simply set up a MyChartPlus account or, if you already have one, add Hartford HealthCare. We’ve also set up a hotline where people can ask questions about MyChart: 860.972.4993 or email MyCHARTPLUSsupport@hhchealth.org.

Q: Who can get a vaccine now?
Healthcare workers, medical first-responders and residents of long-term care facilities were in the first phase determined by the state. The next groups will include people 65 and older, anyone 16 to 64 with certain underlying health conditions, frontline essential workers and people and staff in congregate settings, such as prisons.

Q: What if I’m not eligible yet?
A: Register here. We’ll let you know when you can get a vaccine.

Q: Where will the vaccine be offered?
A: You can schedule appointments at Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinics in Wethersfield, Norwich, Shelton and Hartford. More sites will be added.

Q: What if I make an appointment, but then change my mind or am too busy to attend my scheduled vaccine clinic time?
A: Please do not schedule an appointment if you are still unsure about receiving the vaccine. You could be taking an appointment that could be used by another person who needs it.

Q: If more than one type of vaccine is available, can I choose which one I want?
A: No. Both available vaccines have been authorized as safe and effective protection against COVID-19. Vaccine supply is limited and allocation decisions are made by the state, so selection isn’t possible.

Q: Will I have to pay anything if I get my vaccine through Hartford HealthCare?
A: HHC will bill your insurance for vaccine administration reimbursement. Check with your insurance company about any costs you may be responsible for.

Q: Once I have received the required two vaccine doses, must I continue to wear a mask and take other precautions against COVID-19?
A: Yes. Experts suggest that masks and other public health precautions will probably be necessary through much of 2021. Precautions must be taken to protect our patients, our co-workers and our communities.

Here are three reasons:

  1. The vaccines are estimated to be 95 percent effective, meaning that over 5 percent of vaccinated people could still get the virus.
  2. It may take a month or more for the protective effect of the vaccine to take hold, leaving you vulnerable to infection during that time period.
  3. If people worried about the vaccine don’t take it, a large population could still be spreading the virus.

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine?
A: No. The vaccine does not contain live or dead virus, so it cannot infect you with COVID-19.

Q: Should I get the vaccine if I am immunocompromised?
A: At present, there is not enough data to make conclusions about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in immunocompromised patients. However, an immunocompromised state does not mean one cannot get the vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine should be offered. The decision to be vaccinated should involve a discussion between you and your care provider.

Q: Will the vaccine protect against newly reported strains of COVID-19?
A: There is not enough information now to say for certain if this new strain can challenge the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, however, there is no evidence to suggest the new strain would make current vaccines less effective.

Q: If I have had COVID-19, do I still need a vaccine?
A: Yes, but evidence now available suggests it’s unlikely you’ll get reinfected within 90 days of the initial infection. So you can delay the vaccine until the end of that period. If you have COVID now, wait until you’re healthy again before getting vaccinated.

Q: Do I still have to wear a mask, even after I get the second dose of vaccine?
A: Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says experts still need to know more about the protection provided by the vaccine.

To learn more about the vaccine, click here.

This story was updated Jan. 15.