About Vaccines and Getting an Appointment
February 18, 2021
The second of three articles in our “Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine for the Autism Community”
Regardless of what priority phase you are in, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the vaccine process so you are prepared when the time comes to receive the shot.
Based on the guidance offered by the New Jersey Department of Health, we’ve compiled some general information about the vaccine and tips for scheduling appointments to help you plan.
We want everyone safe, healthy, and connected. If you need assistance, connect with our Helpline at 800.4.AUTISM or firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message/chat with us via the link at the bottom of this page.
How do I register?
New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub has the most updated information about the rollout of the vaccine and resources about appointments and eligibility.
Use the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System to pre-register to reserve your spot. If eligible, you can also make an appointment directly with a vaccine location. If you are eligible to receiving a vaccine, an appointment may not be immediately available to you due to limited vaccine availability. The system will notify you when an appointment is available.
Be prepared to be patient. Until supplies increase to meet the demand for appointments, there will be delays.
Need help scheduling an appointment?
Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Help Site or call 855.568.0545 for assistance with scheduling an appointment.
Where do I get vaccinated?
Residents and employees of long-term care facilities may receive the vaccine where they live or work. New Jersey state, county, and local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and qualified health and medical clinics may also be administering the vaccine. Our article, How to Prepare Individuals with Autism for the Vaccine, offers some suggestions for special needs accommodations for these public sites.
Health Insurance and Payment
Do I need health insurance to get vaccinated?
No, you can receive the vaccination regardless of whether you have health insurance or are uninsured.
Do I have to pay to get vaccinated?
No, there is no charge for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Do I need to share any documentation to get vaccinated?
Yes, while you will not be required to upload any documentation when registering, you will be asked to provide standard demographic, occupational, and medical information when scheduling your vaccination. You should also bring some form of identification and insurance card to your appointment.
About the Vaccines
What is a COVID-19 vaccine?
There are 2 different versions of the vaccine currently available from manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer’s vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up. Moderna’s vaccine is currently authorized for ages 18 and up. Currently, the vaccine requires 2 shots given 3 to 4 weeks apart.
A third vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, was recently approved for ages 18 and up and requires only one dose.
How do I know if the vaccine is safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are FDA approved and recommended from a public health perspective. While vaccine safety is beyond the scope of this article, we understand some may have individualized concerns and suggest talking with your healthcare provider. The CDC addresses key facts and myths about the vaccine.
Why do I need a vaccine?
By getting the vaccine, this will help protect you, your family, and your community from COVID-19. Individuals with autism are more likely than others to have underlying health conditions, putting them at a higher risk of getting severe illness from COVID-19. Read more from the CDC about the benefits of getting a vaccine.
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available for children?
While children have been less affected than adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, and some children develop severe illness. Both Pfizer and Moderna recently began new vaccine trials specific to adolescents, but the data are limited. As we wait for a vaccine for children, here are some tips to help children stay safe.
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