What to know about COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are an important step in slowing the spread of the disease. We are committed to helping you stay informed on COVID-19 vaccines. If you have questions about vaccines and your health, we encourage you to talk with your health care provider.

COVID-19 vaccines will help protect you from the disease

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized 2 COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use. These vaccines were developed to protect you from COVID-19 and currently require 2 doses.

Several trials from multiple companies are continuing with promising results. It’s also helpful to know that the FDA has a review process for safety and effectiveness that it completes before it will authorize vaccines for emergency use by the general public. The CDC is your best resource for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines will have limited availability at first

It takes time to make enough vaccines for everyone. Due to initial limited supply, vaccine distribution is being coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments. Vaccination will be in phases, with those at highest risk getting vaccines first. Learn about the phases in the FAQs.

COVID-19 vaccines may be more available in the spring to mid-year time frame as additional vaccines are FDA-authorized, produced and distributed. As these vaccines become more widely available, we are committed to helping you get the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine easily and conveniently. This page and your online UnitedHealthcare account will have the latest information.

To understand the vaccination plan for your area, visit your state or local health department’s website. 

COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no charge to you

You will have $0 cost-share (copayments, deductibles or co-insurance) on FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines as noted below, no matter where you get the vaccine and including when 2 doses are required. In fact, you shouldn’t receive a bill for the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.  

  • Plans through Employers and Individual health plans, including Student Resources, Short Term Limited Liability and Exchange plans: Members will have $0 cost-share at both in-network and out-of-network providers through the national public health emergency period.
  • Medicare plans: Members will have $0 cost-share at both in-network and out-of-network providers through Dec. 31, 2021.
  • For Medicaid members in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans: Members will have $0 cost-share for both in-network and out-of-network providers through the national public health emergency period. State variations and regulations may apply during this time. Please review the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan website and your state’s site for the latest information. If no state-specific guidance is available, UnitedHealthcare plan guidelines will apply.

If you get the COVID-19 vaccine during a regular office visit, your visit will be covered according to your plan benefits.

Be sure to follow the vaccination instructions, which you will receive when you get the vaccine. Current FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines require a second dose. You will need to get both doses in the required time frame to have protection from COVID-19. To help slow the spread of the disease, it’s important you continue to wear a face mask, physically distance from those who don’t live with you and wash your hands regularly.

Questions you might have

To help you plan and feel informed, we’ve pulled together key information on COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC remains the best resource on COVID-19 vaccines.

Stay safe and healthy

It’s important to follow public health guidelines to help you and others stay healthy, even after you get vaccinated. Continue to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by following these simple steps:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Continue to physically distance
  • Wash your hands

And stay on top of your doctor appointments like annual checkups and care for anxiety, depression and loneliness. Most providers also offer telehealth visits to help you get the care you need.

Clinical resources

Want to learn more? Here are clinical resources from various authorities to help in understanding COVID-19 vaccines.

We're listening

We’re committed to keeping you up to date on COVID-19. We’re taking note of your questions and working hard to provide answers. Let us know how we’re doing.

We’re making regular updates to the site. Please check back often for the latest information. 


The information is a summary and is subject to change. This page describes general benefits we offer to all members in all states. They also include federal requirements. More benefits may be available in some states and under some plans. We have created rules and practices that may apply to some of our products at this time. The information is a summary and is subject to change. For more information, contact your account representative or call the number on your UnitedHealthcare card.