Is the COVID vaccine free? Can I choose which vaccine I get?

Answering COVID vaccine questions: Is the COVID vaccine free? Can I choose which vaccine I get?
Answering COVID vaccine questions: Is the COVID vaccine free? Can I choose which vaccine I get?

DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

READ: More answers to questions about coronavirus

I see CDC recommends no painkillers or antihistamines before taking COVID vaccines. I took Tylenol and Benadryl before both my Pfizer vaccines. Would I likely be more at risk for COVID because of that?

No. The concern about anti-inflammatory and antihistamine medication before the vaccine has not been proven and is only theoretical. Avoid them if possible. But if you took them, don’t worry.

When can I get a COVID shot after allergy shots? Do I have to wait 14 days?

It is recommended that people separate the COVID vaccine from any other vaccine by 14 days. There is no specific recommendation about allergy shots but they are not vaccines and the same waiting period does not apply. Generally, it’s felt that people should wait one or two days between allergy shots and the COVID vaccine so any reactions to either don’t get confused.

A friend of mine made an appointment for the COVID vaccine and she was told that she would be charged a copay. Was that a mistake?

That was a mistake. There is no charge to the patient for receiving any of the vaccines anywhere.

Why are some locations asking for your insurance card when making an appointment for a COVID vaccine? I thought it was free and insurance wasn’t going to be billed?

There is no charge to the patient for the vaccine. However, groups giving the shots are allowed to bill insurance a fee for administering the shot. You will not be charged anything. That includes no copay.

Have there been any concerns raised in individuals who use marijuana regularly? Should you avoid smoking or consuming a product with THC for any of the time prior to or after being vaccinated?

This hasn’t been addressed in any study.

I specifically want the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Are you aware of any way to get this particular vaccine?

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine isn’t as widely available. That means it may be harder to find and currently there isn’t the opportunity to choose your vaccine at a vaccination site.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is planning to start a separate clinic at the Northwest Activities Center that will offer only the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. That might offer an opportunity to receive that vaccine if you live or work in Detroit.


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Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.