COVID-19 vaccine questions? We’ve got answers.

We know demand for COVID-19 vaccines is high, and we’re committed to helping you know what to expect. Check this page frequently to get the latest details.

Weekly update: April 9, 2021

Patient eligibility depends on where you live.

We’re now vaccinating the following
People who’ve seen us for care in the past three years.
by invitation only:
  • Patients 40 years old or older
  • Patients 16 years old or older who have one or more underlying medical conditions
  • Patients who are primary caregivers (as defined by the state) to another person with complex medical needs

You can sign in to your online account to attest you’re a primary caregiver. After confirming your eligibility, you should receive an invite within seven days to schedule your vaccination.

Patients eligible under other criteria will automatically receive an invitation soon. Because we have many patients who meet these criteria, invitations are being sent randomly to help ensure appointments are available.

We’re now vaccinating the following
People who’ve seen us for care in the past three years.
by invitation only:
  • Patients 40 years old or older
  • Patients 16 years old or older who have certain underlying medical conditions 
  • Educators as assigned by county

Because we have many patients who meet these criteria, invitations are being sent randomly to help ensure appointments are available.

As supply increases into Minnesota and Wisconsin, vaccines are becoming available at several different locations. We encourage our patients to get vaccinated as soon as they’re able to, even if it’s not with us.

You may have vaccine access through pharmacies, community vaccination sites, your nursing home, Veterans Health Administration (the VA), your employer, state programs or somewhere else. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated through any of these venues, we recommend you do so.

Our supply continues to steadily increase, but we don’t yet have enough vaccine to expand eligibility to all our patients 16 years old or older – as indicated in Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and Wisconsin Department of Health Services guidelines. We appreciate your patience.

Our next eligibility expansion will include:

  • Patients 30 years old or older

As soon as we receive enough vaccine to open scheduling further, we’ll continue to expand invitations. Our future eligibility expansions will include:

  • Patients 20 years old or older
  • All patients 16 years old or older

Please check back here for the latest updates on eligibility expansions.

We understand many members of our community are anxious to be vaccinated. We encourage you to get the vaccine as soon as you're able to, including from another source. 

Our weekly vaccine appointment availability is based on the number of doses we receive from state health officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Each week, we learn how many doses we’ll receive for the following week. Once we know that, we add appointments to our schedule and let newly eligible patients know they’re available. After receiving an invitation to schedule, patients must make an appointment to get vaccinated.

Our goal is to distribute all vaccine doses as soon as possible, which aligns with goals set by state officials to use vaccine within three to seven days of receiving it.

How to know when it’s your turn

If you’ve seen us for care within the last three years – and you have an online account – we’ll email you when it’s time to schedule your vaccination with us. We may also reach out through phone, text or TTY call.

  • To make sure we can get in touch with you, take a moment to confirm your contact information in your account is up to date.
  • Don’t have an account? If you’ve seen us for care before, you can create an account in a few simple steps.
  • Everyone in your household should have their own account.

Invitations to eligible patients are sent as soon as we have appointments available. The order we’re inviting eligible patients is randomly generated by our information systems.

Watch a video from the Minnesota Association of Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians about how the COVID-19 vaccines work and why you should get vaccinated.

Información en español sobre la seguridad de las vacunas contra COVID-19

Mirar un video o mirar una entrevista con Dra. Eva Galvez de la Red de Médicos Migrantes sobre la seguridad de las vacunas y por qué se debe recibirlas.

FAQs on availability

When it’s your turn to schedule a vaccine with us, we’ll contact you through email, phone, text or TTY call. In order for us to contact you, you need to have an online account and also be seen by us within the last three years. Please take a moment to confirm your contact information is up to date, or create an account.

You’ll be able to schedule your appointment online or through another method. When you come to your appointment, please bring photo identification with you, as well as your insurance ID card (if you have insurance).

Yes. As supply increases into Minnesota and Wisconsin, vaccines are becoming available at several different locations. We encourage our patients to get vaccinated as soon as they’re able to, even if it’s not with us.

You may have vaccine access through pharmacies, community vaccination sites, your nursing home, Veterans Health Administration (the VA), your employer, state programs or somewhere else. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated through any of these venues, we recommend you do so.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Wherever you choose to get vaccinated, if you get one of these vaccines, generally you’ll need to receive both doses at the same location. Keep this in mind when you’re making an appointment.

We don’t have a waiting list for COVID-19 vaccines, but we’re keeping this page updated with the latest information.

Our patients are offered whichever vaccines we’ve been allotted by federal and state health authorities. Availability of vaccines may change from time to time.

Once you’re eligible, you can get vaccinated at one of our convenient locations in Minnesota or western Wisconsin. Different locations have different vaccines – you’ll be able to choose your location, including some drive-up sites. Drive-up sites offer express appointments for patients who’ve already decided they want to be vaccinated.

Please do not contact our locations directly regarding a vaccine. Once you’re eligible, we’ll contact you with instructions on how to schedule. Our locations have the same information you can find on this page.

The Pfizer vaccine is available at:

  • HealthPartners Clinic – Woodbury, MN
  • Hutchinson Health – Hutchinson, MN
  • Lakeview Hospital – Stillwater, MN
  • Methodist Hospital – St. Louis Park, MN
  • Olivia Hospital – Olivia, MN
  • Regions Hospital – St. Paul, MN

The Moderna vaccine is available at:

  • Amery Hospital – Amery, WI
  • HealthPartners Clinic – Apple Valley, MN
  • Hudson Hospital – Hudson, WI
  • Park Nicollet Clinic & Specialty Center – Maple Grove, MN
  • Westfields Hospital – New Richmond, WI

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is available at:

  • Park Nicollet Clinic – Brooklyn Center, MN (Brookdale)
For vaccinations (except at Veterans Health Administration) in Minnesota or Wisconsin

Your medical record will be automatically updated during your next appointment with us. There’s nothing else you need to do.

For vaccinations at Veterans Health Administration or in other states

Please bring your vaccination card with you to your next appointment with us. We’ll use the information on your card to update your medical record.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Generally, you’ll need to receive both doses at the same location. This is because each location receives an identical allotment of first and second doses from public health authorities.

In some cases, we may be able to schedule you for a second dose even if you didn’t get your first dose with us. You must be a current HealthPartners patient, and you must also meet your state’s current criteria for COVID-19 vaccination.

In addition, for second-dose-only appointments, you must have received your first dose:

  • In a different state from the one you live in; OR
  • While you were a patient in a transitional care unit (TCU) and you were discharged before getting your second dose; OR
  • At a pharmacy, state vaccine clinic or county vaccine clinic that’s no longer receiving the same vaccine brand as your first dose

Please call your clinic for more information if you believe you’re eligible for a second-dose-only appointment.

We’re dedicated to equity in vaccine distribution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also emphasizes the importance of equity, noting, “To reduce the substantial toll COVID-19 has had on individuals and communities, we need to work together to address inequities in the social determinants of health that increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for racial and ethnic minority groups.”

FAQs on eligibility

If your loved one has an online account and we’ve seen them within the last three years, we’ll contact them when they can schedule their vaccination with us.

To make sure we can get in touch with them, you can help them confirm the contact information in their account is up to date. If they don’t have an account, they can create one in a few simple steps. Everyone in their household should have their own account.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for people 16 years old and older.

The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are currently authorized for people 18 years old and older.

For most people, getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible is the safest choice. However, trials testing the vaccines in people who are pregnant or nursing haven’t been completed.

To help you make an informed decision, discuss COVID-19 vaccination with your doctor or midwife. The choice to get vaccinated while pregnant or nursing is always yours. Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, do recommend pregnant or nursing mothers have access to the vaccine. 

Yes. But if your COVID-19 was confirmed by a PCR test, you have natural immunity for at least 90 days.

Because of this, and because vaccine supply remains limited, we’re asking patients who’ve recently had COVID-19 to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated.

If it’s been over 90 days since you had COVID-19 – and you’re in one of our current priority groups – your ability to schedule should be updated within a week or so. If you have an online account, we’ll email you to schedule your appointment when we have vaccine supply available. 

If you’re currently enrolled in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial, you can learn whether you received a placebo or the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is called unblinding – it will give you information to help you decide whether you’d like to be vaccinated with a currently authorized vaccine.

If you’re interested in another vaccine, please schedule a vaccination appointment (when you become eligible). Then call 651-254-5331 to start the unblinding process.

Please note that we’ll only be unblinding trial participants 48 hours before they’re scheduled to receive one of the authorized vaccines. This allows us to gather as much data as possible. Unblinded participants are still eligible to continue in the study.

FAQs on effectiveness and safety

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be effective. The doses are given either 21 or 28 days apart, depending on which vaccine you receive.

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is given as a single dose. There is no second dose needed for this vaccine.

Yes. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both vaccine doses are necessary for maximum protection. While there appears to be some protection after just one dose, efficacy of a single dose has not been systematically evaluated.

If you don’t receive your second dose, you haven’t completed your vaccination. As a result, you can’t be considered immunized against COVID-19, and you’re still at higher risk for getting sick or passing an infection to others.

You should receive your second dose 21 or 28 days after your first dose (depending on which vaccine you received). At your first-dose appointment, we’ll help you schedule your second dose for the right day. If your second-dose appointment is coming up and you won’t be able to make it, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule you. Don’t delay your second dose.

For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines:

  • It takes about two weeks after your second dose for your body to build up protection.

For the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine:

  • It takes about two to four weeks after your single dose for your body to build up protection.

Very few vaccines are 100% effective, and these COVID-19 vaccines are no exception. Therefore it’s still possible, although unlikely, for a person to get COVID-19 even after getting vaccinated. As a result, it’s important you continue to cover your mouth and nose with a mask, socially distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Continued studies are needed to determine how long these vaccines offer protection against COVID-19.

Yes. Preliminary data suggests all currently authorized vaccines are effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, with the greatest protection coming against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

  • For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both vaccine doses are necessary for maximum protection. While there appears to be some protection after just one dose, efficacy of a single dose has not been systematically evaluated.

There isn’t yet enough data to say whether​ someone who was vaccinated may still spread the disease to others. That means wearing a mask, social distancing, frequent handwashing and other preventive measures are still recommended after vaccination.

All vaccines are effective, and all vaccines are considered clinically equivalent in preventing hospitalization and death due to severe COVID-19.

Given the excellent performance and effectiveness of all vaccines in this important measurement, we strongly encourage you to receive any authorized vaccine that’s offered. The vaccine you should get is the one you’re able to schedule soonest (once you’re eligible).

All vaccine manufacturers must meet strict safety standards. These standards were established before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the COVID-19 vaccines went through the same rigorous clinical trials that other vaccines go through.

While the COVID-19 vaccines do seem to cause more side effects than a typical flu vaccine, all available evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines are very safe. Side effects are a sign the immune system is responding as it should.

For the first 72 hours after vaccination, you may experience side effects. Symptoms are typically temporary, mild to moderate and can be managed at home with over-the-counter remedies. If you need additional care, our nurses and doctors are ready to help.

If you need help managing your side effects, or in the unlikely event they appear to be worsening, please talk to your doctor. You can also call our nurses 24/7 at 800-551-0859 (HealthPartners CareLine℠) or 952-993-4665 (Park Nicollet Nurse Line).

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines actually contains the coronavirus. Instead, they teach your body how to recognize and fight it.

It takes a few weeks for each vaccine to become fully effective, so you could get COVID-19 just before or just after you’re vaccinated. That’s why it’s important to continue to take other preventive measures that help protect you, your family and your community.

FAQs on insurance and cost

While the cost of the actual vaccine is covered by the federal government, insurance plans will cover the cost of administering the vaccine – you won’t pay anything.

HealthPartners health plan members have 100% coverage for the COVID-19 vaccine. Most other health plans are covering it as well.

If you have any further questions, please check with your insurance company by calling the Member Services number located on your ID card.

If you don’t have health insurance, the costs for administering the vaccine will be covered under a special government program called the Provider Relief Fund.

FAQs on other COVID-19 safety measures

Even after vaccines become widely available, it’s likely that social distancing measures, masking guidelines and other COVID-19 safety procedures will continue for some time.

We know the COVID-19 vaccines are good at preventing people from getting sick. But we don’t yet have enough data yet to say whether someone who was vaccinated may still be able to spread the disease to others.

Check with state and local health authorities in your area for the latest policies.

We recommend everyone who’s able to get the COVID-19 vaccine does so. 

We don’t know enough about COVID-19 to know if population, or herd, immunity is possible. That’s what happens when a majority of the population is immune to a disease and protects those who aren’t by stopping the spread of it. Vaccination is the only way to reach population immunity without many more people getting sick.