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COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Individuals age 12 and older can now receive the COVID-19 Vaccine at the Department of Health in Manatee County or at select CVSPublixWalgreensWalmart and Winn-Dixie locations in Manatee County. Individuals will need to register with each site and determine requirements. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine covered by the Health Plan?

The COVID-19 vaccine is paid for by the Federal Government. Any fees charged for administration of the vaccine are covered 100% by Manatee YourChoice Health Plan regardless of where you receive the vaccine.

Where Can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

You can receive the vaccine at the Department of Health in Manatee County or at select CVSPublixWalgreensWalmart and Winn-Dixie locations in Manatee County. Individuals will need to register with each site and determine requirements. Regardless of where you receive the vaccine, it is covered by the Health Plan.

How Does the Vaccine Work? [from CDC & Arthur J. Gallagher Clinical Pharmacy Division]

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines are a “mRNA vaccine” which means it contains “messaging code” that tells our bodies to create the “COVID spike protein.” When your cells release the “COVID spike protein,” your immune system will form antibodies without patients becoming sick. This means that you cannot get the Coronavirus (Covid-19) from the vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 (95%).

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different approach called adenovirus technology. It works in a similar way as the others and you cannot get the Coronavirus (Covid-19) from the vaccine. While it is slightly less effective (aprox 85% effective after 28 days), it is still considered a highly effective vaccine and only requires one shot.

The Vaccine Is New – Is It Safe? [from Arthur J. Gallagher Clinical Pharmacy Division]

  • Many people are concerned about the vaccine being new and previously untested. However, mRNA technology is not entirely new. It has been studied and used in cancer as well as being studied for other Coronaviruses. It has not been widely used because those viruses never reached pandemic proportions. Johnson & Johnson's technology is also fairly new but is also used for J&J's Ebola vaccine.
  • Many people are concerned about the relative speed in which it was developed.
    • Because we are in a global pandemic, much of the “red tape” in the drug approval process was cut, and in contrast, significant technology and funding was added. Normally, there would be months of waiting in each phase of clinical trials, whereas this was addressed as the number 1 priority. 
    • The number of people tested is on par, and in many cases better, than vaccines that are currently available.
  • Others are concerned about side effects that have not been seen yet. In general, most vaccines show symptoms in the first 6 weeks. Severe symptoms are extremely rare and have been shown in people who already have severe allergic reactions to start. Furthermore, the risk of medical complications from getting the virus is far greater than the risk of taking the vaccine.

Get more facts from the CDC at

Where Can I learn More About the Vaccine?

The CDC has resources available that explain the science of the vaccine and how it works. There are currently three vaccines approved in the US and there are some differences and some potential allergic reactions you should be aware of. Consult with your doctor if you have questions regarding whether or not you should get the vaccine.

COVID-19 Testing

Free testing is available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Manatee County Testing Sites:

  • John Marble Park 3675 53rd Ave E, Bradenton (For County Employees and Immediate Family Members)
  • Ellenton Urgent Care, 4015 US 301 N, Ellenton, (941) 531-2800
  • Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd, Ellenton, (833) 554-8214
  • Center for Urgent Care, 10940 East St. Rd. 70, Ste. 103, Lakewood Ranch, (941) 243-3088
  • SUNZ Insurance Building, 1301 8th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205,
  • MCR locations around Manatee County, (941) 776-4000.
  • Retail testing sites include CVS and Walgreens locations throughout the county.
  • NEW! All households in the United States are eligible to receive 4 FREE at home tests. These are at-home rapid antigen tests. Visit to order yours. Tests will ship in 7-12 business days. 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have a mild fever and symptoms such as a cough, call your doctor or MCR Health at (941) 776-4000.

If you are experiencing any of the following emergency signs of COVID-19, call 9-1-1:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Bluish lips or face

For additional information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites visit

Manatee YourChoice is Here to Help

As always, our team of Advocates are here to help answer your questions. You can contact a Nurse Advocate at 941-741-2963, option 3 or a Pharmacy Advocate at 941-748-4501 x6406.