Please note: This information is for informational purposes only in order to help our members who may be struggling to find vaccine information specific to RVers. FMCA does not claim to to be an expert source on COVID-19 or vaccinations, and you should always consult medical professionals such as the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or your personal physician.
Now that nearly a year has passed since COVID-19 lockdowns swept the world and shut everything down for months, things are finally starting to look up. Vaccines are being distributed, hope is being restored, and across the globe, the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic has arrived.
What does this mean for RVers? Travel was greatly restricted in 2020 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 into communities that hadn’t been affected yet. States began issuing 14-day quarantine orders for incoming travelers, and international borders remained closed for months. With the spring travel season approaching, we want to make sure you have all the information you need regarding COVID-19 vaccines and how to safely and quickly get yours.
What is the order in which people will receive the vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with state, tribal, territorial, and local jurisdictions on the development of COVID-19 vaccination plans for their respective areas. CDC released a playbook on September 16, 2020, to provide specific information to consider during vaccination plan development. The playbook was updated on October 30, 2020.
While each state’s plans may vary in timeline and specific subgroups, this example from the state of Massachusetts provides a general overview of the various phases and groups in which the vaccine will be distributed.
Can I receive the vaccine in a state where I am not a resident?
RVers are unique in the fact that they often spend long periods of time in states other than their home state. Fortunately, the people distributing the vaccines understand this, and we are not aware of any states that have indicated it will not be possible to receive a vaccine there unless you are a permanent resident. Arizona and California, which are popular RV states during the winter, are among the states whose health officials have specifically noted that they will make the vaccine available to nonresidents.
Florida, which originally indicated they would handle vaccinations the same way as Arizona and California, announced on January 21, that they would begin to limit their vaccines to permanent and temporary seasonal residents to combat an increase in “Vaccine Tourists”. If you are an RVer who snowbirds in the winter, you will likely have to prove seasonal residence to receive a vaccine.
How do I get vaccinated?
Since each state is handling vaccine distribution differently, the best and most accurate source of information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A dropdown menu allows you to select the specific state you’d like more information about. These vaccination plans are being updated daily, so even if you read something online last week, we recommend you double check on the day you plan to receive your vaccine to ensure the requirements have not changed.
What do I need to know about the second dose?
According to the FDA, both vaccines that are being distributed currently in the United States require a second dose to be administered in order to be fully effective. For the Moderna vaccine, it is recommended that you receive doses 4 weeks apart. For the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, it is recommended to receive them 3 weeks apart.
Another noteworthy point is that medical experts are recommending you receive both doses from the same location. You may be able to schedule your second dose appointment when you receive your first dose. You’ll also receive a vaccination card to keep with you in case you forget the date or which vaccine you received.
What is the cost of the vaccine?
As part of Operation Warp Speed, vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
What is V-Safe and do I need to use it?
V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and obtain more information. And V-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
Your participation in CDC’sV–safe makes a difference — it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe.
What about Canadians?
Canada secured their first batch of vaccines in December 2020. COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free and they’re available to priority populations first. They’ll then be available to everyone in Canada who is recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities.
This applies to:
- everyone in Canada, including those who aren’t citizens and who are over the:
- age of 16 for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- age of 18 for the Moderna vaccine
- diplomatic staff based in Canada and their dependants, and locally engaged staff at Canadian missions abroad
- Canadian Armed Forces personnel that are on active duty abroad
For the most up to date information about Canada’s vaccine rollout plan, visit this page.
Will travel restrictions be lifted since vaccines are available now?
It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen by the time travel season kicks off in the spring, but the good news is that over the past year, the world has learned a lot about preventing the spread of COVID-19, and RV parks, businesses, and tourist destinations have had time to prepare while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Last year at this time, people and places were caught off guard and were not prepared.
As you begin to make plans for a travel season that we hope will be able to happen the way we’d like, this online travel planner from the C.D.C. will be very helpful. You can choose your travel destination and it will give you accurate and up-to-date info about that area and its mask guidelines, restrictions, quarantine mandates, gathering limits, and more.
Do you have any other tips or information regarding COVID-19 vaccines that would be useful for RVers? Let us know in the comments below and we will keep updating this page.