Copa – COVID-19


“It has been our legacy to be flexible and responsive to the needs of our staff and those we serve, no matter what the circumstances. Thank you for being such a great team and pulling together in rising to meet this challenge.”
Copa Health
Dr. Shar Najafi-Piper
Copa Health CEO

COVID-19 VACCINE FAQs

    1. Is there any way the vaccine can give me COVID-19?

      NO. There is no chance, because neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer vaccines contain any live virus. They just teach your immune system how to recognize COVID-19 and rally against it in the future if you are exposed, and in this way, they prime your body’s own natural defenses.
    1. Should I get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19 or if I recently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies?

      YES. Most individuals develop antibodies after they have recovered from COVID-19. However, it is unknown how long these antibodies last, and if the amount and duration are affected by the severity of illness. In addition, some individuals have been reported to get COVID-19 more than once, and new strains of COVID-19 virus have been found. So, a further boost to your immune system with the vaccine is recommended after recovering from acute illness with COVID-19, even if you still test positive for antibodies, in order to maximize your protection against any future COVID-19 illness. However, if during your own COVID-19 illness you received treatment with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, you should wait 90 days to be vaccinated.

    1. Once I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine series, does that mean I don’t have to wear masks, physically distance, or complete other safety measures?

      NO. Even after receiving both doses of vaccine, we still need to follow all COVID-19 safety measures just like before being vaccinated. This is because, while the vaccine adds an additional layer of strong defense against COVID-19, it takes time for our bodies to learn to build antibodies and defend against COVID-19 illness, so protection is not immediate. Also, while we know the vaccine helps us prevent our own symptoms of COVID-19 illness, we don’t know yet if it keeps us from transmitting COVID-19 illness to others.
    1. If a person is working from home and is at high risk, at what point is it safe to return to work after receiving the vaccine?

      Because the pandemic continues with such escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in our community, we currently recommend that for any individual who is at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 due to age or other personal health conditions to continue working from home if possible, even after receiving the vaccine, until the pandemic trends improve.

    1. Where can I sign up to receive the vaccine?

      Please go to the Maricopa County website to prescreen for scheduling a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine:
      https://gis.maricopa.gov/covid19/vaccine/prescreen 

    2. What type of immune response can I expect after receiving the vaccine?

      Following receipt of the vaccine, some people may experience indications of immune response like: injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, or fever. These are normal responses and are only temporary as your body learns how to build antibodies and defend itself against COVID-19 illness.

    3. Can a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine change my DNA?

      NO. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines only carry instructions (the message) to teach our cells how to construct the needed protein to trigger our immune systems to build antibodies (immunoglobulins) against COVID-19. Once the protein building is complete, the mRNA gets broken up into tiny blocks and vanishes, leaving behind only our body’s own boosted immune cells. There is no way for mRNA to enter the nucleus (command center) of our cells, and thus it cannot alter our DNA. Please see the CDC link in question 8 for further information.

    4. Can COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or pregnancy loss?

      NO. There is currently no evidence of short or long term vaccine effects on fertility. The mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and they do not enter the nucleus nor cause any genetic changes. Several false social media posts have claimed a link between the spike protein formed by receiving the mRNA vaccines and the blockage of a protein syncitin-1 which is involved in placental development. However, these two proteins are unrelated and this claim is unsupported by science. What we do know is that viral infection with COVID-19 can lead to orchitis (inflammation of the testicles), which could potentially affect fertility. Pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 infections can have especially difficult courses (5 times more likely to need ICU care), and some have died or suffered fetal loss. For these reasons, both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommend COVID-19 vaccine administration to pregnant or lactating healthcare workers, as well as those trying to conceive. Consult your medical provider if you have questions.

    5. If I have more questions about the vaccine, where can I go for more information?

      Please visit these CDC websites:

        1. 8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html 

        2. Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html

Additional COVID vaccine information:

https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov for 24/7 COVID testing at State Farm Stadium ( must pre-schedule)

https://azhealth.gov/findvaccine for additional resources

COVID19prescreen@maricopa.gov for questions/problems scheduling online

Copa Health is following updates and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Arizona Department of Health, local and county health departments and authorities, and AHCCCS and other agencies. We will continue to monitor their recommendations and adjust our response accordingly to any recommended changes.

    • As a standard practice, we have an emergency preparedness plan in place. We will continue to follow it as this situation evolves or update it accordingly as needed.
    • We believe that home remains the safest place for high-risk members. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes and limit contact. For this reason, we must continue to educate our members to stay home if they are ill or if they have a condition which puts them at higher risk of consequences from COVID-19 exposure.

Our Telehealth program is up and running, giving patients that do not have to be seen in person access to their caregivers. Close attention is being paid to both their physical and emotional health. Counseling is being offered, free of charge, to both members and the general public during this time.

The Mobile Screening App developed in partnership with the CDC, FEMA, Apple and the White House is being used by staff as well.

Staff continue to track all members and caregivers according to protocols set in place.

We continue vigilance with infection control measures including:

    • Regular hand washing with soap and water (before, during, and after all member care/contact) or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
    • Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment including masks and gloves; and
    • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of high touch objects, areas and surfaces.

Please know we will keep employees, members and families advised of any updates or changes. Your health is our top priority.

The Executive Leadership Team continues to meet every 24 to 48 hours to assess what needs to be done by Copa Health in the prevention and spread of COVID-19.  Updates and guidelines from the CDC and WHO are reviewed each day to assist us in determining how best to meet the needs of both staff and members.

Copa Health on the Front Lines Media:

COVID-19 VACCINE FAQs

    1. Is there any way the vaccine can give me COVID-19?

      NO. There is no chance, because neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer vaccines contain any live virus. They just teach your immune system how to recognize COVID-19 and rally against it in the future if you are exposed, and in this way, they prime your body’s own natural defenses.
    1. Should I get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19 or if I recently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies?

      YES. Most individuals develop antibodies after they have recovered from COVID-19. However, it is unknown how long these antibodies last, and if the amount and duration are affected by the severity of illness. In addition, some individuals have been reported to get COVID-19 more than once, and new strains of COVID-19 virus have been found. So, a further boost to your immune system with the vaccine is recommended after recovering from acute illness with COVID-19, even if you still test positive for antibodies, in order to maximize your protection against any future COVID-19 illness. However, if during your own COVID-19 illness you received treatment with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, you should wait 90 days to be vaccinated.

    1. Once I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine series, does that mean I don’t have to wear masks, physically distance, or complete other safety measures?

      NO. Even after receiving both doses of vaccine, we still need to follow all COVID-19 safety measures just like before being vaccinated. This is because, while the vaccine adds an additional layer of strong defense against COVID-19, it takes time for our bodies to learn to build antibodies and defend against COVID-19 illness, so protection is not immediate. Also, while we know the vaccine helps us prevent our own symptoms of COVID-19 illness, we don’t know yet if it keeps us from transmitting COVID-19 illness to others.
    1. If a person is working from home and is at high risk, at what point is it safe to return to work after receiving the vaccine?

      Because the pandemic continues with such escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in our community, we currently recommend that for any individual who is at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 due to age or other personal health conditions to continue working from home if possible, even after receiving the vaccine, until the pandemic trends improve.

    1. Where can I sign up to receive the vaccine?

      Please go to the Maricopa County website to prescreen for scheduling a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine:
      https://gis.maricopa.gov/covid19/vaccine/prescreen 

    2. What type of immune response can I expect after receiving the vaccine?

      Following receipt of the vaccine, some people may experience indications of immune response like: injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, or fever. These are normal responses and are only temporary as your body learns how to build antibodies and defend itself against COVID-19 illness.

    3. Can a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine change my DNA?

      NO. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines only carry instructions (the message) to teach our cells how to construct the needed protein to trigger our immune systems to build antibodies (immunoglobulins) against COVID-19. Once the protein building is complete, the mRNA gets broken up into tiny blocks and vanishes, leaving behind only our body’s own boosted immune cells. There is no way for mRNA to enter the nucleus (command center) of our cells, and thus it cannot alter our DNA. Please see the CDC link in question 8 for further information.

    4. Can COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or pregnancy loss?

      NO. There is currently no evidence of short or long term vaccine effects on fertility. The mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and they do not enter the nucleus nor cause any genetic changes. Several false social media posts have claimed a link between the spike protein formed by receiving the mRNA vaccines and the blockage of a protein syncitin-1 which is involved in placental development. However, these two proteins are unrelated and this claim is unsupported by science. What we do know is that viral infection with COVID-19 can lead to orchitis (inflammation of the testicles), which could potentially affect fertility. Pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 infections can have especially difficult courses (5 times more likely to need ICU care), and some have died or suffered fetal loss. For these reasons, both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommend COVID-19 vaccine administration to pregnant or lactating healthcare workers, as well as those trying to conceive. Consult your medical provider if you have questions.

    5. If I have more questions about the vaccine, where can I go for more information?

      Please visit these CDC websites:

        1. 8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html 

        2. Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html

Additional COVID vaccine information:

https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov for 24/7 COVID testing at State Farm Stadium ( must pre-schedule)

https://azhealth.gov/findvaccine for additional resources

COVID19prescreen@maricopa.gov for questions/problems scheduling online