Does the COVID Vaccine Void Life Insurance?
- Find out if the COVID vaccine can void your life insurance coverage. Cut through the misinformation and get the facts about the vaccination for COVID-19.
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 718,000 people in the United States and hospitalized more than 3.1 million people as of October 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinations have been proven safe and effective at decreasing the risk of hospitalization and death due to the coronavirus, and yet only 57% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID. One reason some people may be worried about vaccination is the claim that life insurance companies are voiding policies for people who get the COVID vaccine. However, this isn't actually true.
Does the COVID Vaccine Void Life Insurance?
Getting the COVID vaccine doesn't void life insurance. Many states' departments of insurance have issued statements to reassure people that life insurance companies won't cancel their coverage or refuse to pay the death benefit of vaccinated people who pass away. Getting vaccinated also won't prevent you from getting life insurance, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services. If you still have doubts, you can contact your life insurance company for additional information.
The Truth About COVID Vaccine Authorization and Approval
Although the statement is untrue, many social media posts warn followers that the COVID vaccine voids life insurance policies. The basis behind these posts is the idea that the vaccine is experimental. When the three vaccines were first made available in the United States, their manufacturers had obtained emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Emergency-use authorization means that treatment can be used for a specific purpose before it is fully approved. Treatment is no longer classified as experimental once it receives emergency-use authorization.
To obtain authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines, the manufacturers shared clinical data that showed evidence of safety and effectiveness. A team of scientists and doctors at the FDA reviewed the data, and an advisory committee made up of scientists and public health experts met to discuss the data. The committee and internal team submitted recommendations about whether the vaccine should be approved, and then, the FDA made the final decision.
The Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all obtained emergency-use authorization before any doses were made available to the public. As of October 2021, the Pfizer vaccine has obtained complete FDA approval for use in adults aged 16 years of age or older.
Are There Any Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 Vaccine?
While data is still being gathered, experts advise that the risk of long-term health effects from the COVID-19 vaccine is very low. The most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are:
- Pain, redness and swelling in your arm around the injection site
- Muscle pains
- Chills and fever
The side effects generally occur within six weeks of getting vaccinated and typically only last for a few days. Serious side effects due to the COVID vaccine are possible but rare.
- Severe allergic reactions
- Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
- Myocarditis and pericarditis
The FDA and CDC have received reports of less than 9,000 deaths of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, the number of deaths compared to the total number of vaccines administered is 0.0022%. However, these deaths are not necessarily attributed to the vaccine.
What Are Some Long-Term Effects of COVID-19?
Most often, long-term effects of the virus come in the form of long COVID, a set of symptoms that can persist for weeks or months. One study estimates that one in every 20 people who get COVID-19 will develop what's called long COVID.
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble exercising or concentrating
- Pain in the chest, stomach, joints and muscles
- Heart palpitations
- Tingling sensations throughout the body
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in mood
- Menstrual irregularity and other changes to the menstrual cycle
- Changes in sense of smell and taste
In some people, long COVID symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Other potential long-term effects of COVID include:
- Permanent damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs
- Autoimmune problems where the immune system attacks tissues in the body
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which causes inflammation throughout the body
Some people who required hospitalization due to COVID-19 reported the following symptoms after discharge:
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition