COVID-19 Vaccine Information
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COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use and limited supplies are available in Washington state. Vaccines are an important way we protect ourselves and our patients, especially communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID. By getting people vaccinated, we can save lives, reduce the spread, and begin to reverse the harms caused to mental health and economic stability as a result of necessary community restrictions.
We plan to have vaccines available for our eligible patients this spring (depending on state vaccine supply).
Come back to this page for updates on who is eligible for vaccines and where to get vaccinated.
Visit FindYourPhaseWA.org to check your eligibility or see the Department of Health vaccine phases below (also Spanish). Find vaccine locations and other info at COVDVaccine.org. Search for appointments at CovidWA.com.
There is also a lot of false information about the vaccine online. Always check the source of that claim. Watch this video for tips on how to determine if a claim is true or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
For frequently asked questions in other languages scroll to the bottom of the Public--Health Seattle & King County's website.
Is Neighborcare Health offering the COVID-19 vaccine?
We plan to have the vaccine available to our eligible patients this spring (depending on state vaccine supply). We are planning several ways to notify patients when they are eligible for the vaccine and where to get vaccinated. See the next question for info on eligibility.
Who is eligible for the vaccine and where can I get it?
Because there are not enough vaccines available yet for everyone who wants one, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is prioritizing vaccines for people who are at higher risk of getting the virus or of having more serious complications if they get sick. These are based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visit FindYourPhaseWA.org to determine your eligibility or see the state vaccine phases.
As of February 12, 2021, Washington state is in Phase 1B tier 1 of vaccine distribution. People eligible for the vaccine are:
- Anyone over age 65
- All people over 50 who also live in a multigenerational household (home
where individuals from 2 or more generations reside such as an elder
and a grandchild)
- Health care workers at high risk for COVID-19 infection
- First responders
- People who live or work in long-term care facilities
- All other workers in health care settings who are at risk of COVID-19
NOTE: Vaccines are available to everyone who lives or works in Washington state, regardless of immigration status.
Is the vaccine safe?
COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. In the U.S., COVID-19 vaccines (and other vaccines) must meet numerous safety and effectiveness standards, and go through thorough clinical trials before they are authorized for use. Many thousands of volunteers received the COVID vaccines during the clinical trials. In December 2020, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, based on its own evaluation of the data and science and that of a group of independent scientists and experts. Vaccines created by other companies are currently going through testing and trials.
Read more about ensuring safety of COVID vaccines on the
How do the vaccines work?
The COVID-19 vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize the coronavirus and your immune system makes antibodies (“fighter cells”) that stay in your blood and protect you in case you are infected with the virus. You get protection against the disease without having to get sick.
The authorized Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, or two shots several weeks apart.
When enough people in the community can fight off the coronavirus, it has nowhere to go. This means we can stop the spread quicker and get a little closer to ending this pandemic.
The authorized vaccines do NOT give you COVID-19 and do NOT contain live or weakened versions of the virus.
What are the ingredients in the vaccines?
You may read or hear false information online or on social media about what is in the COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccines DO contain the active ingredient of mRNA along with other ingredients like fat, salts, and sugars that protect the active ingredient, help it work better in the body, and protect the vaccine during freezing.
None of the authorized COVID vaccines or those in development contain the full virus.
They also DO NOT include:
- Fetal tissue
- Blood products
- Preservatives, like thimerosal
- Egg proteins
- Pork products
See this FAQ from Public Health—Seattle & King County for more information about ingredients.
Are there side effects? Will I get sick after getting the vaccine?
Side effects may include headaches, tiredness, muscle/body aches, fever and a sore arm. These symptoms mean the vaccine is working and your body is responding, and they should go away within a few days.
Even though the side effects are similar, the vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
There have been some cases out of many millions, where people experienced an allergic reaction after getting vaccinated. These instances have been rare and are being investigated to determine the cause.
You may read false information online or on social media about side effects. Make sure you check the source of that claim. Watch this video for tips on how to determine if a claim is true or not.
Are there long-term side effects?
The vaccines were found safe and effective after tens of thousands of people received the vaccine in the clinical trials, and now millions have been vaccinated. There are new and existing systems set up to continually monitor and evaluate side effects of the COVID vaccine as more people are vaccinated. Immediate action and communication will occur if a new side effect is discovered.
How much does the vaccine cost?
COVID vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance, and the cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured. There may be a copay or office visit fee, depending on your insurance plan or the place you go to get vaccinated.
Public Health—Seattle & King County is also planning free vaccination clinics when enough supplies of vaccine are available.
Will I be required to get the vaccine? What if I do not want it?
It will be your choice whether to get the vaccine for COVID-19, but Neighborcare Health encourages people to get the vaccine when it becomes available. Washington state is not currently considering any requirements for the vaccine, but employers could require it. Make sure you are getting the most accurate information about the vaccine. Talk to your provider at your next appointment to learn more.
Many Neighborcare Health providers and staff have already gotten fully vaccinated (both doses) because they believe it is important for our health and well-being of our community. We are encouraging others, especially communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID, to get their vaccine, too. By getting many people vaccinated quickly, we can save lives, reduce the spread, and begin to reverse the harms caused to mental health and economic stability as a result of necessary community restrictions.
Once I am fully vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask and social distance?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is just one tool to help end the pandemic. All of us must continue following public health guidelines including wearing masks, staying six feet from others outside our households, following CDC guidance for traveling, avoiding crowds, and not gathering indoors with people we do not live with.
Over time, as more people get vaccinated, we may not need to use all of these public health tools, but for now we must use them all.
If I already had COVID-19, should I get vaccinated?
Yes, there may be a benefit for people to get the vaccine even if they’ve already been sick with COVID-19. If you currently have or have recently been exposed to COVID-19, it’s best to wait until you feel better or are through your quarantine period to get vaccinated. Talk to your medical provider.
Who should NOT get the vaccine?
- The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for emergency use in persons aged 16 years and older, so no one under 16 should get this vaccine.
- The Moderna vaccine is authorized for emergency use in individuals aged 18 years and older, so no one under 18 should get this vaccine.
- These vaccines should not be given to anyone who has a known severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccines.
I am pregnant, should I get the vaccine?
When available, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they become eligible because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published a statement that pregnant and lactating women can safely take the vaccine, but the decision should be made in partnership with the individual’s health care team. If you are considering a future pregnancy, there is no evidence of any adverse impact of the vaccine, but please talk to your provider.
The vaccine trials did NOT include pregnant/lactating people so there is limited data about any special risks to these individuals. So far no specific concerns have been found, and these vaccines are not expected to have any increased risk to pregnant/lactating people.
Talk with your health care provider to decide if the vaccine is right for you.
I have other health conditions, should I get the vaccine?
When available, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they become eligible because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic.
There are no chronic conditions that exclude people from getting the vaccine at this time. We do know that having chronic health conditions can increase the risk of severe COVID illness leading to hospitalization and death, so it is even more important for people with these conditions to consider being vaccinated to protect themselves.
Talk with your health care provider to decide if the vaccine is right for you.
I have more questions about the vaccine, what should I do?
- Read this FAQ from Public Health—Seattle & King County and
- This info from the Washington State Department of Health (En español)
- Also, be sure to talk to your medical provider.