COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

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Updated 11-29-21 

Neighborcare Health is offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 years and older at some of our clinics and school-based health centers. Call a clinic or school-based health center to learn more.  

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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.   

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is available to people 5 years and older who live or work in Washington state regardless of immigration status, insurance or income. Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for 5-17 year-olds. 
  • Enter your zip code at Vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov to find available appointments.
  • Or call 1-800-525-0127, then press # when prompted. Language assistance is available.

There is also a lot of false information about the vaccines 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.

Who is eligible for the vaccine and where can I get it?

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for anyone 5 and older who live or work in Washington state regardless of immigration status, insurance or income. (Please note: only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for 5 -17 year olds.)

  • Neighborcare Health is offering the Pfizer vaccines for ages 5 and older at some of our clinics and school-based health centers. Call a clinic or school-based health center to learn more. 
  • To find appointments at other locations, enter your zip code at Vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.
  • To get help by phone, call the Washington state COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press # when prompted. Language assistance is available.
  • You can text your zip code to 438-829 (GET VAX) or 822-862 (VACUNA) for vaccine locations near you.
  • If you or someone you know is homebound, fill out a secure online form. Your answers will help connect you to available County and/or State Mobile Vaccine Teams.

If you need transportation to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

  • Patients with Apple health (Medicaid) have access to free transportation to any non-emergency health appointment, including vaccines.
  • Call the state COVID-19 information hotline at 833-VAX-HELP and a hotline specialist will assist in coordinating rides with Lyft, thanks to a partnership with Washington 211 and United Way Worldwide through their Ride United.

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. Many millions of people have safely received the vaccines since. 

On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, for ages 16 and older.  

Read more information about vaccines for 5-11-year-olds and 12-17-year-olds. 

Read more about ensuring safety of COVID vaccines on the CDC website and the Washington State Department of Health website.

How do the vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines teach 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 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, or two shots several weeks apart. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine requires one dose. 

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 nor do they contain the virus. You may feel side effects after getting the shot, such as fever, chills or body aches, but they usually last only for a few days and are a sign your body is building immunity. 

Watch this video on how these vaccines work in your body.

Learn more about the vaccines in the Public Health--Seattle & King County frequently asked questions

I'm fully vaccinated, should I get a booster shot?

The CDC and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend:

  • People 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for their primary series should get a booster shot at least two months after their last dose.
  • People who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their primary series and are in the following groups should get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series (first 2 doses):

The CDC and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also recommend that some people aged 18-64 may get a booster 6 months after completing the primary vaccine series if they have underlying medical conditions, increased risk of social inequities, or live or work on higher-risk settings, like health care facilities, grocery stores, public transit, or homeless shelters.  

Read more about boosters. 

Find a place to get a booster at  accinelocator.doh.wa.gov or call 1-800-525-0127.

I am pregnant or planning to get pregnant, should I get the vaccine?

We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that pregnant people should get the vaccine because they have a higher risk of severe illness if infected with the virus than non-pregnant people.

If you are considering a future pregnancy, there is no evidence of any adverse impact of the vaccine. If you have questions, please talk to your provider.

 

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 Moderna and Pfizer 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.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine DOES contain adenovirus 26, a harmless virus used to deliver the spike protein that’s on the surface of the coronavirus to our cells. The cells can then recognize COVID-19 and protect you from infection. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also contains citric acid and ethanol.

None of the authorized COVID vaccines or those in development contain the full virus.

The authorized vaccines also DO NOT include:

  • pork products
  • egg
  • latex
  • blood products
  • COVID-19 virus cells
  • mercury
  • microchips
  • fetal tissue

See the full list of ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine from the FDA.

See the full list of ingredients in the Moderna vaccine from the FDA. 

See the full list of ingredients in the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine from the FDA.

See this FAQ from Public Health—Seattle & King County for more information.

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 a severe allergic reaction or other severe side effects after getting vaccinated. These instances have been rare. Learn more about vaccine safety and side effects

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?

It's understandable you may have questions or concerns about these new vaccines. 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.

Read more about the safety of the vaccines and side effects. 

I have other health conditions, should I get the vaccine? 

We encourage everyone to get vaccinated 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. 

How much does the vaccine cost?

There is no cost for the vaccine itself. COVID vaccines will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance and the federal government, and the cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured. 

 

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.

Will I be required to get the vaccine?

It is your choice to get vaccinated or not, but many employers are now requiring it as a condition of employment.

Washington State Governor Inslee issued an executive order requiring vaccines for some state employees and workers at private health care organizations and educational institutions in the state. Individuals must be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021. Read more about the state vaccine requirement

In support of this mandate, in alignment with our mission and together with area health care organizations, Neighborcare Health is requiring that staff, contractors, vendors, students and volunteers be fully immunized against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021.

Most Neighborcare Health providers and staff have been fully vaccinated already because they believe it is important for our health and well-being of our community. Watch this video from our staff.

We are encouraging others 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.

Can my Neighborcare provider sign a vaccine exemption form for me?

Please call your clinic to make an appointment with your primary care provider to talk about a medical exemption or if you have questions about the COVID vaccine. Please note that conditions for medical exemptions are rare. 

Neighborcare providers will NOT sign religious exemptions. 

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

Talk to your medical provider about whether you or your child should get the vaccine. 

  • The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in persons aged 5 years and older, so no one under 5 should get this vaccine. 
  • The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are authorized for emergency use in individuals aged 18 years and older, so no one under 18 should get these vaccines.
  • COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to anyone who has a known severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccines.
  • There may be other reasons not to get vaccinated. Talk to your medical provider. 

Once I am fully vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask and social distance?

The COVID-19 delta variant is spreading fast. As of September 7, Washington state issued a mandate that people 5 years and old must wear masks in indoor public settings and at large outdoor events of 500 or more people, no matter their vaccination status. Read more on the Public Health--Seattle & King County website

Social distancing is also recommended in indoor and outdoor public settings for everyone. 

Masks are still required in the health care settings. Staff, patients and visitors 3 years and older must still wear masks when coming into a Neighborcare clinic or building. 

Read the guidelines for fully vaccinated people from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

**In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. 

 

Why was the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine paused?

Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) called for a pause in using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they evaluated incidents of blood clots in a small number of women.

On April 23, after a thorough scientific evaluation, the CDC and FDA lifted the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, concluding that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks. Read more on the CDC website. (Spanish)

I have more questions about the vaccine, what should I do?