COVID-19 Vaccine Information

HEALTH ALERT

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

We are working closely with federal and state partners to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in alignment with parameters outlined by the Washington State Department of Health. COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution is underway across Washington, including Samaritan Healthcare.

Pfizer vaccine booster doses now available at our drive-thru clinic.

Booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are now available at our drive-thru vaccine clinic on the north side of Samaritan Clinic on Pioneer. (If you’re unsure if you should get a vaccine booster at this time, contact your healthcare provider.)

At least six months after completing the primary Pfizer vaccine series, the following individuals should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine:

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People 18 years of age and older living in a long-term care setting
  • People 50–64 years of age with underlying medical conditions or those at increased risk of social inequities.

Those who completed a Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago may receive a Pfizer booster dose:

People who are 18–49 years of age with underlying medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain

People 18–64 years of age who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to their occupational or institutional setting.

These include front line essential workers and health care workers as previously detailed by the CDC:

  • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

If you currently qualify for a booster dose based on the information shared above, please call 509-764-3335 to schedule an appointment via Samaritan’s drive-thru vaccine clinic.

How do I sign up to receive the vaccine?
If you qualify to receive a vaccine during Phase 1A or 1B, call 509-764-3335 to schedule an appointment at Samaritan’s drive-thru vaccine clinic. Vaccine appointments are available Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–12p.m. and 1:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m.

Healthcare workers: Your appointment should be scheduled one or two days before your next scheduled shift. This is precautionary, in the event that you have pain at your injection site or any minor side effects.

Where do I receive my vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed at all of Samaritan’s Clinics as well as at the Samaritan’s COVID-19 drive thru testing location on the north side of Samaritan Clinic on Pioneer. When you arrive, follow the signage leading to “Drive Thru Testing,” and let our team know you are scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines will only be administered if you have an appointment, and if you have filled out the COVID-19 Patient Consent Acknowledgement Form.

Frequently Asked Questions
Timeline and Availability

Will people who have had COVID-19 be able to get the vaccine?

Per ACIP recommendations, individuals should get the vaccine if they have not had an active COVID-19 infection in the last 90 days prior to vaccination. Ultimately, if the vaccine was widely available, these people would get vaccinated as well. The only reason we’d wait 90 days is in the setting of limited vaccines where the thought is at least the person who just had COVID has some protective immunity and the vaccine is better served going to someone who has no immunity against the virus.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine when I get routine vaccinations?

Yes, you can receive the vaccine at any time.

How much will it cost to get vaccinated?

The federal government will cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine and the cost of vaccine administration.

Safety and Effectiveness

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work in my body?

The COVID-19 vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize the coronavirus. When you get the vaccine, 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.

Why is a COVID-19 vaccine going through research and testing so much faster than other vaccines?

Coronavirus research has been occurring since the SARS and MERS coronavirus outbreaks in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, respectively. Due to the mortality of those diseases, they were more easily controlled and funding dried up for vaccine development. When COVID-19 broke out, funding returned, and the previous research enabled us to develop a vaccine in a quicker manner.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safety-tested?

All vaccines on the market today have received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. This authorization is based on large scale trials that didn’t quite have the data until early May to apply for full FDA approval. Since May 7, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have applied for full approval which will likely be granted by the end of the year. Any vaccine mandates are likely to be implemented after full approval.

If I get the COVID-19, do I still need to take other precautions?

Yes and no. As always it is best to respect local, state, and company policies. However, the CDC has advised that outside a public transit option or a healthcare facility that a mask is no longer needed for vaccinated people in other settings. One other caveat is that if you have contact with severely immunosuppressed friends that masking is advised.

Side Effects

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine does not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. It is recommended that you continue precautions until two weeks after your second dose.

What are the normal side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. The most common side effects include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Swollen lymph node

How do I treat side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

  • Contact your healthcare provider if:
  • Redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • Side effects are worrying you
  • Side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days
  • Are there any serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Are there any serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

There may be unexpected side effects or a small chance of a severe allergic reaction, which would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face and throat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • A bad rash all over your body
  • Dizziness and weakness

Are there long-term side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are no published reports of long-term side effects, but the COVID-19 virus has many published long-term effects such as increased stroke/heart attacks. Ongoing trials are still happening but no data currently supports any conclusions.

More information

Where can I find more information?

For the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the following websites:

Watch this short video for tips on how to identify which information you can trust.

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