Everyone 5 years or older is eligible for a vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine was recently approved for children 5-11 years old! We are very excited about the approval of this vaccine and what it means for children and families. Hospital rates among children and adolescents due to COVID-19 were recently at their highest. This vaccine will help us better protect children who are returning to in-person school and other activities, as well as help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

  • Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 5 years and older.
  • Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 years and older.

Where can I get a vaccine?

We are now offering the Pfizer vaccine in all of our clinics for patients and family members 5 years and older. Please call us at 253-383-5777 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment via MyChart.

If you are not a patient, you can find available appointments near you by clicking the button below and entering your zip code.

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Vaccine FAQ

Why should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccines available in the United States are safe and effective in preventing severe disease and death due to COVID‑19. As more people get vaccinated, we will be able to return to a more normal life.

When will there be a vaccine for younger children?

The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for ages 5 and up. Trials are underway for children from 6 months through 4 years and this age group may be authorized next. Because younger children were not included in earlier clinical trials, more safety testing is needed before they are allowed to receive the vaccine. The timing of when the vaccine may be available to this age group will depend on the results of these trials.

You can find more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What are the side effects of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

Common vaccine side effects include arm soreness, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle aches, and nausea. This is normal and a sign that the immune system has been activated and the vaccine is working as intended. The vast majority of side effects are mild and temporary. It is safe to take fever reducing or pain relief medications after receiving the vaccine to treat mild side effects like a sore arm, headache, muscle aches, or low-grade fever. Since the vaccine does not contain the actual virus, it is impossible to become infected with COVID‑19 through the vaccine.

The CDC and Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) are continuing to monitor side effects for all receiving the vaccine. We encourage you to enroll in the V-Safe program and provide feedback about your vaccine experience when you receive your vaccine.

How long does immunity last? Will we need to get a COVID-19 vaccine yearly, similar to a flu vaccine?

We do not know how long immunity will last with the COVID‑19 vaccine at this time. More information will become available over the next few months and years as the CDC gathers data and as clinical trials continue.

Do I need to continue to socially distance and wear a mask after receiving a vaccine?

In mid-May, the CDC announced that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask in public spaces, with the exception of healthcare settings, public transportation, and businesses that require masks. Everyone is still required to wear a mask in these settings. The change was made due to the growing body of data showing the effectiveness of COVID‑19 vaccines in preventing infection and transmission. Since the vaccine doesn’t reach its full effectiveness until 7-14 days after the second dose, it is important to continue to mask and socially distance until that time. Vaccinated individuals can continue to wear a mask if they desire. Unvaccinated individuals need to continue to wear a mask and socially distance.

The situation with the pandemic is ever evolving, so these recommendations may change in the future. As more individuals in our community become vaccinated, it is likely that more restrictions will lift and our lives can begin to return to normal.

If I already had COVID-19 do I still need a vaccine?

Yes, you should still get the vaccine, even if you have already been infected with COVID‑19. It is not clear how long natural immunity lasts and you could become reinfected with the virus. You should not get the vaccine while you have COVID‑19 symptoms or are still in isolation. Current evidence suggests that patients who survive COVID‑19 are unlikely to get sick again for approximately 90 days after initial infection, so it is reasonable to wait 90 days after a COVID‑19 infection before being vaccinated. It is safe to receive the vaccine earlier than this 90-day period if you would like.

How do mRNA vaccines work?

What about the speed with which the vaccine was produced. Can I trust it if it came out so fast?

It is important to know that these vaccines were developed with the same safety and review process as every other vaccine we currently administer. No corners were cut.

This rapid vaccine development is really the consequence of scientists having adequate funding and building upon existing medical technologies. Global interest in vaccine development eliminated the typical financial obstacles scientists often face. Scientists were able to combine information they had about coronavirus from the SARS outbreak in 2003 with mRNA technology, already being used in cancer treatments, to develop the new vaccines.

Different administrative steps such as paperwork and vaccine production were also done in tandem with the clinical trials, allowing the vaccine to be available more quickly once it was approved. This would normally not be possible, due to barriers from red tape and financial constraints.

What if I'm trying to get pregnant or want to get pregnant soon?

You can still receive the COVID‑19 vaccine. There is absolutely no evidence that the COVID‑19 vaccine causes infertility.

Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant?

Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe that they are not likely to pose a risk for pregnant women. However, since pregnant women were not included in the initial COVID‑19 vaccine trials, it is advised that you discuss this further with your own healthcare provider. It is not required for you to have this conversation to get the COVID‑19 vaccine.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG):

  • In women who have COVID-19 and show symptoms, pregnant women are more likely than nonpregnant women to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), to need a ventilator for breathing support, or to die from the illness. Still, the overall risk of severe illness and death for pregnant women is low.
  • Observational data and early data from the CDC V-Safe pregnancy registry have not indicated any safety concerns.
  • Based on the mechanism of action of these vaccines and the safety and efficacy demonstrated in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials, it is expected that the safety and efficacy profile of the vaccine for pregnant individuals will be similar to non‑pregnant individuals.

What if I'm breastfeeding?

Recent studies have shown that breastfeeding women who received a COVID‑19 mRNA vaccine had antibodies in their breastmilk. These antibodies could help protect their babies. More data is needed to determine what level of protection these antibodies will provide to the baby.

Should I be concerned about having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)?

There are some reports of severe allergic reactions to a component in the vaccine. These reports are rare, so far occurring in about 1 in 200,000 patients. Patients are monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine, since any serious allergic reaction should occur within that timeframe. In the case of a severe allergic reaction, vaccine clinics are prepared to treat the patient on-site.

Can I get the vaccine if I have allergies?

Most people with allergies can receive the vaccine. The only restriction is in people who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine itself or any of its ingredients, including PEG (polyethylene glycol) or polysorbate. Those who have had severe allergic reactions to other vaccines or medications can still receive the vaccine, but should be monitored for 30 minutes afterwards. Other types of allergies are not a restriction to receiving the vaccine.

Should people who are immunocompromised get the vaccine?

Immunocompromised individuals are able to get the vaccine, but they are encouraged to discuss this with their healthcare provider. Although some patients with stable HIV infection were included in the vaccine clinical trials, we do not have enough data to establish vaccine safety and efficacy in these groups. It is especially important for immunocompromised patients to continue following current guidance on mask wearing and social distancing, even if they have received a vaccine.