Page last updated October 25, 2021 at 12:55 p.m.
You can get vaccinated for COVID-19 at most places you’d go for a flu vaccine, like grocery stores, pharmacies and health care clinics. Appointments are recommended, although many places accept walk-ins. In addition to these, there are a number of clinics happening all over the county this week:
Vaccination rates, case rates, and hospitalization data can be found on the state data dashboard, which is updated multiple times a week. Other local data about cases and vaccinations are available on our local data dashboard, which will continue to be updated weekly.
The vaccine is now widely available and appointments are often not required. Many locations accept walk-ins. You can use the Vaccine Locator to find a vaccine provider near you.
You can also call the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357) for assistance.
Vaccines must pass some of the toughest safety measures in medicine. The process to approve and monitor vaccines has been around for decades. It’s the same process used to develop vaccines for measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), and the seasonal flu.
The process to bring a safe and effective vaccine to you begins with clinical trials. Trials are ongoing for COVID-19 vaccines under development. Throughout vaccine development and distribution, there are numerous safety measures. These include:
As vaccines receive Emergency Use Authorization or approval from the FDA, Washington State, along with other western states, does an independent review of the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
You might have mild reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, like fatigue or soreness where the vaccine was injected. As with any vaccine, serious reactions have been rare during vaccine testing, and the benefits of getting vaccinated greatly outweigh any risk.
The vaccine will be provided at no cost. It will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. The cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured.
Two of the three vaccines currently available - the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.
On August 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended its emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow an additional (third) dose for certain immunocompromised people including those who have:
Those who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for an additional dose. Data is insufficient to support recommending an additional dose for J&J recipients at this time. The CDC and FDA are actively working to provide further guidance on this issue.
Booster doses are extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine intended to boost your immunity to the virus. As of October 22, 2021, booster doses are available for every vaccine brand. Your booster dose doesn't have to be the same brand as your initial vaccination series - your booster dose could be Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, no matter what brand you started with. if you were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, your booster can be Pfizer or Moderna, and vice versa.
People who finished their initial vaccination series with either Pfizer or Moderna need to wait at least six months after their second dose before getting a booster. Booster doses aren't recommended for everyone whose first two shots were Pfizer or Moderna, though. You should get a booster dose if:
If the criteria listed above don't apply to you, but you'd still like a booster dose for added protection, you may get one if:
Booster doses are more broadly recommended for people who were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get a booster if:
Your provider will let you know which vaccine you received and if you need a second dose. It will also be marked on your vaccination card you receive at the time of your appointment. You can also access your vaccination record at https://wa.myir.net/rorl.
If you've lost the vaccination card you received when you got your first COVID-19 vaccine shot, you can access your official COVID-19 vaccine record at MyIRMobile.com. It's free to download, but it's only available in English right now and record verification isn't immediate. Plan ahead if you know you are going to need proof of vaccination on hand. You can print your vaccination record in advance or get a QR code that links to your record on your phone.
The following steps can help keep you from losing your vaccination card:
You can also print your full Washington State immunization record in advance or download a QR code that links to your record on your phone. For a complete guide to your proof of vaccination options, check out this visual guide to official Washington State proof of vaccination (PDF).
Effective August 23, everyone, vaccinated or not, will be required to wear a mask in indoor settings, with few exceptions. Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in small private gatherings with other fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people still need to wear masks whenever gathering indoors with people outside their household.
Many industries in Washington State will begin requiring full COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment beginning October 18, including:
For more information on what to do after you’re vaccinated, please refer to:
As we work to vaccinate our community, we know that it will be a team effort, and that team includes you. You may have people in your life who are unsure about whether to get the vaccine. If you'd like to talk to them about the vaccine, you can find some tips in the health department's vaccine confidence discussion guide, with more information about the vaccine in our COVID vaccines fact sheet. Also visit our Vaccine Questions page, which covers common misconceptions about the vaccines.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help with our local COVID-19 vaccination effort! We are not looking for volunteers at this time.
You can also sign up for email updates. Select Health - Public Health News to subscribe to email updates with the latest local information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Updates are archived here: Public Health News.