COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Page last updated October 25, 2021 at 12:55 p.m.

Boosters are now available for every COVID-19 vaccine brand. You can get a booster dose anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are offered. 

Find out if a booster dose is right for you.

I am looking for: 

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:

  • A Watered Garden Family Learning Center
    • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 3-7pm
    • 700 Strandell St, Everson,
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
  • PeaceHealth Cordata Clinic (by appointment only)
    • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • Thursday, Oct. 28, 1-4pm
    • Friday, Oct. 29, 9am-noon AND 1-4pm
    • 4545 Cordata Pkwy, Bellingham
    • Pfizer
    • Flu vaccines offered here, too! You can get both at the same time.
    • While demand for booster doses is high, PeaceHealth will be giving vaccinations by appointment only. Appointments are available to everyone, you don’t need to be an established patient to sign up: https://bit.ly/2ZJILvn.
  • East Whatcom Regional Resource Center
    • Thursday, Oct. 28, 3-7pm
    • 8251 Kendall Rd, Maple Falls
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • $25 gift cards available for first and second dose recipients.
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
  • Old Lynden Middle School Gym
    • Friday, Oct. 29, 3-7pm
    • 516 Main St, Lynden
    • Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
    • Antigen tests offered here too! Not for travel.
    • $15 Bordertown Mexican Grill food credit for people who get their first or second doses! 

COVID-19 Vaccination Progress for Whatcom County

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.

Where Can I Get Vaccinated?

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. 

  • Call takers can tell you which locations near you offer the COVID-19 vaccine, and help you schedule an appointment if needed.
  • This line also has Spanish, Russian, Punjabi, and other language options.
  • You can also call us at 360-778-6075 for help finding a provider or making an appointment. 

Vaccine Safety and What to Expect

Is the vaccine safe?

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:

  • The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes and monitors the trials.
  • Two other independent advisory committees provide oversight and monitor for safety during vaccine development and testing. 
  • Another committee continues to monitor for safety and adverse effects when a safe and effective vaccine is ready for distribution. 

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. 

What should I expect when I get vaccinated?

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.

  • If you have had serious reactions to vaccines in the past or severe allergies, talk with your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Read this full list of possible reactions.
  • There is a rare but increased risk of developing a severe blood clot and platelet disorder after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Most known cases have occurred in women between the ages of 18-49, and some have been fatal. Following a thorough safety review weighing the benefits and risks, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the ongoing use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine under a revised emergency use authorization. Since the likelihood of this blood clotting issue occurring is highly unlikely, ACIP recommended allowing continued use of the vaccine. Read this FDA News Release for more information. 
  • This fact sheet from the Washington State Department of Health has more information about who should get the vaccine, what you might experience, and what you should do after you get your shot. The same information in additional languages can be found under the vaccine drop-down menu on DOH’s resources page.

How much will it cost?

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. 

How many doses will I need?

Two of the three vaccines currently available - the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose. 

What about third doses for immunocompromised people?

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:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress immune response

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.

What are booster doses? Should I get one?

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.

Boosters for Pfizer and Moderna recipients

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:

  • You're 65 or older, or
  • You live in a long-term care facility, or
  • You're 50-64 years old and have certain underlying medical conditions.

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:

  • You're older than 18 and have certain underlying medical conditions, or
  • You're older than 18 and live or work in a high-risk setting.

Boosters for Johnson & Johnson recipients

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:

  • You're 18 or older
  • It's been 2 months or longer since you completed your Johnson & Johnson series. 

DOH has more information about booster dose eligibility in Washington state. To find a vaccine provider near you, keep scrolling down, or go to VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.

How do I know which vaccine I got and if I need another dose?

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.

I lost my vaccination card, and I need to provide proof of vaccination. How can I replace it?

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:

  • Take photos of the front and back of your card to have a digital copy handy. Consider emailing it to yourself, creating an album, or adding a tag to the photo so you can find it again easily.
  • Take a photocopy if you want to carry one with you.

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).

What can I do once I'm fully vaccinated?

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:

  • State employees and contractors
  • Private health care and long-term care facilities
  • K-12 and higher education institutions
  • Childcare facilities

For more information on what to do after you’re vaccinated, please refer to: 

How to Have Vaccine Discussions

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.

How to Volunteer and Stay Informed

I would like to volunteer. How can I help?

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.

How can I stay informed?

We’ll continue to update this page. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine planning, development and safety standards from DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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.

 

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