COVID-19 Update: 

Please continue to wear a mask in our hospitals and clinics even if fully vaccinated.

 

 

We will update this webpage with new information as it becomes available.
Updated July 22, 2021

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How to make an appointment

How to make an appointment

 

Schedule online

Log in to MyChart

This option is for existing patients.

Please call or use schedule online option if you’re under 18.

You do not have to be a current UW Medicine patient to schedule an appointment. Vaccine appointments are available at our primary care clinics throughout the region.

  • Ballard
  • Belltown
  • Factoria
  • Federal Way
  • First Hill
  • Fremont
  • Issaquah
  • Lake Forest Park
  • Northgate
  • Ravenna
  • Roosevelt
  • Shoreline
  • South Lake Union
  • University District
  • Woodinville

 

Walk-in vaccine appointments available

Harborview Medical Center

319 Terry Ave, Seattle 98104

Pre-scheduled appointments also available.

Hours: Saturdays, 11 am - 3 pm

You will not receive a bill for a vaccine; in some scenarios your insurance will be charged the vaccine administration fee. Parking fees may apply based on clinic location and duration of appointment.

 

Questions or concerns after getting vaccinated

Questions or concerns after getting vaccinated

If you are experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine, call 911.

For any other questions about vaccine symptoms, please call your primary care provider or the UW Medicine nurse line at 206.520.7555.

If you do not have a primary care provider, UW Medicine has primary care locations across the Puget Sound.

General

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines

General


The COVID-19 vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize the coronavirus. When you get the vaccine, your immune system makes antibodies (“fighter cells”) against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 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. When enough people in the community can fight off the coronavirus — something called herd or population immunity — it has nowhere to go. This means we can stop the spread more quickly and get closer to ending the pandemic.

HOW VACCINES WORK IN YOUR BODY VIDEO


There are three types of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

RNA vaccines:

The SARS-CoV-2 gene that creates the spike protein can be used in the form of DNA or messenger RNA (mRNA) as a vaccine. This type of vaccine trains our body to recognize and fight the protein. Once the body does this, it then discards the mRNA.

The vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna use this approach. These vaccines are authorized for emergency use in the U.S.

Protein vaccines:

Harmless pieces of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein are used to make this vaccine. This type of vaccine is also used for whooping cough (pertussis) and hepatitis B.

The vaccine being produced by Novavax uses this approach. It is in Phase 3 clinic trials in the U.S.

Vector vaccines:

The SARS-CoV-2 gene that creates the spike protein is inserted into a harmless virus to deliver the gene to human cells. The spike protein then stimulates immune responses. Adenoviruses, which cause common cold-like symptoms, are often used as the viral vector for these types of vaccines.

The vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use this approach.

LEARN ABOUT JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE 


All the vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death.

Each COVID-19 vaccine has a different level of efficacy against milder disease. The vaccines in use or in Phase 3 clinical trials have an efficacy ranging between 57% and 95% in preventing symptomatic infection.

Efficacy is the measure used in clinical trials. Effectiveness is how well the vaccine works in the outside world at preventing illness.

Vaccine effectiveness also varies based on COVID-19 variants or mutations. We know that some of the vaccines are less effective against the variants first found in Brazil, South Africa and the U.K.

A vaccine does not need high effectiveness to make a significant impact. The seasonal flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths each year. According to the CDC, its effectiveness ranges between 40% to 60% each year. COVID-19 vaccines are at least as effective or more effective as the flu vaccine.


COVID-19 variants are emerging and proving to be more contagious than the original coronavirus. The current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still effective against these new variants.

Mutations are making COVID-19 better at latching onto human cells. This makes it spread more easily from person to person. It requires a smaller amount of virus and less time in the same room with an infected person for someone to catch the mutated coronavirus.

It's important to take all precautions to prevent transmission of the new variants:

  • Wear a mask with multiple layers
  • Maintain physical distance from others
  • Practice good hand hygiene


We believe that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will help prevent you from getting seriously ill even if you get infected with the virus. Vaccination helps reduce the spread of a virus and protects the people around you, including people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


The vaccination effort to date has been very effective in bringing down case numbers and reducing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. Available vaccines remain the best tools we have for ending the pandemic, along with masking and physical distancing.


Herd or population immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection from a virus or bacteria — either from previous infection or vaccination — that it is unlikely the disease can spread. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don't have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.

Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.

Availability

Availability


Anyone 12 years or older is eligible to receive the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 12 years and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 years and older.

Children under 12 are not yet eligible.

Learn more about vaccination plans


Currently, UW Medicine is offering the vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.


You should get the vaccine available to you when you schedule your vaccination or walk in for an appointment. Depending on supply, you may have the option to request a particular vaccine type at the time of scheduling.

All the vaccines are safe and effective. They all prevent severe illness and death.

Safety

Safety


COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will only be allowed for use if the FDA considers them safe and effective.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, since we’re in a pandemic, developing a new vaccine can go faster than normal. No steps are skipped, but some steps happen at the same time, like applications, trials and manufacturing.

You may have heard the term "emergency use authorization." This is one of the tools the FDA is using to make critical medical products, including tests and vaccines, available quickly during the pandemic. It helps speed up the process of approval, clearance and licensing.

Safety and efficacy (how well the vaccine works to protect you) are determined by clinical trials. After clinical trials, medical experts examine test results and any side effects. If the vaccine works and is safe, it will get approved for distribution to the public.

Washington state has joined other western states, the Western States Scientific Review Group, to do an additional expert review of the clinical trials' results to make sure the vaccine is ready for distribution.

Watch these videos to learn more about how vaccines are approved:

HOW COVID-19 VACCINES ARE MADE

WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION?


No, it is not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines. The new COVID-19 vaccines use inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus, parts of the virus (like the spike protein) or a gene from the virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found a likely association between mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna and myocarditis. However, these cases have been exceedingly rare, occurring mostly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 or older. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

Cases have typically occurred within seven days of receiving the second dose. Most patients who received care responded well to treatment and rest and quickly felt better. Read our FAQ for Young Teens.


Although myocarditis is an extremely rare occurrence following vaccination, you should seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms after receiving a mRNA vaccine (such as Pfizer or Moderna): chest pain, shortness of breath or feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart.

Scheduling

Scheduling


You will receive an email at the time of scheduling with appointment details. You may also check the day and time of your appointment in MyChart. As your appointment nears, you will receive a reminder message by phone or text.


Clinic staff will schedule your second dose during your first dose appointment. If for some reason you leave without an appointment, you may schedule your second dose by calling us at 844.520.8700.

If you received the Pfizer vaccine, your second dose will be scheduled at least 21 days after your first dose. If you received the Moderna vaccine, your second dose will be at least 28 days after your first dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.


Yes. You may schedule a second dose appointment in one of the three ways listed at the top of this page, but it must be at least 21 days after your first dose if you received the Pfizer vaccine, or at least 28 days after your first dose if you received the Moderna vaccine.


You may reschedule or cancel your appointment through MyChart. Instructions for doing both can be found on the “Visits” page within MyChart. You may also reschedule your appointment by phone, or cancel it by phone or text, by responding to one of the reminders you will receive from us as your appointment nears.

What to expect

What to expect


Most of the vaccines need two shots to be effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot.


While it is best to get your second dose within the recommended time frame, it may not always be possible.

It is OK to receive the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There is limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window.

But if the second dose is given late, there is no need to restart the series.


According to the CDC, every effort should be made to receive the same vaccine product for your first and second dose.

In exceptional situations, such as when the vaccine used for the first dose is not available, then any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered. This should be done at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the vaccine series.

If you receive your first and second doses from different vaccine products, you are done with the series. No extra doses of either vaccine are recommended.


Vaccine side effects may be unpleasant but are not dangerous. In clinical trials, some people experienced fever, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue and headaches. Most people will not experience side effects that prevent daily activity.

Some people who have received the Moderna vaccine reported delayed allergic reactions. These reactions occur at or near the site of injection on their arm around 5 to 7 days after vaccination. Symptoms included redness, rash or swelling. You may still receive the second dose of vaccine if you have had this type of reaction.

Before receiving either vaccine, please let your doctor know if you've had severe allergic reactions in the past.


We don’t know yet. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about.


Once you are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks after receiving your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may resume many of your normal routines without wearing a mask as outlined in the CDC’s guidelines for fully vaccinated adults. These guidelines do not apply, however, in healthcare settings such as UW Medicine, where wearing masks are still mandatory.


UW Medicine is not charging for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.


You may do this in one of three ways. If you were vaccinated at a health care provider, you should contact the provider’s office to have their immunization record verified and corrected. If you were vaccinated at a site that remains open, you can return to that site and request a correction from the clinic supervisor. If the site where you were vaccinated is now closed, you can email waiisrecords@doh.wa.gov to request assistance.


The CDC does not currently recommend a booster dose for anybody who has completed their vaccine series – i.e., received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or a complete series of an international vaccine authorized for emergency use by WHO.


No, not necessarily. Currently available antibody tests have not been evaluated in this way and should not be relied on as an accurate measure of your protection against COVID-19. More research needs to be done before we know what level of antibody is necessary for protection. At this time, we also do not have data to recommend additional vaccination with boosters or other vaccine types.

Special circumstances

Special circumstances


Yes. However, we recommend that you wait until you are no longer under quarantine or isolation to avoid transmission of infection to others.


Children and teenagers aged 12 years and older are eligible for vaccination and may receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet authorized the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine for anyone under 18. All UW Medicine vaccination locations are now providing the Pfizer vaccine by appointment or walk-in.

Read Our FAQ


Pregnant and breastfeeding women should get the vaccine once it is available to them. We know that:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women were not included in the COVID-19 clinical trials.
  • The risk of maternal or fetal harm from an mRNA vaccine is unknown but thought to be low.
  • COVID-19 disease carries an increased risk in pregnancy. This is particularly true for patients with obesity or other medical conditions.

The UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists support offering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant and breastfeeding patients.

Please speak to your doctor if you are concerned or have more questions.


COVID-19 vaccination is not required before surgery or other procedures.

If you want to be vaccinated prior to surgery, please follow this guidance:

  • Avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine within seven days before elective surgery. It is common to have some COVID-19-like symptoms after vaccination. These symptoms would lead to potential delays in the procedure, a need for more testing or both. 
  • You may have surgery if you've received the vaccine three to six days before if you have not developed symptoms (such as fevers, chills, myalgias, headache).
  • Avoid getting vaccinated in the same area of your body where you are having surgery. Delayed vaccine site reactions can occur and can appear like a local infection.
  • Avoid scheduling elective surgery within 48 hours of vaccination. If you've been vaccinated within 48 hours of your scheduled surgery, it is OK to proceed if you don't have symptoms. Urgent surgeries should not be delayed because of the vaccine.
  • If the second dose of vaccine conflicts with your planned surgery, it is OK to delay the second dose until after you've recovered. The second vaccine dose may be given up to 42 days after the initial dose.

Vaccine records

Vaccine records


Yes. However, we recommend that you wait until you are no longer under quarantine or isolation to avoid transmission of infection to others.


You may confirm your vaccination status by calling the state’s vaccine hotline at 1.833.VAX.HELP or by accessing your family’s immunization information online.


You may do this in one of three ways. If you were vaccinated at a healthcare provider, you should contact the provider’s office to have their immunization record verified and corrected. If you were vaccinated at a site that remains open, you can return to that site and request a correction from the clinic supervisor. If the site where you were vaccinated is now closed, you can email waiisrecords@doh.wa.gov to request assistance.


If you were vaccinated through UW Medicine, you may confirm your vaccination status in one of the following ways:

  • Log into MyChart and print out this information from your MyChart home page.
  • Contact the UW Medicine Health Records department and request a copy.
  • Request your care team print out your immunization history during your next clinic appointment or visit.
  • Call the state’s vaccine hotline at 1.833.VAX.HELP or access your family’s immunization information online.

COVID-19 Resources

Community Conversation About Vaccine Safety

This conversation was hosted by the Office of Healthcare Equity and UW Medicine Infectious Disease experts and recorded on March 2, 2021. The video includes general information about the vaccines as well as a Q&A session from attendees.

WATCH THE VIDEO

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