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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 FAQ

Anyone 12 years and older can get the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all people 12 and older. People ages 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Visit VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov to find and schedule an appointment. You can also call 1-800-525-0127, then press #. For interpretive services, say your language when the call is answered.

It is your choice to get the vaccine. If you decide to get it, you should tell your vaccine provider if you:

  • Have a history of severe allergic reactions
  • Have a fever
  • Have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners
  • Are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are lactating
  • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine

You should not get the vaccine if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or to any ingredient in the vaccine.

The vaccines contain the active ingredient, messenger RNA (mRNA) or adenovirus, along with fat, salts, and sugars to protect the vaccine and help it work better in the body.

You must be at least 12 years old to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 18 years old to get the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

It is common to have side effects one or three days after getting the vaccine. Common side effects are tiredness, muscle pain, pain in your arm where you got your shot, fever, headache, joint pain, chills, nausea, or vomiting. If your symptoms don't go away, contact your doctor or clinic.

You should wait 15 to 30 minutes before leaving the vaccine site so your vaccine provider can help you if you do have an allergic reaction or other side effects. While you wait, you can sign up for vsafe to report any side effects: vsafe.cdc.gov.

You or your vaccine provider can also report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.

Call 911 if you have an allergic reaction after leaving the clinic. Signs of an allergic reaction include: difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over your body, dizziness, and weakness.

The vaccine is provided at no cost to you.

The federal government will cover the cost of your vaccine. You should not be charged or billed. Your provider should also not charge you for an office visit if you only go in to get the vaccine.

The vaccines are safe and effective.

The vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the vaccines for emergency use and found no serious safety concerns.

You can visit Washington State Department of Health Vaccine Locator page to find other options.

Yes, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends anyone who previously had COVID-19 to get the vaccine.

Data shows it is uncommon to be re-infected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after you were infected, so you might have some protection (called natural immunity). However, we don't know how long natural immunity might last.

People who currently have COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until they feel better and their isolation period is finished, if possible.

People who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should also wait to get the vaccine until after their quarantine period, if they can safely quarantine away from other people. If there is a high risk they could infect others, they may be vaccinated during their quarantine period to prevent spreading the disease.

Yes. People who are pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant may choose to get the vaccine any time. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend you talk with your health care provider about whether the vaccine is right for you. While safety data on the use of COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant people is limited, the information we have is reassuring.  

If you would like to speak to someone about getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, please contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was created using the same technology as many other vaccines. It does not contain parts of fetuses or fetal cells. One piece of the vaccine is made in lab-grown copies of cells that originally came from elective abortions that took place over 35 years ago. Since then, the cell lines for these vaccines have been maintained in the lab and no further sources of fetal cells are used to make these vaccines. This might be new information for some people. However, vaccines for chickenpox, rubella and hepatitis A are made in the same way.

Should you have additional questions and concerns, please consult a medical professional.

FAQ Source: Washington State Department of Health