COVID-19 Info: 

We are scheduling vaccinations for ages 5+ and others who are eligible. Learn more:

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates & Information

 

We will update this webpage with new information as it becomes available.
Updated November 29, 2021

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How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

All vaccine appointments are currently scheduled through our call-back list. 

First and second dose

Ages 12 and older

We offer first and second vaccine doses to ages 12+.

Ages 5 to 11 years old

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 5 to 11 years old. Please note that only the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for this age group at this time.

To get your child on our vaccine appointment waitlist:

  • Call to join the waitlist.
  • We will contact you by phone or text to make your appointment.
  • Once contacted, you will be asked several questions and offered the choice of scheduling on the phone or through an online link that you can use one time only. (The fastest way to schedule will be through the online link.)

An appointment is required for your child to receive the vaccine. We are not currently accepting walk-ins at any UW Medicine location for this age group.

Read commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines in children.

Boosters

A booster is an additional shot that helps to extend the vaccine’s effectiveness and maximize your protection from COVID-19 infection. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer boosters are now available to all patients 18 or older who meet eligibility requirements. As authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), your booster is not required to be the same COVID-19 vaccine as the one you received in your initial dose(s).

If your initial vaccine series was Pfizer or Moderna

If your initial vaccine series was Pfizer or Moderna, you may receive a booster if you meet these eligibility requirements:

  1. It must be at least six months since you received the second dose of your two-dose vaccine series; and
  2. You must be age 18 or older.

If your initial vaccine series was Johnson & Johnson

If your initial vaccine was Johnson & Johnson, you may receive a booster if you meet these eligibility requirements:

  1. It must be at least two months since you received your vaccine; and
  2. You must be age 18 or older.

To schedule a booster, please join our call-back list. Appointments are available at UW Medical Center – Montlake, UW Medical Center – Northwest, Harborview, Valley Medical Center, the North King County Vaccination clinic in Shoreline and UW Medicine primary care clinics.

Third dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

Immunocompromised individuals can schedule a third vaccine dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine beginning 28 days after their second dose.

What is the difference between a third dose and booster?

A third dose is considered part of the initial vaccine series if you are immunocompromised. Because your immune system does not provide enough response to the first two vaccine doses, you require a third dose to create immunity. This differs from a booster, which provides a boost when an initially sufficient immune response to a vaccine weakens over time.

COVID-19 vaccine locations

Vaccine appointments are available at our clinics throughout the region:

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

Walk-in information

We are not currently accepting walk-ins at any UW Medicine location.

Holiday hours

Vaccine clinic locations will follow this holiday schedule:

Holiday Day Status
Veterans Day November 11 Open
Thanksgiving November 25 Closed
Day after Thanksgiving November 26 UW Medical Center - Montlake open; all other sites closed
Christmas Eve December 24 Closed
Christmas December 25 Closed
Day after Christmas December 26 Closed
New Year’s Eve December 31 Closed
New Year’s Day January 1 Closed
Day after New Year’s January 2 Closed

Additional information

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.

You do not need to be a current UW Medicine patient to receive a vaccine.

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.

Boosters and third doses

Boosters and third doses


Third doses refer to the additional dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine given to immunocompromised individuals (those with moderately to severely weakened immune systems). The CDC recommends individuals who meet these criteria receive a third dose at least 28 days after their second dose.
 
A booster refers to an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine given at least six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or at least two months after receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Based on guidance from the CDC and FDA, individuals are eligible for a booster if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

If your initial vaccine series was Pfizer or Moderna

1) It must be at least six months since you received the second dose of your two-dose vaccine series; and

2) You must be either:

  • Age 65 and older; or
  • A resident of a long-term care facility; or
  • Ages 18-64 with underlying medical conditions or who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of where they work or live (e.g. health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters).

If your initial vaccine series was Johnson & Johnson

1) It must be at least two months since you received your vaccine; and

2) You must be age 18 and older.


Being immunocompromised means that your immune system is weakened — by disease or medication. The CDC recommendation for a third shot applies to people who have one of these eligible conditions:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with any of the following medications:
    • Azathioprine (Imuran) 
    • B-cell activating factor (BAFF) inhibitor: belimumab (Benlysta)
    • Cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive
    • Cyclophosphamide at any dose within the last 3 months
    • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Gengraf, Sandimmune)
    • High-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day)
    • Interleukin-1(IL-1) blockers: anakinra (Kineret), rilonacept (Arcalyst), canakinumab (Ilaris) 
    • Interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockers: tocilizumab (Actemra), sarilumab (Kevzara)
    • Interleukin-12/23 (IL-12/23) blockers: ustekinumab (Stelara)
    • Interleukin-17 (IL-17) blockers: secukinumab (Cosentyx), ixekizumab (Taltz)
    • Interleukin-23 (IL-23) blockers: guselkumab (Tremfya), risankizumab (Skyrizi) and tildrakizumab (Ilumya)
    • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors: tofacitinib (Xeljanz), baricitinib (Olumiant), upadacitinib (Rinvoq)
    • Leflunomide (Arava)
    • Methotrexate
    • Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept) or mycophenolic acid (Myfortic)
    • Rituximab (Rituxan, Ruxience, Truxima) at any dose within the last 12 months
    • Tacrolimus (Prograf)
    • TNF blockers: infliximab (Remicade, Inflectra, Renflexis), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab (Cimzia), golimumab (Simponi), and etanercept (Enbrel)
    • T-cell co-stimulation blocker: abatacept (Orencia)

If you are unsure if you are immunocompromised, please contact your health care provider.


Yes. And boosters are not required to be the same COVID-19 vaccine as the one received as an initial dose(s).


No. The additional dose may be any of the three vaccines approved for use in the U.S. Boosters are not required to be the same COVID-19 vaccine as the one received as an initial dose(s).


Your child needs a third dose only if they are immunocompromised; 12 years of age and older; and have already received the two-dose vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech. Vaccinated children 12 or older who are not immunocompromised are not yet eligible to receive boosters, according to CDC guidance.


Providers throughout our community are offering boosters and third doses for immunocompromised patients. UW Medicine is offering boosters and third doses at UWMC – Montlake, UWMC – Northwest, Harborview Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, the North King County Vaccination clinic in Shoreline and UW Medicine primary care clinics. We also continue to provide first and second vaccine doses at these locations. Please call 844.520.8700 to schedule an appointment with UW Medicine.


Please call 844.520.8700 to schedule an appointment with UW Medicine. We do not currently allow walk-ins at our vaccine clinics.


Consistent with original doses provided by UW Medicine, you will not receive a bill for boosters and third doses. In some cases, your insurance will be charged a vaccine administration fee.


Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part, just as with original doses, side effects are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days. As with original vaccine doses, please let your doctor know if you’ve had severe allergic reactions in the past.


The Moderna booster is a half dose of the original Moderna dose. There is no difference from the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson additional doses and the original doses of the vaccine. Boosters are not required to be the same COVID-19 vaccine as the one received as an initial dose(s).


Yes. The CDC has approved the safety and effectiveness of receiving the COVID vaccine and other vaccines (including for the flu) at the same time. This is a change from a previous recommendation to wait a minimum of 14 days between different vaccinations.


All UW Medicine primary care clinics and many specialty clinics are offering the flu shot.

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.


Scheduling staff will schedule your second dose at the same time they schedule your first dose appointment. If for some reason this does not happen, you can schedule your second dose by calling 844.520.8700.

If you scheduled your first dose appointment online, you must schedule your second dose appointment by calling 844.520.8700.


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 as outlined in the CDC’s guidelines for fully vaccinated adults. Note that wearing a mask indoors in public is recommended to maximize protection for yourself and prevent transmission of the virus to others. 


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.

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. You may do this by sending a photo of your vaccine card to your provider through MyChart or by bringing your vaccine card to your next appointment with a UW Medicine provider. If you received your vaccination through UW Medicine, there is no need to do anything as a record of your vaccination will be added automatically to our system.


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.

For solid organ transplant patients

For solid organ transplant patients


Yes. You must be fully vaccinated prior to your procedure unless you have a specific medical exception that prevents you from getting the vaccine.


After a transplant, your immune system is suppressed and in a prolonged weakened state. This makes you less able to develop an appropriate immune response to the vaccine. It also makes you more vulnerable to infections from viruses like COVID-19 that can lead to severe illness or death.


No. UW Medicine has long required patients awaiting a solid organ transplant to be current on all critical vaccinations prior to their procedure. This now includes vaccination against COVID-19.


Yes. All three currently available vaccines are safe and effective for patients awaiting transplant. This includes the Pfizer vaccine, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In fact, all major organ transplant societies strongly recommend patients get vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to transplant when patients’ immune systems are more likely to respond to the vaccine.


You will be removed from the waitlist and deemed ineligible to receive a transplant through UW Medicine.


No. Patients who wait until after their procedure do not respond as well to the COVID-19 vaccine because their immune systems are in a weakened state. Getting the vaccine before your procedure ensures you will receive the maximum benefit.


Yes. Vaccination for COVID-19 is required prior to solid organ transplants at UW Medicine. No matter what your decision, we are here to care for you throughout your journey.


Being current on all critical vaccinations is just one of many requirements. Patients may also be required to adhere to a specific diet, abstain from alcohol or tobacco, and/or show they have support to assist them in recovery, to cite a few examples.


If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and your health, you should contact your transplant team and talk directly to your transplant physician.


You are fully vaccinated two weeks after your last dose. Meaning, two weeks from your second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Or two weeks from getting the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Community Conversations: Straight Talk about COVID-19

From variants to vaccines to local and national guidelines, these weekly conversations provide you with need-to-know COVID-19 information from the Office of Healthcare Equity and UW Medicine Infectious Disease experts.

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