COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Due to lack of vaccine supply, we are not currently scheduling first-dose appointments. Please do not call our contact center or clinics to ask about supply. We will resume appointments when inventory is available. Thank you for your patience.



We will update this webpage with new information as it becomes available.
Updated February 26, 2021

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First-dose vaccination appointments are not currently available due to low vaccine supply.

  • UW Medicine has paused scheduling first-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments due to a lack of supply.
  • We will resume scheduling first-dose appointments when we have a stable supply of vaccine from the Washington State Department of Health.
  • We understand that this is disappointing for those who are waiting to receive their vaccination. However, we want to ensure we have a reliable vaccine supply before continuing to schedule more appointments.
  • We will provide updates on our website, through our contact center and by email.

This does not apply to second dose appointments.

If you have already received your first COVID-19 vaccine, we will continue to schedule and provide your second dose as planned.

Thank you for your patience.

We appreciate the support from our community as we navigate this important vaccination process. We look forward to continuing this effort as more vaccine supply is available. We are proud to have vaccinated many patients, healthcare providers and community members.


UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Provider vaccine tracker
 — Vaccines administered
Person vaccine tracker
 — People who have received their first dose
Person vaccine tracker
 — People who have received their second dose

How to get the vaccine

Due to low inventory, we are not currently scheduling first-dose appointments.

When inventory is available, we will resume scheduling for eligible patients in Phase1A and 1B:

  • High-risk healthcare workers in healthcare settings
  • High-risk first responders
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • All other workers at risk in healthcare settings
  • All people 65 years or older
  • All people 50 years or older in multigenerational households (home where individuals from two or more generations reside such as an elder and a grandchild)

*More information about who is eligible can be found in the availability section of our FAQ below.

An appointment is required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We will not be accepting walk-ins at any UW Medicine vaccination site, hospital or clinic. We will resume scheduling first-dose appointments when inventory is available.

Alternative vaccine locations

The Department of Health provides a list of organizations offering the vaccine to eligible patients. Inventory varies daily and the organizations listed may or may not have vaccines. 

Check your eligibility

Use the Department of Health’s Phase Finder to see if you’re eligible now or sign up to be notified when you are.

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.


Information about scheduling

If you have any questions or difficulty with scheduling your second dose, you may call the UW Medicine Contact Center at 206.520.8700 or Valley Medical Center at 425.690.3630.

How do I confirm the day and time of my scheduled vaccine appointment?

You may check the day and time of your appointment in eCare. You will also receive an appointment reminder message by phone, text or both.

Scheduling your second dose

Within 48 hours of your first dose, we will send you an email notification with the appointment date and time of your second COVID-19 vaccine dose. We will also send you a reminder three days before the appointment. 

You will need to get this second dose to be fully immunized. See below for more information on rescheduling or cancelling your appointment. 

If you received the Pfizer vaccine, we will schedule your second dose 17-42 days after your first dose. If you received the Moderna vaccine, we will schedule your second dose 24-42 days after your first dose. 

Your vaccine will still be safe and effective within this full timeframe. You will need to get a second dose to be fully immunized. 

Rescheduling an appointment

You can reschedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointments through eCare Log in and click on the "Visits" page. Find your vaccine appointment and follow the instructions to reschedule. 

We also send phone appointment reminders that offer rescheduling. To reschedule from an appointment reminder, follow the instructions and respond by calling the number provided. Rescheduling via text is not supported. 

You may also reschedule your appointment by calling 206.520.8700

Canceling an appointment

We appreciate you taking the time to cancel your appointment. Doing so frees up space for another eligible person.  

You can cancel your COVID-19 vaccine appointment through eCare (your online medical record). To cancel using eCare, log in and click on the "Visits" page. Find your vaccine appointment and follow the cancellation instructions. 

We will also send phone and text appointment reminders that offer cancellation. You can cancel from an appointment reminder by following the instructions and responding through text or call. 

You may also cancel your appointment by calling 206.520.8700 

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines


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-BioNTech and Moderna use this approach. These vaccines are approved 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. These vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S.

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.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (authorized for use) has 95% efficacy after two shots.
  • Moderna (authorized for use) has 94.1% efficacy after two shots.
  • AstraZeneca (Phase 3) has 82.4% efficacy after two shots and 76% efficacy after one shot.
  • Johnson & Johnson (Phase 3) has 57-72% efficacy after one shot.
  • Novavax (Phase 3) has 89.3% efficacy after two shots.

Efficacy is the measure used in clinical trials. Effectiveness is how well the vaccine works in the outside world at preventing illness. All the vaccines are 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and death.

Vaccine effectiveness also varies based on COVID-19 variants or mutations. We know that some of the vaccines are less effective against the variants 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. 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

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 quicker and get closer to ending the pandemic.


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.

Based on what we know about viruses, we think it will help. Stopping a pandemic requires us to use all the tools we have available, including masks, physical distancing and vaccines to help limit the spread.

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.



People who meet the criteria for Phase 1A and the first group of Phase 1B are eligible.

Criteria for first group in Phase 1B

  • People who are age 65 years and older
  • People who are age 50 years and older in a multigenerational (two or more generations) household, defined as:
    • People who are 50 and older AND are not able to live independently. Who are either:
      • Are receiving long-term care from a paid or unpaid caregiver, or
      • Are living with someone who works outside the home
    • People who are 50 and older AND are living with and caring for a grandchild, niece or nephew

Not eligible:

  • People under age 50
  • People age 50 and older caring for a partner, friend or child (unless that child is defined as above).

If you are a member of the previous Phase 1A, which includes high-risk healthcare workers, first responders, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities, you also remain eligible to receive the vaccine.

Learn more about vaccination plans

You will be able to schedule an appointment once you are eligible and if there is vaccine inventory available. Eligibility is based on vaccine quantities and guidance from the Department of Health.

If you are not eligible yet, we recommend you visit Phase Finder at This web-based tool helps determine your eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination.

If you provide your email or phone number, the state will contact you when it is your turn to receive a vaccine.

Visit Phase Finder

We will notify UW Medicine patients about vaccine availability by email and here on the COVID-19 vaccine web page.

Your UW Medicine eCare account is the best way to stay informed about your vaccination registration timing. We encourage you to sign up or log in to for the latest information, as it becomes available.

For more information on DOH vaccination plans, visit

Currently, UW Medicine is offering two COVID-19 vaccines. One vaccine was developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and the other by Moderna. Both vaccines have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization and approval from the Western States Scientific Review Group. Other vaccines are currently in clinical trials.

You should get the vaccine available to you when you are eligible to schedule your vaccination. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are equally safe and effective.

No. Though, we do recommend you get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.
Once you are eligible, you can get the vaccine at any time even as more groups become eligible.

The Washington State Department of Health provides a list of organizations offering the vaccine to eligible patients. Inventory varies daily and the organizations listed may or may not have vaccines. For more information, visit the Department of Health vaccine locations list.



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:



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.

Special circumstances

Special circumstances

Yes. However, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, we recommend that you wait until 90 days have passed since infection. This allows others who remain at higher risk for infection to be vaccinated first. Current evidence suggests reinfection is uncommon 90 days after the initial infection.

Children are not a priority group for vaccines yet but may become eligible once the vaccine is more widely available.

In addition, major vaccine trials so far have focused on adults. As more vaccine clinical trials enroll children, we'll learn about the safety and efficacy for them.

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.

What to expect

What to expect

Most of the vaccines need two shots to be effective. In the future, a vaccine using one shot may be approved.

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.

Yes. To prevent unvaccinated people from getting sick, it's important to continue washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and limiting gatherings until enough people have received the vaccine.

We know vaccination will prevent you from getting sick, but we do not know if the vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to others yet.

According to the CDC, vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars will be given at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. These providers, such as clinics, pharmacies and hospitals, can get this fee reimbursed by a patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Symposium

In October 2020, the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University brought together experts to discuss how to move forward with COVID-19 vaccine trials. These leading voices in vaccine research explored complex issues and discussed how to protect the scientific integrity of ongoing efforts.


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