About COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccine Safety Vaccine Facts Resources

Updated Aug. 3, 2022

Vaccine Facts

The vaccines are safe and effective.

Getting vaccinated is a safe, effective way to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines have gone through Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States and other countries and are authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have received full FDA approval for use in individuals 16 and older (Pfizer) and 18 and older (Moderna).

The vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

People in Washington 6 months and older can get their COVID-19 vaccination.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are authorized for use in people ages 6 months and older. People 18 and older can use any of the available vaccines; however, CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines). The mRNA vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in most circumstances. Learn more

The vaccine is free.

The federal government covers the cost of the vaccine, but an administration fee may be charged to you or your insurance. An administration fee is the fee healthcare providers charge to give the vaccine. They are not allowed to charge a patient for the vaccine itself.

If you have insurance, contact your provider to find out how they are charging for the administration of the vaccine and whether your insurance plans will pay for it.

If you do not have insurance, contact Spokane Regional Health District’s Immunization Assessment and Promotion (IAP) program at 509.324.1611 to learn about available resources.

Appointments are available and easy to schedule.

You can schedule an appointment with your doctor, a pharmacy or at a vaccination clinic. There are plenty of options in Spokane County. All you have to do is sign up. Visit Vaccine Locator or call 1.800.525.0127, then press # to book an appointment. Ready to go today? Many providers are offering walk-up vaccinations.

Getting vaccinated takes about 30 minutes.

Getting vaccinated doesn’t take long. Plan for about 30 minutes. After you receive your vaccination, the clinic will ask you to stay for 15 minutes to monitor for potential allergic reactions.

Vaccines require 1 or 2 doses.*

Make sure you know how many doses you will need. Some vaccines require two doses. Others require one. If you will need two, try to schedule your second vaccination appointment before you leave your first appointment.

*An additional dose of an mRNA vaccine is recommended for people who are immunocompromised, and booster doses are now recommended for everyone ages 5 and older. Please see “How Many Doses Do I Need?” for more information.

You may feel symptoms after your vaccination.

As with other routine vaccines, you may feel symptoms after vaccination. These can include a sore arm, fever, headache, chills, tiredness or nausea. Or you may not feel anything. Either outcome is normal and means the vaccine is working. Symptoms should go away within a few days.

You will be fully vaccinated two weeks after your last dose.

It takes a little time for your body to build up its immune response after vaccination. You can expect the vaccine to take full effect about two weeks after you complete your primary vaccine series. However, your immunity will decrease over time due to the way your immune system functions and because your first doses provide less protection from newer variants. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on your vaccines by making sure to receive all booster doses recommended for you.

You may be able to help others.

If you know anyone in your family or social circle who may want to get their vaccine for their first doses or booster doses but are having trouble scheduling or getting to an appointment, you can help them get an appointment using Vaccine Locator. For information about assistance getting to an appointment, see this page.

Adapted from materials developed by the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.