Thank you for your interest in the COVID-19 vaccine. ICHS is working with public health and community partners to ensure we get as many doses as possible to as many people as possible. An organized and equitable distribution of a vaccine is the key to getting the pandemic under control.
We each have a responsibility to ensure that those around us are protected and we help reduce COVID-19 transmission by being vaccinated. This is the only way we can halt the pandemic and ensure the health of our family members, friends and neighbors. Unvaccinated adults are four times more likely to test positive and 15 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated, according to the CDC. Getting vaccinated also significantly reduces COVID-related hospital admissions, saving capacity for people with urgent non-COVID care needs.
You should follow CDC guidelines once you are fully vaccinated. To learn more about what to do to protect yourself and others once you've been fully vaccinated, visit the CDC website here.
ICHS is administering COVID-19 vaccines for individuals five and older. COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge, regardless of immigration or health insurance status.
Please bring your ID and insurance card if you have health insurance. Also bring your CDC vaccination record card if you are receiving your second, booster, or additional vaccine.
You will be given vaccine safety information when you arrive. After you receive your vaccine, ICHS staff will observe you for 15 minutes. If you have a history of allergies or allergic reactions, we will observe you for 30 minutes.
ICHS patients should call (206) 788-3700 to make an appointment. Scheduled appointments are only available for ICHS patients.
Non-ICHS patients can walk in at ICHS pharmacies for a vaccination
ICHS patients and non-ICHS patients of eligible ages can walk in to clinic pharmacies in International District, Holly Park and Shoreline Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (availability based on limited supply) and by appointment only on Saturdays at the ID location. ICHS patients can also call 206.788.3700 to make an appointment.
ICHS pharmacies are now vaccinating Pfizer for 5-11 year olds Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (availability based on limited supply).
Which vaccines are offered at ICHS?
Primary series: ICHS administers Pfizer-BioNTech for the primary series of vaccinations. Children ages 5-11 receive pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine. ICHS does not administer Moderna or Johnson & Johnson for the primary series.
Boosters: ICHS administers Pfizer and Moderna for booster shots. ICHS does not administer Johnson & Johnson for booster doses.
Additional doses for immunocompromised: ICHS administers Pfizer as an additional dose for immunocompromised individuals. ICHS does not administer Moderna or Johnson & Johnson as additional doses for immunocompromised individuals.
The case for COVID-19 Booster Shots
Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and be less effective against the Omicron variant. However, a booster vaccine dose can increase protection against symptomatic Omicron infection from about 35% to 76% and can have even higher effectiveness at preventing hospitalizations and death.
After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot. Everyone ages 12 and older can get a booster after they have had their primary vaccine series.
The 2nd booster shot is now recommended for the following groups:
• Anyone age 50 and older may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster
• Anyone age 18 and older with certain medical conditions may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster- Moderna COVID-19 shot.
• Anyone age 12 and older with certain medical conditions may get a second booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster- Pfizer COVID-19 shot.
FAQ – about vaccines
The CDC recommends that everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. Public health experts have found that protection from initial doses decreases over time. A "booster" shot improves your immunity and protection from COVID-19.
- If you are aged 12 to 17: at this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents.
- If you got either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine: you should wait five months or more after your second dose to get your booster.
- If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: you should wait two months or more after your initial dose to get your booster.
After reviewing vaccine safety and effectiveness data, the CDC has found that “mixing and matching” a different booster shot from your original vaccination is safe and effective. For example, someone who was vaccinated with Moderna may choose to get a Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson booster.
The CDC recommends that immunocompromised people complete their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines if they are 5 years and older, and if they are 12 years or older, get a booster.
- If you are aged 5-11: you should receive three doses of Pfizer to complete your primary series. Second dose is given 21 days after the first; third dose is given at least 28 days after the second. A booster is not recommended at this time.
- If you are aged 12 to 17: you should receive three doses of Pfizer to complete your primary series. Second dose is given 21 days after the first; third dose is given at least 28 days after the second. A booster is recommended at least 3 months after the 3rd dose.
- If you are aged 18 and up: you should receive three doses of either Pfizer or Moderna to complete your primary series. Second dose is given either 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first. Third dose is given at least 28 days after the second. A booster is recommended at least 3 months after the 3rd dose.
- If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: you should receive a dose of either Pfizer or Moderna to complete your primary series (2 doses). Second dose (Pfizer or Moderna) is given at least 28 days after the first (J&J). A booster (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended at least 2 months after the 2nd dose.
People who were vaccinated outside the United States with a currently FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a World Health Organization (WHO)-emergency use listed COVID-19 vaccine and who have received all the recommended doses do not need any additional doses. People who received the first dose of an FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses do not need to restart the vaccine series in the United States, but should receive the second dose as close to the recommended time as possible.
Some people who may have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not currently approved or authorized in the United States may be offered a complete FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series as follows:
- People who have not received all the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine listed for emergency use by WHO.
- People who received all or some of the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is neither approved or authorized by FDA nor listed for emergency use by WHO.
Limited data are available on the safety or efficacy of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine currently approved or authorized in the United States after receipt of a non-FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. The minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA-approved or non-FDA-authorized vaccine, or a WHO-listed vaccine and an FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.
Only people who have received all recommended doses of an FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of public health guidance.
WHO has listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India, Astra Zeneca EU, Janssen, Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines for emergency use.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines fully approved by the FDA work similarly. They cause the body to develop antibodies (fighter cells). A genetic code of a small part of the virus (the spike protein) is injected into the body; this is taken up by cells, which reproduce the protein. These are then recognized by the body as foreign proteins. The fighter cells work to get rid of the proteins, while creating a memory bank of these proteins to defend against future infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works differently than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. A piece of genetic material from the virus’ spike protein is added into another virus. The modified virus enters a cell to put its DNA into the nucleus and give instructions to other cells. Your body reacts by producing antibodies. Your immune system cells then remember how to fight the virus.
The two COVID-19 vaccines with full approval from the FDA, Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax), both require two shots. A third vaccine with FDA emergency use authorization, Johnson & Johnson, requires just one shot.
Two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are extremely effective in protecting against severe illness from COVID-19. New evidence suggests that vaccine protection may decrease over time however and those who are immunocompromised may be at greater risk of becoming ill from COVID-19. ICHS is administering third doses to those who are immunocompromised.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance, and will be free if you are uninsured.
Yes. You will not be asked for any proof of citizenship or residency.
No, the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, while using the same approach, are different from each other. So the second dose should be the same vaccine.
However, after reviewing vaccine safety and effectiveness data, in October 2021 the CDC has found that “mixing and matching” a different booster shot from your original vaccination is safe and effective. For example, someone who was vaccinated with two shots of Moderna may choose to get a Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson booster after waiting the recommended period of time after your initial series.
Yes. Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:
- Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Get sick from COVID-19.
- Spread COVID-19 to others.
CDC recommends everyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss.
Children 5 to 17 years old are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Children 5-11 receive two “kid-sized” doses that contain the same ingredients as those given to adults and adolescents, but are about one-third of the size, according to the CDC. The two shots should be given three weeks apart and are administered with smaller needles appropriate for children.
Not getting a vaccination is more than an individual choice, it has a much wider impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing. It will make it harder to achieve herd immunity, a level of immunity that will prevent the virus from circulating in the community and protect us all. Without immunization, you place yourself at greater risk of severe illness or long-term health issues from COVID-19.
While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection or immunity, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help protect you without having to be sick.
When you get the vaccine, you also help protect people in high-risk groups that might not be able to get vaccinated themselves, including members of your community, friends and family. In addition, getting vaccinated significantly reduces COVID-related hospital admissions, saving capacity for people with urgent non-COVID care needs.
Please bring a photo ID with your date of birth. You will not be turned away if you don’t have ID. If you have health insurance, bring your insurance card. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt or clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up.
If you are arriving for your second or third dose, please bring your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
FAQ – vaccine safety
Vaccine safety is a priority. All COVID-19 vaccines must go through a rigorous and multi-step testing and approval process before they can be used. They will only be approved if they pass safety and effectiveness standards. Many people took part in this testing to see how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions. Vaccines will also be monitored for safety once they are given.
After a temporary pause, the CDC and FDA recommend vaccination with the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine resume among people 18 years and older. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). TTS is a serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelets. There are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.
Your arm may be sore, red or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a fever, fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle and joint pain. This is a natural response and a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is expected to do. It is working to build protection to disease. Vaccines will also be monitored for safety once they are given.
There have been extremely rare reports of individuals who experienced heart inflammation side effects after receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. These cases represent a fraction of a percent of those who have had a COVID-19 vaccine, and individuals usually respond well to treatment.
According to the FDA and CDC issued guidance last week for patients and medical professionals, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine recipients should seek medical attention if they have the following symptoms within a week after COVID-19 vaccination:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling a fast-beating, pounding heart rate
Read more at: https://www.ichs.com/news/pfiz...
COVID-19 vaccines are being tested in large clinical trials to assess their safety. However, it does take time, and more people need to be vaccinated before we learn about very rare or long-term side effects. That is why safety monitoring will continue by an independent group of experts with the CDC. They will provide regular safety updates for our immediate action.
As of April 23, 2021, more than 8 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and it’s proven to be a very safe and effective vaccine in preventing severe and fatal cases of COVID-19. You should expect to have side effects such as soreness in the arm, fever and a headache.
As of April 23, 2021, experts reviewing safety reports for this vaccine found 15 reports of women who got the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and later developed thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). TTS is a serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelets.
These reports represent a reporting rate of 7 such events per 1 million vaccinations among women 18 through 49 years old and a rate of 0.9 per 1 million vaccinations among women 50 years and older. For all women, this is a rare adverse event. For men of all ages, the adverse event is even more rare. Reports show that symptoms of this adverse event started between 6 and 15 days after vaccination.
For three weeks after receiving the vaccine, you should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of a blood clot with low platelets. These include:
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site
Seek medical care right away if you develop one or more of these symptoms and report adverse events to VAERS.
If you were scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, contact your vaccine provider to learn about additional vaccine eligibility.
No, the vaccine will not cause the COVID-19 illness. The vaccine is made up of only a part of the virus (the spike protein), just enough for the body to recognize as a foreign material to produce antibodies. For this reason, the vaccination cannot create a false positive COVID-19 test.
No, while the vaccine is made of a genetic material, it does not interact with the genome. It encodes for specific proteins (in this case the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus), which then gets decoded by the ribosome (protein making organelle/part of a cell) located outside of the nucleus where our genome is housed. mRNA in the cell is also degraded relatively quickly limiting long-lasting impact.
Please consider following the below guidelines before scheduling your vaccine. Regardless of if you have a history of allergic reactions or not, trained health care personnel will be onsite to monitor you for 15 minutes after the vaccination and can assist you should an allergic reaction occur.
Per CDC recommendations, do not schedule a vaccine if:
- You had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna, both of which require two doses.
- You are allergic to PEG or polysorbate.
Consult your doctor if you have had an immediate allergic reaction to another vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, even if it was not severe.
You may still schedule a vaccine appointment if:
- You have had severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies.
- You have a history of allergies to oral medications.
- You have a family history of severe allergic reactions.
It is safe to be vaccinated if you have mild cold-like symptoms, but we ask you to reschedule if you have a fever.
Some people feel sick after vaccination. These symptoms are the same symptoms we get when we have the infection and are a sign of the body working hard to fight the infection and develop antibodies.
FAQ – vaccine effectiveness
Both the vaccines from Pfizer and from Moderna have two doses. After only one shot your protection might be around 50 percent. The second shot provides a boost that gives strong, long-lasting immunity. After both shots, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have 94 and 95 percent efficacy, respectively.
We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
Multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants are circulating globally and scientists are working to learn more about them. The current vaccines were designed around earlier versions of coronavirus, but scientists believe they should still work against new variants, although perhaps not quite as well.
We can expect variants to continue to emerge in the future as the virus evolves. Efforts are now underway to redesign the current vaccines to be a better match. In the future, we may need a new COVID-19 shot each year like we do with flu immunizations, to account for any changes in circulating viruses.
If you’ve had COVID-19, you have natural immunity that may last months, but is not indefinite. People who have had COVID-19 are advised to get the vaccine because they could be infected again and could still possibly infect others.
It will take about a week after the second shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for you to have the vaccine’s full protection. You will have full protection from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine one week after your shot.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently approved by the FDA require two shots to be fully effective. A third vaccine by Johnson & Johnson requires only one shot. The CDC says your second shot can be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first and remain effective. If a delay occurs, there is no need to repeat the first shot again.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both work well, offering strong protection after two shots and over 90 percent protective across age groups and racial and ethnic groups. A third vaccine by Johnson & Johnson has been shown to offer strong protection but was paused nationwide by the CDC and FDA as of April 13 to examine data of reported six cases of adverse events. These six cases represent a fraction of a percent of the 6.8 million people in the United States who have received the Janssen vaccine.
The evidence is clear — you should get the first vaccine available to you instead of waiting for a particular one. This is the best way to protect yourself, as well as everyone else. Immunizing as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, will help us to reduce overall COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
A study suggesting the Pfizer vaccine was less effective among Asian Americans did not have not enough people participating from within those groups to give data for a firm conclusion. There is no reason to believe that any one vaccine is less effective among Asians and NHPI, AIAN or multiracial groups.
You should follow CDC guidelines once you are fully vaccinated. Continue taking precautions in public places by wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands often. To learn more about what to do to protect yourself and others once you’ve been fully vaccinated, visit the CDC website here.
FAQ – boosters
No, vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19, including the risk of severe illness and death among people who are fully vaccinated. While COVID-19 vaccines are effective, studies have shown some decrease in vaccine effectiveness against infection over time. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts to protect against COVID-19.
So far, reactions reported after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot were similar to that of the two-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur. Similarly, reactions after the second dose of the Janssen vaccine were similar to those experienced with the first dose.
No, it is not too late to get a booster so you can still get your booster at the later date. The single booster dose should be given as close to 2 months for Janssen and 5 months for Pfizer or Moderna after completing a primary series. However, there is no known “expiration period” after which you cannot get the booster.
Yes, COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day. If multiple vaccines are administered at a single visit, each shot can be given in a different injection site. If a patient is due for more than one vaccine, providers are encouraged to offer all the vaccines at the same visit.
Yes. CDC recommendations allow for mixing and matching of different COVID-19 booster doses, and eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. If you have questions about which booster is right for you, ask your health care provider for advice.
Yes. Getting a COVID-19 booster gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 even in people who have already been sick with COVID-19.
Maybe. Current data indicates that side effects following the additional dose are similar to those after the second dose. Common side effects are generally mild such as localized pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, and fatigue, headache, and low-grade fever. Serious adverse events are rare.
Yes, the CDC recommends that children and teens aged 12 and older receive a booster when eligible. Since the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only authorized vaccine for those under age 18, children 12 and older should receive a booster five months after their second Pfizer shot.
Children age 5 and older who have certain medical conditions associated with immunosuppression can receive an additional dose 28 days after their second dose.
Visit the Public Health – Seattle & King County website for the latest information and updates about vaccine development and distribution.