Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Are the approved vaccines safe and effective?
Yes! The COVID-19 vaccines have been determined to be safe and highly effective in preventing COVID-19 by the FDA, the government agency that oversees and regulates vaccine development and approval. Several independent groups in the US, most notably the ACIP, have endorsed the FDA approved vaccines and made recommendations for their use. Other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also found the vaccine safe and effective after rigorous evaluation.
While all vaccines carry a small risk of side effects, the majority of the time these side effects are much less serious than the diseases themselves. The COVID-19 vaccine is no different. It may cause mild to moderate symptoms for some people. These symptoms caninclude pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and fever. In very rare instances, a more serious reaction may occur.
Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine was designed to protect you from contracting the virus or to limit the severity of the disease should you contract it. We know from other diseases and their vaccines that we can slow or stop the spread of disease when roughly 60 to 80 percent of a population gets vaccinated. These vaccines are our best shot at stopping the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting our communities.
In the majority of cases the potential risks of the vaccines are outweighed by the known risks of Covid-19 and we recommend that people get vaccinated when they are able. There are cases when vaccination would not be advisable or extra caution would be taken during vaccination. We are always happy to address any concerns in a telehealth or office visit to help you make the best health decision for you.
How do I access the COVID-19 vaccine?
Our clinic will not be distributing the COVID-19 vaccine due to lack of the proper equipment to store the vaccine and lack of staffing to facilitate vaccination. The WA DOH Vaccine Locator can help you locate vaccination sites nearest you.
Questions about the WA State Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate?
We are working to gather as much information as we can about this and will update this website as new information is available. We are not currently scheduling appointments for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions.
Below are some resources regarding the Vaccine Mandate:
Governor Inslee’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate Proclamation: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-14%20-%20COVID-19%20Vax%20Washington%20%28tmp%29.pdf
The WA DOH Guide to Vaccine Exemptions which gives details on religious and medical exemptions: https://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/documents/pubs/348-726-exemptionsquickreferenceguide.pdf
CDC Guidance on Covid-19 Vaccines including indications for medical exemptions – both temporary and permanent: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html
Summary of the qualifying reasons for medical exemptions from the ACIP and CDC:
Temporary exemption reasons include:
- Myocarditis or pericarditis
- If someone experiences either of these conditions after the 1st dose of an mRNACovid-19 vaccine it is recommended that they defer their 2nd dose of the mRNA vaccine. However if they choose to receive their 2nd dose, they should wait until their episode of myocarditis or pericarditis has completely resolved which may require consultation with a cardiologist.
- History of myocarditis or pericarditis unrelated to mRNA Covid-19 vaccination is not considered a medical reason to not get a Covid-19 vaccine. However, they should wait until their episode of myocarditis or pericarditis fully resolves before receiving an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.
- Current or recent infection with Sars-CoV-2
- Defer vaccination until person has recovered from the acute illness and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation
- Persons who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment
- Defer vaccination for at least 90 days
- Persons with a known SARSCoV-2 exposure
- Persons in community or outpatient setting should defer vaccination until quarantine period has ended
- Residents or patients in congregate settings may be vaccinated if they do not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
Permanent exemption reasons include:
- Documented severe allergic reaction (i.e. anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to a component of a Covid-19 vaccine.
- Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of a Covid-19 vaccine.
- The main component that people are allergic to in the mRNA vaccines is polyethylene glycol (PEG) and in the J&J vaccine it is polysorbate 80. While these two compounds are structurally related and people can have cross-reactive hypersensitivity to these ingredients they may be able to get a different form of vaccine and thus would not qualify for a medical exemption. If a person only has a documented allergy or allergic reaction to components in one type of vaccine and not another they only qualify for a medical exemption that specific vaccine or vaccines which contain the allergenic compound. For example, if they react to one of the mRNA vaccines but are not allergic to ingredients in the J&J adenovirus vector vaccine they could receive that vaccine and would only get a permanent exemption for the mRNA vaccines.
For those seeking religious exemptions:
FAQs about Covid-19 Vaccination:
Covid19 Vaccine Myths and Facts:
Interview with Vaccine Expert Paul Offit, MD on Covid19 Vaccines:
Understanding mRNA Vaccines:
Vaccine Development Process:
Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Explained:
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Covid19 Vaccine Recommendations:
What is the ACIP?:
Finding Credible Vaccine Information:
STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
If you would like to make an appointment with your clinician for an in-depth conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine, call the front desk at (360) 570-0401. Returning patients can also schedule appointments online by clicking the green button below.