About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Last updated on April 7, 2021

Pre-Launch

COMPLETED
  • Created mass vaccine plan for county
  • Established vaccine outreach with community partners
  • Prepared Phase 1a – Group 1 agencies for vaccine

Phase 1a

SECOND-DOSE VACCINATION CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
  • All Groups

Phase 1b

FIRST- & SECOND-DOSE VACCINATION CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
  • All Groups

Phase 2

NO START DATE SET; PLEASE AWAIT INSTRUCTIONS
  • Group 1

About the Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization to three COVID-19 vaccines, made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen (which is owned by Johnson & Johnson).

These vaccines work by giving the immune system a “sneak peek” of what the virus looks like without causing COVID-19. Your immune system will then remember the virus for a period of time and be able to specifically target the full, live virus if you are exposed to it.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, three to four weeks apart. The Janssen vaccine requires just one dose. It will take a few weeks for your body to fully build immunity after getting the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the Janssen vaccine.

The vaccines do not contain the actual virus, and they will not cause you to get COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain thimerosal, mercury, antibiotics or preservatives. There are no plans to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, and individuals must give informed consent to receive it.

The most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, nausea, chills, joint pain and fever.

If you have any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, schedule a separate appointment with your primary care provider to discuss them before receiving your vaccine. This will prevent delays.

Why Get the Vaccine

There are many reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect your body.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness. It lowers your chance of getting COVID-19 and its associated health risks.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. No serious safety issues have been reported. The vaccines were tested in large-scale research, which included adults from all backgrounds.
  • The vaccine is our best tool to end the pandemic.

Vaccine Distribution

COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in Hood River County in phases (click here to visit the COVID-19 Vaccination Updates page).

Vaccines are distributed to primary care clinics that are approved vaccine providers. Vaccine distribution to these clinics is based on size of patient population, number of vaccines they are able to provide, and number of vaccines allocated by the state. Vaccines are also available via certain pharmacies.

Please note that the dates listed by the Oregon Health Authority are the dates when each phase and group becomes eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon, not when they will be administered the vaccine. Vaccine administration in Hood River County depends on the supply received, which is limited. Please be patient.

The health department is following Oregon Health Authority guidance and will update eligibility and distribution information as we have it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

It will take some time before every Hood River County resident who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to. The vaccines will be available and administered to county residents and workers in phases, following Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance. Click here for Hood River County COVID-19 vaccination progress updates.

As more vaccines are manufactured and distributed, OHA guidelines will be followed to administer them to people included in each phase. The health department will release vaccine availability information via public service announcements, letters to medical providers, social media, website announcements and more to notify Hood River County residents and workers when they can get vaccinated.

For many people in our county, it’s likely that you will get a COVID-19 vaccine where you have gotten your other vaccines: at your healthcare provider’s office or at a pharmacy.

The health department will release vaccine availability and administration information via public service announcements, letters to medical providers, social media, website announcements and more to notify Hood River County residents and workers when and where they can get vaccinated.

The federal government covers the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare providers may charge your insurance company or your employer a fee to administer the vaccine. You will not be charged anything to get the vaccine.

The Janssen vaccine requires just one dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses 28 days apart. The different vaccine products are not interchangeable, and the series of two doses must be completed with the same vaccine product.

Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent illness by building immunity. It is too early to know how the vaccine will prevent transmission of the virus. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines attack the virus’s ability to invade your body’s cells. One study showed that those who have been vaccinated are less likely to harbor the virus. Until we learn more, it’s best to continue with safety measures like masking and physical distancing.

No, you do not need to isolate from others after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. 

If it has been at least 14 days since you were fully vaccinated (i.e., you received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or you received the single-dose Janssen vaccine), you do not need to quarantine if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. If you do develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate and get tested.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. No serious safety issues have been reported. The vaccines were tested in large-scale research, which included adults from all backgrounds.

The most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, nausea, chills, joint pain and fever. For more information about side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html.

If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, you should talk with your healthcare provider about whether a COVID-19 vaccine will be safe for you. However, those who have a history of allergies to food, pets, venom, environmental factors, latex or oral medications may still get vaccinated.

It is too early to know how long immunity will last for the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Please discuss your unique healthcare concerns and the COVID-19 vaccine with your healthcare provider.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect or alter your body’s genetic code, or DNA. Messenger RNA vaccines work by teaching cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. They do not interact with your DNA in any way. You can learn more about this type of vaccine at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html.

Some groups’ vaccine eligibility criteria are based on workplace. If you qualify under your employment in another county, you may schedule your COVID-19 vaccination there. 

Some groups’ vaccine eligibility criteria are based on workplace. If you qualify under your employment in Hood River County, you may schedule your COVID-19 vaccination in Hood River County. Vaccines are allocated for workers in and residents of Hood River County. 

You may wait to be contacted by your primary care provider in Hood River County, or you may contact the Washington State Department of Health for information on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Washington.

Currently, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in those 16 and older (the Moderna and J&J/Janssen vaccines are authorized for use in those 18 and older). We will announce Pfizer vaccine availability information via public service announcements, letters to medical providers, social media, website announcements and more to notify Hood River County residents who are 16 and 17 when they can get vaccinated.