COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

All Oregonians ages 12 and over are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  (Pfizer for ages 12+, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson for ages 18+)
Information on vaccination clinics in Lane County can be found here:

Vaccine Clinics
Clinicas de vacuna

I've lost my vaccination card, how do I get another one?

Your immunization was recorded in the state ALERT immunization record system. 

If you need a copy of your vaccine information the quickest and easiest way is to complete the form below and email to or print and mail to:

800 NE Oregon Street
Suite 370
Portland, Oregon 97232

You can also request a copy of records from your pharmacy, primary care provider who can access the ALERT system.

Form for requesting records.

 More information on ALERT immunization records can be found here.


Lane County Public Health is limited in our ability to provide you with a copy of your COVID-19 immunization records at this time.  The above resources will provide you with a record more quickly than we are currently able to.

Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone? 

Vaccine supplies have increased substantially and we will have enough vaccine to vaccinate all eligible Oregonians.

All Oregonians ages 12 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine.  Information on Lane County clinics can be found here:
Vaccine Clinics
Clinicas de vacuna

Will the vaccine will be mandatory?

When a vaccine is authorized for emergency use, patients need to agree to receive it. There are no plans to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?

At this point the Emergency Use Authorizations are for ages 12 and over.  In the future, COVID-19 vaccines may be approved for use among younger children.

The current Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not allow for children under 12 (Pfizer) or under 18 (
Moderna and Janseen (Johnson & Johnson)) to be vaccinated.  

My permanent residence is in another state, but I'm staying in Oregon (student, multiple homes, staying with family, etc.). Can I get my vaccine in Oregon?

If you are currently residing in Oregon  you may get your vaccine in Oregon.   This includes individuals needing only a second dose.  You can receive your second dose here.

Will I be asked about my immigration status to receive the vaccine?

No.  All eligible community members are able to receive a vaccine, regardless of your immigration and citizenship status. Vaccine providers should not be asking about your immigration status. The Biden/Harris administration has declared that all vaccine sites are sensitive locations and immigration enforcement agencies will not carry out operations at or near such facilities, which also include health care facilities and hospitals.

Testing and treatment for COVID-19 (including vaccination) will not count against you for the public charge test. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made a special announcement about this. Also, not all immigrants are subject to the public charge test.

I’m pregnant. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?

You may choose to get the vaccine in consultation with your medical provider’s help in making an informed decision.

Can a person receive the COVID-19 vaccine while they are sick?

Those with mild illness may receive the vaccines with no effect on vaccine safety or effectiveness. However, it is better that you recover from your illness, with no symptoms, before getting vaccines to keep from spreading your illness to health care workers who are administering the vaccine.

If I’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, do I need to get the vaccine?

Due to the severe health risks associated with the disease and the fact that re-infection is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with the disease before. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to people regardless of a history of COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms.

I just received another vaccine. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

None of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are live virus vaccines. Because data are lacking on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of any other vaccine. However, COVID-19 and other vaccines may be administered within a shorter period in situations where the benefits of vaccination are deemed to outweigh the potential unknown risks of vaccine coadministration.  

Vaccine Distribution and Appointments

How is Lane County distributing vaccines?

Lane County is utilizing a variety of distribution mechanisms.  

The State provides vaccines to LCPH for distribution under guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.  

  • LCPH Vaccine mobile team vaccinating at facilities, in rural areas and partnering with community based organizations and local business to hold small clinics.
  • LCPH also distributes to healthcare partners in addition to any doses directly received by those partners.

Additional vaccines are provided directly to healthcare partners by the federal or state government 

  • Veterans Affairs
  • Pharmacies
  • Hospitals
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Universities

When and where can I be vaccinated?


All Oregonians ages 12 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine.  


Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics (o Clinicas de vacunapage to find a list of walk-in clinics,  schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies and other local providers.

How do I register to receive a vaccine?

You no longer need to Preregister/register or even make an appointment.  You can visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics  (o Clinicas de vacuna) page to find a walk-in clinic, schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies and providers who are vaccinating.

Will I be required to pay or have insurance to receive the vaccine?

No. There is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine and you do not need to have insurance.

The vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. The cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured.

How do I get vaccinated if I am homebound or need assistance with transportation?

There is a COVID-19 vaccination program for homebound individuals.  If you are homebound please call or email Lane County ( or 541-682-1380) and provide a minimum of your address and phone number.  Lane County works with state who will contact you and schedule a time to come to your home and provider your vaccination. 

Lane County can assist with transportation to a vaccine clinic.  To access this assistance schedule an appointment and check the box on the scheduling form that says you need transportation assistance (bottom of the name & demographics page).  Our team will then reach out to you to determine what assistance is needed and help coordinate low or no-cost transportation.  You can also call or email us and we can connect you with our transportation assistance team: or 541-682-1380.

I preregistered but haven't received an appointment, did I miss my opportunity?

You did not miss your opportunity.

You do not need to wait for an invitation.  Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics  (o Clinicas de vacuna) page to schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies and providers who are vaccinating.

I live in a rural area but haven’t seen any mass vaccination clinics here. Where can I get vaccinated?

We have been distributing vaccine to our rural areas through medical providers and pharmacies.  

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics  (o Clinicas de vacunapage to schedule an appointment or find links to pharmacies near you who are vaccinating.  This scheduling page includes many rural locations including Cottage Grove and Florence.

We understand the challenges of receiving medical care in rural areas and are working to make vaccine available as easily and quickly as possible for rural residents.

Vaccine Development, Reactions and Side Effects

Why should I get a COVID-19 vaccination? 

Vaccination is a safe, effective and reliable way to prevent getting infected with COVID-19. It’s the best tool we have to help us end the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon. By getting vaccinated, wearing masks, washing our hands, staying physically distant and avoiding large indoor gatherings we can help stop the spread. If enough of us get vaccinated, we can achieve community immunity and the virus will not spread quickly.

How soon after administration will the vaccine become effective?

Clinical trials measured the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Moderna and Pfizer both have some effectiveness after one shot but require a second shot for maximum effectiveness.

Moderna vaccine is 94% effective two weeks after a person receives the second shot. The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective one week after the second shot.

In its review of Johnson & Johnson’s (Jassen) application, the FDA reported the vaccine was 66% effective for moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 in all groups across all regions studied starting at 28 days after vaccination. The observed efficacy in the United States was 72%.

“The best thing is that this one-dose vaccine was 85% efficacious in preventing severe COVID-19,” Paul Cieslak, M.D, medical director for communicable diseases and immunization, OHA Public Health Division.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The 3 authorized vaccines give our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, store the instructions in single-stranded RNA. These are called mRNA vaccines or messenger-RNA vaccines.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA to store the instructions.  It is a viral vector vaccine

The CDC has additional information on how mRNA and viral vector vaccines work.

CDC mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines

Are the vaccines interchangeable?


Though Pfizer and 
Moderna vaccines are made the same way, people must get the same second dose from the same manufacturer of the first.

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is a single dose vaccine.

All three vaccines are effective and stop the spread of virus, we recommend that people should take whichever vaccine is first available to them. 

If you have questions or concerns about your individual health situation they should be discuss with your health care provider.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? 

Thanks to advances in medicine, scientists were able to create and test a vaccine quickly. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires rigorous safety testing before it will approve any vaccine. Tens of thousands of people — including Oregonians — from many backgrounds, ages and communities of color, participated in vaccine testing.

What does Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) mean? In times of a public health emergency, like a pandemic, the FDA allows the use of certain life-saving drugs and treatments through Emergency Use Authorization. The COVID-19 vaccine was tested in tens of thousands of study participants, which generated enough data to convince the FDA that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the manufacturer producing the vaccine meets all safety standards.

Should people with significant allergic reactions not get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?

Being allergic to one thing does not mean that you’re allergic to another. People who have an allergic reaction to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine should not receive it. 

To view the ingredients of the vaccines, please visit the manufacturer websites or view the FDA Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheets.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet

Was the vaccine was rushed to market and was it adequately tested for safety?

COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated extensively in large-scale clinical trials. FDA will authorize their use only after reviewing this data. 

For more information on the safety, effectiveness and vaccination trials, visit

Is it true the vaccine is not FDA approved?

During a pandemic, a vaccine may receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) before being approved through a standard application. The FDA Commissioner may authorize medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a public health emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when there are no available alternatives, and when the benefits of using a new medical product outweigh their risks. 

For more information visit:
FDA Website
OHA Website

Is the COVID-19 vaccine a live virus? 

The current vaccines do not contain live virus. 

Will the Pfizer vaccine remain at freezing temperatures when it is injected? Or will it be warmed up? 

The Pfizer vaccine can be stored for up to 120 hours (5 days) prior to mixing.

Once diluted the vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator or at room temperature up to six hours before administration.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine’s side effects?

According to the FDA, the most common side effects found in the COVID-19 vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain. For more information visit the CDC’s site: What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

What if I have a bad reaction to my COVID-19 vaccination? 

CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) . This national system collects these data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected or have unusual patterns of occurrence.

Visit The CDC VAERS Webpage to learn about the difference between a vaccine side effect and an adverse event and how reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority.

We also recommend using the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker to share your side effects with the CDC as part of ongoing vaccine safety monitoring.

Is it true the vaccine won’t help your body build immunity the same way getting the virus will?

The body builds immunity to COVID-19 in a different way with the vaccine than through infection.

The vaccine helps build immunity without having to get the disease, which can be serious and even fatal.

Are mRNA vaccines more dangerous than other vaccines?

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines appear to cause short-term side effects more often than many other vaccines. But these side effects do not appear to be lasting.  Moderna & Pfizer are both mRNA vaccines.

Can mRNA vaccines alter your DNA?

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines work by teaching cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, according to the CDC. Messenger RNA injected into your body will not interact with or affect your cells’ DNA. 

Once I get the COVID-19 vaccine, can I stop other safety measures like masking and physical distancing?

As of May 14, 2021, the CDC has relaxed guidance on wearing a mask for persons who have been fully vaccinated in many situations. However, in Lane County we still follow the guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. For more information on situations where masking is required, please visit

You can find more post vaccine guidance here: Post Vaccine Guidance

Are both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the same amount? Is the second dose less or more than the first dose? 

For the two dose vaccines (Pfizer & Modern) both doses are the same amount.  Your immune response may be different to each dose.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) requires only a single dose.

Where can I find more information regarding vaccine development and safety information?

Middle Fork Complex Fire -

Evacuation and Safety Information