COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

New Scheduling System - Implemented March 23, 2021

I preregistered, do I need to register again? What will happen to the preregistration list?

The preregistration system is no longer necessary and will no longer be used to send vaccine scheduling email invitations. There is no need for people to register again. In the past, Lane County sent invitations via email to eligible individuals who preregistered with a link to a page where they could schedule a time to get a vaccine. This new system removes the need to receive an email. Instead, anyone who is eligible can simply log into www.lanecounty.org/vaxclinics to schedule their dose.

What happens to the preregistration database?

Lane County will “decommission” the list and we will no longer be sending weekly email updates. Instead, individuals wishing to receive weekly updates about the vaccine process should sign-up for the Lane County Public Health Vaccine Newsletter.

How will you know of someone is eligible/ensure that only eligible people are receiving a dose?

When an individual clicks on the scheduling link located on the Vax Clinics website, that individuals will first be taken to a list of the eligible groups and asked to attest that they are part of one of the groups that are currently eligible. 

What about people who have been eligible for awhile (seniors, 1A)? Will they lose their chance to receive a vaccine?

The opposite is true. We will be holding back doses to insure we always have a supply for them and making a concerted effort to get those folks vaccinated. This includes doing outbound calling, doing more community-based clinics, and assisting seniors and 1A individuals in finding a dose.

Vaccine Eligibility Prioritization

How is it determined who gets the vaccine and when?

The federal and state governments are in charge of 1) establishing the rules/priorities for who gets vaccinated, and 2) distributing the vaccines to local agencies. The local agencies (health care, hospitals, EMS, pharmacies, local public health, etc.) are responsible for administering the vaccinations to people in the established sequence and with the supplies they receive. 
 
Here’s how it works: 

    1. The federal government is distributing vaccines to states. Vaccines are ordered through the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). 
    2.  

    3. State governments receive the vaccines and establish the priorities and phases of implementation (with some guidance from the CDC). At this time, we don’t have enough supply from the federal/state governments to meet the demand in our local community.

    4. Local agencies (qualified and registered) request vaccines from the state Oregon Health Authority on a weekly basis. Lane County and other local agencies have received doses. Lane County is working with all of these partners, as well as the UO, K-12 schools, community-based service providers, etc. to ready our plans for when more supply becomes available.
  1.  

For more information visit the Oregon Health Authority
COVID-19 Vaccine website at https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov/
or contact OHA at COVID19.Vaccine@dhsoha.state.or.us.

 

What is the Oregon COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee?

The COVID-19 VAC will advise OHA on vaccine sequencing plans for Phases 1b, 1c and 2, with the goal of ensuring that communities most impacted by COVID-19 are included. Using OHA’s definition of health equity, the COVID-19 VAC will:

  • Advise OHA on the ethical principles that should guide decisions on sequencing of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Review data on COVID-19 and immunization inequities.
  • Using the ethical principles, advise OHA on equitable vaccine sequencing.

The goal of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) is to co-create a vaccine sequencing plan focused on health equity to ensure the needs of systemically affected populations, including communities of color, tribal communities and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are met.

How is Lane County prioritizing vaccination distribution?

Lane County Public Health (LCPH) is focusing on efficiency, equity, and flexibility as we refine our standing plan for vaccine delivery. LCPH is collaborating with partners to determine where there are gaps in vaccination access in the region.

We will follow guidance as it evolves from the Oregon Health Authority for a phased rollout for vaccine distribution and will provide regular updates on vaccine distribution as information becomes available.

As COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will ensure the distribution process is based on community involvement that will provide an equitable system challenging the roles of power, privilege and racism— informed by a newly assembled COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC).  For more information, visit the OHA VAC page.


How are Oregon and Lane County responding to the President's direction to open vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1?

President Biden’s made an announcement on March 11 directing states to open vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1.

  • Oregon Health Authority has adjusted eligibility dates for each Phase/Group so that all Oregonians over 16 years of age will be eligible on/before May 1, 2021.  See our eligibility page for more details.

 

I am in 1A and have yet to be offered a vaccine appointment. Will I still be prioritized based on my 1A eligibility?

Yes. LCPH continues to allocated doses to community members in Phase 1A.

To schedule an appointment visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page.

Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone? 

The vaccine supply remains limited however as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing ramps up, eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone.

This timing depends upon how many vaccines are approved and the total supply of vaccine available through manufacturers.

The latest information from Oregon Health Authority anticipates that by May 1, 2021, everyone over 16 years old in Oregon will be eligible for a vaccine. (as of 3.29.2021)

What steps is Lane County taking to ensure that no vaccine doses are wasted? What if not enough people show up to a vaccination event?

Currently demand for the vaccine outweighs the available vaccinations. Lane County Public Health is use existing registrations within the current eligible phase/groups to establish standby/on-call lists.

Our current partnerships with health care professionals distributing vaccinations allows for rapid contact to the standby/on-call lists when/
if vaccination events have fewer people attend than are registered.

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.

I am noticing people who are younger than me getting vaccinated ... why?

There are a few different ways this can happen having to do with the timing of when you completed preregistration, providers prioritizing individuals within their patient list, the length of time it takes for our vaccinating partners to reach out to schedule individual appointments, etc.

While it may be frustrating, due our need to use multiple ways and multiple partners to help with distribution, this will continue to some degree.

LCPH uses age and other risk factors to prioritize our elder population for the earliest clinic spots for our senior population. With the increase in doses, we should be able to offer vaccination to the majority of our elder population a dose in coming weeks. 

Additionally there are eligibility factors that may apply to an individual that you are unaware of. Examples are those caring for community members with intellectual/developmental disabilities or those who work in K-12 education.

Where can I get more information on vaccine planning and phase/group eligibility?

For eligibility questions you can go to covidvaccine.oregon.gov, text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only) or email ORCOVID@211info.org. If you can’t get your COVID-19 vaccine question answered on their website, by text, or by email, you can call the OHA call center at 211 or 1-866-698-6155, which is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Wait times may be long due to high call volumes. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold (in English and Spanish). Free interpretation is available for all other languages. TTY: Dial 711 or call 1-866-698-6155. 

V
iew OHA FAQs.

You can also sign up for the Lane County COVID-19 
vaccine newsletter by registering here.

Vaccine Distribution and Appointments

How is Lane County distributing vaccines?

To speed vaccine distribution and increase equitable access throughout the community Lane County is utilizing a variety of distribution mechanisms.  As allocations increase the number of vaccine providers is expected to increase as will the number of doses available to each of these partners.

The State provides vaccines to LCPH for distribution to groups as identified in the vaccine phases issued by the Oregon Health Authority.  

  • LCPH Pop-up clinics and mass vaccination events. 
  • LCPH Vaccine delivery strike teams going to facilities, rural areas and other populations with limited healthcare access.
  • 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

When and where can I be vaccinated?

When:

Eligibility is set by the Oregon Health Authority.  These are dates when each group first becomes Eligible.  Once eligible you remain eligible. It may be several weeks after this eligibility date before there are enough doses available for you to get an appointment.  Lane County will continue vaccinating as quickly as vaccine supply allows.  View vaccine eligibility information.


Where:

Lane County is utilizing a variety of distribution mechanisms.  As allocations increase the number of vaccine providers is expected to increase as will the number of doses available to each of these partners. 


How:

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page to schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies who are vaccinating.

How do I register to receive a vaccine?

You no longer need to Preregister/register.  When you are eligible (eligibility information) you can visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page to schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies 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.

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

You did not miss your opportunity. Once eligible you remain eligible.   

You no longer need to Preregister/register or wait for an invitation.  When you are eligible (eligibility information) you can visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page to schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies who are vaccinating.

Eligibility does not mean there is a dose available.  We have not received enough doses to vaccinate all eligible individuals.

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.  

When you are eligible (eligibility information) you can visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page to schedule an appointment and find links to pharmacies 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.

Individual Vaccine Eligibility 

My partner and I are in different eligibility groups. Can we be vaccinated at the same time?

Eligibility is by individual and not household.

Individuals of different ages can get vaccinated separately as they each become eligible or wait until BOTH are eligible and be vaccinated at the same time. Once eligible you stay eligible. 

Most vaccine providers will allow you to make appointments at the same time once you are both eligible so long as they have enough vaccine doses to accommodate 2 people.

Due to the limited vaccine doses there are not enough appointments to immediately accommodate everyone who is eligible within their first few weeks of eligibility.

We are a multigenerational household. Can we be vaccinated together?

Eligibility is by individual and not household.

Individuals of different ages can get vaccinated separately as they each become eligible or wait until BOTH are eligible and be vaccinated at the same time. Once eligible you stay eligible. 

Oregon Health Authority has set a projected eligibility date for multigenerational households of "no later than April 5, 2021".  Eligibility information 

Due to the limited vaccine doses there are not enough appointments to immediately accommodate everyone who is eligible within their first few weeks of eligibility.

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?

At this point, no. The current Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not allow for children under 16 (Pfizer) or under 18 (Moderna and Janseen (Johnson & Johnson)) to be vaccinated. In the future, COVID-19 vaccines may be approved for use among younger children. 

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

If you are currently residing in Oregon and meet Oregon’s eligibility criteria you may get your vaccine in Oregon.

Can people who work in Lane County but live in a bordering county get vaccinated in Lane County?

If you live in a bordering county it is preferred that you get your vaccine from the county where you live, not the county where you work. However, if you are eligible for vaccination in Lane County because of your job – for example you are a health care worker at a hospital in Lane County or a teacher at a Lane County K-12 school, you can and should get vaccinated through your employer or at a mass vaccination or community clinic in Lane County

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?

Pregnant persons over 16 years of age are eligible now as part of Phase 1B Group 6.

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?

Just to be safe, the CDC recommends you wait for two weeks after getting other vaccines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Once you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait for two weeks before getting other vaccines.

Since many people will not be able to get COVID-19 vaccines right away, now is a perfect time to receive other vaccines that may be due, like a flu shot, tetanus shot or shingles vaccine.

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.

The 
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?

No.

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 https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov/#safety

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?

While the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is not yet known whether you can carry and transmit the virus to others after vaccination. Until we learn more, it’s best to continue with safety measures like masking and physical distancing.

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.

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

COVID-19 Information -

Resources regarding case counts, vaccines and more (Español tambien).

www.lanecounty.org/coronavirus