COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Updated February 25, 2021

Feb. 25 update: Rescheduling weather-impacted COVID-19 vaccine appointments almost complete

MultiCare has been actively rescheduling appointments for patients whose COVID-19 vaccine appointments were impacted by weather-related vaccine shipment delays last week.

Once we have rescheduled these appointments, we will be able to accommodate additional appointments for others waiting to schedule their second dose. We appreciate your patience as we work through this complex process. Please be reassured that CDC guidance allows for the second dose of either vaccine to be administered up to six weeks after the first dose and still be effective.

If you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine and need to get your first dose, please call our automated vaccine line at 833-770-0530 to add yourself to the wait list for a first-dose appointment and request updates. Callers can choose to hear prompts in Spanish or English.

 

MultiCare COVID-19 vaccine tracker

Vaccine Dashboard

Vaccine waiting list

If you are in Phase 1A or Phase 1B, tier 1, you can call our automated vaccine line at 833-770-0530 to add yourself to a vaccine waitlist and request updates. After you call, you’ll need to answer a series of questions about your eligibility before you can be added to the list. Callers can choose to hear prompts in Spanish or English.

COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited. We look forward to adding more appointment slots in the future when our vaccine supply allows.

We also encourage you to keep looking for opportunities to schedule a vaccine appointment at a community vaccine clinic or drive-through event.

Vaccine appointments at MultiCare

We have a limited amount of first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available and are filling those appointments as our supply allows for eligible MultiCare patients and those on our wait list in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, tier 1. We are asking anyone currently eligible to receive the vaccine to call our automated vaccine line at 833-770-0530 to add yourself the wait list for a first-dose appointment and request updates. Callers can choose to hear prompts in Spanish or English.

We also encourage you to keep looking for opportunities to schedule a vaccine appointment at a community vaccine clinic or drive-through event.

Please do not call our call centers or your doctor’s office. Our call centers do not have separate appointment slots for vaccines and our clinics are not giving COVID-19 vaccines.

For more information about vaccine appointments, including scheduling your second dose, visit our Questions and Answers section below.

Answers to your questions

COVID-19 vaccine clinics in your area

Local health departments and other organizations are holding ongoing and “pop-up” style COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Find one in your area:

Public Health – Seattle & King County

Spokane Regional Health District

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

The Washington State Department of Health has also compiled a list of locations that are distributing vaccine. Because the vaccine is in high demand, appointments may not be available at any given location. Single-day mass vaccination clinics in particular fill up quickly, so we recommend you check those pages frequently for updates.

What can you do while you’re waiting? 

  • Find your phase

    Visit the Washington State Department of Health PhaseFinder to check your COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.

  • Get on the waiting list

    Get on MultiCare’s vaccine waiting list by calling our toll-free vaccine line and following the automated prompts.

  • Stay safe

    Keep doing what we know works to slow the spread of COVID-19 — focus on hand hygiene, wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from anyone who does not live in your immediate household at all times. If you are feeling sick, wear a mask, even at home, stay away from others as much as you can and talk to your health care provider right away to find out if you should be tested for COVID-19.

Scheduling Questions

How do I know if I am eligible to schedule a vaccine?

People currently eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Phase 1A: Workers in health care settings; high-risk first responders, long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Phase 1B, tier 1: All people 65 years or older; all people 50 years or older in multigenerational households (homes where individuals from 2 or more generations live, such as child, parent and grandparent; or an older adult or elder who is living with and taking care of kinship along the lines of a grandparent with a grandchild, i.e. not a parent and child relationship)

COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited and first-dose appointments continue to be in short supply. 

I am eligible to receive the vaccine. How do I schedule my first-dose appointment?

We have a limited amount of first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available and are filling those appointments as our supply allows for eligible MultiCare patients and those on our wait list in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, tier 1.

We are asking anyone currently eligible to receive the vaccine to call our automated vaccine line at 833-770-0530 to add yourself the wait list for a first-dose appointment and request updates. Callers can choose to hear prompts in Spanish or English.

We also encourage you to keep looking for opportunities to schedule a vaccine appointment at a community vaccine clinic or drive-through event.

Please do not call our call centers or your doctor’s office. Our call centers do not have separate appointment slots for vaccines and our clinics are not giving COVID-19 vaccines.

We understand many people are eager to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and are frustrated at the delays in getting an appointment. MultiCare remains committed to providing this important vaccine for our patients and communities as quickly and safely as possible as our vaccine supply allows.

How do I schedule my second vaccine dose?

If you did not schedule your second vaccine dose while at your first-dose appointment, you can schedule your second vaccine appointment in one of two ways:

  1. If you have a MultiCare MyChart account, check to see if you have a medical order in your account for your second dose. If there’s an order, select it and follow the process to schedule your second dose appointment.
  2. If you don’t have a MultiCare MyChart account, or if you do but you don’t see your second dose order, you can call our toll-free vaccine line at 833-770-0530 to schedule your second dose appointment. Select option 2 to schedule your second dose.

Note: Because our vaccine supply continues to be limited, you may have to try more than once to find an available second dose appointment. We are committed to providing everyone with second doses of the vaccine to ensure its full effectiveness. We will do our best to schedule you within the recommended time frame, but even if you are not able to schedule within that window, please be reassured that CDC guidance allows for the second dose of either vaccine to be administered up to six weeks after the first dose and still be effective.

I have a vaccine appointment with MultiCare but got my vaccine someplace else. Do I need to cancel my appointment?

We understand how challenging finding vaccine appointments is and recognize that people may be trying to get appointments at more than one location. We do ask that you take the time to cancel your vaccine appointment at MultiCare if you no longer need the slot, so that we may offer that appointment to someone else.

How do I reschedule or cancel my vaccine appointment?

If you need to reschedule or cancel your COVID-19 vaccine appointment at MultiCare, please call our vaccine line at 833-770-0530 and select option 2.

We are unable to reschedule or cancel vaccine appointments through MyChart at this time.

What to Expect

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

According to the CDC, vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars will be given at no cost to an individual.

Vaccination providers are allowed to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone, which is reimbursed by a patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. At the time you make an appointment you will be asked for the name of your insurance provider, if you have one, but there will be no out of pocket expense for you as an individual when you get your vaccine at MultiCare, regardless of whether you have insurance or not.

 

Why are you asking about my ethnicity?

The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, but it does not affect everyone equally. Black, Latinx and other communities of color have been disproportionately impacted.

A primary goal of Washington state’s vaccine allocation and prioritization is to be equitable in our approach. Asking for ethnicity information is required of us by the Washington State Department of Health. By collecting ethnicity information and reporting it back to the state we will be able to tell whether we are effectively reaching the individuals and communities across Washington who most need the vaccine. This information will also help us identify gaps in vaccine access and find ways to more equitably distribute vaccine.

What do I need to do to prepare for my vaccine appointment?

Before you head to your vaccine appointment, keep in mind the following:

  1. You will need to wear a mask. MultiCare will provide an appropriate mask for you, if necessary.
  2. You will have to answer a series of health screening questions. You can review those questions here. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may not be able to get your vaccine dose that day.
  3. You will need your identification and insurance information so our staff can verify that information as needed. You will also need to be able to verify your eligibility to receive the vaccine. For example, if you are a health care worker or first responder, you should bring your employee badge or ID.

What will happen at my vaccine appointment?

Here’s what to expect when you arrive for your vaccine appointment at MultiCare:

  1. We’ll verify you are wearing a mask and complete a temperature check. An appropriate mask will be provided for you, if necessary.
  2. You’ll check-in at our registration desk, receive your vaccine card (or have your card updated if this is your second shot) and we’ll verify your information.
  3. After check-in, you’ll be directed to a vaccine station, and the vaccinator will review the screening document with you. Note if you answer “yes” to any of the screening questions, you may not be able to get the vaccine that day, so we recommend you review those questions in advance
  4. You’ll receive your vaccine and instructions on how to schedule your second dose, if needed. 
  5. You’ll need to wait for at least 15 minutes in the observation area to be sure you do not have a reaction to the vaccine. You’ll be provided with a ticket that notes when your observation time will be over. Make sure you plan your schedule to accommodate this observation time.
  6. Once your observation time is up, you are free to leave, as long as you are feeling well. 

Can I pick which vaccine I get when I am eligible?

Because we do not know how many doses of each type Washington state will receive on an ongoing basis, we cannot guarantee individuals will be able to select between the different vaccine options. You are encouraged to take the vaccine type that is available when it is offered to you. If you have already received the first dose of vaccine, you should make sure your second dose comes from the same vaccine manufacturer.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

While the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed more quickly than usual, the protocols to evaluate safety and efficacy have been the same. Before they reach us, they will have passed through a number of rounds of evaluation and approval, including the FDA, the CDC, the state Department of Health and an independent collaborative of experts from across Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and California.

You can learn about vaccine safety from the CDC and learn more about the Western States Pact and Scientific Safety Review Workgroup from the Washington State Department of Health.

How long will it take for the vaccine to work?

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after you get a vaccine. That means it is possible for a person to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Once I get the vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask or worry about social distancing?

Even if you get the vaccine, you should continue to wear a mask around others, wash your hands and practice physical distancing. Both of the vaccines currently being used in the United States require two doses given three to four weeks apart before you are well protected.

When you get your first shot, you don’t become immediately immune. It can take several weeks for your
body to develop antibodies. After you get the vaccine, you should also continue to take steps to protect other people who haven’t been vaccinated yet. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before changing recommendations on what everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus.

Data shows that the first vaccine dose provides about 50 percent immunity protection and you’ll have around 95 percent immunity protection a few weeks after your second dose.  So, even after your second dose there is still a chance that you can get sick. We also don’t yet know if the vaccine totally prevents us from being infected or passing the virus on to someone else.

Other Appointment Questions

I’m a MultiCare patient. Do I have to get my vaccine from MultiCare?

You do not have to get your COVID-19 vaccine at MultiCare, even if you are a MultiCare patient. The Washington State Department of Health has a list of locations across the state where the vaccine is being offered. You may get your vaccine at any one of those locations. We do urge you not to make multiple appointments at multiple locations, as that limits appointment availability for others.

Why can’t I just get my vaccine from my primary care provider?

COVID-19 vaccines are only offered at specific MultiCare locations. Your MultiCare primary care provider does not have vaccines available. When scheduling your vaccine appointment, you must select one of the available vaccine locations.

If you have specific questions about the COVID-19 vaccine related to your health history, please reach out to your doctor, but otherwise, please do not call your doctor’s office to try and schedule a vaccine appointment.

Vaccine Info

What is the difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

The most significant differences between the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are their required storage temperatures and the timing between the initial vaccination doses.

The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperatures, requiring special freezers or storage procedures. The Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-low temperature storage and can be stored in the same way that other vaccines are stored.

Both vaccines require two doses to reach immunity, but on a slightly different schedule. The Pfizer vaccine doses must be given around 21 days apart. The Moderna doses must be given around 28 days apart. Current CDC guidelines indicate that second doses may be given up to six weeks after the first dose and still be effective.

There is also some difference in the ages that the vaccines are intended for. The Pfizer vaccine is meant for individuals age 16 and over. The Moderna vaccine is meant for individuals age 18 and over.

I heard that MultiCare was part of a vaccine trial. Why is MultiCare participating in this research when there are already two vaccines available here?

MultiCare’s Institute for Research Innovation (MIRI) is about to launch a phase 3 clinical trial in the Inland Northwest region for pharmaceutical company Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine. Around the world, the goal has always been to identify and accelerate all of the most promising vaccine candidates into production, not just one or two. With 7 billion people in the world, there is a need for a range of vaccines that can work for different people and that can be produced and rolled out at a scale and speed never seen before. There are limitations on how fast any one vaccine can be produced and distributed. By participating in this phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, MultiCare will be a part of a global collaborative effort to help identify potential new vaccines that can be added to our fight against COVID-19.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trial will take place at MultiCare Rockwood Clinic starting in January 2021. The trial will be open to the public and aims to enroll up to 300 participants age 18 and older. Interested participants can learn more and also sign up to be contacted about the trial by visiting the Research Institute’s website.

What if I already had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?

Yes. There is still not enough information about how long immunity lasts after COVID-19 infection, so it is important for you to receive the vaccine as well as soon as you are eligible.