COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Updated April 15, 2021

Washington state is opening up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and over. Learn more about vaccine clinic locations, how to schedule your appointment and get answers to common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Schedule your first-dose vaccine appointment

If you are age 16 or over as of April 15, 2021, (18 or over in the greater Spokane area, due to MultiCare’s vaccine availability), you can verify your eligibility and self-schedule your first-dose vaccine appointment at MultiCare with our scheduling tool.

Open the scheduler

April 15 Update: Everyone age 16 and older now eligible for vaccine

As of April 15, everyone in Washington state age 16* and over can now schedule their vaccine appointment.

If you meet this age criteria, you may use our online vaccine scheduler to self-schedule your first-dose vaccine appointment. More information on scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments with MultiCare is available below. Note that a parent or guardian must accompany patients under the age of 18 to their appointment in order to provide consent for the vaccination.

* Note for Greater Spokane area/Inland Northwest residents: We currently only offer the Moderna vaccine in our Spokane vaccine clinic and are only able to accommodate patients 18 and older in the region at this time. We can accommodate patients ages 16-17 and above in our Puget Sound region vaccine clinic locations with the Pfizer vaccine.

MultiCare COVID-19 vaccine tracker

Vaccine Dashboard

Vaccine appointments at MultiCare

Schedule your 1st dose

Anyone in Washington state age 16 and over (18 and over in the Inland Northwest region, due to MultiCare’s vaccine availability) can schedule their first-dose vaccine at MultiCare using our online self-scheduling tool (you may need to check back for openings if current appointments are full). You may also self-schedule your first-dose appointment through our interactive phone system by calling our toll-free vaccine line at 833-770-0530 and selecting option 1.

Open the scheduler

Schedule your 2nd dose

You can schedule your second dose online through MultiCare MyChart if you have an account, or by calling our toll-free vaccine line at 833-770-0530 and selecting option 2. If you do not already have a MyChart account, we encourage you to sign up online.

Go to MyChart

Want other options?

We also encourage you to keep looking for opportunities to schedule a vaccine appointment at a community vaccine clinic or through the vaccine locator on the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

Visit the vaccine locator

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

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services

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.

Scheduling Questions

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

As of April 15, everyone in Washington state age 16* and over can now schedule their vaccine appointment.

The state’s current and future eligibility phases are always available on the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

* Note for Inland Northwest residents: We currently only offer the Moderna vaccine in our Inland Northwest vaccine clinic and are only able to accommodate patients 18 and older in the region at this time. We can accommodate patients ages 16-17 and above in our Puget Sound region vaccine clinic locations with the Pfizer vaccine.

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

You can schedule your first-dose vaccine at MultiCare using our online self-scheduling tool (you may need to check back for openings if current appointments are full). You may also self-schedule your first-dose appointment through our interactive phone system by calling our toll-free vaccine line at 833-770-0530 and selecting option 1.

Please do not call your doctor’s office for a vaccine appointment. Our clinics are not giving COVID-19 vaccines.

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.

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.

Can I get a vaccine through MultiCare Capital Medical Center?

MultiCare Capital Medical Center is currently offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments through their vaccine wait list.

If you would like to add yourself to their wait list, you can do so on the hospital’s COVID-19 page.

We also invite residents of the communities served by Capital Medical Center to self- schedule a vaccine appointment at one of MultiCare’s Puget Sound region vaccine clinics through our online self-scheduling tool.

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 can be 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?

You are encouraged to take the vaccine type that is available when it is offered to you. We are unable to offer options to choose the manufacturer since our vaccines are based on supplies received from the state. If you have already received the first dose of vaccine for the Pfizer or Moderna 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 COVID-19 vaccines have been approved?

There are currently three vaccines that have emergency use authorization from the FDA:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine — This vaccine is for people age 16 and older. It requires two doses given around 21 days apart. After the second dose, research has shown this vaccine provides around 95 percent protection from the virus.
  • Moderna vaccine — This vaccine is for people age 18 and older. It requires two injections given around 28 days apart. After the second dose, this vaccine provides 94.1 percent immunity.
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine — This vaccine is for people age 18 and older. It requires one dose and provides 72 percent immunity.

Current CDC guidelines indicate that second doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be given up to six weeks after the first dose and still be effective.

Which of the three vaccines is “better”?

All three vaccines are highly effective at protecting against COVID-19 and preventing hospitalizations and deaths. The immunity percentages refer to a vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing all symptoms from this specific coronavirus (SARS COVID-2). All three vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting sick at all.

Perhaps more importantly, all three work to make any potential COVID-19 infection milder, more like a “regular” cold or flu, instead of the potentially deadly illness it can be without vaccine protection. All work to prevent serious infections for nearly 100 percent of people.

What is happening with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine due to some instances of a rare type of blood clot in several patients following the vaccination.

These blood clots occurred in six patients out of the more than 6.8 million who have received the vaccine. The patients were between the ages of 18 and 48 and the symptoms occurred six to 13 days following vaccination. You can read the CDC announcement here.

While it is not yet known whether there is a causal relationship between the vaccine and these incidents, the FDA and CDC have recommended a pause in use of the vaccine out of an abundance of caution while they review the data.
In response to this guidance, MultiCare is temporarily pausing the use of that vaccine within our facilities. The use of the J&J vaccine has been very limited within MultiCare and this temporary pause will not impact our overall vaccination efforts.

My child is under 16. Can they be vaccinated against COVID-19?

We understand that parents are hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to children. At this time, none of the vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States are meant for anyone under 16 years of age. Of the three vaccines available, only the Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be safe for those between 16-18 years old. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have only been shown to be safe for those 18 and older. This is because the clinical trials used to test these vaccines’ effectiveness and safety did not include anyone under those ages.

The Washington State Department of Health has not recommended or approved the use of any COVID-19 vaccines for patients under 16, based on CDC guidance and the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization guidelines. In accordance with these guidelines, MultiCare is unable to schedule vaccine appointments for anyone under 16. We are also unable to schedule vaccine appointments for anyone under 16 in locations that do not have Pfizer vaccine available.

Studies are underway to better understand the safety of these vaccines for children and we will follow guidance from the CDC and FDA when they adjust their guidance.

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.