With all of the updates about the coronavirus you may be wondering when, where—or even if—you should get the COVID-19 vaccine. In this post we’ll discuss the different types of vaccines and the benefits of getting any of them. We’ll also cover safety concerns, availability and where to make your appointment to get vaccinated if you are in a phase that is eligible.
COVID-19 Vaccines Offered in Washington State
There are three different types of vaccines approved for use in our state as of this writing, and each have proven to be very effective in helping to stop the spread of the virus. They are:
This vaccine was authorized for persons age 16 years or older. A two-dose vaccine, shots are administered 21 days apart. One to two weeks after the second dose is when the person vaccinated is considered fully protected. In Washington since mid-December, this vaccine estimated to be 95% effective.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
This vaccine was authorized for adults age 18 years or older. This is also a two-dose vaccine but spaced out a little further—given 28 days apart. One to two weeks after the second dose is when the person vaccinated is considered fully protected. In Washington since late December, this vaccine estimated to be 95% effective.
Johnson & Johnson – Janssen COVID-19
This vaccine was authorized for adults age 18 years or older. This is a one-dose vaccine. One to two weeks after the shot is administered is when the person vaccinated is considered fully protected. In Washington since early March, this vaccine is estimated to be 66% effective.
Benefits of Getting the Vaccine
Those vaccinated have a statistically lower chance of getting the coronavirus or developing serious illness, becoming hospitalized or losing their life if they were to contract it. The more people who get vaccinated, the better chance our community has to stop the spread of the virus and restrict the virus from mutating into new variants, which are often more dangerous.
Safety of the Vaccine
Many who have reservations about getting the vaccine fear side effects, but because these vaccines were extensively tested in clinical trials before they were made available, we know the side effects aren’t severe, and many people didn’t experience any at all.
The minor side effects some who tested the vaccines reported were:
- Muscle aches
- Pain in the arm (where the shot was administered)
- Redness on the arm (where the shot was administered)
- Joint pain
Note that none of these side effects were long-term, and all resolved naturally after a few days. Plus, most of us are used to minor side effects when we get common vaccines such as the flu shot and the shingles immunization. No one should be deterred from getting the vaccine for what may only cause temporary discomfort.
Every day, more and more dosages become available. This means that by April 15, as President Biden pledged, everyone age 16 or older in our state should be able to make an appointment to get their vaccine. Throughout that month and into early June, if all goes according to plan, the last phase groups should be fully vaccinated.
Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine
If you fall into one of the present eligible phases to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you can schedule your appointment now on our COVID-19 vaccine page. Once you’ve made your appointment, don’t forget to complete the consent form (found on the same page). For inquiries unrelated to the vaccine, complete the form on this page.