The NATIVE Project is committed to providing understandable, current, and transparent information about the COVID-19 vaccine for our patients and community. We all have questions and concerns. Below is a guide for understanding the vaccine process for our clinic. Also, there are a list of facts that we hope provides valuable vaccination information to assist in your decision for you and your family.
All information below is based on Washington (WA) State and CDC guidelines.
Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
The CDC and the State of WA have approved 1 COVID-19 vaccination from the Pfizer Company and are in the process of approving more. Initially, there may be a limited supply of vaccine. This means that not everyone will be vaccinated right away. However, over time there will be enough for everyone.
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be provided to me?
Initially, the vaccine will be offered to our registered patients in the following priority:
- Healthcare personnel and first responders: providers, fire, ems, law enforcement, caretakers
- Elderly patients living in congregate care
- American Indian or Alaska Native patients age 55 and older
- All patients over the age of 65
- Essential workers *
- American Indian or Alaska Native patients age 16 and older (with parental consent)
- Other remaining patients
The Covid-19 vaccine has not been approved for children under the age of 16 or pregnant/nursing people. Vaccine trials for these patients will begin in January 2021.
*Essential workers include: Energy, childcare, water/wastewater, agriculture/food production, critical retail, critical trades, transportation, nonprofits, and social service workers.
What has been done to plan the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines?
The federal government and the State of WA will oversee a centralized system to order, distribute, and track COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccines will be ordered through CDC. Vaccine providers will receive vaccines from CDC’s centralized distributor or directly from a vaccine manufacturer.
How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?
Most of the available vaccines require a series of two shots. After the first shot, the second shot should be administered after 21 days. However, there are some vaccines that require only a single shot. We will keep you updated about the available options.
Will I need to wear a mask when I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. CDC recommends that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside their household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine.
Are there special considerations on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first?
Yes. As said before, due to the initial limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine there are a list of patients who have priority to receive the vaccine. Please see the list above.
Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have received 2 doses of the vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. Unfortunately, there is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the State of Washington use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes the vaccination process can cause symptoms, such as fever and aches but you do not have COVID-19. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
The approved vaccines in Washington State won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests.
FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.
FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness or they may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease.
FACT: Patients should still receive routine vaccines
Patients should still get other common vaccines, especially if the patient is a child or pregnant/nursing (as they are not currently approved for the COVID-19 vaccine).
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