COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccination is a safe, effective, and reliable way to prevent getting sick from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect you and your family. To help keep you informed, we’ve collected information about common COVID-19 vaccine questions. You can also explore more vaccine information from our trusted public health sources.



Vaccine coverage and eligibility 


All FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are provided at no charge to you, no matter where you get the vaccine. This includes when multiple doses are required.


Everyone 6 months of age and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine for primary series vaccination. Everyone 5 years of age and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 bivalent booster shot.


  • All people 5 years of age and older are now eligible to receive one updated (bivalent) booster shot if it has been at least two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose. Bivalent booster COVID-19 vaccines available include Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines.
    • People 18 years and older may also have the option to receive a Novavax monovalent booster instead of an updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster if they have completed primary series vaccination but not previously received a COVID-19 booster and if they cannot or will not receive mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines).

  • Per the CDC, all people ages 5 years of age and older can no longer get an original (monovalent) mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) booster. 
  • All people 6 months of age and older living in the US are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • All people 12 years of age and older are eligible for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
  • All people 18 years of age and older are eligible for the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which is now marketed as “Comirnaty” for people 16 years and older. 
  • The FDA granted full approval to the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, which will be marketed as Spikevax. The approval is for use of the vaccine in people 18 years and older.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments

  • Schedule your vaccine

    COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available for individuals age 6 months and over at many doctor’s offices, community clinics, and available for individuals 3 years and over at pharmacies. We encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine wherever there is availability. All COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.



    Visit your primary care provider


    In virtually all communities, many physician offices and local clinics are offering COVID-19 vaccination. This is welcome access for those members who wish for a personalized approach to vaccination, including asking questions and receiving information specific to their personal needs.



    Community Clinics


    • County websites are helpful resources to see if your community has COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
    • For residents of Oregon, you can find COVID-19 vaccination information by county on the Oregon Health Authority website.
    • For residents of Washington, you can find COVID-19 vaccination providers and clinics by zip code on the Vaccine Locations website provided by the Washington State Department of Health.


    Providence scheduling options:


    • PMG clinics. If you are a Providence Medical Group ("PMG") patient, you may be able to get the vaccine at your clinic.
      • Boosters are available.
      • Children’s vaccinations are available at select locations in the Medford, North Coast and Portland areas.

    • PMG drive-thru. Call the virtual triage clinic at 971-326-8718, option 4, to schedule a shot at one of our drive-thru sites in Hillsboro, Portland or Tigard.
      • Boosters and children’s vaccines are both available.

    • Credena Health Pharmacies at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent campuses are offering Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and will mix and match. Call in advance to schedule an appointment.
      • Boosters are available.

    • Community vaccination clinics where Providence is a partner are open to community members in the Eugene, Medford, Portland and Yamhill areas. We will update this link as new clinics are scheduled.
      • Boosters are available.
      • Children’s vaccinations are available at select locations.


    Visit a participating pharmacy


    Pharmacists can vaccinate individuals 3 years and over.


    Vaccinations are by appointment but many pharmacies allow walk-ins based upon availability. Schedule an appointment online or by visiting a participating pharmacy, such as:



  • Transportation assistance for COVID-19 vaccine appointments

    Transportation assistance is available for COVID-19 vaccine appointments


    Medicaid Members

    • Ride to Care – 503-416-3955 or 1-855-321-4899, TTY/TDD 711, interpreter services are available.
    • Ride to Care is a Health Share program that provides free trips to health care appointments. Plan a trip to your next health care appointment - it’s free and easy.
    • Ride to Care can be used for transportation to/from vaccination sites. For more information, visit www.ridetocare.com

    How can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I receive at-home services for a medical condition or disability?

    • Various county vaccine clinics, including drive-thru clinics, are available at Vaccine Information by County or may be found via your county’s public health website. To register for a vaccine, follow the instructions on your local county’s public health website.

    For all other members who need at-home services, call Customer Service at 1-800-878-4445 to be connected to our Care Management team for more information.

  • Get help scheduling an appointment

    If you need assistance making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, we can help. Call us at 1-877-216-3644 for assistance.


    Community resources:

    • For Oregon residents, the Oregon Health Authority’s website contains many good pointers to find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon.
    • Not everyone can use the internet for vaccine scheduling. If you need to schedule your vaccination and you do not have access to the internet, you can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (toll-free) from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily, including holidays. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold. You can text ORCOVID to 898211 or email ORCOVID@211info.org for more information on where to get the vaccine.
    • You can also call 1-800-525-0127, and then press “#” from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Monday – Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on weekends and observed state holidays.
    • You can text “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive information and updates on your phone.

    If you are an employer interested in hosting a vaccination clinic for your employees, visit our on-site COVID-19 vaccine clinic page for more information.

Common questions for different groups of people

  • If I have a chronic condition, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, people with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Learn more from the CDC.

  • If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need a COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.


    Per the CDC, if you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (whether a primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test. Reinfection is less likely in the weeks to months after infection. Learn more from the CDC.

  • Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?

    COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19 and may help to prevent serious illness and death in the event that they do become infected. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are the only vaccines available to children 6 months and older. Learn more from the CDC and OHSU.

  • If I am pregnant, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for pregnant people. CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all people aged 6 months and older, including people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can prevent serious illness, death, and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19. Learn more from the CDC.


    You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination.

Boosters and additional/third doses

  • Who needs an additional dose or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

    The CDC recommends and FDA has authorized an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) for certain immunocompromised individuals as defined by the CDC. The additional dose augments the primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Individuals who are eligible for an additional primary shot, should get this dose first before getting a booster shot.


    For Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:

    • People age 6 months to age 4 years old, who received Pfizer-BioNTech and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, should get an additional primary shot of PfizerBioNTech COVID-19 vaccine given at least 8 weeks after the second shot.
    • People age 5 years and older, who received Pfizer-BioNTech and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, should get an additional primary shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine given 28 days after the second shot.

    For Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:


    • People age 6 months to age 4 years old, who received Moderna and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, should get an additional primary shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given at least 8 weeks after the second shot.
    • People aged 5 years and older, who received Moderna and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, should get an additional primary shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given 28 days after the second shot.

    For J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine:


    • People aged 18 years and older, who received J&J/Janssen and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, should get an additional primary shot (second shot) of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given 28 days after the first shot.
    • An additional dose (second shot) of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended at this time.

    For Novavax COVID-19 vaccine:


    • People aged 12 years and older, who received Novavax and who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, are not yet recommended to receive an additional primary shot (third shot) of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as of yet.
    • An additional dose (third dose) of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended at this time.

    This includes people who have:


    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

    Individuals should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

  • What is the difference between an additional dose and a booster?

    For people who are immunocompromised, the additional dose, also called the third primary dose or third dose, is the final dose of the primary series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna) while the booster is the shot that comes at least two months later. Getting a booster enhances or restores protection against COVID-19, which may have decreased over time. People ages 5 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may be eligible to receive 4 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine — a primary series of 3 doses, plus, when eligible, 1 booster dose. 

  • Do I need a COVID-19 booster shot?

    Everyone ages 5 and older can get one updated (bivalent) booster shot if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:


    • Their final primary series dose, or
    • An original (monovalent) booster

    People 18 years and older may also have the option to receive a Novavax monovalent booster instead of an updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster if they have completed primary series vaccination but not previously received a COVID-19 booster and if they cannot or will not receive mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines). 


    People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.


    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and completed your second dose of initial series vaccine or last booster at least 2 months ago and are 5 years and older. 
    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Moderna vaccine and completed your second dose of initial series vaccine or last booster at least 2 months ago and are 6 years and older. 
      • Individuals 5 years of age who have received Moderna initial vaccine series may be eligible to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster.

    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine at least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination or last booster and are 18 years and older.
    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Novavax vaccine at least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination or last booster and are 18 years and older.


    For immunocompromised individuals,


    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and completed your primary series or last booster at least 2 months ago and are 5 years and older.
    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Moderna vaccine and completed your initial series or last booster at least 2 months ago and are 6 years and older.
      • Individuals 5 years of age who have received Moderna initial vaccine series may be eligible to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster.

    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine at least 2 months after your second COVID-19 dose or last booster dose and are 18 years and older.
    • You should get a COVID-19 bivalent booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if you received Novavax vaccine at least 2 months after your third COVID-19 dose or last booster dose and are 12 years and older.

    Learn more from the CDC.

  • What is the updated (bivalent) booster?

    Per the CDC, the updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. 


    Previous booster vaccines are called “monovalent’ because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19.


    COVID-19 vaccines that are now updated (bivalent) boosters include: Pfizer and Moderna updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.  


    People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.

  • Should I get a second COVID-19 booster shot?

    At this time, there are no recommendations for individuals to receive a second shot of the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster shot.


    Learn more from the CDC.

  • What are the side effects of getting a booster shot?

    So far, reactions reported after getting a booster shot are similar to that of the 2-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects. Overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. Serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness

  • What does approval from the FDA mean?

    The FDA thoroughly reviews the safety, effectiveness, and quality of medical products, including vaccines, before granting an FDA approval.


    After extensive review, the FDA determined the following vaccines to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 disease and granted full approval for use for the following individuals:

    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, now marketed as Comirnaty, for individuals 16 years of age and older.
    • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, now marketed as Spikevax, for individuals 18 years of age and older.

    See below for more information on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for additional populations.

  • Is getting the vaccine safe?

    The safety of vaccines is a top priority, and millions of people have already been safely vaccinated. All FDA-authorized and FDA-approved vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19. Additionally, these vaccines have been determined safe in preventing COVID-19.


    The FDA has authorized four COVID-19 vaccines under the FDA EUA. An EUA may be granted by the FDA only during a public health emergency. When reviewing an EUA, the FDA carefully considers the potential benefits and risks of a product based on the current data. The following COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use:


    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 6 months through 15 years of age
      • The EUA will cover the use of Pfizer-BioNTech in individuals 6 months of age to 4 years of age as a three-dose primary series, in individuals 5 years of age and older as a two-dose primary series, as a third primary series dose for individuals 5 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise, and as booster doses for individuals 5 years of age and older after completing a primary series of the vaccine.
      • The EUA will continue to cover the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 6 months of age and older until sufficient approved vaccine can be manufactured and distributed. 

    • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 6 months of age and older 
      • The EUA will continue to cover the use of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 6 months to 17 years old as a two-dose primary series, 18 years of age and older as a two-dose primary series, as a third primary series dose for individuals 18 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise, and as booster doses for individuals 6 years of age and older after completing a primary series of the vaccine.

    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older
              

    On Dec. 16, 2021, the CDC recommended that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over Janssen's Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This is due to increasing evidence that Janssen's Johnson & Johnson vaccine can trigger a rare blood clot disorder. The Janssen's Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still available on the market and will remain an option for people who are not able or do not want the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect against variant strains of the virus?

    All of the COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against variants, including the Delta and Omicron variants, but breakthrough infections can occur. Fortunately, vaccination, even among those who acquire infections, helps to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

  • How long do I need to wait after getting a flu vaccine or another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

    You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit.

Getting vaccinated

  • What should I expect at my appointment?
    • Bring your photo ID to show proof of identify, such as your driver’s license. If it’s your second or third dose, bring your COVID-19 vaccination card.
    • Wear your mask and physically distance from others while inside and in line.
    • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes.
    • Consider signing up for v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins. V-safe also reminds you to get your second dose if you need one. Register for V-safe at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/register-for-v-safe.html.
    • You should get a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Keep your vaccination card, and consider taking a picture of it as a backup copy.
  • To be fully vaccinated, how many shots do I need?

    You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have received your primary series of shots.


    The number of doses in the primary series depends on which vaccine you receive.

    • Two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
      • For individuals 6 months to 4 years of age, the primary series is three doses with the initial two doses given 3 weeks (21 days) apart followed by a third dose given at least 8 weeks (56 days) apart after the second dose.

    • Two Moderna vaccine doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.
    • Johnson & Johnsons Jansen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose.
    • Two Novavax vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.

    At the current time, the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated” does not require a booster shot. Fully vaccinated, however, is not the same as having the best protection. People are best protected when they stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes getting a booster when eligible.

  • What if I miss my second dose of the vaccine?
    • If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.
    • If you miss your second vaccination appointment or are outside the recommended second-dose timing, you can still get the second dose. You won’t need to start over with the first dose, and the second dose will still help you get protection from COVID-19.

What to expect after you get vaccinated

  • What are the side effects? When do I need to seek medical care or be concerned?

    Side effects from vaccines are normal signs that your body is building protection. For most people, side effects are mild or moderate and last only a day or two. Side effects might include feeling tired and achy. You might have a fever and chills. Your arm will probably be sore where you got your shot. If you received a second shot, side effects may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot.


    Contact your healthcare provider if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.

  • What are the long-term side effects?

    Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects have been detected.

  • Can I get COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated?

    A small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. Studies show that fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of getting severely ill and can be less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19.

  • How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?

    It’s not yet known how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. Recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led the CDC to recommend certain groups get a booster shot at least 5 months after completing their initial vaccination series.

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