COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Page last updated July 27, 2021 at 11:43 a.m.

Everyone who's 12 or older is now eligible for the vaccine. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine available for anyone under 18.

We now know that COVID-19 vaccination not only protects you from infection, but it makes you much less likely to spread it, too. But the good news doesn’t stop there: it’s now SUPER EASY to get, and still 100% free of charge. 

Walk-in Vaccine Clinics this Week

All of these clinics welcome walk-ins, and the vaccine is still 100% free of charge. If you’re already vaccinated, share this list with someone who isn’t! 

  • Thursday, July 29 at Twin Sisters Brewing from 6-8pm, Moderna. Get a free beverage along with your free vaccine! Walk-ins are welcome, but if you'd like you can pre-register here. Located at 500 Carolina St in Bellingham. 
  • Friday, July 30 at Old Lynden Middle School Gym from 3-6pm, Moderna, Pfizer AND Johnson & Johnson! Both testing and vaccines are available, open to everyone 12 and older. Located at 516 Main St in Lynden.

I am looking for: 

COVID-19 Vaccination Progress for Whatcom County

table showing Whatcom County COVID-19 vaccination progress
See our Data Dashboard Explainer (PDF) for more details. For a narrative, accessible version of the data included in the infographic, please see our weekly vaccine updates on our newsflash page.

Vaccine Eligibility

Who is eligible to get a vaccine right now?

Anyone over the age of 12 is eligible to be vaccinated in Washington State. Please note adolescents and teens aged 12-17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.

Where Can I Get Vaccinated?

In our community, we have a strong network of pharmacies, tribal health centers, community health centers, and primary care providers that offer the vaccine. Your primary care provider will likely be able to make an appointment for you. 

The vaccine is now widely available and appointments are often not required. Many pharmacies like the ones at Haggen and Safeway accept walk-ins. Walk-ins are also welcome at PeaceHealth’s vaccine clinic, although appointments are preferred.

You can use the Vaccine Locator to find a vaccine provider near you. You can also call the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357) for assistance. Call takers can tell you which locations near you offer the COVID-19 vaccine, and help you schedule an appointment if needed. This line also has Spanish, Russian, Punjabi, and other language options.

Is the vaccine safe?

Vaccines must pass some of the toughest safety measures in medicine. The process to approve and monitor vaccines has been around for decades. It’s the same process used to develop vaccines for measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), and the seasonal flu.

The process to bring a safe and effective vaccine to you begins with clinical trials. Trials are ongoing for COVID-19 vaccines under development. Throughout vaccine development and distribution, there are numerous safety measures. These include:

  • The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes and monitors the trials.
  • Two other independent advisory committees provide oversight and monitor for safety during vaccine development and testing. 
  • Another committee continues to monitor for safety and adverse effects when a safe and effective vaccine is ready for distribution. 

As vaccines receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, Washington State, along with other western states, will do an independent review of the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. We will only promote safe and effective vaccines.

Learn more about how the vaccine makes its way from manufacturers to you.

For other questions and answers about the vaccine, see our Vaccine Questions page.

What should I expect when I get vaccinated?

You might have mild reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, like fatigue or soreness where the vaccine was injected. As with any vaccine, serious reactions have been rare during vaccine testing, and the benefits of getting vaccinated greatly outweigh any risk.

  • If you have had serious reactions to vaccines in the past or severe allergies, talk with your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Read this full list of possible reactions.
  • There is a rare but increased risk of developing a severe blood clot and platelet disorder after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Most known cases have occurred in women between the ages of 18-49, and some have been fatal. Following a thorough safety review weighing the benefits and risks, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the ongoing use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine under a revised emergency use authorization. Since the likelihood of this blood clotting issue occurring is highly unlikely, ACIP recommended allowing continued use of the vaccine. Read this FDA News Release for more information. 
  • This fact sheet from the Washington State Department of Health has more information about who should get the vaccine, what you might experience, and what you should do after you get your shot. The same information in additional languages can be found under the vaccine drop-down menu on DOH’s resources page.

How much will it cost?

The vaccine will be provided at no cost. It will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. The cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured. 

How many doses will I need?

Two of the three vaccines currently available - the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose. If required, your provider will discuss the need for a second dose after you’ve had your first.

How do I know which vaccine I got and if I need another dose?

Your provider will let you know which vaccine you received and if you need a second dose. It will also be marked on your vaccination card you receive at the time of your appointment. You can also access your vaccination record at https://wa.myir.net/rorl.

What can I do once I'm fully vaccinated?

On May 13, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask or socially distance except where required by laws, rules, or regulations (including business and workplace guidance). This is because the vaccines have proven incredibly effective at preventing both infection and transmission, meaning if you are vaccinated, it’s highly unlikely you will get COVID-19, and highly unlikely you will spread it.

Although masking guidelines and rules have changed, many people in our community aren’t yet vaccinated, and more severe and easily-transmitted variants are spreading. The Whatcom County Health Department recommends that people who are fully vaccinated keep wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces where you can’t be sure what everyone’s vaccination status might be.

Businesses retain the right to require masks. 

For more information on what to do after you’re vaccinated, please refer to: 

How to Have Vaccine Discussions

As we work to vaccinate our community, we know that it will be a team effort, and that team includes you. You may have people in your life who are unsure about whether to get the vaccine. If you'd like to talk to them about the vaccine, you can find some tips in the health department's vaccine confidence discussion guide, with more information about the vaccine in our COVID vaccines fact sheet. Also visit our Vaccine Questions page, which covers common misconceptions about the vaccines.

How to Volunteer and Stay Informed

I would like to volunteer. How can I help?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help with our local COVID-19 vaccination effort! We are not looking for volunteers at this time.

How can I stay informed?

We’ll continue to update this page. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine planning, development and safety standards from DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You can also sign up for email updates. Select Health - Public Health News to subscribe to email updates with the latest local information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Updates are archived here: Public Health News.

 

Go To Top