COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Page last updated April 15, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

COVID-19 Vaccination Progress for Whatcom County

table showing Whatcom county COVID-19 vaccination progress
See our Data Dashboard Explainer (PDF) for more details.

Vaccine Eligibility

Who is eligible to get a vaccine right now?

Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to be vaccinated in Washington State. Please note that only Pfizer is available for use in 16- and 17-year-olds.

Everyone who wishes to be vaccinated will be able to get vaccinated. Right now, there is not enough vaccine supply to meet demand. When more vaccine doses arrive in Whatcom County, local vaccine providers will be able to vaccinate people faster.

Where to Get Vaccinated 

In our community, we have a strong network of pharmacies, tribal health centers, community health centers, and primary care providers who will be able to offer the vaccine. 

Use the Vaccine Locator to find a vaccine provider near you. If your regular health care provider isn’t listed, you can check their website for more information, or look for emails, texts, or portal messages from them.

You can also make an appointment at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC). The CVC is currently running weekly clinics and will expand operations as vaccine supply increases.

You can also call the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 or 888-856-5816 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.

Safety and What to Expect

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 are authorized by 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.

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
  • 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 currently approved vaccines - 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.

Can I specifically request a certain vaccine?

You will not be able to select which vaccine you receive once you are at a clinic, but you can see which clinics are offering which vaccines at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov. The best vaccine is the one you can get right now, and it’s a good idea to make the next appointment available to you, no matter which vaccine is offered.

What can I do once I'm fully vaccinated?

If someone has been fully vaccinated, they can:

  • Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people in private residences without wearing a mask.
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household in private residences without masks. For example, you can visit relatives who all live together. Everyone should still wear a mask if anyone has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Skip quarantine or getting tested after they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19, as long as you don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Until told differently by medical experts, people who are fully vaccinated should continue to:

  • Wear a mask and keep 6 feet away:
    • In every public setting.
    • When visiting unvaccinated people who are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 complications.
    • When visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households. 
  • Keep your gatherings small.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

Learn more from the CDC.

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! To sign up, go to www.whatcomcovid.com/volunteer. Licensed medical professionals who would like to volunteer to support the Community Vaccination Center can fill out the form “Medical Licensed Personnel Volunteer”. Volunteers can also help with other jobs like traffic control, scheduling, set-up, and more. If you are not a medical professional and want to volunteer, fill out the General Volunteer form.

We are also taking applications for volunteers for our COVID-19 testing and contract tracing operations. To sign up for COVID-19 testing volunteer roles, fill out a form at www.whatcomcovid.com/volunteer. If you’d like to volunteer as a contact tracer, sign up on WCHD’s website.

Washington State is also recruiting volunteer medical professionals. You can sign up and learn more at www.waserv.org.

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.

 

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