Panhandle Health District 800-878-2364

Coronavirus – Vaccine Information

Click Links Below for Vaccine Appointments at Off-site and After-Hours Clinics
*Walk-ins Welcome Based on Availability of Vaccine*

Call or Text for Vaccine Appointments in our PHD Office Locations

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended to receive this third dose 28 days after receiving your second dose.

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

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

  • COVID Vaccines are FREE, and eligible to anyone 12 years old and older. Please note that Pfizer is the only available vaccine that is recommended for 12-17 year olds. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are recommended for those 18+.
  • See our Press Release regarding the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for those with immunocompromised conditions.
  • Please call our hotline for assistance 877-415-5225
  • Parental consent for those 12-17 years old is required at the time of the vaccination appointment.
  • The state of Idaho DOES NOT require that those seeking COVID-19 vaccines in the state live or work in Idaho. Anyone can receive a vaccine in Idaho.
  • Patients should bring insurance information. Masks are required at all of our vaccine clinics! If you are seeking a third dose we will ask that you sign a self-attestation stating you have a qualifying immunocompromised condition and bring proof of your previous two doses.
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance by calling or texting the PHD clinic you scheduled your appointment with. If you scheduled an appointment at an off-site clinic, please cancel via your confirmation email.

Vaccine Distribution

Vaccine Phases:

Phase 1

In- Progress

 

  • Hospital staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff (vaccine administration provided through the Pharmacy Partnership Program)
  • Outpatient & Inpatient clinic/medical staff who are unable to telework
  • Home healthcare providers
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants
  • Pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and pharmacy aides
  • Emergency management response workers who are unable to telework
  • Coroners
  • First Responders
  • School Nurses

Phase 2-2.3

In-progress

Phase 1b includes these groups in this priority order:

Food & Agriculture

Manufacturing

Corrections Workers

U.S. Postal Service Workers

Public Transit Workers

Grocery Store Workers

Phase 3

In-progress

Age plus Medical Condition alternating with Age Bands

Medical conditions are defined as “are at increased risk” and “might be at increased risk” per the CDC. To see a full list of conditions that qualify as a medical condition, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. In addition, disabilities* are also included as a medical condition.

March 24: Age 16 and up general population

 

General Population

In-progress
  • Vaccine available to the general public 12 years of age and older

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. 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

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

CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.

If you have had an immediate allergic reaction to other types of vaccine—even if it was not severe— ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate one COVID-19 vaccine is recommended over another. PEG and polysorbate are closely related to each other. PEG is an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines, and polysorbate is an ingredient in the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

If you are allergic to PEG, you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

No, anyone 12 years old and older can receive the vaccine from Idaho vaccine providers.

People with HIV and those with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. They may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware of the limited safety data:

  • Information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who have weakened immune systems in this group is not yet available
  • People living with HIV were included in clinical trials, though safety data specific to this group are not yet available at this time

People with weakened immune systems should also be aware of the potential for reduced immune responses to the vaccine, as well as the need to continue following current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19.

People with autoimmune conditions may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware that no data are currently available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with autoimmune conditions. People from this group were eligible for enrollment in some of the clinical trials. More information about vaccine clinical trials can be found below.

The VA is working with the CDC and other federal partners to develop a phased plan.

Under this plan, the VA is now offering vaccines to these 2 groups:

  • Veterans living in their long-term care facilities, and
  • VA health care personnel. Vaccinating our VA health care personnel helps them continue providing care for Veterans.

After these first 2 groups, the VA will begin to offer vaccines to more Veterans who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

If you’re eligible to get a vaccine, your VA health care team will contact you. You don’t need to reserve a vaccine, or come to a VA facility to request or receive a vaccine until they contact you. VA staff will only provide vaccines to Veterans who are currently eligible for one based on VA and CDC risk criteria.

You should discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers clinical guidance on the first (Pfizer) vaccine.

In Idaho, the number of vaccine doses that have been administered is reported at coronavirus.idaho.gov

You are considered immune 2 weeks after you receive your 2nd dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to self-quarantine if you are exposed AND it has been at least 2 weeks since your 2nd shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. If you are exposed before this time, you need to self-quarantine.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

The CDC has a provider vaccination enrollment program. Any Idaho facility, organization, or healthcare provider licensed to possess or administer vaccine or provide vaccination services is eligible to enroll. The enrollment process consists of completion of the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, Supplemental COVID-19 Vaccine Redistribution Agreement, and completing provider training. Information can be found through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website: healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/providers/immunization-providers/covid-19-vaccination-providers

v-safe is a new smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check-in with vaccinated individuals for adverse events after a COVID-19 vaccination. v-safe will also provide second-dose reminders (if needed) and live telephone follow up by the CDC if vaccinated individuals report a medically significant event during a v-safe check-in. Enrollment is voluntary.

 

Protection from Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is not immediate; the vaccine is a 2-dose series and it takes 1 to 2 weeks following the second dose before a person is considered fully vaccinated. Because the median incubation period of SARS-CoV2 is 4–5 days, current evidence suggests that vaccination of persons following a known SARS-CoV-2 exposure is unlikely to be an effective strategy for preventing disease from that particular exposure.

Thus, persons in the community or outpatient setting who have had a known COVID-19 exposure should not seek vaccination until their quarantine period has ended to avoid potentially exposing healthcare personnel and other persons to SARS-CoV-2 during the vaccination visit.

CDC continuously monitors the safety of vaccines given in the United States. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), co-administered by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, is the national frontline monitoring system for vaccine safety. VAERS is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems with vaccines. Anyone – a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or any member of the general public – can submit a report to VAERS. COVID-19 Vaccine Providers are required to report adverse events to VAERS.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is for persons 12 years or older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are for persons 18 years or older. PHD will state what vaccine is being administered when individuals register for an appointment on their website once that age group is eligible.

The first two COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to be authorized by the FDA contain mRNA and other, normal vaccine ingredients, such as fats (which protect the mRNA), salts, as well as a small amount of sugar. These COVID-19 vaccines were not developed using fetal tissue, and they do not contain any material, such as implants, microchips or tracking devices.

The vaccine formula for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine also does not contain aborted fetal tissue. Rather, virologists created J&J’s vaccine — and many other immunizations to fight viral outbreaks — in part by growing a modified virus in cells originally derived from embryonic tissue from an abortion performed decades ago. However, that human cell line is physically and chemically separate from ingredients that end up in the final vaccine product. Historical fetal cell lines were derived in the 1960’s and 1970’s from elective abortions that have been used to create vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis A, rubella, and rabies. Abortions or spontaneous miscarriages from which fetal cells were obtained were elective and were not done for the purpose of vaccine development.

The Pfizer vaccine is only recommended for those 12 years old and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine is recommended for those 18 years old and older.

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States 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. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Yes. Data from phase 2/3 clinical trials suggest that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and likely efficacious in persons with evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.

Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine is a single dose shot.

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, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Adverse reactions reported in a clinical trials following administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, chills, nausea/vomiting, lymph node swelling/tenderness, fever, swelling at the injection site, and redness at the injection site.

There isn’t any evidence from trials of the Pfizer vaccine that it affects fertility. As the vaccine stimulates an immune response to the spike protein, if it did affect fertility we might also expect to see Covid-19 infections affecting this too, as the body should produce a similar immune response if infected. But we don’t.

As a condition of receiving free COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, providers will be prohibited from charging consumers for administration of the vaccine. To ensure broad and consistent coverage across programs and payers, the toolkits have specific information for several programs, including:

Medicare: Beneficiaries with Medicare pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines and their copayment/coinsurance and deductible are waived.

Medicare Advantage (MA): For calendar years 2020 and 2021, Medicare will pay directly for the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration for beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans. MA plans would not be responsible for reimbursing providers to administer the vaccine during this time.   Medicare Advantage beneficiaries also pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines and their copayment/coinsurance and deductible are waived.

Medicaid: State Medicaid and CHIP agencies must provide vaccine administration with no cost sharing for most beneficiaries during the public health emergency.  Following the public health emergency, depending on the population, states may have to evaluate cost sharing policies and may have to submit state plan amendments if updates are needed.

Private Plans: CMS, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, is requiring that most private health plans and issuers cover a recommended COVID-19 vaccine and its administration, both in-network and out-of-network, with no cost sharing. The rule also provides that out-of-network rates cannot be unreasonably low, and references CMS’s reimbursement rates as a potential guideline for insurance companies.

Uninsured: For individuals who are uninsured, providers will be able to be reimbursed for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals without insurance through the Provider Relief Fund, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The COVID-19 vaccine’s currently seeking authorization are mRNA vaccines. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

  • mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
  • The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.

The FDA briefing documents show that it is true that there were four cases of Bell’s Palsy among those who received the vaccine. Bell’s Palsy is a sudden weakness or freezing of muscles on one side of the face, which in most cases is temporary.

The briefing says that the frequency of Bell’s Palsy in the vaccine group is “consistent with the expected background rate in the general population”, adding there is “no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time”. The FDA said it would, however, recommend “surveillance” for cases of Bell’s Palsy as the vaccine is sent out to larger groups of people.

You can read the full FDA briefing here: www.fda.gov/media/144245/download

No one is required to receive any vaccination by the health district or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

It is important to remember that natural and homeopathic remedies are also chemicals, some quite powerful and not subject to regulatory oversight. It is prudent to question the ingredients in any product that enters the body. In the case of vaccines, the ingredients used to carry the active ingredients have gone through extensive testing and have been found to be safe.

The Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for individuals under the age of 12 and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not recommended for individuals under the age of 18.

 

That is not recommended. If you receive the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, then you need to receive the Pfizer vaccine for your second dose. This is the same for the Moderna vaccine.

Production of the COVID-19 vaccines began sooner than is typical. Normally, production starts after a pharmaceutical company completes the development stage for a vaccine, which includes rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness. Every vaccine goes through a series of reviews and approvals by the FDA and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), among others. In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government invested taxpayer dollars to encourage pharmaceutical companies to start production before the development stage completed.

The vaccines are still going through the same rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness, review, and approval process. However, because pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing the vaccine during the clinical trials, they were able to make the vaccines available as soon as they were authorized.