Panhandle Health District 800-878-2364

Coronavirus – Vaccine Information

 PHD Office Locations
AVAILABLE FOR THOSE AGES 5 YEARS AND OLDER

  • COVID Vaccines are FREE, and eligible to anyone 5 years old and older. Everyone 12 and older may receive a booster shot.
  • For the safety of our staff and clients, we maintain a limited capacity inside our buildings. Please do not bring others with you to your appointment unless you need assistance or are accompanying a minor.
  • Please call our hotline for assistance 877-415-5225
  • Parental consent for those 5-17 years old is required at the time of the vaccination appointment.
  • Patients should bring insurance information, ID, and proof of their previous two doses if they are seeking a booster dose. Masks are required at all of our vaccine clinics!
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance.

Vaccine Distribution

Vaccine Phases:

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 5 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 5 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.