COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Pre-Launch

COMPLETED
  • Created mass vaccine plan for county
  • Established vaccine outreach with community partners
  • Prepared Phase 1a – Group 1 agencies for vaccine

Phase 1a

CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
  • Frontline medical workers; long-term-care-facility (LTCF) residents and staff; EMS and other first responders; healthcare personnel

Phase 1b

CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS; PLEASE AWAIT INSTRUCTIONS
  • Group 1: Child-care, preschool and K-12 school and school district staff 

Phase 1b

NO START DATE SET; AWAITING OHA GUIDANCE
  • Other essential workers
  • People 65 and older
  • High-risk populations

Phase 2

  • Critical and general populations

Phase 3

  • Critical and general populations

About the Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization to two COVID-19 vaccines, made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna.

These vaccines work by giving the immune system a “sneak peek” of what the virus looks like without causing COVID-19. Your immune system will then remember the virus for a period of time and be able to specifically target the full, live virus if you are exposed to it.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two equal doses, three to four weeks apart. It will take a few weeks for your body to fully build immunity after you receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccines do not contain the actual virus, and they will not cause you to get COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain thimerosal, mercury, antibiotics or preservatives. There are no plans to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, and individuals must give informed consent to receive it.

The most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever.

Why Get the Vaccine

There are many reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect your body.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness. It lowers your chance of getting COVID-19 and its associated health risks.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. No serious safety issues have been reported. The vaccines were tested in large-scale research, which included adults from all backgrounds.
  • The vaccine is our best tool to end the pandemic.

Vaccine Distribution

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in Hood River County in phases (click here for COVID-19 vaccination progress updates).

Phase 1a began in late December 2020 and includes healthcare personnel, long-term-care-facility residents and staff, and emergency medical services (EMS) providers and other first responders. 

Phase 1b will include child-care, preschool and K-12 school and school district staff; other essential workers; those with high-risk medical conditions; and those who are age 65 and older.

Phases 2 and 3, which include critical populations and the general population, will follow.

The health department is following Oregon Health Authority guidance and will update eligibility and distribution information as we have it. Please visit our COVID-19 Vaccination Updates page for current status.

Frequently Asked Questions

It will take some time before every Hood River County resident who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to. The vaccines will be available and administered to county residents in phases, following Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance. Click here for Hood River County COVID-19 vaccination progress updates.

Phase 1a is currently underway and includes healthcare personnel, long-term-care-facility residents and staff, and emergency medical services (EMS) providers and other first responders.

Phase 1b includes child-care, preschool and K-12 school and school district staff; other essential workers; those with high-risk medical conditions; and those who are age 65 and older. “Essential workers” and “high-risk” medical conditions are still being defined by OHA; we will update information as we have it.

Phases 2 and 3, which include critical populations and the general population, will follow.

As more vaccines are manufactured and distributed, OHA guidelines will be followed to administer them to people included in each phase. The health department will release vaccine availability information via public service announcements, letters to medical providers, social media, website announcements and more to notify Hood River County residents when they can get vaccinated.

For many people in our county, it’s likely that you will get a COVID-19 vaccine where you have gotten your other vaccines: at your healthcare provider’s office or at a pharmacy.

The health department will release vaccine availability and administration information via public service announcements, letters to medical providers, social media, website announcements and more to notify Hood River County residents when and where they can get vaccinated.

The federal government covers the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare providers may charge you a fee to administer the vaccine. Your health insurance likely will cover this fee.

Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot three to four weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses 28 days apart. The different vaccine products are not interchangeable, and the series of two doses must be completed with the same vaccine product.

Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent illness by building immunity. It is too early to know how the vaccine will prevent transmission of the virus. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines attack the virus’s ability to invade your body’s cells. One study showed that those who have been vaccinated are less likely to harbor the virus. Until we learn more, it’s best to continue with safety measures like masking and physical distancing.

No, you do not need to isolate from others after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

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. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. 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. 

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. No serious safety issues have been reported. The vaccines were tested in large-scale research, which included adults from all backgrounds.

The most commonly reported side effects of the vaccine included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. For more information about side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, you should talk with your healthcare provider about whether a COVID-19 vaccine will be safe for you. However, those who have a history of allergies to food, pets, venom, environmental factors, latex or oral medications may still get vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also put safeguards in place to ensure that, in the instance someone does experience a severe allergic reaction as a result of a COVID-19 vaccine, the person receives immediate medical care. For instance, people with a history of severe allergic reactions will be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine, as opposed to the standard 15 minutes for those without a history of severe reaction.

It is too early to know how long immunity will last for the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Please discuss your unique healthcare concerns and the COVID-19 vaccine with your healthcare provider.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect or alter your body’s genetic code, or DNA. Messenger RNA vaccines work by teaching cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. They do not interact with your DNA in any way. You can learn more about this type of vaccine at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html

If you are included in Phase 1a or 1b and your workplace qualifies, you may be able to get the vaccine at work. Please check with your employer.