Thurston County facilities are open to the public with safety measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public and employee health. Learn more here.

Vaccine Information

More Information


Public Health and Social Services Contact Information

  • During business hours call 360-867-2610
  • WA Relay: 711 or 800-833-6388
  • Public health emergency call 1-800-986-9050
  • Medical emergency call 911
  • COVID-19 Business Group

State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline 

  • Call 1-800-525-0127 
    • Then press #
  • Hours:
    • Monday through Friday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    • Saturday and Sunday 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • Language
    • Press 2 for Spanish
    • For other languages wait and request an interpreter
  • Or text 'Coronavirus' to 211-211
    • For Spanish reply 'esp' to the hotline message


Social Media

Follow us on social media for the latest information and resources about COVID-19.

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Starting January 18, 2021 - Expanded COVID-19 Vaccine for Older Adults
  • Thurston County is providing the vaccine to Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, not everyone will be able to access the vaccine right away. Access will improve as the supply chain widens and providers in Thurston County receive more doses.

How to Get Vaccinated

  • Washington State's Phase Finder online tool can confirm your eligibility and provide you with a list of possible vaccination locations. www.FindYourPhaseWA.org 
  • Please do not call your healthcare provider to see if they have the vaccine. Healthcare provider phone systems are being inundated with calls about the vaccine availability and this is making it difficult for them to triage emergent patient calls. We encourage you to check your healthcare provider's website for information about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Who is Eligible for the Vaccine Now

  • Thurston County is providing the vaccine to Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, not everyone will be able to access the vaccine right away. Access will improve as the supply chain widens and providers in Thurston County receive more doses. 

  • Phase 1A Tier 1
    • High-risk workers in health care settings
    • High-risk medical first responders
    • Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance
  • Phase 1A Tier 2
    • All workers in health care settings
  • Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1)
    • All people 65 years and older
    • People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households
      • Cannot live independently and receives support from a relative or home caregiver, or being cared for by someone who works outside the home
      • Lives with and cares for a young child, along the lines of a grandparent with a grandchild
      • This group does not include an older adult who is able to live independently and is taking care of their kin/children.

Phased Plan for Vaccines in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has outlined a phased approach for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in our state based on the National Academy of Medicine Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. Thurston County will follow the phased plan outlined by the DOH.

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The Washington State COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidance includes:

Phase 1A Tier 1

  • High-risk workers in health care settings
  • High-risk medical first responders
  • Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance
Phase 1A Tier 2
  • All workers in health care settings

Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1)

  • All people 65 years and older
  • People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households
    • Cannot live independently and receives support from a relative or home caregiver, or being cared for by someone who works outside the home
    • Lives with and cares for a young child, along the lines of a grandparent with a grandchild
    • This group does not include an older adult who is able to live independently and is taking care of their kin/children.

Phase 1B2 - (Tier 2)

  • High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement

Phase 1B3 - (Tier 3)

  • People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions

Phase 1B4 - (Tier 4)

  • High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years
  • People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings:
    • Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings

The Washington State COVID-19 Vaccination Plan from the Department of Health provides additional information.

Although we will start to see the vaccine being distributed in Washington by mid-December, this will only start with a select group of individuals who face the most risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. It will be many months before this vaccine is widely available to the general public.

Vaccines

  • The vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech has been approve by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is being distributed across the United States. 
  • The vaccine created by Moderna has also been approved by the FDA.
  • There are additional vaccines in Phase 3 trials. 

Tools for Vaccine Patients

Volunteer

  • Would you like to help with the COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Thurston County? Please join the Medical Reserve Corps where members include medical and non-medical professionals who contribute their unique skills and expertise to prepare for and respond to health emergencies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Information





 Vaccine FAQs

  • What are the benefits of getting the vaccine?
    • The vaccine is designed to protect you from getting COVID-19. Based on the data from early clinical trials and experience from vaccines for other diseases it is likely the currently available vaccines limit the severity of the disease should you contract it. We know we can slow or stop the spread of disease when 60 to 80 percent of the population gests vaccinated. A vaccine can limit the spread of disease by protecting you, your family, and your community. 

  • Who should get the vaccine?
    • ​The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine for anyone over the age of 16 and the Moderna vaccine is approved for anyone over the age of 18 years old. You should consult your primary care provider if you have had severe allergic reactions to vaccines in the past or if you experience a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to determine if you should take the second dose. 

  • Is the vaccine safe?
    • The vetting and safety process a vaccine goes through is not new. Safety and efficacy data were collected when the vaccines were in clinical trials. The data was reviewed by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective and for which populations.

      Washington State joined the western states Scientific Safety Review Workgroup as an additional layer of expert review and scrutiny. Both groups approved the Pfizer vaccine for people over the age of 16 and the Moderna vaccine for people over the age of 18 years.

      The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to collect data and monitor the vaccines for adverse events. 


  • How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
    • ​The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19 disease. We do not know yet if the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, so preventative measures like wearing a mask and staying at least six feet apart from individuals not in your household will continue to be necessary until additional research is conducted.

  • What are the most common side effects from the vaccine?
    • The most common side effects of the vaccines are:

      * Pain at the injection site
      * Fever
      * Chills
      * Headache
      * Fatigue

      * Muscle or body aches 

      These side effects are common after receiving the injection and are an indication the body is mounting an immune response to the vaccine. Contact your primary care provider if the redness or tenderness at the injection site increases 24 hours after receiving the vaccine, if these symptoms last longer than 72 hours, or if your symptoms are severe or worsening. The currently available vaccines require two shots in order to provide maximum protection. Get your second shot even if you had side effects after the first shot unless your vaccine provider or your doctor have advised you not to get the second dose.


  • Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?
    • ​No, none of the approved vaccines contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus so you can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine. 

  • How many doses do I need?
    • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires the second dose be given 17-21 days after the first dose. The Moderna vaccine requires the second dose be given 28 days after the first dose. When vaccinated, you need to get both doses of the same brand of vaccine for it to be effective.

      It will then take an additional few weeks for the body to generate infection fighting cells in sufficient quantity. For more information on how a vaccine works in your body, please watch this video.


  • Who will get the vaccine first?
    • Washington State is following a phased plan for vaccine distribution. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has outlined a four phased approach for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in our state based on the National Academy of Medicine Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.  Thurston County will follow the phased plan outlined by the DOH.

      Thurston County will start vaccinating individuals in the 1A category outlined in the WA State COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidance Phase.  This includes:
      Tier 1

      High-risk workers in health care settings

      * High-risk medical first responders

      * Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance

      Tier 2

      * All workers in health care settings

       
      Although we will start to see the vaccine being distributed in Washington by mid-December 2020, this will only start with a select group of individuals who face the most risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. It will be many months before this vaccine is widely available to the general public.


  • Can I get vaccinated sooner? When will I get the vaccine?
    • Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is following the phased approach for the COVID-19 vaccine and is aligned with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) framework. We know many people are interested in getting the vaccine, but Thurston County will not be deviating from the framework provide by the DOH and the vaccine will be distributed in a fair and equitable manner to each group. Please be patient as the supply is limited. We will post more information about which individuals are eligible to receive the vaccine on our COVID-19 website as the phases progress.

      The vaccine will be distributed through the existing healthcare system to include providers and pharmacies. We encourage residents to connect with their primary care provider when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. We don't expect to have the supply of vaccine available to the general public until late spring or early summer of 2021.


  • If I already had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?
    • ​Yes, when you are eligible to be vaccinated, it is recommended you get the vaccine. Although it is not common to get COVID-19 a second time, it is possible. 

  • Do I get to choose which vaccine I get?
    • ​Right now, the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine is limited. When you are eligible to receive the vaccine, we encourage you to talk to your primary care provider to determine what is recommended for you based on your specific circumstances. 

  • How does the vaccine work?
    • ​This can be a complex question to answer, so we have created a flyer to help you understand this process. 

  • If the vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting COVID-19 and it doesn’t stop you from transmitting it, why would anyone get the vaccine?
    • ​Research has shown, both vaccines are in the 90 percentiles for effectiveness to reduce severe illness if you contract COVID-19. You do not know how your body will react if you contract COVID-19, you may experience mild or severe symptoms. When you are vaccinated, it greatly reduces your chance of having severe symptoms of COVID-19. More studies are needed to understand whether the vaccine stops transmission of the virus between people. 

  • What is in the vaccine?
    • ​You may see some rumors and untrue ingredients listed online or in social media. These are generally myths. The ingredients in both the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine are pretty typical for vaccines. They contain the active ingredient of mRNA along with other ingredients like fat, salts, and sugars that protect the active ingredient, help it work better in the body, and protect the vaccine during freezing. See this Q&A webpage from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for more information about ingredients.

  • Will I be required to get the vaccine? For work? For school?
    • ​It will be your choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Washington State Board of Health decides what vaccines to require for schools. Right now, the state has no plans to make this vaccine mandatory. Employers could require you to get the vaccine because they set their own policies regarding employee health requirements.

  • Will I still have to wear a mask and social distance if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
    • Yes, even if you get vaccinated, you will still need to practice preventative measures to prevent the spread of disease. These measures include:

      * Wearing a mask
      * Stay at least six feet apart from people
         not in your household
      * Wash your hands frequently
      * Limit gatherings and keep them small

      * Stay home if you are sick

      While experts continue to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, we all need to do our part and use the preventative measures we know work to fight this pandemic. Continued research is needed to understand the protection the COVID-19 vaccine provides before deciding to change the recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of COVID-19.