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

Need vaccine assistance?

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) vaccine helpline: 888-856-5816 

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services vaccine helpline: 360-867-2610

Looking for a vaccine? 

Search for a vaccine location

Looking for additional COVID-19 information?

COVID-19 Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health Connection

BienestarWA (Spanish Language)

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

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

Social Media

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




Vaccine Clinics for April 19-26:

Please check back at a later time for information about our upcoming clinics this week. Please visit the Washington State Department of Health's Vaccine Locator to find an appointment in Thurston County.

If you need assistance scheduling an appointment please call our vaccine helpline at 360-867-2610.

How Can I Get Vaccinated?

  • You can search and register for a vaccine appointment online through Washington State Department of Health's Vaccine Locator or PrepMod.
  • If you need assistance making a vaccine appointment please call our COVID-19 vaccine helpline at 360-867-2610.
How Can I Volunteer?

United Way of Thurston County is organizing our community volunteer effort to run our large-scale vaccination events. If you are interested in serving our community at a vaccination event, please submit an application here

Licensed medical professionals can volunteer for vaccine draw and administration through the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps here.

  • Who is eligible for a vaccine right now?
    • Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is now vaccinating anyone age 16 and older. 

      All minors 16 and 17 years old must receive parent or guardian consent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This can be done in PrepMod when registering for an appointment or at the time of vaccination. Parents or guardians do not have to be present at the time of vaccination if they signed the consent form online during registration. 

      Anyone age 16 and older may receive the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone age 18 and older may receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine  from Thurston County Public Health and Social Services

Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ's

Answering Your Questions About the New COVID-19 Vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tools for Vaccine Patients


Would you like to help at a COVID-19 vaccination event in Thurston County? Thank you for your interest in supporting Thurston County's COVID-19 response. Currently, we are actively recruiting medical and non-medical volunteers to support vaccination clinics in Thurston County. Please select the options that fit your skills below and follow the link.
  • Non-Medical Volunteers - Please register via United Way of Thurston County.
    • Jobs include: flow monitors, traffic control, greeters, guides and reception.
    • Work may include indoor and outdoor locations.
  • Medical Volunteers - For licensed medical professionals, please email to obtain a Medical Reserve Corps application. 
    • Jobs include: vaccinators, medical screening/observation, and vaccine draw. These positions require any of the following retired and/or active medical licenses in Washington State: MD, DO, PA, ARNP, RN, DODPA, Pharmacist, Pharmacy Tech. For more information, click here.
    • Work may include indoor and outdoor locations. Must work within the scope of your license.

Additional Vaccine Information

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Vaccine FAQs

  • Is there a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list? How do I get on it?
    • ​Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) is not able to maintain a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list at this time. This is due in part to a very limited vaccine supply week-to-week and a high demand for vaccine appointments. PHSS is one of several health care providers in Washington State registered to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Each provider in Thurston County who offers vaccines has a different scheduling process. The best way to find an appointment for the vaccine is to navigate to the state Department of Health's vaccination locations website:

  • Why am I finding out about vaccination events after the fact? How do I register for them?
    • ​Each registered vaccine provider in Thurston County has different policies and procedures for how they choose to release their vaccine appointment information to the public. Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) utilizes a combination of "open pod" and "closed pod" vaccination events in order to equitably distribute the vaccine to residents in Thurston County.

      Open pod clinics are appointment-based, first come, first served events. When PHSS announces these types of clinics, it is generally through the PHSS website, Facebook, and Twitter channels an hour prior to opening registration for the clinic. Unfortunately, due to high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, appointments can fill up very quickly.

      PHSS uses closed pod clinics to more equitably distribute the vaccine to those in Thurston County without internet access, non-English-speaking communities, homebound individuals, and those without consistent access to services. To execute these clinics, PHSS generally partners with a local organization, such as United Way, Senior Services for South Sound, EMS Medic One, or other non-profit organizations to reserve slots for underserved members of our community. These closed pod events are not announced to the public.

       Weekly vaccine allocations are the main driver for how many appointment slots PHSS has at any given event, as all health care providers strive to use 100% of the vaccine doses allocated each week. More appointments will be available as the supply increases.

  • I’m eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine based on the current phase and tier. Why am I not able to get a vaccine?
    • Currently, in the State of Washington there is not enough vaccine supply to meet the demand.  Thurston County has nearly 300,000 residents and more than 70,000 of those residents are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine based on Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1 requirements. Until vaccine supply increases at the federal level, Thurston County health care providers only able to serve about 5% of those eligible for vaccine each week. 

      Weekly, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) receives vaccines from the federal government based on our statewide population and allocates those vaccines to approved providers. It is unknown how much vaccine will be allocated to providers within Thurston County each week. As of January 26, 2021, health care providers approved by the DOH to administer vaccinations in Thurston County have received a combined total of 9,550 of first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccine types require everyone to get a second dose within 4 weeks of first dose. To date, 4,375 second doses have been administered by providers in Thurston County.

      The quantity of vaccines received drives the number of residents vaccinated and the number of appointments that are available. This is very frustrating to eligible residents who want the vaccine and cannot find an appointment as well as providers who want to give the vaccine as quickly and effectively as possible. 

  • How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine when I’m eligible?
    • Currently, vaccinations are by appointment only. You can confirm your eligibility for the vaccine, and see where the COVID-19 vaccine is available, by visiting or by calling the Washington State Department of Health at 888-856-5816. Vaccine doses are very limited, so appointments are not guaranteed. Each provider in Thurston County who offers vaccines has a different scheduling process.

      Thurston County Public Health and Social Services will announce the availability of open clinics and mass vaccination sites as they become available on social media and our website. Residents who have questions or need help may also call 360-867-2610 for more information.

  • Are there any public vaccination sites?
    • Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) is working with many community partners to plan large scale community vaccination sites in Thurston County. Sites will be held at South Puget Sound Community College and Thurston County Fairgrounds, beginning as early as mid-February. The opening days and hours of operation will be based on vaccine supply. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) currently operates mass vaccination sites in Washington State, not local health jurisdictions. The vaccine supply for mass events comes out of the DOH's weekly allocation and not the county's allocation.

  • I am not a Thurston County resident, but I’m eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Can I get vaccinated in Thurston County?
    • ​Yes, you are not required to work or live in Thurston County to receive a vaccination from an approved vaccine provider in Thurston County.

  • I don’t have access to the internet, so I can’t check phase finder or make an appointment online. How can I get help?
    • If a Thurston County resident does not have internet (email) access, residents can call the Washington State Department of Health vaccine phone line at 888-856-5816 to receive assistance with making vaccine appointments as they become available and a Spanish option is also available. 

      If you are unable to reach DOH through their vaccine line, you may call Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) at 360-867-2610 for assistance. Due to the high call volume DOH and PHSS are experiencing, please be patient if you are unable to receive immediate assistance. If you do have access to email, internet, or cell phone service, please use those methods in scheduling appointments before calling DOH or PHSS.

  • What are the benefits of getting the vaccine?
    • The vaccine is designed to teach your immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Clinical trials demonstrated that the currently available vaccines are safe and effective at protecting you from 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 the virus.  We are learning more about the potential for COVID-19 vaccination to reduce transmission rates in communities. The CDC does not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.

  • Who should get the vaccine?
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine for anyone over the age of 16 years old 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 any of the components of these vaccines or severe allergic reaction to vaccines in the past.  If you experience a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine contact your health care provider or vaccine provider to determine if you should take the second dose. 

  • Is the vaccine safe?
    • The vaccines currently available have been found to be safe and effective after robust review. 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 Food and Drug Agency reviewed the data on safety and efficacy and issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also reviews this data and makes recommendations on vaccine use and populations to be offered vaccine first.

      Washington State joined the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup as an additional layer of expert review and scrutiny.  The workgroup, made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA's actions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA, CDC and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approved the Pfizer vaccine for people over the age of 16 years and the Moderna vaccine for people over the age of 18 years.

      The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the 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 COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not know yet if the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, 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 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 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 full protection. You should still get your second dose 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 implemented a phased plan for vaccine distribution. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) 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.

      Health care providers in Thurston County have begun vaccinating individuals in the 1A  and 1B tier 1 categories outlined in the WA State COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidance Phase. This includes:
      Phase 1A

      - All 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 1B Tier 1
      - Individuals 65 or older
      - Individuals age 50 and older in multigenerational households (individuals who live with and care for a grandchild, individuals who can't live independently and receive long-term care from a caregiver or lives with someone working outside the home).

      Although the vaccine became available in Washington mid-December 2020, this was intended for 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 if I have a preexisting condition? When will I get the vaccine?
    • Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) is following the phased approach for the COVID-19 vaccine and is aligned with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) framework. PHSS will not be deviating from the framework provide by the DOH and PHSS will distribute its share of the vaccine in a fair and equitable manner to each group. Please be patient as the supply is limited. PHSS will post more information about which individuals are eligible to receive the vaccine on our COVID-19 website as the phases progress.

      Weekly, the DOH receives vaccines from the federal government based on our statewide population and allocates those vaccines to approved providers. It is unknown how much vaccine will be allocated to providers within Thurston County each week. The demand for the vaccine in Thurston County far outweighs the current weekly allocations we receive from the DOH.

      The supply of vaccine will likely increase in late spring or early summer of 2021. In time everyone who wants COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get the vaccine.

  • If I already had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?
    • Data from clinical trials have shown that the currently available vaccines are safe when given to people who have already had COVID-19. There is no recommended minimum time between infection and receiving vaccine although there is data to show that risk of reinfection is lower in the first 90 days after infection. It is recommended that you get vaccine even if you have had COVID-19.  If you currently have COVID-19 wait until you are no longer infectious before seeking vaccine.  

  • 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 here is a link to CDC's resources on understanding the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • 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.