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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

There is a lot of information on the internet and in the media about COVID-19 vaccines. Confluence Health is working with federal and state partners to finalize our vaccination plan, in alignment with parameters outlined by the Department of Health.

This is a rapidly moving situation, here is what we know so far:

Updated Jan. 19– Status:
What we know:

  • We are now in Phase 1B of Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline.
  • Confluence Health is scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for eligible patients in Phase 1A and 1B.
  • Phase 1A includes high-risk health care workers, first responders, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
  • This first group of Phase 1B patients eligible for vaccination includes individuals who are age 65 years and older and individuals who are age 50 years and older in a multigenerational (two or more generations) household.
  • Two COVID-19 vaccines have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization and approval from the Western States Scientific Review Group. One vaccine was developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and the other by Moderna.
  • Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine are equally safe and effective.
  • There are many benefits of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and doing so will help end the pandemic.
  • We still need to wear masks, practice physical distancing and wash our hands to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Click here to visit the DOH website for FAQs and more information.


When will the vaccine be available to me?

Not everyone will be vaccinated right away. We understand this may be concerning, especially if you or a loved one is a high-risk worker in the community or at risk of serious illness.

  • The State has currently moved to scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for eligible patients in Phase 1A and 1B.
Criteria for first group in Phase 1B:
This first group of patients eligible to receive the vaccine includes:
  1. Individuals who are age 65 years and older
  2. Individuals who are age 50 years and older in a multigenerational (two or more generations) household, defined as:
    • People who are 50 and older AND are not able to live independently, who either:
      • Are receiving long-term care from a paid or unpaid caregiver, or
      • Are living with someone who works outside the home
    • People who are 50 and older AND are living with and caring for a grandchild, niece or nephew

Please note: No individuals under age 50 are eligible, and no individuals age 50 and older caring for a partner, friend or child (unless that child is defined as above) are eligible. If you are a member of the previous Phase 1A, which includes high-risk health care workers, first responders, you also remain eligible to receive the vaccine. An appointment is required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We will not be accepting walk-ins at our vaccination site. To schedule a vaccine appointment, please call our COVID hotline at 509-663-8711.

We anticipate large demand and long wait times. We also have a limited number of appointments available based on vaccine supply and vaccination site capacity. We appreciate your patience as you navigate the process and as we assess our ability to add more vaccination appointment times and locations. The State has indicated B1 might take up to 12 weeks as it encompasses 1.7 M Washingtonians.


While this is still tentative, here is what Confluence Health expects:

FAQs:

Pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals across Washington are still hard at work vaccinating people in phase 1a, tier 1 and tier 2. While phase 1a is still the immediate priority, the state has released phase 1b guidance that will help us plan for the future. We will let all patients and community members know once we’re ready to start phase 1b. If you believe you are in phase 1b, we are asking you to please hold off on calling for an appointment until phase 1b is in effect.

The Washington State Department of Health worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase B1. Prioritization has also been guided by nearly 20,000 people across the state who weighed in through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months. This feedback directly informed the state’s recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and allocation, and continues to help them make sure vaccine plans are equitable and protect those most at risk from COVID-19 infections.

The state is not moving into phase B1 now. We are still in phase 1a and have many more people in this phase to vaccinate, especially those in 1a tier 2, who still may need help connecting with a vaccine provider. The state has only announced phase B1 guidance for planning purposes.

If you believe you are in phase B1, please hold off calling for an appointment until phase B1 goes into effect. Our vaccine providers are currently busy taking calls for and scheduling phase 1a vaccinations and need to be able to focus on them in the short term.

See this timeline for phase 1b. This graphic is also linked on www.CovidVaccineWA.org Broadly, the groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1b will include:

B1 (Tier 1)

•All people 65 years and older

• People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households

B2 (Tier 2)

• High-risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in congregate settings:

- Agriculture;food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); child care; corrections, prisons, jails, or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement

B3 (Tier 3)

• People 16 years or older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying condition

B4 (Tier 4)

• High-risk critical workers in congregate settings under 50 years old

• People, staff, and volunteers of all ages in congregate living settings:

- Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; shelters for people experiencing homelessness

The state Department of Health has launched a new online tool to help determine which phase you fall under to receive the vaccine. Phase Finder - is an online tool created by the DOH that allows individuals to assess their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine – They plan to launch broadly January 6. Phase Finder will be available in multiple languages and can be used to provide eligibility confirmation on site. Find the Phase Finder tool at www.findyourphaseWA.org. Currently, the tool does not contain questions for phases beyond 1a. If you have additional questions, please visit www.CovidVaccineWA.org or email covid.vaccine@doh.wa.gov.

• COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get COVID-19, you could spread the disease to family, friends and others around you.

• Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an immune response in your body without your having to become sick with COVID-19.

• A COVID-19 vaccine might prevent you from getting COVID-19. Or, if you get COVID-19, the vaccine might keep you from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications.

• Getting vaccinated also might help protect people around you from COVID-19, particularly people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

When a vaccine for COVID-19 is available, we will not have enough at first to offer it to everyone. Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.

Two federal groups are working on recommendations for vaccine prioritization:
  • - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • - The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

What we know for sure right now is that the first phase of vaccination, called 1a, will focus on pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals across Washington are still hard at work vaccinating people in phase 1a, tier 1 and tier 2. While phase 1a is still the immediate priority, the state has released phase 1b guidance that will help us plan for the future. We will let all patients and community members know once we’re ready to start phase 1b. If you believe you are in phase 1b, we are asking you to please hold off on calling for an appointment until phase 1b into effect. The state is not moving into phase 1b now.We are still in phase 1a and have many more people in this phase to vaccinate, especially those in 1a tier 2, who still may need help connecting with a vaccine provider. The state has only announced phase 1b guidance for planning purposes.

Vaccines in phase 1a, tier 1 will be available for high-risk workers in health care settings and to residents and staff of long-term care facilities. We think up to 500,000 people in Washington will be eligible for the vaccine in this tier. We will update these numbers as we learn more.

• The simple answer is “YES” we will inform you. Once vaccine prioritization has occurred, we will push notifications informing you the vaccine is available.

• Until then, it is the goal of the Washington State Department of Health to enable everyone in the state to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is not enough vaccine at first to offer it to everyone. More vaccine is on its way, but it’ll be a while before it’s broadly available. At first, it’s just going to people at highest risk, such as workers in health care settings and people who live or work in long-term care. DOH will announce when we move into future phases. You can review the current phase1a eligibility here.

Also, DOH will soon launch a tool that allows you to know what phase you are in.

• At this time, patient cannot request the vaccine or asked to be added to a waitlist.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) required all states and territories to turn in an interim plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution on Oct. 16, 2020. These plans are living documents and will change over time as we learn more about the vaccines and figure out the most equitable way to protect people. Washington State's Plan

You will be let in and screened for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms. If you have insurance, please bring your card with you. You may have a brief wait before it’s your turn to be vaccinated. Receiving the shot is a quick process! Once you’re done, we’ll ask you to wait for 15-30 minutes to monitor you for any allergic reaction. The wait time depends on your known allergies and other health factors listed on your vaccine registration form. During the first appointment, we’ll schedule your second dose. Please don’t leave without scheduling your second COVID-19 vaccination. Due to the timing and effectiveness of the vaccine, it’s very important to not miss the second appointment. If you have no reaction to the vaccine during your designated wait time, you’ll be cleared to leave.

Yes, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends anyone who previously had COVID-19 to get the vaccine.

People who were recently infected with COVID-19 can choose to wait 90 days after their illness before getting vaccinated. Data suggests that it may be uncommon to get reinfected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after infection.

People whocurrently have COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until they feel better and their isolation period is finished, if possible.

People who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should also wait to get the vaccine until after their quarantine period, if they can safely quarantine away from other people. If there is a high risk they could infect others, they may be vaccinated during their quarantine period to prevent spreading the disease.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is not available to children under age 16 and those who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

There is no research on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and part of a group recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you may choose to get the vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits.

COVID-19 vaccination also might not be recommended for people with certain health conditions. While the vaccine is considered safe even in patients with immunocompromise, we don’t yet know how effective it will be in this group. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about getting the vaccine.

Also, if you have a history of allergic reactions, talk to your doctor before getting the vaccine. You might need to be observed for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.

There is limited data on the use of the vaccine for pregnant people. If you are pregnant or lactating and part of a group who is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (for example, health care personnel), you may choose to be vaccinated. You should discuss this with your health care provider to make an informed decision.

There is limited data on whether it is safe and effective to get either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine with other vaccines. At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine should be given alone, at least 14 days (2 weeks) before or after you get any other type of vaccine.

No. The approved COVID-19 vaccines currently in the U.S. don't use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Keep in mind that it will take a few weeks for your body to build immunity after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it's possible that you could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated.

Yes, even if you get vaccinated, we recommend you continue with the other prevention measures you've been doing, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, and limiting gatherings. Many people in our state will need to wait months to get the vaccine, and masks and other prevention measures are still recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to people who are not yet vaccinated. We also want to remind you that it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.

The vaccine should not be given to people with a known history of a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable therapy (intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous) may have a higher likelihood of reaction. This is not a contraindication to receiving the vaccine. They may receive the vaccine but should be observed for a minimum of 30 minutes following administration.

Scientists are using a decade of investment in vaccine science research to help develop the vaccine for COVID-19. Since we’re in a pandemic, developing a new vaccine can go faster than normal. No steps are skipped, but some steps happen at the same time, like applications, trials, and manufacturing. Several COVID vaccines are being tested, as of November 2020. Each vaccine is going through more than one clinical trial. First with a small group of volunteers, then a couple hundred volunteers, then thousands of volunteers. After clinical trials, medical experts will examine test results and any side effects. If the vaccine works and is safe, it will get approved for distribution to the public. Washington state has joined other western states to do an additional expert review of the clinical trials results to make sure the vaccine is ready for distribution.

*Information provided from DOH website

Knowing that numerous COVID-19 vaccines have been under development, Confluence Health operational leaders have been actively working with state officials on a comprehensive storage, distribution and administration plan over the last few months. Fortunately, Confluence Health is well positioned since we have the required cold storage facilities for Pfizer’s vaccine, which needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures.

As soon as details about vaccine availability and distribution are available, Confluence Health will proactively share that information with our patients and the public.

Understanding COVID-19 Vaccine:


VISIT OUR "COVID-19 - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW" PAGE FOR MORE COVID RELATED INFORMATION

COVID-19 - What You Need to Know