Vaccine FAQs

Vaccine FAQs

Which COVID-19 vaccines are available and who is eligible?

Three vaccines have been approved under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  

vaccine brand names

who can get this vaccine?

how many doses will you need?

when are you fully vaccinated?

Pfizer-BioNTech

People 12 years and older

2 Doses

Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart

Fully vaccinated:

2 weeks after your second dose

MODERNA

People 18 years and older

2 Doses

Given 4 weeks (28 days) apart

Fully vaccinated:

2 weeks after your second dose

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

People 18 years and older

1 Dose

Fully vaccinated:

2 weeks after your dose

Vaccines are safe, effective, and essential, but they alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the upcoming school year.

Until vaccines are available for all ages and rates of fully vaccinated individuals reach critical levels, additional safety measures like school-based testing are essential for opening and staying open safely for full-time, in-person learning this fall.

How effective are the vaccines?

  • COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and might also help protect people around them.
  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19 as seen in clinical trial settings. Research provides growing evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) offer similar protection in real world conditions.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To receive the most protection, people should receive all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Some people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may still get sick because no vaccine is 100% effective. Experts continue to monitor and evaluate how often this occurs, how severe their illness is, and how likely a vaccinated person is to spread COVID-19 to others.
  • CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to you. 

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes! 

The COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). 

As millions of Americans have become vaccinated, the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines have been exhibited in a real-world scenario. The CDC recommends that all eligible individuals become fully vaccinated as soon as they can. 

Which vaccine is available for younger kids?

The Pfizer vaccine is now available for anyone age 12 and older.

Is the dosing schedule for the Pfizer vaccine the same for kids and adults?

Yes. All ages 12 and up receive two doses of the vaccine 21 days apart. Individuals are fully protected 2 weeks after the second shot. 

Do those under 18 need consent to get the vaccine?

Yes. Consent from a parent or guardian is necessary for anyone under 18 who wants to get the vaccine.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. COVID-19 vaccines are free for all individuals regardless of health insurance coverage, citizenship, or immigration status. 

What are the side-effects?

Potential side-effects typically arise 1-2 days after a receiving either dose of the vaccine and are more likely to occur after the second dose. Side-effects are generally mild and can include: 

  • Sore muscles around injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache 
  • Mild fever

These side-effects mean that the vaccine is working and typically subside in a few days. 

Can I still get COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated?

No vaccine is 100% effective, but the COVID-19 vaccines offer a very high level of protection against the disease once fully vaccinated. It is unlikely for a fully vaccinated person to become sick, but research is ongoing about breakthrough infections for fully vaccinated people caused by variants such as the Delta variant. According to the Washington State Department of Health, “vaccines provide strong protection against hospitalization and death for all known variants. Preliminary evidence suggests that vaccines are somewhat less effective at preventing mild illness from some variants. If you get a vaccine that requires a two-dose series, getting both doses has been shown to be especially important for being fully protected against variants [1].

[1]https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Variants#heading69869

Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so they cannot make you sick with COVID-19. 

Will I get a positive COVID-19 test result because I’m vaccinated?

No. Nothing in a COVID-19 test is going to pick up the vaccine; it’s only going to pick up a natural infection.  The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. . 

Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do as an individual to help safeguard yourself and your community against COVID-19.

Participation in a school-based testing program is something we can do together to prevent transmission and outbreaks during the upcoming school year.

Resources and Information

Menu of Tests

A quick guide to available L2R testing options

Testing FAQs

Answering key questions about L2R testing strategies for parents, guardians and families

Vaccine & Testing FAQs

Learn why vaccines & testing are the dynamic duo that will help schools open and stay open this fall with confidence

School-based vaccinations

L2R districts are already planning school-based vaccination events for this fall!

Find out more!