COVID-19 vaccines are essential for making our communities safer, getting people back to work and keeping our schools open. Even more important is making sure all members of our communities have equal access to these vaccines. That’s why CareOregon is working with federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community-based organizations to increase access to the most vulnerable among us. “We’re all in this together” must truly apply to “all.”

We know it can be a challenge to find good information about the vaccine, which is why we’re offering this place for helpful, reliable information. As we learn more, we will continue to update this page. 

Information about the Delta variant: According to the CDC, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is over two times more contagious than earlier strains. Even people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can pass the Delta variant to others. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is still the most effective way to prevent severe illness and death.

Find a vaccine location for children ages 12 and up at Multnomah County high school vaccine clinics: English | Spanish

Updates about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

On this page, you’ll find answers to these questions. Click on a question to jump to that section:

 

What are the best places to find up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccines. You can find their public COVID-19 vaccine pages here:

You can also call 211 or TTY 711 for the latest information, or text “ORVAX” to 898211 for live text help in English or Spanish.

 

Who is eligible for the vaccine?

Everyone age 12 and over is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. People ages 12-17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and people ages 12-14 must have permission from a parent or guardian.

 

How do community members get a vaccination?

There are multiple ways to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and many locations are offering walk-in (or drive-through) vaccines without an appointment:

If people have questions about the vaccine related to unique health conditions, they should contact their provider.

Many people are trying to find information right now, so wait times or website load times may be longer than normal.

 

What should people do before and after they get the vaccine?

  • Have food and water beforehand.
  • Wear clothes that allow them to remove or pull down their sleeve, in order to get the vaccine in their upper arm.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Bring their Member ID card with them. Medicare members should bring their red, white and blue Medicare card.
  • After receiving the vaccine, people will need to wait for 30 minutes for monitoring.
  • The whole appointment should take between 30 to 60 minutes.
  • The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are given in two doses. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second strengthens the immune response.
  • For those vaccines, people should ask about their second shot when they get the first shot.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given in a single dose.
  • It takes time for the body to build immunity after a shot. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • The CDC and OHA have guidelines for wearing face coverings and other information for full vaccinated people: CDC | OHA

 

Is the vaccine safe and effective?

The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, and has approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for emergency use. These vaccines are safe and effective.

  • All COVID-19 vaccines had large-scale clinical trials. Tens of thousands of people received the vaccines during these trials — far more participants than were tested in most trials.
  • Trial participants came from a range of diverse backgrounds.
  • The FDA approved fully approved the Pfizer vaccine — and approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for emergency use — after a careful review of the trial data. 
  • There were no serious safety issues found during any of the vaccine trials.
  • The vaccines currently available are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: According to the CDC, “CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause…A review of all available data this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. However, women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare but increased risk of [thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome…which involves blood clots with low platelets] and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which the risk has not been seen.” According to the OHA, “All three approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. With three vaccines now available, Oregonians should get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

 

Will I need additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC now recommends that people who have compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after the initial doses. This helps these people who are at highest risk achieve full immunity. The FDA is recommending, through the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, to provide a booster after six months from the second dose for: people 65 and over, those with severe underlying chronic diseases or workers with higher risk exposure (e.g., health care workers). We are waiting for the CDC to vote on the FDA recommendations and issue guidance to us on next steps. We hope the FDA will issue Moderna and Johnson &Johnson booster recommendations to the CDC in October after reviewing more information.

 

Where can I find other resources or information about the vaccines?

Unless otherwise stated, all of the following materials are in PDF format so they can be easily downloaded and/or printed.