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COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at Washington Regional primary care clinics and urgent care locations:

  • Washington Regional Urgent Care in Fayetteville offers the Pfizer vaccine to individuals age 12+ in a drive-thru clinic, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment needed.
  • Washington Regional Urgent Care locations in Bentonville, Harrison, Rogers and Springdale offer the Moderna vaccine to individuals age 18+ every Wednesday. No appointment needed.
  • Washington Regional primary care clinics offer the COVID-19 vaccine. The type of vaccine available may vary by location and appointments are required

There is no charge to you for the vaccine. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. If you have insurance, your insurance may be billed an administration fee. But, if your insurance does not pay the balance, you will not be billed.

If you have questions about the vaccine, call our COVID-19 Hotline at 479.463.2055 to talk to one of our medical professionals. They are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to assist you.


COVID-19 VACCINE FAQs


Washington Regional physicians have provided answers below to many common questions about the vaccine. Individuals who have vaccine questions can call the Washington Regional COVID-19 Hotline at 479.463.2055, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to speak with a medical professional. The hotline also offers general information about COVID-19, including providing screening, testing information and navigation services to individuals with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

WHAT VACCINES ARE AVAILABLE TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19?

The FDA has granted approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16+. The agency has also granted emergency use authorization of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and for use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12-15.


I HEARD THESE VACCINES ARE RNA VACCINES. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. These vaccines use a piece of genetic code from the virus that, when injected, stimulates your body to produce a certain protein that’s found on the coronavirus. Your body then creates antibodies in response to that protein. Those antibodies will attack the virus, should you be exposed to COVID-19. These vaccines do not alter your DNA and do not contain the actual live virus, so they cannot give you COVID-19. Dr. Mark Thomas explains more about how mRNA vaccines work in the video below.



ARE THE VACCINES SAFE?

The FDA takes extensive measures to ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccines. While the COVID-19 vaccine is the first time many of us have heard about RNA vaccines, the technology and science used to develop them has been studied for decades. The vaccines have been through phase 3 clinical trials, which test for safety. These trials included thousands of volunteers of different ages, ethnicities and medical backgrounds.


DO THE VACCINES CAUSE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

As with any vaccine, soreness at the injection site, a headache, fever, muscle aches and fatigue are possible. These reactions are normal and a sign your body is beginning to create antibodies. People with a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines, or other health concerns, should speak to their health care provider before taking the vaccine.

Over the counter pain relievers can be taken to ease minor side effects after your vaccine. In the video below, Dr. David Ratcliff explains what to expect after your vaccine.



CAN I STILL GET COVID-19 AFTER I'M VACCINATED?

Current vaccines are not 100% effective, so there is still a chance you could get infected with the virus. However, if you do become infected, your risk or becoming critically ill or dying from COVID-19 is much lower if you have been vaccinated. It is important to also note the vaccine does not contain the virus and will not cause you to test positive for COVID-19.



HOW MANY DOSES OF THE VACCINE DO I NEED?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to effectively protect you from COVID-19. Please note the two vaccines are not interchangeable. You must receive two doses of the same vaccine. After receiving your first dose, you will be advised of when to return for your second injection. The Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine requires one dose.


HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

Research is ongoing into how long immunity from the vaccine will last. However, researchers believe the COVID-19 vaccine offers longer lasting protection than natural immunity.

The CDC recommends severely or moderately immunocompromised people receive a third dose of mRNA COVID vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC also recommends the following groups receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster:
  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks

SHOULD PREGNANT WOMEN OR WOMEN WHO PLAN TO BECOME PREGNANT TAKE THE VACCINE?

Pregnant women were not included in the vaccine clinical trials. Following FDA and CDC guidance, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can take the vaccine at their own discretion. Talk with your health care provider about any concerns you have. You can find answers to more questions about the vaccine and pregnancy here.


CAN CHILDREN GET THE VACCINE?

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for use in people 12 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older.


DO I NEED TO QUARANTINE IF I'VE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID AFTER I'M VACCINATED?

The CDC has updated its guidance regarding testing and quarantine for individuals vaccinated against COVID-19. The CDC states:

1) fully vaccinated people with symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and be tested
2) fully vaccinated individuals with no symptoms should be tested 3-5 days after a known exposure, wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result, and continue to monitor for symptoms




HOW MANY PEOPLE NEED TO BE VACCINATED TO END THE PANDEMIC?

The number of people who need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity varies by community, but experts project 70% - 80% of people will need to be protected from COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity means enough people have protection, either from previous infection or vaccination, that it’s unlikely the virus will continue to spread and cause disease.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE VACCINE?

Individuals age 12+ are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


SHOULD I WAIT TO GET THE VACCINE IF I'VE RECENTLY RECOVERED FROM COVID-19 OR RECEIVED MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENT?

You can receive the vaccine if you’ve recently had COVID-19. If you currently have COVID-19, wait for your illness to resolve and you are released from isolation before getting vaccinated. While people who have recovered from their infection have some antibodies, it is uncertain how long natural immunity may last.

The CDC recommends waiting 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibody treatment or convalescent plasma before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.



I HAD COVID MONTHS AGO AND STILL HAVE SYMPTOMS. CAN I GET THE VACCINE?

So called “long haulers” may experience symptoms for several weeks or months following their illness. However, you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The lingering symptoms are believed to be caused by a prolonged inflammatory response to the virus, not an active infection.


CAN I DONATE BLOOD OR CONVALESCENT PLASMA IF I RECEIVED THE VACCINE?

According to guidance from the FDA and American Association of Blood Banks, people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine cannot donate convalescent plasma. Eligible donors who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may still give blood.


I'M NOT AT RISK OF SEVERE COMPLICATIONS FROM COVID-19. DO I NEED THE VACCINE?

While you may not be at risk of developing severe illness, you could still spread COVID-19 to someone who is. Also, the absence of underlying conditions does not guarantee you will not become seriously ill. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.


DO I NEED THE COVID VACCINE IF I GOT A FLU SHOT?

Yes. Influenza and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses. The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19.


IS IT OK TO GET OTHER VACCINATIONS, LIKE A FLU SHOT, IF I RECENTLY RECEIVED THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

You no longer need to wait 14 days between the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccinations. You may receive a COVID vaccine and other vaccinations during the same visit to your health care provider’s office.


WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOU THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

If you have vaccine questions, call the Washington Regional COVID-19 Hotline at 479.463.2055, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to speak with a medical professional.

You can also contact your primary care provider, or find more vaccine information from the CDC here.