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COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccination is reason for hope. It's one tool to help us end the pandemic. But we need to continue using our safety measures to keep the virus from spreading. You should wear a mask, distance from others, wash your hands, avoid gatherings and stay home when you're sick.

Vaccines at CMH

All three COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the U.S., including the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, are available at the Columbia Memorial Hospital Outpatient Pharmacies in Astoria and Seaside for walk-in appointments. You do not need to be a CMH patient to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Call to schedule an appointment at the outpatient pharmacies:

Vaccines are also available during CMH Primary Care and CMH Pediatric Clinic appointments. If patients have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination, they will be offered the opportunity to get one at their scheduled appointment.

Additionally, booster doses of the vaccines are now available to those who meet the qualifications and bring proof of previous vaccination completed more than six months ago.

Clatsop County vaccine and testing sites

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Why should I vaccinate?

Vaccination is the safest way to develop immunity to COVID-19. Getting vaccinated keeps yourself, your family and your community healthy.

Vaccines help your immune system fight infections better and faster. When you get a vaccine, it sparks your immune response. This helps your body fight off and remember the germ so it can attack it if the germ ever invades again. Your immune system response can sometimes make you feel tired or ill for a few days after getting vaccinated. This is a sign that your body is learning how to fight the virus.

The most common side effects after vaccination are mild. They include:

  • Pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given.
  • Mild fever.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Muscle and joint aches.
  • Fainting, although uncommon, can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccinations.

To learn more, read the OHA COVID-19 fact sheet.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness

The COVID-19 vaccines have been tested for safety and were approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Studies show that they are 95% effective at preventing illness. Even if you do get COVID-19, the vaccine may keep you from getting seriously ill.

It's important that everyone gets vaccinated so we can achieve community immunity. Together we can stop this pandemic!

Can I go back to "normal life" after getting vaccinated?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is an important part of protecting yourself, but we can't go back to "normal life" immediately. It will take time for most adults to get the number of shots needed for full protection against COVID-19. (The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two doses.)

We'll be able to get back to "normal life" when the number of infections drops significantly. In the meantime, it's important to continue basic COVID-19 safety measures to stop the spread of disease. We don't know yet if the COVID-19 vaccine prevents people from carrying the disease. You may still spread the virus to unvaccinated people, including your children or grandchildren.

For the time being, continue to wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and stay home when you're sick.


How do I report problems or bad reactions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

I am encouraging all recipients who receive the vaccine to enroll in v-safe. This is a smartphone tool you can use to tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you report serious side effects, someone from CDC will call to follow up. I will give you instructions for how to enroll.

Source: CDC

How do I know if COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.

Source: CDC

Are there long-term side effects from COVID-19 vaccine?

Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinated to learn about very rare or possible long-term side effects. The good news is, at least eight (8) weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines, and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than eight (8) weeks after vaccination.

Source: CDC

Will the shot hurt or make me sick?

There may be side effects, but they should go away within a few days. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor.

Source: CDC

Why do I need two COVID-19 shots?

Currently authorized vaccines, and most vaccines under development, require two doses of vaccine. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection.

Source: CDC

Is it better to get natural immunity to COVID-19 rather than immunity from a vaccine?

No. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don't know how long this protection lasts. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

Source: CDC

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Source: CDC

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Youths age 5+ are now able to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for individuals under age 18.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don't know how long this protection will last.

Source: CDC

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.

Source: CDC

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

We strongly recommend you get vaccinated. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. If you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you.

Source: CDC