COVID-19 Vaccines

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Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines

Last updated: April 28, 2021

The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the pandemic started to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible.  Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans.

Now that there are authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are key things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines.

The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines is a Top Priority

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.    

CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines.  V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Help Protect You

We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States. While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines and the benefits of getting vaccinated.

Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No.  None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United Stated contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No.  Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If I get a COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to take other precautions?

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.

It can be difficult to know which source of information you can trust.  Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.

You May Have Some Side Effects - This is a Normal Sign That Your Body is Building Protection

The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick.  Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.  Learn more about the latest recommendations for fully vaccinated people.

Cost is Not an Obstacle

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authority and watch a video on what an EUA is.

If more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.

All ACIP-recommended vaccines will be included in the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program. CDC continues to work at all levels with partners, including healthcare associations, on a flexible COVID-19 vaccination program that can accommodate different vaccines and adapt to different scenarios. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have developed distribution plans to make sure all recommended vaccines are available to their communities.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are One of Many Important Tools

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.  CDC will continue to update their website as vaccine recommendations and supply change.  For Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination visit CDC.

CDC COVID Data Tracker 

US COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Data Tracker lists maps, charts, and data provided by the CDC.  It allows users to interact with a variety of data on COVID-19 that is updated daily.

You have questions.  That's good.  Hear from Public Health Experts at It's Up to You: COVID-19 Vaccination.  Hesitant to get vaccinated because of religious beliefs?  That's okay.  Learn about frequently asked questions people have in church communities.  Vaccine hesitancy in Black and Hispanic communities exist.  Wanting to know more is a great thing - it means you want to be informed.  ¿Tiene preguntas? Está bien. Ahora es el momento de conocer los datos.  De Ti Depende.  We're in this together.


Washington State COVID-19 Vaccine Information


     Last updated: May 7, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is here. Beginning April 15, everyone 16 and older will be eligible for vaccine in Washington State. Vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These vaccines have also passed independent review by medical experts in the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, as part of the Western States Pact. Visit the Washington State Department of Health for additional information.


How COVID Vaccines Are Made 

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COVID-19 Vaccine - En Español

Pierce County Vaccine Events

Tacoma Dome Vaccination Events

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management has partnered with the Tacoma Dome to hold a mass vaccination site. The Tacoma Dome is known throughout the region for providing entertainment, generations of graduations, sporting events and other community events. Now it is helping Pierce County address our response to the pandemic!


Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for 16 and 17 year-old people. Please check the type of vaccine when making an appointment.  A parent or legal guardian must be physically present to provide consent for persons aged 16 to 17 years-old to receive a vaccine.


The Tacoma Dome will be open seven days a week (04/27 to 06/03) with operating hours of 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Drive-thru and walk-up appointments are available at

Pierce County Vaccine Events


Register below or just stop by and get vaccinated every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Toys R Us

3551 9th St SW, Puyallup, WA 98373

1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine (first dose)

Pierce County Vaccine Events



Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Administrative Center & Library (3005 112th St E, Tacoma, WA 98446)

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen 1-Dose

Only 250 doses will be available.  The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will be administering vaccine.

Pierce County Vaccine Events

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Visit Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine for upcoming vaccine events in Pierce County. 

Need a free ride to a COVID-19 vaccine event?

Pierce Transit gives free bus rides to people going to vaccine appointments or volunteering at vaccine events. Call (253) 581-8000 (press 1, then press 1 again) or visit

Can't easily leave home and need help getting vaccine?

We can help! Call us at (253) 649-1412, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

Learn what to expect at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.


Are you or someone you know homebased and need a COVID-19 vaccine? If yes, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and Health Care Authority (HCA) in coordination with local health jurisdictions and other partners are offering homebased vaccination services for those who are unable to leave their home.

Individuals may be homebased due to behavioral or medical support needs or physical or intellectual disability. COVID-19 homebased vaccination services are provided at no cost. If you have transportation needs or require special accommodations, please contact your local health jurisdiction for help.

If you have questions about this service, please email: