Vaccines

Covid-19 Booster and Vaccine Appointments

Vaccinations play a huge role in reducing severe symptoms and death from COVID-19.

The Panhandle Health District is overseeing the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines provided by the State of Idaho. Vaccines will be administered to groups as outlined in the state’s prioritization schedule.

Who Is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot...

and what You Need to Know:

COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago and are:

COVID-19 Booster or Vaccine Appointments:

Frequently Asked Questions

How did COVID-19 vaccines get approved so quickly?

Production of the COVID-19 vaccines began sooner than is typical. Normally, production starts after a pharmaceutical company completes the development stage for a vaccine, which includes rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness. Every vaccine goes through a series of reviews and approvals by the FDA and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), among others. In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government invested taxpayer dollars to encourage pharmaceutical companies to start production before the development stage completed.

The vaccines are still going through the same rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness, review, and approval process. However, because pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing the vaccine during the clinical trials, they were able to make the vaccines available as soon as they were authorized.

Is there a benefit to getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccination can help keep you from getting COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they are shown to be safe and effective in reducing your chances of getting COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are difficult to maintain for long periods of time. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

I have a medical condition -- how will I know if the vaccine is safe for me?

You should discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers clinical guidance on the first (Pfizer) vaccine.

What percentage of the population needs to get vaccinated to have herd immunity?

Herd immunity, also called community immunity, is a term used to describe the point at which enough people in a community have protection so that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, the entire community has some protection even if some individuals do not have any protection themselves (for example, those who cannot be vaccinated because of health reasons). The percentage of people who need to have protection to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. Experts do not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.

Does mRNA vaccine alter your DNA?

mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?

COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Some people will get fever, chills, fatigues or body aches 1-2 days after vaccination.  These symptoms are a sign that your body is building immunity. They are not a sign that the vaccine caused COVID-19.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive on viral tests?

COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current COVID-19 infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, you could test positive on some COVID-19 antibody tests which indicate either past infection or immune response to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Flu Vaccination Appointments

Now available at any of our medical clinics: Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum, or Kellogg.

A flu shot can strengthen your immune system and may reduce the severity of COVID symptoms if you get COVID. If you have COVID-19 or you’re experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, it’s not recommended you get a flu shot at this time. Once you’ve recovered, it’s important to get a flu shot.

Who Is Eligible for the Flu Vaccine...

and what You Need to Know:

Who should get a flu vaccine this season?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. A full listing of people at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications is available.

Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people.

There are many vaccine options to choose from. CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another. The most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year.

If you have questions about which flu vaccine to get, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated.

Who Should Not Receive a Flu Shot:

Most people should be vaccinated for influenza each year, But some people should not be vaccinated, or should not receive some types of influenza vaccines, depending upon things such as their age, health (current and past), and whether they have certain allergies.

Information about who cannot get a flu vaccine and who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu vaccine is available at Who Should & Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated.

Protect your immune system with a Flu Shot:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should people get vaccinated against flu?

Influenza (flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.

Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are “quadrivalent” vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses; an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.

Who Should Vaccinate?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season with rare exception. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 influenza season.

Vaccination to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. See People at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

Different influenza (flu) vaccines are approved for use in people in different age groups. In addition, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components. For more information, visit Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine.

 

When should I get vaccinated?

September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. Additional considerations concerning the timing of vaccination for certain groups include:

  • Adults, especially those 65 years and older, should generally not get vaccinated early (in July or August) because protection may decrease over time, but early vaccination can be considered for any person who is unable to return at a later time to be vaccinated.
  • Children can get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available, even if this is in July or August. Some children need two doses of flu vaccine. For those children it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to begiven at least 4 weeks after the first.
  • Early vaccination can also be considered for people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life (when they are too young to be vaccinated).