Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is COVID-19 and how can we help prevent the spread?

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause mild symptoms, like a common cold. Two coronaviruses — Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) —  have caused more severe illness. COVID-19 disease is caused by a new strain of the virus that has not previously been seen in humans. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread when people touch or breathe in droplets made when ill people cough, sneeze or talk. This can happen when someone is close to a sick person, within six feet. Rarely, people might catch COVID-19 by touching a surface that a person with the infection coughed or sneezed on, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread it to others?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis by public health and their health care provider in accordance with CDC guidance.

Click here for current CDC guidance 

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Illness develops 2 to 14 days after someone got infected with COVID-19.

Symptoms may include fever, sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath, body aches and fatigue. Fever may not be present in the very young, very old, immunosuppressed, or people taking fever-reducing medications.

Gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported by some patients prior to developing fever and lower respiratory symptoms. Some patients have also reported a loss of smell or taste prior to developing fever and lower respiratory symptoms.

Seniors and people with underlying health conditions would be at greater risk of severe disease.

What should I do if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you have symptoms like a cough, fever or breathing problems and you might have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your health care provider. Your provider will ask you about your symptoms and will decide whether you should be seen in the office. 

If the doctor asks you to come in to the clinic, they will likely create a plan for you to enter the facility in a way that avoids being around others, to prevent the spread of illness.

There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online at the CDC website.

How can I avoid getting sick?

Steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold can also help prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if you don't have access to soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Throw used tissues in the trash promptly.
  • Take care of your health by eating well, getting adequate sleep, exercising and managing stress will also help your body stay resilient.
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19

Why should I use a face covering to prevent COVID-19?

There are detailed recommendations for healthcare providers to protect themselves using special types of masks and other equipment.

Oregon Mask Requirements

Post-Vaccine Guidance

We wear face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings help us keep our respiratory droplets to ourselves, which means people who wear them prevent spreading the virus to others.   Some people are contagious before they ever get symptoms and some never feel sick. They can spread the disease unknowingly.  Once you have a viral infection, wearing a face covering does not make it worse or make it last longer. It does, however, help you keep from spreading or passing it on it to others.

There are many types of face coverings, scarves, bandanas, and homemade coverings with loops that go over the ears.  Be sure your face covering fits well and covers your nose and mouth.  Wash your hands before and after touching your face covering and wash it daily.

Face coverings don’t cause enough carbon dioxide build-up to cause ill effects in otherwise healthy people. In fact, masks have a tighter seal than face coverings, and farm workers, custodial staff, and hospital employees all wear them to stay safe in their workplaces.

Remember, though, that the following people should not wear face coverings:

• Children under age 2 years

• Anyone who has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering.

• Anyone who has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a face covering.

How can we help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community?

Get vaccinated for COVID-19

In addition wearing a face covering is one of the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  Face coverings reduce the chance that you could unknowingly spread the virus to those around you.

Following other recommendations like frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, regular cleaning of high touch surfaces, maintaining 6' of physical distance and not touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth) can all help prevent the spread.

The CDC has provided guidance for how individual households, schools, child cares, colleges/ universities, community- and faith-based organizations, and workplaces can participate in keeping our community healthy. Everyone has a role to play! 

What are monoclonal antibody treatments?

COVID-19 treatments known as monoclonal antibodies have the potential to save lives and relieve the burden on our nation’s health care system. Monoclonal antibody therapies are now available in subcutaneous in addition to intravenous formulation.


How do monoclonal antibodies work?

Monoclonal antibodies treatments mimic our immune system’s response to SARS-CoV-2 (the infection that causes COVID-19) and are available to eligible, non-hospitalized patients 12 years and older with a high risk of progressing to severe forms of COVID-19 or being hospitalized.


Who is eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatment?

People ages 12 and older and who weigh >40kg who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19
  • had first symptoms within the last 10 days
  • are considered high risk for going into the hospital because of age >65, weight, pregnancy, immunosuppressive disease or treatment or some other chronic illnesses. See the full list.


Who is eligible to receive post exposure prophylaxis with monoclonal antibodies?

People ages 12 and older and who are exposed or at high risk for exposure (such as in congregate settings) and are:

  • Incompletely vaccinated - i.e. unvaccinated or partially vaccinated
  • Fully vaccinated but expected to not have as strong an immune response because of immunocompromising illness or being on immunosuppressive medications.


Who give should this treatment?

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) encourages all providers to offer monoclonal antibody treatment to appropriate high-risk patients with COVID-19 infection or exposure to reduce the risk of hospitalization and symptomatic disease. The subcutaneous formulation can be administered by any qualified provider in the state of Oregon. Patients must be observed for 1 hour following administration because of the rare risk of anaphylaxis. Details on logistics and administration of this new product are available in the updated HHS playbook:

Is monoclonal antibody treatment available in Oregon?

One product (Casirivimab/Imdevimab) is currently available in Oregon through Health and Human Services (HHS) at no charge. It is effective against the Delta variant, which is currently the predominant variant circulating in Oregon. This product is available to ship now, in both intravenous and subcutaneous formulations. Two other products are available for commercial purchase directly through manufacturer and these are effective against the Delta variant. Click here to find treatment locations near you

Is monoclonal antibody treatment effective in fighting COVID-19?

When used for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19, Casirivimab/Imdevimab reduces the risk of hospitalization by 50% in clinical trials leading to authorization. Casirivimab/Imdevimab has been shown to reduce the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by 81% when used as postexposure prophylaxis. Additional information regarding this data is available via the EUA Fact sheet for health care providers. (


Where can I get more information on using monoclonal antibody treatments?

While monoclonal antibody treatments are available for direct ordering through HHS, please feel free to contact OHA with any questions you may have: [email protected]  Here is a link to the CDC’s COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics Communications Toolkit for health care providers, health system administrators, treatment sites and others.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 Testing is now widely available.  Visit the Community Testing page for information on clinical and surveillance (asymptomatic) testing sites.

Clinicians can order COVID-19 testing at their discretion. Public Health approval is not needed for this testing. Factors to consider include patient symptoms, underlying medical conditions, and contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Currently, there are two types of tests used locally that are approved by the FDA to diagnose active cases.

1.     A molecular RT-PCR test that finds genetic material.

2.     An antigen test that looks for specific proteins on the surface of the virus.


Antibody tests are a third kind of test and are not approved for diagnosis; as they don’t tell us if the infection is active or not.


New FDA approved tests are being added regularly. You can find more information about them here. Please consult with your medical provider to find the appropriate test for you.

Will Lane County Public Health investigate positive COVID-19 cases to see if it spread?

Yes.  Lane County Public health will conduct a Communicable Disease Investigation of every confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19. 

This begins with a contact investigation, which includes establishing a timeline for when the patient started feeling sick, any traveling they might have done, who they might have had contact with in the days before they got sick, and who they may have come into contact with after they got sick.

Contact investigations are conducted by a trained communicable disease nurse and your medical information is protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

This process helps keep our community safe by making sure those people who need to be quarantined do so and helps us understand the way the disease behaves and how it is moving through the community.

More information including resources for isolation & quarantine is available on our Contact Tracing page.

Additional questions about COVID-19

Can I be evicted for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Please see the Long-Term Recovery / Housing, Energy Assistance & Social Services Recovery page for up to date information on eviction moratoriums and rental assistance.

Local legal resources for renters include:

Access the Law

Oregon Law Center

My employer said that I need clearance to return to work.

Lane County Public Health does not recommend back to work verification for any employee in Lane County.

Employees are encouraged to follow the advice of their healthcare provider. Oregon Health Authority guidelines state the employee should not be in the workplace until the following criteria have been met: 24 hours has passed since recovery  (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. This will help reduce the strain on our medical and hospital systems.

Lane County Public Health cannot provide clearance for return to work. Only your medical provider can order testing for COVID-19. 
You can find more information from the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) regarding sick time laws and other employer and employee resources.

I’m an employer. Will I be notified if my employee is being monitored or tested for COVID-19?

Patient privacy laws severely restrict the amount of information that public health officials can share about individual patients.

If a patient under investigation for potential COVID-19 transmission was found to have reported to work within the potential window of transmission their place of employment would become part of the investigation. In that case, Lane County Public Health would reach out to the business owner/operator.

If, during the course of a Communicable Disease Investigation (see FAQ above), it is determined that your business or place of work is a possible public contact exposure location a wider community notification with the date, time a place would occur.

In both cases, the employer may not know or have confirmed which employee is under investigation.

We ask that everyone respect patient privacy and refrain from sharing personal details even if the information is shared by non-Public Health sources. Providing personal details can compromise the safety of the person being investigated.
More Information on Contact Tracing for Businesses can be found here.

What do I do if I have concerns about a business or individual not following State guidelines?

Business Complaints Through The State

If you have concerns that a business is not properly adhering to the State guidance, you can submit a form through Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is the lead agency related to grocery and convenience stores. Consumer complaints regarding customer behavior or a lack of customer social distancing in the retail environment should be directed to:

Violations of the order can be treated as a class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.

Local Compliance

Once you have reached out to these state agencies, if you would like to continue to pursue your business-related concern locally, you can contact the Lane County Non-Emergency COVID-19 Call Center at 541-682-1380 or email [email protected] We strive to be responsive with a strong emphasis on education.

Community members should refrain from calling 9-1-1 if they have non-emergency needs. If you have a complaint about failure to follow the State guidance that is not related to a business, please contact your local city government or law enforcement provider using their non-emergency phone numbers. If you live in unincorporated Lane County, please call the call center number during business hours.

I’m concerned about recent/upcoming travel.

The CDC is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 worldwide and how countries are responding to it. Check the CDC travel information for guidance on international travel. 

People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States.

During Travel:

  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).
  • Follow all state and local recommendations and requirements, including mask wearing and social distancing.
  • In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

         After Travel:

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months. You should still follow all other travel recommendations.

If at any point you develop symptoms like a fever, cough or breathing problems, please call your healthcare provider. They will assess your symptoms, may ask about travel history and will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 case investigators will ask you about all recent travel.

How can I help?

The most important thing that people can do is to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and encourage others to get vaccinated.

It is also helpful to continue to make healthy decisions and follow the guidance provided by public health regarding masking, social distancing, gatherings and staying home when sick.

What are other trusted sources of information related to COVID-19?

I’ve noticed a business that is not enforcing mask wearing – what should I do?

If you are an employee, or a concerned customer, in Oregon and want to report hazards at a worksite, or believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of safety and health issues you can Contact OSHA to file a complaint. You may also consider contacting the business directly to share your concerns.



All Oregonians ages 5 and over are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  (Pfizer for ages 5+, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson for ages 18+)

Information on getting vaccinated in Lane County can be found here: Get Vaccinated

To jump to information on additional doses click here.

Will the vaccine will be mandatory?

When a vaccine is authorized for emergency use, patients need to agree to receive it. There are no plans to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine by Lane County.  

Governor Brown has issued vaccine mandates for healthcare workers and state employees. 

Check with your employer if you believe these new mandates apply to you.

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?

At this point the Emergency Use Authorizations are for ages 5 and over.  In the future, COVID-19 vaccines may be approved for use among younger children.

The current Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not allow for children under 5 (Pfizer) or under 18 (Moderna and Janseen (Johnson & Johnson)) to be vaccinated.  

My permanent residence is in another state, but I'm staying in Oregon (student, multiple homes, staying with family, etc.). Can I get my vaccine in Oregon?

If you are currently residing in Oregon you may get your vaccine in Oregon.   

This includes individuals needing only a second dose.  You can receive your second dose here.

Will I be asked about my immigration status to receive the vaccine?

No.  All eligible community members are able to receive a vaccine, regardless of your immigration and citizenship status. Vaccine providers should not be asking about your immigration status. The Biden/Harris administration has declared that all vaccine sites are sensitive locations and immigration enforcement agencies will not carry out operations at or near such facilities, which also include health care facilities and hospitals.

Testing and treatment for COVID-19 (including vaccination) will not count against you for the public charge test. 
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made a special announcement about this. Also, not all immigrants are subject to the public charge test.

I’m pregnant. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently strengthened its vaccine recommendation for pregnant people.  

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people ages 5 and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. 

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Fortunately, severe illness from COVID-19 during pregnancy can be avoided by getting fully vaccinated. 

In recent weeks, infections among pregnant people have been increasing. With the combination of low rates of vaccinations in pregnant people, the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, and the higher risk of complications from COVID-19 during pregnancy —it’s important to protect yourself if you are pregnant.  

CDC COVID-19 Information for pregnant and recently pregnant people

Can a person receive the COVID-19 vaccine while they are sick?

Those with mild illness may receive the vaccines with no effect on vaccine safety or effectiveness. However, it is better that you recover from your illness, with no symptoms, before getting vaccines to keep from spreading your illness to health care workers who are administering the vaccine.

If I’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, do I need to get the vaccine?

Due to the severe health risks associated with the disease and the fact that re-infection is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with the disease before. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to people regardless of a history of COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms.

I just received another vaccine. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

None of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are live virus vaccines. Because data are lacking on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of any other vaccine.

However, COVID-19 and other vaccines may be administered within a shorter period in situations where the benefits of vaccination are deemed to outweigh the potential unknown risks of vaccine co-administration.  

I'm immunocompromised. Do I need a third dose?

As of August 12, 2021 the FDA have authorized third-dose COVID-19 vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People. 

Per CDC guidelines this includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids* (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day) or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.†

* ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day
† Alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

Update 9/24/21: Lane County is not currently scheduling for third doses for immunocompromised individuals.  Many area Healthcare providers and Pharmacies are offering 3rd doses of Moderna and Pfizer for those who are immunocompromised. 

What is the difference between a second or third dose and a booster shot?

A third dose is currently available for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and may not have built up an adequate protective immune response with their first series of vaccinations. Currently, the only authorized third doses are for the Moderna and Pfizer Comirnaty vaccines. The recommendation is for immunocompromised individuals to receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after receiving the second dose in the series (for individuals 18 years and older for Moderna and 12 years and older for Pfizer Comirnaty).  

At this time, the CDC does not have enough data to suggest that an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would produce an enhanced immune response in an immunocompromised person. Another dose of Johnson & Johnson or an mRNA vaccine is not recommended for immunocompromised individuals who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These recommendations will be reviewed as the data becomes available. 

A booster dose is for people whose immunity may be fading after they complete their first vaccination series. There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine authorized as a booster. The FDA and CDC will examine data on the safety and efficacy of booster doses in order to issue guidance, which will inform recommendations in Oregon. 

See next question for information on available booster shots.

updated 9/24/2021

When (and how) can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?

Effective November 9th, Lane County Public Health will be offering only Pediatric vaccines, and by appointment only.

OHA Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Boosters

Latest OHA Statement regarding Boost Doses released Sept. 24, 2021

Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Booster Shot After Six Months

Pfizer booster recommended for people 65 and older, those with underlying health conditions, and those at higher risk due to occupational or institutional settings 
Because systemic inequities increase risk of severe illness, social determinants of health recommended to be included in assessment of medical conditions 

(Salem, OR) — The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup today completed its review of the federal process and has recommended a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after their primary vaccination series for people older than 65 and people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington today.

The Workgroup recommended the following groups of people who received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months:

  • People 65 and older,
  • People living in a long-term care facility, and
  • People 50-64 with underlying medical conditions.

In addition, the Workgroup recommended that the following groups of people ages 18-64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may also receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after six months:

  • People with underlying medical conditions, and
  • People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational or institutional setting.

The Workgroup strongly endorsed the CDC’s recognition that long-standing health and social inequities have increased the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and recommended that social determinants of vulnerability be included in the assessment of medical conditions that qualify individuals for booster doses. Because unvaccinated individuals remain at much higher risk of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals, the Workgroup also reiterated that its members strongly support vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone 12 years of age and older.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 65 and older and those that are at higher risk for COVID-19, and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices affirmed that decision on Thursday. On Thursday, the CDC also recommended people at higher risk due to occupational or institutional setting also be eligible for Pfizer booster doses. The Workgroup reviewed and affirmed the federal decisions in meetings Thursday evening and Friday morning.

Recognizing that only Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have been authorized for booster doses, the Workgroup implored the FDA and CDC to quickly find solutions to sustain the protection of the most vulnerable individuals who have received a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. The Workgroup also applauded the donation of COVID-19 vaccines to nations in need and called for an expansion of those efforts to protect the global community, save lives, and prevent the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.

Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October. The Workgroup, made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.

Statement from Governor Kate Brown:

"COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccination continues to be our path out of this pandemic. Seniors who have received the Pfizer vaccine, as well as Oregonians who have underlying health conditions, live in long-term care facilities, or who are at higher risk due to occupational or institutional setting will now be able to receive the additional layer of protection provided by a booster shot. Everyone eligible who wants a booster will get one, and I'm committed to ensuring our most vulnerable Oregonians are protected from COVID-19, including those who are at higher risk due to systemic health and social inequities. I’d like to thank Oregonians for their patience as boosters become available while our hospitals and health care workers continue to respond to the ongoing Delta surge."

Vaccination Records

I've lost my vaccination card, how do I get another one?

Your immunization was recorded in the state ALERT immunization record system. 

If you need a copy of your vaccine information the quickest and easiest way is to complete the form below and email to [email protected] or print and mail to:

800 NE Oregon Street
Suite 370
Portland, Oregon 97232

You can also request a copy of records from your pharmacy, primary care provider who can access the ALERT system.

Form for requesting records.

 More information on ALERT immunization records can be found here.


Lane County Public Health is limited in our ability to provide you with a copy of your COVID-19 immunization records at this time.  The above resources will provide you with a record more quickly than we are currently able to.

Is my vaccine recorded if I received it out of state?

If you received your vaccine outside of Oregon it is unlikely that your vaccine provider was able to record that vaccine in the Oregon ALERT System   We encourage you to contact your primary care provider (in Oregon) who can add your proof of vaccination from another state into your ALERT history here in Oregon. If you need a record of your vaccine from another state you will need to contact your vaccine provider in that state.  

If you received your vaccine in any county in Oregon your vaccine should already be accurately recorded in the ALERT system. 

Updating your out-of-state vaccination record in ALERT helps us achieve our local vaccination goals and provides public health with a more complete picture of vaccinations in Lane County.

Vaccine Distribution and Appointments

Where can I be vaccinated?

Vaccines are available through healthcare providers, pharmacies and vaccine clinic events.

sit Get Vaccinated for more information.

Will I be required to pay or have insurance to receive the vaccine?

No. There is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine and you do not need to have insurance.

The vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. The cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured.

How do I get vaccinated if I am homebound or need assistance with transportation?

There is a COVID-19 vaccination program for homebound individuals.  If you are homebound please call or email Lane County ([email protected] or 541-682-1380) and provide a minimum of your address and phone number.  Lane County works with state who will contact you and schedule a time to come to your home and provider your vaccination. 

Lane County can assist with transportation to a vaccine clinic.  To access this assistance schedule an appointment and check the box on the scheduling form that says you need transportation assistance (bottom of the name & demographics page).  Our team will then reach out to you to determine what assistance is needed and help coordinate low or no-cost transportation.  You can also call or email us and we can connect you with our transportation assistance team: [email protected] or 541-682-1380.

Vaccine Development, Reactions and Side Effects

Why should I get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Vaccination is a safe, effective and reliable way to prevent getting infected with COVID-19. It’s the best tool we have to help us end the COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon. By getting vaccinated, wearing masks, washing our hands, staying physically distant and avoiding large indoor gatherings we can help stop the spread. If enough of us get vaccinated, we can achieve community immunity and the virus will not spread quickly.

How soon after administration will the vaccine become effective?

Clinical trials measured the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Moderna and Pfizer both have some effectiveness after one shot but require a second shot for maximum effectiveness.

The Moderna vaccine is 94% effective two weeks after a person receives the second shot. The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective one week after the second shot.

In its review of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) application, the FDA reported the vaccine was 66% effective for moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 in all groups across all regions studied starting at 28 days after vaccination. The observed efficacy in the United States was 72%.
“The best thing is that this one-dose vaccine was 85% efficacious in preventing severe COVID-19,” Paul Cieslak, M.D, medical director for communicable diseases and immunization, OHA Public Health Division.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The 3 authorized vaccines give our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, store the instructions in single-stranded RNA. These are called mRNA vaccines or messenger-RNA vaccines.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA to store the instructions.  It is a viral vector vaccine

The CDC has additional information on how mRNA and viral vector vaccines work.
CDC mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines

Are the vaccines interchangeable?

In general, primary series and additional primary doses should be with the same vaccine product (i.e., the same manufacturer). However, use of heterologous booster doses.

Though Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made the same way, people must get the same second dose from the same manufacturer of the first.

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is a single dose vaccine.

Heterologous (mix and match) booster doses can be used in eligible recipients aged ≥18 years.

All three vaccines are effective and stop the spread of virus, we recommend that people should take whichever vaccine is first available to them. 

If you have questions or concerns about your individual health situation they should be discuss with your health care provider.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Thanks to advances in medicine, scientists were able to create and test a vaccine quickly. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires rigorous safety testing before it will approve any vaccine. Tens of thousands of people — including Oregonians — from many backgrounds, ages and communities of color, participated in vaccine testing.

What does Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) mean? In times of a public health emergency, like a pandemic, the FDA allows the use of certain life-saving drugs and treatments through Emergency Use Authorization. The COVID-19 vaccine was tested in tens of thousands of study participants, which generated enough data to convince the FDA that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the manufacturer producing the vaccine meets all safety standards.

Are any of the vaccines fully approved by the FDA? What is Comirnaty?

On August 23, 2-21 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine, which will be marketed as “Comirnaty.”

Under the newly granted FDA approval, Comirnaty will be available to all people ages 16 and older to prevent COVID-19 disease. Under Emergency Use Authorization, the vaccine will continue to be available to all individuals ages 5 and older, and a third dose will be available to immunocompromised people.

In Comirnaty’s journey to FDA approval, the agency reviewed vaccine effectiveness data from roughly 40,000 individuals ages 16 and older — half of whom received placebos — who did not have evidence of the COVID-19 virus infection within a week of receiving the second dose.

Based on this analysis, the agency determined Comirnaty was 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease. 

In addition to reviewing vaccine effectiveness data, the FDA also reviewed vaccine safety data. More than half of the clinical trial participants from the vaccine effectiveness study were monitored for safety outcomes for at least four months after their second dose of Comirnaty. An additional 12,000 recipients were followed for at least six months following their second dose.

Based on this study, the FDA determined that the most common side effects included:

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Chills
  • Fever

The FDA also evaluated the risks related to myocarditis and pericarditis following the administration of Comirnaty. After a thorough review, the agency determined:

  • Risk is highest among men ages 12 to 17.
  • The symptoms appear within seven days of the second dose of Comirnaty.
  • Most symptoms clear up.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the safety of Comirnaty, specifically as it relates to long-term outcomes, through the robust vaccine safety monitoring systems in place in the US.

Even with full approval, health care providers must administer COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with all program requirements and recommendations of CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the FDA. Therefore, off-label use of Comirnaty is not recommended.

Here is a brief timeline of Comirnaty’s (Pfizer vaccine) journey to becoming a fully approved vaccine in the US:


Was the vaccine was rushed to market and was it adequately tested for safety?

COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated extensively in large-scale clinical trials. FDA will authorize their use only after reviewing this data. 

For more information on the safety, effectiveness and vaccination trials, visit

Is it true the vaccine is not FDA approved?

Pfizer "Comirnaty" has received full approval from the FDA for ages 16 and older.  See above FAQ "Are any of the vaccines fully approved by the FDA?  What is Comirnaty?"

During a pandemic, a vaccine may receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) before being approved through a standard application. The FDA Commissioner may authorize medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a public health emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when there are no available alternatives, and when the benefits of using a new medical product outweigh their risks. 

For more information visit:

FDA Website
OHA Website

Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain a live virus?

The current vaccines do not contain live virus.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine’s side effects?

According to the FDA, the most common side effects found in the COVID-19 vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain. For more information visit the CDC’s site: What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

What if I have a bad reaction to my COVID-19 vaccination?

CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) . This national system collects these data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected or have unusual patterns of occurrence.

Visit The CDC VAERS Webpage to learn about the difference between a vaccine side effect and an adverse event and how reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority.

We also recommend using the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker to share your side effects with the CDC as part of ongoing vaccine safety monitoring.

Is it true the vaccine won’t help your body build immunity the same way getting the virus will?

The body builds immunity to COVID-19 in a different way with the vaccine than through infection.

The vaccine helps build immunity without having to get the disease, which can be serious and even fatal.

Are mRNA vaccines more dangerous than other vaccines? Can mRNA vaccines alter your DNA?

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines appear to cause short-term side effects more often than many other vaccines. But these side effects do not appear to be lasting.  Moderna & Pfizer are both mRNA vaccines.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines work by teaching cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, according to the CDC. Messenger RNA injected into your body will not interact with or affect your cells’ DNA. 

Once I get the COVID-19 vaccine, can I stop other safety measures like masking and physical distancing?

As of May 14, 2021, the CDC has relaxed guidance on wearing a mask for persons who have been fully vaccinated in many situations. However, in Lane County we still follow the guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. For more information on situations where masking is required, please visit

You can find more post vaccine guidance here: Post Vaccine Guidance

Are both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the same amount? Is the second dose less or more than the first dose?

For the two dose vaccines (Pfizer & Modern) both doses are the same amount.  Your immune response may be different to each dose.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) requires only a single dose.

Where can I find more information regarding vaccine development and safety information?