COVID-19 Vaccine

Updated 11/28/2022

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Since the beginning of this pandemic in early 2020, there has been a worldwide effort to produce an effective COVID-19 vaccine which could safely prevent the spread of this virus. Less than a year later, as a product of that unprecedented effort, worldwide cooperation, and previous scientific breakthroughs, many vaccines against COVID-19 were created and authorized for use in the United States. These vaccines are all very safe and extremely effective.

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, you can do so today, for free, at many locations in Benton County, no health insurance or identification needed.

 

Remaining “Up to Date” on your COVID-19 Vaccinations

When vaccines against COVID-19 were first becoming available early in 2021, there was a lot of talk about what it meant to be “fully vaccinated.” This term meant that it had been at least two weeks since you had completed your primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine: Either two doses for Pfizer or Moderna, or your single dose of Johnson & Johnson. 

Since that time, there have been a number of changes. “Up to date” means, in the simplest terms, that you have received every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that you are eligible for. The table below gives specific guidance on who is and is not considered up to date on their vaccinations.

Vaccination Status Definition
Up to Date

For individuals 6 months to 4 years old:

  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna

For individuals 5 years and older:

  • Received a bivalent vaccine booster dose or
  • Received a booster dose within 2 months or
  • Completed the primary series of any brand of COVID-19 vaccine within the last 2 months
Not Up to Date

For everyone:

  • Unvaccinated or
  • Have not completed the primary series of any COVID-19 vaccine or
  • Completed the primary series of any brand of COVID-19 vaccine over 2 months ago and has not received a bivalent booster

 

Different Brands of Vaccine

There are currently four COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States: Pfizer's BioNTech and Comirnaty, Moderna/Spikevax, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax. All four were originally authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) using an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Pfizer and Moderna in December 2020, Johnson & Johnson in February 2021, and Novavax in July 2022.

Pfizer’s vaccine, Comirnity, was granted full approval by the FDA for use by individuals 16 years or older, while the original BioNTech vaccine remains available for those 6 months and older under the EUA. Moderna’s vaccine has also been granted full approval for anyone 18 years and older under the name Spikevax, and in June 2022 received and EUA for use in children 6 months to 17 years old. Johnson & Johnson is also seeking full approval by the FDA.

The Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna/Spikevax, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines are not interchangeable for your primary vaccination. If you receive a first dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax your second dose must be the same brand.

  • Pfizer/Comirnaty
    • Administered in a two dose series, the second dose is given 21 days after the first dose. Doses can be delayed to reduce the risk of myocarditis: speak to your medical provider to learn more. Comirnaty is fully approved by the FDA for use in people 16 years or older, and the BioNTech vaccine is still approved for use in people 5 years or older under an EUA. Ask which vaccine is being used. An updated, bivalent booster is recommended for everyone 5 years or older at least 2 months after completing their primary series, or since their last monovalent booster. For more information, please review the Pfizer-BioNTech fact sheets.

    • For children 6 months to 4 years old, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is a three dose series, with the second dose given 21 days after the first dose, and the third dose given 2 months after the second dose.
       
  • Moderna/Spikevax
    • Administered in a two dose series, the second dose is given 28 days after the first dose. Doses can be delayed to reduce the risk of myocarditis: speak to your medical provider to learn more. Spikevax is fully approved by the FDA for use in people 18 years or older. The Moderna vaccine is also authorized for youth 6 years and older under an EUA. An updated, bivalent booster is recommended for everyone 6 years or older at least 2 months after completing their primary series, or since their last monovalent booster.. For more information, please review the Moderna/Spikevax fact sheet.

    • For children 6 months to 6 years old, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is a two dose series, with the second dose given 28 days after the first dose.

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
    • Administered in a single dose, and is authorized under an EUA for use in people 18 years old or older. A booster dose is recommended at least 2 months after completing the primary series. An updated, bivalent booster is recommended for everyone who received Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months after completing their primary series, or since their last monovalent booster. These bivalent boosters, produced by Pfizer and Moderna, are mRNA vaccines. For more information, please review the Johnson & Johnson fact sheet.
    • The FDA has limited the authorized use of this vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older who cannot receive another authorized COVID-19 vaccine, or who choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This change is due to updated analyses on the risks of a rare clotting issue, though it was determined that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks when another vaccine is not an option.
       
  • Novavax
    • Administered in a two dose series, the second dose is given 21 days after the first dose. Novavax is authorized for use for people 12 years or older. Doses can be delayed to reduce the risk of myocarditis: speak to your medical provider to learn more. Novavax is available under an EUA. A booster dose of the updated bivalent mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended at least two months after completing the primary series. For those unwilling or unable to receive an mRNA vaccine, a booster dose of the Novavax vaccine is authorized for anyone 18 years or older at least 6 months after completing the primary series. For youth 12-17, only the bivalent mRNA vaccines may be used as a booster. For more information, please review the Novavax fact sheet.
    • Novavax is a protein based vaccine, the same technology that has been used for decades in flu, tetanus, and other vaccines. They do not use mRNA the way that the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines do.
    • Looking for the Novavax vaccine in Benton County? Start with your primary care provider.

 

Vaccine Eligibility

Currently, everyone 6 months or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose is recommended for anyone over 5 years old. Children ages 6 months to 14 years old must have the written approval of a parent or guardian to be vaccinated. Everyone 5 and older is eligible to receive an updated, bivalent vaccine booster. Bivalent refers to a vaccine that contains two strains: the original SARS-CoV-2 and an Omicron variant. For many people, this will be your second booster, but it could be your third or first. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, even if you do not have health insurance. You do not need to be a United States citizen or resident or live permanently in Oregon to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and no identification is required.

Vaccine Locations

The vaccine is widely available at retail pharmacies, medical providers, and at smaller vaccination community events around Benton County. 

Not sure where the closest location is for you or having difficulty finding an available appointment? Check our list of medical offices and pharmacies that offer the vaccine, our upcoming clinics, or you can check these websites: getvaccinated.oregon.gov and vaccines.gov. You can also text ORVAX to 898211, or call 541-766-6120 for further assistance.