COVID-19 Vaccines: Information and Appointments

A hand holding a stack of "I got my COVID-19 Vaccine" stickers

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You’ll also find up-to-date information to help you make informed decisions for yourself and your family:

Questions? Need help?

Reach our call center at 833-OHSU-CCC (833-647-8222), weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

OHSU COVID Vaccine Tool

Check to see if you can make an appointment

  • Because of limited supplies, you must have an appointment to get a vaccine.
  • Timing: Vaccine appointments are currently released on Monday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m., and go quickly. Use the tool at that time for the best chance of getting an appointment.
  • Appointments are available at no cost for eligible people ages 16 and older.
  • This tool serves only some eligible groups. They include senior citizens, people with disabilities, and caregivers of people with disabilities. Others can go to the Oregon Health Authority's Get Vaccinated Oregon tool to check eligibility and sign up for alerts.
  • For ages 16 and 17: At some sites, we may have only a vaccine approved for ages 18 and older. If the tool won’t let you make an appointment for someone age 16 or 17, this may be why.
  • People with mobility issues: The drive-through PDX Airport Red Economy Lot and Hillsboro Stadium sites are best because you don’t have to leave your car.
  • The tool will ask you some simple questions. It takes only a few minutes.
  • IMPORTANT: Please bring your insurance card, if you have one, to your appointment. You will not pay anything for your vaccine, but we may bill your insurance. Also, please do not come to your appointment if you are sick. Learn more in our "Prepare for your appointment" section.

Need help? Call 833-OHSU-CCC (833-647-8222), weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Important information for senior citizens

The Oregon Health Authority’s Get Vaccinated Oregon tool will tell you if you are eligible for a vaccine and let you sign up to receive alerts. The OHA will create a list of eligible people who sign up, and share it with All4Oregon, the hospital partnership providing vaccinations at the Oregon Convention Center.

If you live in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas or Columbia counties, sign up to make sure you are on the list. When a vaccine is available, staff from All4Oregon will contact you to offer an appointment.

Please be patient: Oregon has more than 750,000 residents who are 65 or older, and vaccine supplies remain limited.

More information and help

  • Oregon Health Authority tools:
    • Get Vaccinated Oregon, a tool that lets you check eligibility, get alerts, and get help finding a vaccine provider when you are eligible. 
    • Vaccine Information Tool, a chatbot that lets you see if you're eligible for a vaccine.
  • Text ORCOVID to 898211 for updates (English and Spanish only)
  • Email ORCOVID@211info.org
  • Call 211 or 866-698-6155, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day
  • TTY: Call 711 or 866-698-6155
  • Help for people with disabilities or who speak a language other than English: Call 971-673-2411 or email COVID19.LanguageAccess@dhsoha.state.or.us

For people enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan:

  • Ride to Care (Health Share of Oregon members): 503-416-3955 or 855-321-4899
  • MTM (Trillium members): 877-583-1552
  • Tri-County MedLink (Oregon Health Plan Fee for Service members): 800-889-8726

For some others:

  • Ride Connection (weekdays, older adults and people with disabilities in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties): 503-226-0700
  • TriMet LIFT (people unable to use regular buses and trains because of disability; enroll before scheduling): 503-962-8000
  • One Call (Providence Medicare members): 866-733-8994

Oregon Health Authority information

OHSU vaccination locations

PDX Airport Red Economy Lot

This is a drive-through site.

Timing: Vaccine appointments are currently released on Monday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m., and go quickly. Use the tool at that time for the best chance of getting an appointment.

A traffic controller directs cars through the PDX airport vaccination site

Address:
Red Economy Parking Lot

Portland International Airport
10105 N.E. Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220

Directions: From Airport Way, follow signs to Economy Parking and then to the Red Lot.

Hours:

  • Saturday, March 6: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 7: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13: 13: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 14: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Partners: OHSU, Port of Portland, American Red Cross

See a video and map, below, on what to expect at this site.

OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Scappoose

This is an indoor site.

Timing: Vaccine appointments are currently released on Monday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m., and go quickly. Use the tool at that time for the best chance of getting an appointment.

Scappoose Family Medicine Building

Address:
51377 Old Portland Road
Crossroads Plaza, Unit C

Scappoose, OR 97056

Partners: OHSU, Columbia County

Oregon Convention Center

This is an indoor site.

Update: For now, the Oregon Health Authority is not scheduling appointments through an online tool. Instead, the OHA is creating a list of eligible people who signed up for alerts through its Get Vaccinated Oregon tool.

It will share the list with All4Oregon, the partnership running the Convention Center site. Staff from All4Oregon will contact people from the list to offer appointments.

Tap or click the button to sign up.

A person receives the COVID-19 vaccination at the Oregon Convention Center vaccine site

Use the Oregon Health Authority’s Vaccine Information Tool to see if you’re eligible and, if so, to make an appointment. 

Address:
777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Portland, OR 97232

Partners: OHSU, Kaiser Permanente, Providence, Legacy Health

Learn more about what to expect at this site.

Hillsboro Stadium

This is a drive-through site.

Appointments at this site are currently by invitation only.

Two people show their bandages after being vaccinated against COVID-19

Address:
4450 N.E. Century Blvd.
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Partners: OHSU, Hillsboro Medical Center

OHSU Multnomah Pavilion

This is an indoor site.

Appointments at this site are currently by invitation only.

A person receives the COVID-19 vaccination at OHSU Multnomah Pavilion.

Address:
Multnomah Pavilion
3161 S.W. Pavilion Loop
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking: Go to Parking Garage B in the Physicians Pavilion. Map and directions.

Transit: Public transportation is available, but the Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays.

Prepare for your appointment

Insurance card: You will receive a vaccine at no cost to you, and you do not need to have health insurance. If you do have insurance, though, please bring your insurance card to your appointment. Your insurance may be billed, but you won’t pay anything for the vaccine.

QR code: If we email you a QR code, please bring it with you to streamline your appointment. You can print it out or have it on your phone.

Don’t come if you are sick:  Please do not come to your appointment if you are sick or have symptoms that could be from COVID-19.

Who can come with you:

  • Drive-through sites: You can have support people and family members in the car with you, but they must have their own appointment(s) to get a vaccine.
  • Indoor sites: You can bring a support person, but the person must have an appointment to get a vaccine. See the OHSU visitor policy, on our coronavirus resources page, for details on support people. Please don’t bring other people.
  • Animals: Service animals are allowed. Please leave pets home.

What to expect at your appointment

Directions: Greeters will direct you through the process. 

Observation: After your shot, you will be asked to wait in an observation area for 30 minutes to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction.

Second dose (if applicable): The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses — Pfizer after three weeks and Moderna after four. You will arrange an appointment for your second dose at your first appointment. If you are seeking a second dose, please schedule with the organization that provided your first one.

Side effects: Learn about possible side effects and where to report them in the FAQ section below.

Why aren’t vaccine providers wearing gloves? Medical gloves are in short supply. Regulators and medical experts agree that proper hand hygiene is an option instead. Learn more in the FAQ section below.

Safety after your vaccination:  Even after you’re vaccinated, it’s important to continue:

  • Physical distancing
  • Wearing a mask
  • Washing your hands often

Learn more in the FAQ section below.

  • Language help: Interpreters will be available if you speak a language other than English.
  • Ayuda en otros idiomas: Habrá intérpretes disponibles si habla un idioma que no sea inglés
  • Trợ giúp ngôn ngữ Sẽ có thông dịch viên nếu quý vị nói một ngôn ngữ không phải tiếng Anh.
  • Языковая поддержка: Если вы не говорите на английском языке, будут доступны услуги устного перевода. 
  • 语言协助:如果您讲英语以外的其他语言,可以为您提供口译员。 
  • المساعدة اللغوية: سيُتاح مترجمون فوريون إذا كنت تتحدث لغة أخرى غير اللغة الإنجليزية

What to expect at the PDX Airport Red Economy Lot

Overhead map of the red lot economy parking area at the Portland Airport (PDX).
Tap or click to enlarge.

How OHSU is vaccinating Oregonians

At OHSU, Oregon’s public academic health center, getting Oregonians vaccinated as quickly as possible is mission No. 1.

  • OHSU is deploying leaders and thousands of employees to focus on vaccinations.
  • We are working with partners, including other health systems, to run five mass-vaccination sites. 
  • We plan to add vaccines to OHSU outreach vans that travel to rural areas.
  • OHSU teams are doing outreach and holding events to make sure vulnerable and underserved communities are vaccinated.

Learn more: OHSU steps up to vaccinate Oregon

Benefits of getting a vaccine

An OHSU provider prepares a vaccine dose.
An OHSU provider prepares a vaccine dose.

A vaccine helps protect you: A vaccine will make you much less likely to get COVID-19. If you do get COVID-19, health experts expect the vaccine to make you less likely to become seriously ill.

Getting vaccinated may protect those around you: If you avoid getting sick, you are less likely to spread the virus to others. This includes people in your family and people at high risk of becoming seriously ill.

Vaccination is a safer way to get immunity: You may develop natural immunity by getting  COVID-19, but we don’t know how well this will protect you or how long this natural immunity may last. COVID-19 is unpredictable and can cause serious illness and death, so gaining immunity through infection is not as safe as being vaccinated. Also, getting sick puts you at higher risk of infecting others.

Vaccines can help end the pandemic: Over time, vaccines help populations safely develop immunity. Once enough people are vaccinated, the coronavirus won’t be able to widely spread, ending the pandemic. People who haven’t been vaccinated (such as babies) will also be protected because those around them won’t have the virus. 

Learn how COVID-19 vaccines work, why OHSU experts are confident they’re
safe, and why they recommend getting one.

Vaccine safety

Health and government experts are confident the vaccines are as safe as possible.

The FDA’s emergency-use authorization makes a vaccine or other treatment available quickly in a crisis. It is not full FDA approval. Vaccines are also being developed in months instead of years.

To get emergency authorization, though, vaccines have gone through three phases of clinical trials (tests on people) involving tens of thousands of participants. Clinical trials must follow rigorous rules for safety and oversight.

The FDA, CDC and other government agencies have many systems to monitor the vaccines for any safety issues that didn’t turn up in the trials. They can act quickly if a problem is spotted. Tools include v-safe, which lets people use a smartphone to report any side effects to the CDC.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, is among health officials who say speed did not sacrifice safety. “The speed was the reflection of extraordinary advances in the science of vaccine platform technology,” Dr. Fauci told ABC.

Learn more:

COVID-19 vaccine FAQ

  • A vaccine will help protect you and your family from getting COVID-19.
  • The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency-use authorization to three vaccines: by Pfizer-BioNTech, by Moderna and by Johnson & Johnson. 
  • The Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for ages 18 and older. The FDA needs more data to know if the vaccines are safe for younger people.
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses — Pfizer's three weeks apart and Moderna's four weeks apart. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is one dose.
  • If you miss the recommended window for your second dose, schedule it as soon as you can. You do not have to start over with another first dose. Learn more in the FAQ below titled "I missed the recommended window for my second dose. Should I still get it?"
  • Vaccines are expected to be available to the general public, for ages 16 and older, as early as spring 2021 as supplies increase.
  • Experts have placed a high priority on making sure the vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Cost shouldn’t be an issue. The federal government is buying doses to provide free of charge.
  • It’s important to continue safety practices: Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands often.

Supplies are limited. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccinating the highest-risk groups first, and states followed suit.

States have detailed plans on how to distribute vaccines as supplies increase:

Yes. It’s important to get your second shot, or booster, to make sure your vaccination is as effective as possible. Schedule your second dose as soon as you can.

It’s also important to know:

  • There is no maximum time between doses.
  • OHSU has no limit on how long after a first shot people can schedule a second.
  • OHSU recommends second doses:
    • 19-35 days after your first Pfizer dose (Pfizer recommends three weeks, or 21 days).
    • 25-35 days after your first Moderna dose (Moderna recommends four weeks, or 28 days).
  • The CDC updated its guidelines to recommend second doses — when a delay is unavoidable — up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose.
  • Even if you miss all these windows, you don’t have to start over by repeating a first dose. Just get your second dose.
  • There is little data on how well mRNA vaccines (like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) work when the second dose is more than six weeks after the first. That means it’s not known whether waiting longer makes the vaccine more effective, less effective or causes no change.

Learn more:

It's not clear yet.

So far, vaccines are available in the U.S. only for people who are at least 16. Vaccines are first tested in adults to make sure they are safe and effective. Then they are tested in older children before clinical trials start with younger children.

Both Moderna and Pfizer are testing their vaccines in children as young as 12. Moderna hopes to have a vaccine approved for ages 12 and older by summer 2021, CEO Stephane Bancel said in January 2021. That could enable older students to return to school in fall 2021.

Moderna expects to start clinical trials in younger children soon, but Bancel said the company doesn’t expect to have results until 2022.

Meanwhile, vaccinations of adults will help protect children, too. As more people are vaccinated, the coronavirus will become less able to spread. Children are also at much lower risk of serious illness from the coronavirus.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines spur the body to make antibodies that specifically fight the coronavirus. Antibodies are made by white blood cells and are part of the immune system — the body’s system to fight infection.

The vaccines do this by sending a snippet of genetic material from the coronavirus — instructions called messenger RNA or mRNA — into  cells. The instructions tell the cells to make a harmless spike protein like the one on the coronavirus.

The body’s immune system recognizes that this protein doesn’t belong here. It activates white blood cells to form the infection-fighting antibodies. The immune system also remembers the spike protein, so it's ready to fight the real coronavirus should it become present in the body.

Once the proteins are made, the body destroys the mRNA.

After vaccination:

  • If you contract the coronavirus, your immune system is better able to attack it, making you less likely to develop COVID-19.
  • Based on knowledge of other illnesses, health experts expect that if you do develop COVID-19, you will be less likely to become seriously ill.
  • Your immune system knows how to fight the coronavirus without having come in contact with it.

Learn more:

See the “Vaccine safety” section above to learn why experts are confident the vaccines are safe. This video offers more information.

You can expect mainly mild to moderate side effects such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches and pains

In clinical trials, side effects tended to be higher after the second dose, and less for those older than 65.

Side effects can be managed with:

  • Rest
  • Drinking fluids
  • Fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

Call your health care provider if you have side effects that bother you or that don't go away.

Learn more:

What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine, CDC

Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital if you have a severe allergic reaction such as:

  • Swelling of the throat and mouth
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Blue skin or lips
  • Fainting

Call your health care provider if you have side effects that bother you or that don’t go away.

Learn more:

COVID-19 Vaccines and Allergic Reactions, CDC

Health officials are tracking side effects as part of widespread efforts to monitor vaccine safety. You can report side effects to:

  • The FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): Visit the VAERS website or call 1-800-822-7967.
  • V-safe: Learn how to use the CDC’s new v-safe smartphone tool.

Medical gloves are in short supply worldwide. Oregon would need millions of additional pairs if gloves were used for all vaccinations.

In addition, under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, providers are not required to wear them for COVID-19 vaccinations. Except in special cases, providers can clean their hands between each recipient instead.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agree that hand hygiene can replace glove use.

Learn more: 

The Reason Why Nurses Don’t Wear Gloves When Giving COVID-19 Vaccine Explained

Yes. There are several reasons:

  • If you have a two-dose vaccine, your vaccination won’t be complete until after you’ve had the second dose. The second dose is after three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine, four weeks for Moderna.
  • It can take two weeks for your body to develop immunity after your vaccination. You could come in contact with the coronavirus in the meantime.
  • The vaccines appear to do a good job of preventing COVID-19. But experts don't yet know if being vaccinated will prevent you from carrying and spreading the virus to others, with or without symptoms.
  • Health experts say that stopping the pandemic will require every tool available. Masks, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet from others) will still play important roles.

To start your protection as soon as possible, you should be vaccinated as soon as possible. This means getting the vaccine that is available to you.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be highly effective. In addition, any new vaccine must be found to offer good protection against COVID-19 to win FDA authorization. The FDA also continues monitoring vaccines to see how they perform.

No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and others in the pipeline do not contain live virus. That makes it impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Although mRNA vaccines have not been widely used against an infectious disease before, they have been used in cancer treatments. Researchers have also been working with mRNA vaccines for decades in studies of the flu, Zika and other illnesses.

The mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed with the same rigorous standards applied to all vaccines.

No. DNA is in the nucleus of cells, protected by the nuclear membrane. The mRNA does not enter the nucleus, and it does not affect or interact with DNA. In addition, mRNA from a vaccine cannot be made into DNA that could change a person's DNA.  

Yes, you may choose to be vaccinated. Though it’s not required, you may want to talk with your pregnancy provider about:

  • Your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.
  • The higher risk of serious illness for people who get COVID-19 while pregnant.
  • The higher risk of premature birth or other pregnancy complications for people who get COVID-19 while pregnant.
  • Whether you have any other medical condition that could put you at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Information about vaccines in people who aren’t pregnant.
  • The lack of information about COVID-19 vaccines in people who are pregnant.

Learn more:

Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding, CDC

OHSU experts recommend that you talk with your health care provider. The CDC says people who are both breastfeeding and in a high-priority group recommended for vaccination, such as health care workers, may choose to be vaccinated.

There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people who are breastfeeding, in breast milk or in breastfeeding infants. Breastfeeding people were not part of clinical trials. The CDC says, though, that mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that vaccination be offered to people who are breastfeeding under the same guidelines as for people who aren’t.

Learn more:

Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding, CDC

Yes. It's possible to get COVID-19 again, which can result in serious illness.

In addition, experts don’t know how long people can expect to be immune after having COVID-19. The CDC said early evidence suggests it’s not very long.

Scientists don’t know yet. Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates the U.S. will reach population immunity (also called herd immunity) when 75-80% of the population has been vaccinated. This is the point at which enough people have immunity to keep the coronavirus from easily spreading.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines

An OHSU health care worker is vaccinated for COVID-19
An OHSU health care worker is vaccinated.

Questions? Need help?

Reach our call center at 833-OHSU-CCC (833-647-8222), weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.