What You Need to Know
Sharing the key information you need to keep you, your loved ones, and our community safe.
Short on time? Visit these trusted resources regularly for the most current information available.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WA Department of Health (DOH)
Find the information you need, from sources you can trust. Links open in a new window/tab and take you to credible sources which are also noted at the bottom of this page.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Click below for answers to common questions related to COVID-19.
VaccinesAre the vaccines safe? Are they effective?
- There is no question that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the U.S. have received shots.
- The technology used to develop the first two COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S., from Moderna and Pfizer, is not new. It has been studied and used for decades in other medical research.
- It’s true that the COVID vaccines were developed more quickly than other vaccines in the past. But research and clinical trials have demonstrated that the vaccines are effective for the prevention of COVID-19.
- All three vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Additionally, the Pfizer vaccine is officially FDA approved.
COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the state and federal government, and reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination are taken very seriously. The detection of rare side effects tells us that the systems in place to monitor the safety of these vaccines are working.
Learn more about the available vaccines. Experts, including the CDC, have expressed a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available in some situations.
- Cost = $0. The federal government is covering the vaccine for free to all people living in the United States.
- You should not be charged any out-of-pocket costs. You should not get a bill from your provider, from the place where you got your shot, or from your insurer. If you receive a bill for a COVID vaccine, report it here.
- If a provider charges “administration fee” for giving you the vaccine, this fee will be charged to your health insurance plan, e.g., CHPW, or to the federal program which will pay the provider.
- The COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers of all races and ethnicities.
- In the trials, the vaccines protected adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages from the virus.
What people of color should know about the COVID-19 vaccines, by Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S., vice president and chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine
Visit Join the Conversation to hear from doctors, nurses, and community health workers who identify as people of color.
You and your family members can get the care you need without fear. Testing, treatment, and vaccination for coronavirus will not count against you in a test of public charge.
Learn more about COVID and immigration status from the Northwest Justice Project ➜
Learn more about the COVID vaccine and immigration status from the WA Department of Health ➜
Can I get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine?
No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines currently in development in the U.S. contain the live virus that causes COVID. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Will the vaccine damage or change my DNA?
- No, this is not possible. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s never enter the cell nucleus, where the DNA, your genetic material, lives.
- The vaccine is broken down quickly once it enters the cell and delivers the needed “message” to the cell’s machinery.
- Imagine the vaccine enters your body with an instruction manual. Your immune system memorizes the manual so it can fight COVID-19. It can’t change your DNA.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?
No. This is a myth circulated online by non-scientific sources. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.
TestingHow can I get a COVID test?
COVID Test Options
- Find an in-person testing location in WA
- Schedule an in-person test with your health care provider
- Purchase at-home testing kits from retailers, such as Walgreens or Walmart
- Order free at-home tests, delivered by mail, from:
Get free at-home COVID-19 antigen tests:
- In person at one of your plan’s in-network pharmacies – show your member ID at the pharmacy counter to apply your $0 copay
- Apple Health pharmacies (up to 12 individual tests per month)
- Medicare Advantage pharmacies (up to 8 individual tests per month)
- Cascade Select pharmacies (up to 8 individual tests per month)
- Online at express-scripts.com – log in*, submit your order ($0 copay will be automatically applied), and have your tests delivered by mail
- Or, you may submit receipts for reimbursement (up to $12 per individual test; based on the in-network plan limits) to:
PO Box 269002
Plano, Texas 75026‐9002
PCR and antigen tests ordered or administered by a health care provider or pharmacist are covered.
*Note: if you have not yet signed up for an Express Scripts online account, you will be prompted to do so.
Call our Customer Care team at 1-800-440-1561 (TTY: 711
Sources: CDC, FDA, CNN, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, EthnoMed, Greater Than COVID, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Immigration Law Center, National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants, Northwest Justice Project, WA Department of Health, WA State Coronavirus Response, Yale Medicine
*CDC Updates RSS feed provided and maintained by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (usage guidelines and disclaimer).
CHPW joins health care providers across the state in our commitment to supporting COVID-19 vaccination.