COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Prepare For Your Visit:
FMHC follows CDC guidelines to help keep all patients and staff safe. FMHC follows evidence-based guidelines for COVID treatment and encourages COVID vaccination for everyone age 12 and older. We require all patients and visitors ages 2 and older to wear a mask at all times in our facilities. If you have an elevated temperature, or new onset of cough, difficulty breathing, congestion, or sore throat, please call to reschedule your appointment or request a telehealth visit unless you are being seen for COVID testing. We are currently asking that you please limit the number of people you bring to the clinic to no more than two.
Boosters for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
With the recent decisions of the FDA and the CDC, FMRI will immediately start offering Pfizer COVID booster shots to the following populations of people:
- Anyone ages 65 and older
- Any patient who is a health care worker and has direct face-to-face contact with patients.
To be eligible you need to have received your second Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.
Please note this applies ONLY to patients who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine series. The FDA and CDC need to approve/release booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The only booster shot of the Moderna vaccine being given currently is for people on immunosuppressive medications, cancer treatment, or who have had an organ or bone marrow transplant (See 3rd Dose details below).
In the coming days we may expand the Pfizer booster shots to people ages 50-64 with high-risk conditions and to other employment categories, but we are waiting on more guidance from the CDC at this time.
Eligible patients can be given boosters during a scheduled office visit or in one of the four upcoming clinics (See below). After the four clinics are complete, patients who have not yet gotten their booster can schedule at the clinic of their choice.
The four Pfizer booster clinics will be:
- Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 5-8PM: Nampa South Clinic (Nampa)
- Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 8-12PM: Raymond Clinic (Boise)
- Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 8-12PM: Raymond Clinic (Boise)
- Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 8-12PM: Nampa South Clinic (Nampa)
3rd Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a 3rd dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for people who have an impaired immune system due to:
- Active cancer treatment
- An organ transplant
- Stem cell transplant recipients
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with immunosuppressive medications
If you or your family members meet any of this criteria, we would be happy to schedule a third dose of the vaccine.
There are not yet recommendations for immunocompromised people who received the J&J vaccine.
Please note that other conditions that may be mildly immunosuppressive (such as well controlled HIV, diabetes, pregnancy, or other chronic medical conditions) are not on this list and an additional dose is not recommended for those groups at this time.
A third dose is not recommended for individuals who are not immunocompromised.
Considerations about timing of vaccination and the full CDC recommendations can be found here.
COVID-19 Vaccines Available: Age 12 and Up!
Please note that children aged 12-17 must get the Pfizer vaccine only at this time as approved by the CDC. Pfizer provides a 3-week period between your 1st and 2nd dose.
The Moderna and J&J vaccine are approved for adults age 18 and up. Please note that women ages 18-49 who are seeking a single dose J&J vaccine can have one as requested with appropriate counseling on possible risks. The Moderna vaccine has no restriction concerns with a 4-week period between your 1st and 2nd dose.
How to Schedule:
You can call to schedule your vaccine now:
If you are not one of our patients and would like to become one, please call us at one of the numbers above and ask us about vaccines while setting up your first appointment.
We understand that there may be many questions on this new vaccine and we are committed to help keep you and our community informed with weekly updated content.
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine
The Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are now available for specific age groups.
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged 12-17+ with a 3-week waiting period between your 1st and 2nd dose. (~94% efficacy)
The Moderna vaccine has been approved for those aged 18 and older with a 4-week waiting period between your 1st and 2nd dose. (~95% efficacy)
The J&J vaccine has been approved for those aged 18 and older and is a single dose option. (~66% efficacy) Please be aware that women younger than 50 years old seeking the J&J vaccine will need a consult with our medical team to discuss a rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. If you received a J&J/Janssen vaccine, here is what you need to know.
(Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their doctor about the vaccine.)
Are the vaccines safe?
Yes, the vaccines are safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.
The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. Learn more about vaccine safety by visiting:
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also reviews all safety data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine for use. Learn how ACIP makes vaccine recommendations.
Lastly, the federal government, under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the start of the pandemic to make a COVID-19 vaccine available as soon as possible. Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. Learn more about Operation Warp Speed:
- HHS Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed
- New England Journal of Medicine article: Developing Safe and Effective COVID Vaccines — Operation Warp Speed’s Strategy and Approach
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The current COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) give your immune system a preview of the coronavirus, so it learns how to stop it. It triggers antibodies in your blood to attack the virus’s unique spike protein.
Your immune system learns from the vaccine how to quickly recognize the actual virus and stop it from multiplying. The idea is to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from getting into cells, replicating itself and making you sick.
How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to provide you with the highest level of protection. The first one primes the immune system, helping it to recognize the virus, and the second one strengthens the immune response.
Both options require 2 doses at different times:
Moderna Vaccine: After receiving the 1st dose, the 2nd dose will need to be given to you 28 days later. (Please make sure that you are available 28 days after the 1st shot before making your initial appointment.)
Pfizer Vaccine: After receiving the 1st dose, the 2nd dose will need to be given to you 21 days later. (Please make sure that you are available 21 days after the 1st shot before making your initial appointment.)
You will receive a vaccination card and reminder of when your next appointment will be. Please check in with reception on your way out to confirm your next appointment or call us at (208) 514-2500 if you have questions.
The J&J vaccine is a single dose option available to those aged 18 and up, however only provides ~66% efficacy. Please be aware that women younger than 50 years old seeking the J&J vaccine will need a consult with our medical team to discuss a rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. If you received a J&J/Janssen vaccine, here is what you need to know.
Can my child (12-17) receive the Pfizer COVID Vaccine at the same time as other immunizations?
Yes, children age 12-17 can receive the Pfizer vaccine at the same time as other common childhood immunizations.
The following statement provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics backs the safety of the vaccine: CLICK HERE
Should I stop taking certain medications prior to my vaccine appointment?
Although there is limited information on the effects from the CDC, some physicians recommend that you temporarily stop taking non-steroidal medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen 2 days before your scheduled vaccine.
Once you receive your vaccine, you are welcome to continue taking these medications as you normally would.
What are the common side effects of the vaccine?
Side effects are similar to other vaccines. The most common side effects are pain/redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle/joint aches and low-grade fever in the first 48 hours after getting the vaccine.
These side effects respond well to Tylenol and ibuprofen. Most side effects last less than 24 hours and those ages 55 and older have reported fewer side effects.
Please note that cough or loss of taste or smell are not vaccine side effects. If you are experiencing these symptoms you may already have the infection in your system prior to being vaccinated. Contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) if you are experiencing these.
Subscribe to V-Safe, a program administered by the CDC is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from the CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
UNCOMMON/RARE effects of the vaccine may include anaphylaxis. Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine or an injectable medicine should consider holding off on getting the vaccine at this time. Please consult with your PCP.
I have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, like the flu vaccine. Should I get the vaccine?
Most people with allergies can get the vaccine. If individuals have a history of anaphylaxis, or to an injectable therapy, prior to the COVID vaccine – you should speak with your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
Can I get the vaccine if I am not feeling well?
In general, yes. If you have a moderate or severe acute illness, then you may consider delaying the vaccine until you feel better.
I’m pregnant or lactating, can I get the vaccine?
Yes, pregnant or lactating patients may choose to be vaccinated. Although there is limited data available on the safety of COVID vaccines in pregnant people, no safety concerns were demonstrated in rats that received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine prior to or during gestation in terms of female reproduction, fetal/embryonal development, or postnatal development.
Studies in pregnant people are planned and the vaccine manufacturers are following outcomes in people in the clinical trials who became pregnant. Based on current knowledge, experts believe that mRNA vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to the pregnant person or the fetus because mRNA vaccines are not live vaccines.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions prior to getting the vaccine.
Can my child get the vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged 12-17+. The Moderna and J&J vaccine have been approved for those aged 18 and older.
Additional studies are underway to determine safety and effectiveness for those children under the age of 12.
Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. Administration fees for the vaccine have been covered by insurance companies and those who are on our sliding fee scale. Patients who are uninsured can have the administration fee reimbursed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Once vaccinated, how long does it take before I develop immunity?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine requires two doses three or four weeks apart, depending upon which vaccine you choose. Immunity takes some time to develop- at least two weeks after last the last injection. For example, someone vaccinated in late December won’t be fully protected until late January or early February.
Similarly with the single dose J&J vaccine, the ~66% protection won’t begin until 2 weeks after you receive this vaccine.
How long will the vaccine protect me?
We don’t yet know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. We are following the guidance provided by the CDC.
Is it possible for the COVID-19 vaccine to give me the virus?
No. The COVID-19 vaccine is not made with a live virus and cannot give you COVID-19.
Will getting vaccinated cause me to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests?
Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, you will likely test positive on some antibody tests.
Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection or that you have been vaccinated successfully and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results and how long immunity lasts after vaccination.
Does a person who has previously been sick with COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated?
Yes, individuals with history of COVID still should receive COVID vaccine. Data from clinical trials indicate that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in persons with evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Vaccination of persons with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation.
Once I’ve been vaccinated, do I need to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.