Update June 16, 2021:
King County mask Directive lifts on June 29. 70% of residents age 16 and older have completed their vaccine series. That means that on June 29, 70% of residents 16 and older will be protected from COVID-19 through vaccination and the King County mask directive will end. (It takes about two weeks after completing the vaccine series to be considered fully protected.) Once the King County mask directive ends, the Washington state mask guidance will be in effect in King County.
As of May 13, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use for ages 12 and older. Everyone ages 12 and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Getting vaccinated just got easier! Vaccines are available across King County at high-volume vaccination sites, pharmacies and clinics (and many don’t require appointments). See “How to get vaccine” for options.
Learn more about vaccination for youth at kingcounty.gov/vaccine/youth.
Who can get vaccinated now
Everyone age 12 years and older is currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. At this time, COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized for children younger than 12 years old. Clinical trials are in process for young children.
Learn more about eligibility and getting vaccinated in King County.
Cost of vaccine
There is no cost to you for the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. The vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance, and the cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured.
COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:
- Charge you for the vaccine.
- Charge you directly for any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance.
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out of network.
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate.
COVID-19 vaccination providers can:
- Seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program (example: private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee. However, providers cannot charge the vaccine recipient the balance of the bill.
- Seek reimbursement for uninsured vaccine recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program.
Vaccine safety is a priority
Safeguards to ensure that vaccines meet standards for safety and effectiveness include:
COVID-19 vaccines must go through rigorous clinical trials in which many thousands of study participants receive the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates the scientific data from these studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of each vaccine. FDA relies on analysis and recommendations from an advisory group of independent scientists and experts, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). VRBPAC meetings are open to the public.
If a vaccine meets the FDA's safety and effectiveness standards, the FDA can make the vaccines available for use in the U.S. by traditional licensure or emergency use authorization.
After the FDA makes its determination, a second independent advisory body of immunization experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), will review the vaccine's safety and effectiveness data. They will make recommendations to the CDC with guidance for healthcare providers and the public about the use of the vaccine.
Vaccine Safety Monitoring
After any vaccine is authorized for use, including COVID vaccines, multiple safety monitoring systems are in place to watch for possible side effects. If an unexpected serious side effect is detected, experts work as quickly as possible to determine whether it is a true safety concern. This serves as an ongoing evaluation of safety even after the clinical trials are completed. For COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC and FDA have expanded safety monitoring systems to carefully evaluate safety in real-time and make sure the COVID-19 vaccines are as safe as possible.
- More information: Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States, CDC
Only licensed and trained health professionals can give vaccinations
Only individuals who are licensed and trained to administer vaccines will be able to provide vaccination. Once the vaccine is more widely available to the general public, many different types of healthcare providers will provide vaccine in order to make the vaccine accessible for all who are interested in receiving it. These providers may administer vaccine both in clinics and hospitals and at more mobile or pop-up events in the community.
Important to continue COVID-19 safeguards
- A safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 is a major break-through. But vaccine alone won't end the pandemic right away.
- Right now, most people are not vaccinated yet – we’re in very early stages of vaccine distribution with limited supply. We’re also learning how well the vaccine works in preventing people who are vaccinated from spreading COVID-19 to others and how well it works on coronavirus variants, which are known to be circulating in King County.
- Even after vaccination, it’s important to protect others. Continue to wear masks, limit indoor activities outside of the home, avoid crowded indoor spaces, keep contact with others brief and distanced, improve ventilation indoors, and wash your hands frequently.
- The good news is that once you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing some things again that stopped because of the pandemic. Learn more on the Getting Vaccinated in King County page.
Vaccine progress and strategy
Our aim in King County is to efficiently and equitably vaccinate as many eligible King County residents as possible in order to suppress the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the impact of the pandemic on our community.
- King County's Strategy for Vaccine Delivery Updated Apr. 1, 2021
- Principles for Equitable Vaccine Delivery
- Progress Report on Vaccine Delivery in King County Updated June 1, 2021
More information about COVID-19 vaccine
Link/share our site at www.kingcounty.gov/covid/vaccine