COVID 19 Vaccine in Plain Language

Vaccine and syringe injection It use for prevention, immunization and treatment from COVID-19

Let’s Talk COVID Vaccine

Good news! Vaccines have been created, tested and approved to help us fight the virus.

Medical doctor with a giant shield fighting of the COVID virus, with a large vaccine syringe in hand.The vaccines have different names, but they work the same way. They give your immune system directions for fighting the virus. If you get infected by COVID, your immune system will be better prepared to knock it out.

The vaccine does NOT give you COVID. It gives you the code to the virus so your immune system can disarm it.

Map of Washington State with an Approved seal across the front.The vaccine has been tested to make sure it is safe and effective. People all over the world have been part of the tests. And now it has arrived in Washington State, ready to help us stop this virus.

Who is the Vaccine for?

The vaccine is for everyone over age 18 (16 and older for the Pfizer vaccine). As it becomes available, our state is releasing the vaccines in phases, beginning with people who:

  • Receive care in a long term care setting, such as adult family home, supported living and SOLA.
  • Age 65 or older, or over age 50 and live in a multi-generational home.
  • People who work in a health care setting, including personal care providers.

Find Your Phase

Washington State Department of Health Vaccine Phase Finder.
Check your vaccine eligibility at

What to Expect

  • You will need to have 2 shots. They will be 3-4 weeks apart.
  • Wait 15 minutes to make sure there is no allergic reaction.
  • Make an appointment for the second shot 3-4 weeks later.

Process of 2 shot vaccine with 15 min wait after each shot to make sure there is no reaction. Time line below shows a 3 to 4 week period between shots.

How it Feels

You may feel side effects from the vaccine. They last from a few hours to a few days and include:

  • Soreness in your arm where you got the shot.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Body aches, headache.
  • Mild fever or chills.

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Even though a vaccine helps you fight COVID, you can still be infected and infect others. Until enough people are vaccinated, it is important to keep each other safe.

Continue to wear face coverings, wash your hands regularly, keep at least 6 feet distance from others outside your household, and avoid large gatherings.

Printable Version with Graphics (PDF)

Thumbnail image of Covid Vaccine publication first page. Image of vaccines and opening text of the article.


Developed in partnership with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and Informing Families, a resource of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC).


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