COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing


COVID-19 Vaccine Information

We recognize not offering the COVID vaccine within our clinic sites has caused understandable confusion and frustration. We plan to deliver vaccines through PacMed once a dependable supply becomes available to us from the state Department of Health (DOH).

Resources currently available:

  • Veterans:We recently learned that veterans and some designated family caregivers of veterans may be eligible to receive their COVID vaccine from the VA. Details outlining eligibility can be found at the VA’s COVID vaccine page.
  • All Others:We encourage those eligible for the vaccine to attempt to schedule their dose through the process outlined on the Washington State DOH site or by calling 1.800.525.0127, then press #.

See below for additional details on these vaccination options.

Our forecast at this point is that our region will have a more predictable supply of vaccine available by late Spring 2021. As soon as supply allows and distribution plans are finalized, we will notify our eligible patients and the public in a timely manner.

For now, we recommend patience and persistence as you go through State of Washington process for scheduling your vaccine.

We will update this site as additional information becomes available.


Currently Vaccinating: Phases 1A and 1B1

According to Washington State Department of Health (DOH) guidance, individuals in the following groups may now be vaccinated:

  • Phase 1A. Health care workers, first responders, residents of long-term care facilities and others in some high-risk settings.

  • Phase 1B. As of Jan. 16, Phase 1B1 includes people over 65, or those over 50 who live in multi-generational household, and others. For full details, read the “Summary Guidance” on this page.

Who’s next? Learn how the state is prioritizing vaccine recipients, and when you might be eligible. Read more.

How to get your vaccine

Veterans
Veterans can get the vaccine at the VA, even if you do not receive your care at the VA. This opportunity does not extend to spouses. Read details from the VA.

Others
You must qualify and schedule an appointment before visiting any vaccine site.

If you believe you qualify in one of the Phases above, then follow the steps below for your situation:

  • Online. Confirm your eligibility and find a location near you to schedule your appointment. Find the latest guidance on the Washington DOH website.

  • By phone. Reach the COVID-19 call center by dialing 1.800.525.0127, then press #. (Due to high call volumes, please be patient and expect long wait times.)

  • Schedule. Depending on your vaccine location, you may need to take extra steps to confirm your appointment. You may receive an email confirmation or a reference number. You should print out proof of your eligibility and appointment and bring this to your vaccine visit.

  • Keep track. Your vaccine site may require you to create a login when you schedule your visit. If so, record the website and login information so it is easy to schedule your second dose.

  • Locations. To see a list of current vaccination sites by county and city, visit the DOH Vaccine Locations webpage. Per DOH advice, please do not approach any of the vaccination sites without documented proof of eligibility.

  • Accessibility may vary by location. If you need wheelchair access, seating or other support, please visit your vaccination site’s webpage to learn what accommodations they may have available.

  • Be patient. The websites, phone lines and sites supporting the vaccination effort may become overloaded at times. If you encounter difficulty, please try again later. Our partners are regularly improving their systems, and additional appointment times will open up at each location as more vaccine supply becomes available.

Please note, all vaccines currently require a second dose for full protection, either 3 or 4 weeks later.

Remember to schedule your follow-up dose and follow any other instructions you may be given during the vaccination process.


Vaccine Information

The FDA has granted emergency use authorization to administer a number of COVID-19 vaccines in adults. Studies show the vaccine is safe and effective: There were no major adverse events or safety concerns in clinical trials. This is great news.

We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they become eligible, because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic.

You may feel hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This is normal and understandable, both because of times that vaccines were misused on people of color in the past, or because of misinformation you may have received. It is good to want to protect yourself. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about the COVID-19 vaccine from reliable sources so you can feel confident in your decision.

We recognize this is a personal decision and that you may have questions about the vaccine. You can learn more from the educational resources below. You can also ask a doctor you trust if you have questions about your personal situation.

Please continue to wear masks and social distance, even after receiving the vaccine.


COVID Testing

Now that public testing sites are fully functioning, our early-response Drive-Thru clinics have closed and we have diverted these resources to other pressing needs.

Please follow the guidance below based on your reason for getting tested:


COVID Testing – if you have symptoms or would like to be tested

  1. Go public. Public testing sites are now the best option. They have more availability, earlier appointment times, and lower potential cost to you:

    You can visit these sites directly. You do not need a doctor’s visit or referral before getting a public test.

  2. If you want to see the doctor first.
    • Call us to schedule a virtual visit
    • The doctor may still recommend you visit a public testing site (above), or give you instructions for coming in to clinic safely for a test.

    Getting your results will be different at each location. Ask your testing center where you test. If you require follow-up care, we may that request you share the test results with us.

    If you test negative but still have symptoms, call us to schedule a virtual visit.
    If you test positive, please call us for care coordination so we can triage your needs.

COVID Testing – Before a procedure

Some procedures require a COVID test beforehand. Your care team will let you know if you need one.

When you schedule your procedure, you should also schedule your COVID testing appointment for 3 days beforehand. Earlier or later tests may not be usable.

Testing is available at PacMed Renton, First Hill or Canyon Park clinics during the following times:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday
  • 10 AM–12 PM or 1 PM–3 PM

Your COVID test will take about 15 minutes. We can help you set that up.

IMPORTANT: If you have COVID symptoms before your scheduled test, do not come into clinic for your test.

Pre-procedure results from tests done at PacMed will be available via MyChart. We may also contact you if we need to discuss your results.


QUESTIONS

Is the COVID-19 vaccine available?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccinations are available to individuals who qualify according to state guidance. PacMed is partnering with public health partners in a mass vaccination effort. Learn more.

Does PacMed offer drive-thru COVID testing?
Not anymore. We were one of the earliest local medical groups to offer drive-thru testing, and continued through mid-October, 2020. By then, the county and city testing network was well established, and we closed our drive-thru testing to redirect our full resources back to patient care.

What testing does PacMed offer?
PacMed uses the PCR swab test for active COVID-19 infections for current patients who qualify.

Does PacMed offer antibody testing?
Not at this time. COVID-19 antibody tests were rapidly developed and are currently under review by the FDA and other federal organizations. The meaning of the results is not fully understood and may not provide the answers you are seeking. We do not recommend antibody testing at this time. We will continue to update recommendations in accordance with emerging evidence and expert guidance from the Centers Disease Control (CDC) and Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Please visit the CDC website and IDSA for more information.


Stay up to date with our COVID-19 recommendations and updates on our coronavirus webpage.

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