COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

Below are resources and tips for setting up and running your COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Planning Resources

Washington plans
Vaccine administration fee reimbursement
Satellite, temporary, or off-site clinics

If you decide to host a satellite, temporary, or off-site vaccination clinic, please review and complete the off-site vaccination clinic checklist and guidelines (PDF) and submit your request to at least 24 hours before your clinic.

Long-term care facilities

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I administer extra vaccine doses to my patients?

An additional dose is for patients who completed the initial vaccine series but didn't have a strong enough immune response. A booster dose is for patients when it's likely that their immunity after the initial vaccine series waned over time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend an updated booster dose for everyone 5 years and older.

CDC also recommended an additional dose of mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines for certain immunocompromised groups.

Please see additional guidance on our Vaccine Booster page.

You can get a different vaccine for your booster dose than the vaccine you got for your primary series. The CDC made their decision following a careful review of the latest data (Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, mix and match boosters), and robust and deliberative discussion around booster shots.

People 5 years old should only receive an updated bivalent Pfizer booster. People 6 years and older can receive an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster. People 18 years and older can also opt to receive a Novavax booster if they cannot or will not receive an updated mRNA booster.

Please do not administer any doses of vaccine beyond the doses recommended by CDC, even if your patient requests it. Also, please do not administer any doses of vaccine to someone outside of the recommended age range for that vaccine.

Who can administer vaccine?

Providers must follow the standards of practice and legal requirements for their profession. You can use the Providers Authorized to Administer and Order Vaccines (PDF) chart to determine which professions in your organization can administer and order vaccine and any applicable limitations. Providers with an expired or inactive health care provider license can administer the COVID-19 vaccines under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.

Some Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel may also administer vaccine if they meet certain conditions. See the EMS Providers and Emergency Immunizations and Vaccinations (PDF) policy for more information.

Medical assistants-certified (MA-Cs) and medication assistants are prohibited from administering experimental drugs. Are COVID-19 vaccines experimental drugs?

MA-Cs and medication assistants can administer COVID-19 vaccines. Any COVID-19 vaccine issued under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not an experimental drug within the meaning of the laws prohibiting MA-Cs and medication assistants from administering experimental drugs. See the Providers Authorized to Administer and Order Vaccines (PDF) chart for other health care professions that are authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

For more information, see these laws:

What are the requirements for people administering vaccine on tribal lands?

The current legal requirements governing health care practice by tribal program representatives or staff on tribal lands applies to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Any tribal program representative or staff who is currently authorized to administer vaccine on tribal land may also administer COVID-19 vaccines for which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) or full FDA licensure.

Is there special training needed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several training programs related to vaccine administration. You can use this list of COVID-19 vaccination training programs and reference materials (PDF) to help you prepare for administering the vaccine. The list includes:

Are there special precautions for preparation of the vaccine?

It is critical to prepare the vaccine correctly to maintain the integrity of the vaccine and protect against contamination. You should use aseptic technique, including the use of a separate needle and syringe for each dose.

Should we ask for proof of citizenship or a social security number before administering the vaccine?

No, you do not need to ask for proof of citizenship or a social security number from anyone getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you do ask, vaccine patients do not need and are not required to provide this information.

Regardless of citizenship or immigration status, all eligible people should get vaccinated.

Do we need to get written consent before administering the vaccine?

Washington does not require written consent for vaccination. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends completing and documenting a pre-vaccination health screening (PDF) (Additional languages). If your organization would like to collect written consent, the Washington State Hospital Association has a patient acknowledgement template available on their website.

Do I need to get consent from an authorized adult to vaccinate people under age 18?

Yes. People under age 18 may need consent from an authorized adult to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated. If you have questions about what you can accept as parental consent, please consult your legal counsel. If your office or organization already has guidance on this for other vaccines, you may wish to consult those as well. You can use this sample consent for minor vaccination as a starting point.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people ages 5 and over. FDA approved Pfizer-BioNTech for everyone 16 years and older.

Do we need to observe patients after vaccination?

Yes, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that providers consider observing patients for at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to monitor for an allergic reaction. Providers should consider observing patients with a history of anaphylaxis for 30 minutes. You should have emergency supplies and medications available. See recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for managing anaphylaxis at vaccination sites.

What information should I give my patients?

You should give the following information to each patient you vaccinate:

How should we do reminder/recall?

For patients receiving a two-dose or three-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, it will be important to ensure people receive the same vaccine product for their second and third doses. You should provide patients with a vaccination record after administering the vaccine. You will receive vaccination cards in the vaccine ancillary kits.

You should also be sure to accurately track administration in the Washington Immunization Information System (WAIIS) in case you need to look up the patient's vaccine product later.

You may also consider other reminder methods, such as:

  • Scheduling the next appointment while they're getting their first or second dose
  • Providing a sticker with their appointment time
  • Calling them before their second and third appointments
Is physical distancing necessary when an individual receives their second or third dose of vaccine?

Yes. Providers should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance for administering vaccines during a pandemic for all vaccinations.

How is the vaccine administration fee covered for people who are uninsured?

Providers cannot charge a patient who does not have coverage and/or cannot pay. The provider can submit a claim for reimbursement through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Portal, which is the same federal funding used for COVID-19 testing and treatment for people who are uninsured. For more information, see HRSA's website on COVID-19 care for uninsured people.

Does it cost anything for patients to receive the vaccine?

No, the federal government will provide the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to providers. Providers cannot charge a patient directly for the vaccine administration fee. However, providers can seek reimbursement for the vaccine administration fee from a patient's health coverage. If a patient is uninsured, providers can seek reimbursement through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Portal. For more information, see HRSA's website on COVID-19 care for uninsured people.

How can we get reimbursed for administering the vaccine?

Based on federal guidance, this insurance coverage table (PDF) summarizes how we currently anticipate vaccine administration fees will be covered.

Providers can be reimbursed for administering the vaccine through:

What happens if someone becomes sick after receiving the vaccine?

Side effects can occur after someone receives the vaccine, but this may mean that the vaccine is helping their immune system create immunities against the virus. If a person becomes sick after receiving the vaccine, the adverse event should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Anyone (patients, providers, or caregivers) can submit a report to VAERS. For more information, watch the VAERS overview video (also available in Spanish).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also implementing v-safe, a new smartphone-based tool that uses texts and web surveys to check in with people who received the COVID-19 vaccine to see if they've had any side effects. Providers should give patients the v-safe information sheet and encourage them to enroll and fill out the surveys.

Is there any liability for our organization if there are side or adverse effects to the vaccine?

The vaccine is available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. For COVID-19 vaccines under EUA or with full approval, organizations are free from liability under the Public Readiness and Preparedness (PREP) Act, and injuries can be claimed through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).