COVID-19 Vaccine

Last Updated: February 5 at 11:30 a.m. PT

At Banner Health, we want to make sure that we are providing you with the information you need to stay informed about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state and county health departments are leading the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Banner will participate in this process by administering the vaccine at several Banner Health locations. We understand that there is a lot of interest in receiving the vaccine, so we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through distribution.

Health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities have been receiving the vaccine for the past few weeks, and many states are beginning to move into the next phases of vaccine distribution. Qualifications for each phase are determined by state and county health departments. Please visit your state and county health department websites or contact them directly to learn what phase they are currently in for the vaccine. If you now qualify for vaccination, those health department websites will provide you with scheduling links or phone numbers to various vaccination sites so that you can schedule your appointment. Most locations require a scheduled appointment and walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

We know that the COVID-19 vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and a return to a more normal way of living, and we are thrilled that you want to do your part by getting vaccinated. Please be patient as we work through vaccination appointments as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the vaccine is in high demand and appointments may book up quickly. Check other vaccination sites if your preferred location does not have any appointments available.

We thank you for your continued diligence to stay healthy and safe. Please remember to distance from others and wear a mask when you are out in public. These behaviors will continue to be important in the coming months as the vaccine is slowly made available to all those who would like it.

Additional prioritization resources by state:

What brand of vaccines are available in the U.S.?

In December the Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and Banner’s team of experts have all reviewed the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and recommend their use in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.. The vaccine is a 2-dose series, administered either 21 days (Pfizer-BioNTech) or 28 days (Moderna) apart. The 2-doses must be from the same manufacturer.. 

If you would like to learn more, please visit the CDC web site

Is the vaccine effective against the new variants of COVID-19? 

Health officials have identified the presence of the U.K. variant in Arizona, and the South African variant was also identified in the U.S. As a reminder, the U.K. variant is more contagious than some of the other COVID strains, but the current vaccines on the market do appear to be effective against this variant. The South African strain has also shown to be more contagious. While research is ongoing, vaccines appear to be less effective against this variant, though still within the protective range and are highly recommended.

Learn more about the COVID-19 variants from the CDC.

Who is eligible to get the vaccine?

Many states and counties have started moving into the next phases of distribution. Those who qualify for each phase differ between states and counties. Please visit your state or county health department websites or contact them directly to learn what phase they are in and if you qualify to receive the vaccine at this time.

Learn more about the CDC recommendations for who will receive the vaccine, and when

When will the vaccine be available to the general public?

Once the identified priority groups are vaccinated, it will then be offered to the general public. We will share more details when we have them to keep you informed.

I already had COVID-19, should I get vaccinated?

Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Is the vaccine a live vaccine?

No. The vaccine is not a live vaccine. Unlike traditional vaccines, the vaccine is not manufactured in cells of any kind, but created in the lab.

  • No fetal cells
  • No viral cells
  • No eggs
  • Preservative free

Can I get the virus from the vaccine?

No. The vaccine does not contain any virus or viral cells. The vaccine is manufactured with genetic particles called messenger RNA (mRNA) that help your immune system develop antibodies to the virus.

How did the vaccine-development process move so quickly?

It’s true it can take years, sometimes decades, to develop a vaccine. One reason COVID-19 vaccinations were developed rather quickly is that there was funding on a global scale for their development. COVID-19 vaccines were also being given top priority over almost all other products in the pipeline.

What kind of side effects can I expect?

Most common side effects are redness and pain at the injection site as well as fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches that lasted up to a day and half. It is not recommended to take over-the-counter medicines before your vaccination to ward off any potential symptoms; there is a lack of information on impact of use on vaccine-induced antibody responses.

Can my allergy shots affect my COVID-19 vaccination?

Allergy shots should not influence your ability to respond to the vaccine immunologically.  We would recommend that you schedule your vaccination and allergy shots at least a day apart to make sure any side effects can be accurately attributed and to ensure any local swelling at allergy shot injection site is resolved.

Once I receive the vaccine do I still need to practice social distancing and wear a mask?

Yes. Experts are still learning about the protection that this vaccine will provide, so even if you receive the COVID-19 vaccine it is very important that you continue covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing your hands often and staying at least 6 feet away from others. 

Learn more from the CDC's Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccination