The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 16 years old or older.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available. The new bivalent formula protects against the original strain, while offering better protection against the omicron variant. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for people age 6 months or older.
When to get the COVID-19 vaccine
UCHealth is currently providing the Pfizer vaccine. Dose timing varies by age and whether a person is immunocompromised.
[updated vaccine schedule to come]
How to get the COVID-19 vaccine
- Through your UCHealth primary care provider. To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to see available appointments. You must have a UCHealth primary care provider in order to get a vaccine at UCHealth. Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.
- At Yampa Valley Medical Center. To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to see available appointments. Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.
- Through one of the sites in our community, such as local pharmacies.
- Or go to vaccines.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you.
With the goal of helping organizations deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to their communities,
we developed a playbook to share our learnings from successful mass vaccination events.
The COVID-19 vaccine: When, where, and who?
Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for everyone age 6 months and older.
What COVID-19 vaccines can I get from UCHealth?
UCHealth is providing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and booster to UCHealth primary care patients and at Yampa Valley Medical Center.
COVID-19 vaccine safety
How do we know COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
Clinical trials are evaluating COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants. Information from these trials will allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decide how safe and effective they are. Ongoing, long-term monitoring will continue as it does for all vaccine development. No steps in the normal vaccine development process have been skipped or shortened.
Will the findings of the COVID-19 vaccine trials be made public and reviewed by independent experts?
All phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are overseen by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). This board acts across all of the trials for all of the sponsors. The FDA and vaccine manufacturers are releasing data from their trials publicly.
Did the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials include people of color?
COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Who is UCHealth currently vaccinating?
UCHealth is currently providing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to UCHealth primary care patients and at Yampa Valley Medical Center.
How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to see available appointments.
- Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.
- If you don’t have a My Health Connection account, create a My Health Connection account to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine.
- If you have questions or need help, please call your UCHealth primary care clinic.
Can I walk in and get a COVID-19 vaccination?
At this time, UCHealth vaccine clinics are not accepting walk-in patients. Please schedule an appointment for your vaccination.
What is the recommended timing between a first and second dose? Can I get my second dose early?
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require 2 doses. The CDC advises that the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be given 3 to 8 weeks after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine can be given 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose. A second dose should not be given earlier than 17 days after the first dose for the Pfizer vaccine, and 24 days after the first dose for the Moderna vaccine.
How can I cancel my appointment?
How can I reschedule my appointments?
If you need to reschedule, you need to cancel your appointments in My Health Connection first and then complete the scheduling steps again.
Once I’m vaccinated, where can I find my vaccination record and QR code?
If you receive the COVID-19 vaccine through UCHealth, “Your COVID-19 Information” page will show your vaccination record and QR code. It will also show the results of any COVID-19 nasal swab or antibody tests you have had at UCHealth.
- My Health Connection mobile app: Click “Your COVID-19 Information” on the home screen.
- My Health Connection desktop: Go to “Your Menu,” then select “Your COVID-19 Information.”
COVID-19 vaccine and your health
I am immunocompromised. What is the recommended timing between doses for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines?
For children age 6 months to 4 years (Pfizer vaccine): 3 weeks between 1st and 2nd primary dose, 8 weeks between 2nd and 3rd primary dose. No booster dose recommended.
For people age 5 or older (Pfizer vaccine): 3 weeks between 1st and 2nd primary dose, 4 weeks between 2nd and 3rd primary dose, and a bivalent (omicron) booster at least 2 months after their primary series or last booster.
I am immunocompromised. Should I get a third primary vaccine dose?
Guidance for the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines has been updated to include a third primary dose for people with a moderately to severely compromised immune system. This includes organ transplant recipients, those taking certain medications that weaken the immune system, and those with conditions that cause a similar level of immune suppression.
Studies show the third primary dose may increase protection for someone with a weakened immune system.
Who is considered immunocompromised?
Moderately to severely immunocompromised people include people who:
- Are receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
- Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Have received a stem cell or bone marrow transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Have an advanced or untreated HIV infection.
- Are receiving treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response.
Please talk to your doctor about your medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is right for you. If you are currently receiving chemotherapy treatments or have recently been treated with certain immunosuppressant medications, your doctor may advise you to wait until a time when your immune system is better able to respond to the vaccine.
What is a booster shot?
A booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine after a person has completed their primary vaccination series. An additional dose “boosts” your immune system, creating better protection against an illness. It’s normal for some vaccines to wane or become slightly less effective over time. Because of new infections and waning effectiveness of some COVID-19 vaccines, FDA and CDC experts are recommending a booster dose for many people.
Who should get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC is recommending COVID-19 boosters for everyone age 5 or older.
- Anyone age 5 or older should get a bivalent (omicron) booster at least 2 months after their primary series or their last booster.
- For people 18 or older, mixing of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers has been authorized. People who received 2 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, can get a different brand for their booster.
Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.
For more information on who should get a booster, visit the state of Colorado’s vaccine booster eligibility page.
I already had a COVID-19 booster. Should I get the bivalent (omicron) booster as well?
The CDC recommends that anyone who is eligible should get the bivalent booster. The bivalent formula protects against the original strain, while offering better protection against the omicron variant. The Pfizer bivalent booster is authorized for people 5 years old or older.
Can I get my COVID-19 vaccine and my flu shot at the same time?
Yes, the CDC says people can get the flu shot and other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you get one shot in each arm.
UCHealth COVID-19 vaccine clinics are not offering flu shots at this time. Drug stores and other vaccine providers may offer both at the same time.
How much will a COVID-19 vaccine reduce the risks or complications of COVID-19?
Clinical trials have shown that all the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and safe.
Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting very sick, even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Are pregnant women at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19?
Yes, pregnant women and recently pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to those who are not pregnant. Pregnant women with COVID-19 are 15 times more likely to die, 14 times more likely to need to be intubated, and 22 times more likely to have pre-term birth than those who don’t have COVID-19, according to a recent study.
Can I get COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine?
It often takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after getting the vaccine. That means a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after getting the vaccine and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
We are seeing breakthrough infections, where someone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 tests positive for the virus. However, the vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself from severe illness and hospitalization.