ALERT
We are experiencing high call volumes in response to expanded COVID vaccination scheduling. Please check myChart frequently for openings as we continually manage doses and capacity. Thank you for your patience as we work through calls and questions. Our COVID-19 hotline is 208-381-9500; find additional information here.
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COVID Vaccine Information

vaccine

COVID Vaccine News and Information (updated 1/14/21)

To align with the state’s COVID vaccination program, St. Luke’s is now scheduling the approved prioritized groups, which include all of Group 1 (health care workers and long-term care residents) and Group 2.1 (first responders, pre-K-12 teachers and school staff, daycare workers, correctional and detention facility staff). 

Vaccinations for approved prioritized groups are available now at specific clinics across our service area. This is in alignment with Idaho’s vaccine program and our participation with the health districts as a vaccinator.

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee’s recommendation for subgroup prioritization and a new timeline were announced by Gov. Brad Little Jan. 12. We will follow their direction. View the state's timeline and advisory committee's list of groups.

At this time, St. Luke’s is unable to set a specific timeline for when other groups will open for scheduling, including the next group (Group 2.2) for adults age 65 years of age and older. More information will be provided as soon as it is available. Please wait for further communication and next steps. Thank you for your patience.

Scheduling Instructions

Appointments can be scheduled through myChart
  • If you do not have a myChart account and have been seen by a St. Luke's provider before, you can sign up for myChart online
  • If you have never used St. Luke’s services, please call 208-381-9000 to set up a myChart account. 
  • You may also set up online myChart proxy access for family members or dependents. 
  • Those who cannot use myChart may call St. Luke’s Connect at 208-381-9500 to set up a vaccine appointment when their group opens for scheduling. 
More scheduling details are available under “How can I schedule a vaccination?” in the FAQs below.


How to Schedule in MyChart

  • Once logged in, find the main menu on the upper left of your screen on a desktop computer or the center of your screen on a mobile device.
  • Select Schedule an Appointment on the main menu.
  • Select the COVID Vaccine option and answer the questions to proceed through the scheduling process.

While we understand the interest in information about the vaccine, we request that you do not call our clinics for updates so staff can focus on patient care. We will update this page when additional appointments are available. 

Sign up for weekly email updates to stay current with COVID vaccine news

FAQs: Vaccine Basics

Click each question below for its answer:

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

Pfizer has reported that its vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, once seven days have passed since the second vaccine dose (booster shot). The Moderna vaccine is reporting a 94.5% effectiveness rate.

The COVID vaccine will help your body generate antibodies to help protect you from the virus without getting sick. Vaccines can produce longer-lasting protection than if you had the disease. Research shows antibodies in recovering adults last up to four months. The CDC says more data is needed to know how long immunity produced by the vaccination will last.

What is in the COVID-19 vaccines?

Please review the fact sheets for each vaccine, as developed by the manufacturers: 

Since the COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out fast, how do we know it is safe?

These are not new technologies. The vaccines are actually set up to give us immunity that is better than natural infection. We know the side effects of the natural infection. When we compare the risks to those at the frontlines that are being exposed to the virus and those in our community who are at high-risk for severe disease and death, those risks greatly overshadow the unknown risks of the vaccine.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine a live virus?

No, it is made from a portion of the virus’ molecular material (RNA). For more information on the science behind the vaccine, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. Also check out, Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines.

Does the vaccine prevent you from getting COVID-19 or just reduce symptoms?
Both. More than 90% of the people in the phase 3 trials did not get COVID-19. Of those who did get it, only one person in the Pfizer study has a severe case, the rest of the participants in Pfizer had minor symptoms.
Can someone who is vaccinated still get COVID-19?

Yes, because the vaccine is 95% effective, not 100% effective. Those exposed to the virus later, after the booster vaccine, tended to have mild symptoms if they became ill at all.

What percentage of the community needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity? Can it happen naturally?
According to the CDC, experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.

The American Lung Association’s blog says, “In most cases, herd immunity is not achieved without an effective vaccine. For COVID-19, the percentage of the population that needs to be infected to achieve herd immunity is estimated to be between 70% and 90%, and this is assuming lasting immunity is possible.”

Herd immunity could happen naturally but would take years. Also, we know acquiring immunity through natural disease is risky to that person and comes with a high cost of hospitalizations, long-term health problems and even more deaths.
How do I decide if getting vaccinated is right for me?
Weigh the risk of contracting or spreading this potentially life-threatening disease to those who are vulnerable against the risks, side effects, safety and effectiveness of the vaccines offered.

Older age and underlying medical conditions including obesity, a compromised immune system, hypertension, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease increase the risk of severe illness from the virus and should be considered as well. You may wish to discuss with your primary care provider.
How can I learn more about how the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed, tested and approved?
Watch this brief video from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19 vaccines?

Idaho Resources

National Resources

FAQs: Getting the Vaccine

Click each question below for its answer:

When will COVID-19 vaccine be available?
St. Luke’s is now scheduling the approved prioritized groups, which include all of Group 1 (health care workers and long-term care residents) and Group 2.1 (first responders, pre-K-12 teachers and school staff, daycare workers, correctional and detention facility staff). 

Vaccinations for approved prioritized groups are available now at specific clinics across our service area. This is in alignment with Idaho’s vaccine program and our participation with the health districts as a vaccinator.

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee’s recommendation for subgroup prioritization and a new timeline were announced by Gov. Brad Little Jan. 12. We will follow their direction. View the state's timeline and advisory committee's list of groups.

At this time, St. Luke’s is unable to set a specific timeline for when other groups will open for scheduling, including the next group (Group 2.2) for adults age 65 years of age and older. More information will be provided as soon as it is available. Please wait for further communication and next steps. Thank you for your patience.
How can I schedule a vaccination? Do you have a vaccination waitlist?
When available, appointments will be scheduled through myChart. If you do not have a myChart account already, please sign up for one.
Community members whose priority group is open for COVID vaccinations may schedule those vaccinations through St. Luke’s myChart and should set up a myChart account if they don’t have one. If you are not eligible to schedule right now, you can still set up a myChart account now so you will be prepared to jump in and schedule as soon as appointments open for your assigned group.  

If you are a St. Luke’s patient, please sign up for a myChart account. If you have never used St. Luke’s services, please call 208-381-9000 to set up an account.

You may also set up online myChart proxy access for family members or dependents. Those who cannot use myChart may call St. Luke’s Connect at 208-381-9500 to set up an appointment when their group opens for scheduling. 

Scheduling through myChart is the easiest and most effective way to make an appointment and track information. All people should schedule through myChart unless: 
  • They do not speak English. 
  • They have a disability preventing them from using myChart. 
  • They do not have the technology that allows them to access myChart. 
Those with vaccination appointments must bring proof that they are in the priority group to the appointment. Proof of employment can be a badge, W-2, paystub, or other item indicating where they work. 

People with a scheduled appointment will be waitlisted to get an earlier appointment if one opens up and they wish to accept it. Keep checking myChart as we will continue to add openings.

We do not have a vaccination waitlist for those in groups that are not open for scheduling. People with a scheduled appointment will be waitlisted to get an earlier appointment if one opens up and they wish to accept it. Keep checking myChart as we will continue to add openings.
Where will vaccinations be given?
Vaccinations will be by appointment only. Please do not show up without making an appointment first through myChart or we will have to turn you away for your safety. 

View maps to all locations

Community COVID-19 Vaccination Sites  

  • Boise (Moderna): St. Luke’s Internal Medicine – Park Boulevard, 1000 E. Park Blvd.  
  • McCall (Moderna): St. Luke’s Clinic – Payette Lakes Family Medicine, 211 Forest St.  
  • Meridian (Pfizer): St. Luke’s Clinic – Travel Medicine & Immunizations, in St. Luke’s Medical Center Office Building, 520 S. Eagle Road, Suite 1221, first floor
  • Mountain Home (Moderna): Elmore Quick Care, in St. Luke’s Clinic-Elmore Specialties, 840 N. 4th East
  • Nampa (Pfizer): St. Luke’s Family Medicine, North Entrance of St. Luke’s Nampa, 9850 W. St. Luke’s St., Suite 290
  • Twin Falls (Pfizer): St. Luke’s Clinic – Physician Center, in St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, 775 Pole Line Road West, Suite 105 
  • Wood River (Moderna): St. Luke’s Clinic – Obstetrics and Gynecology, in St. Luke’s Multispecialty Clinic, 100 Hospital Drive, Suite 200
Can I bring someone with me to my vaccine appointment?
Please come unaccompanied to your vaccination appointment. In compliance with our no visitor policy, we are unable to accommodate visitors and children at vaccine clinics.
If supplies are limited, when will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
The CDC said supplies will increase over time as manufacturing ramps up. There should be enough vaccine for all adults to get vaccinated by the end of 2021.
How many doses will I need?

Most of the COVID vaccines being developed require two doses, about four weeks apart. You will need to have both shots of the same vaccine, without mixing vaccine types. The first shot (primer) and the second shot (booster) are the same.

What are the side effects for the vaccines?
Common side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine include fatigue, headache, muscle pain and chills, and generally last two days before subsiding. These side effects indicate that the vaccine is doing its job, mimicking an infection in the body without causing a COVID-19 infection. Like other vaccines, injection-site pain often occurs. Severe adverse reactions such as allergic reactions and Bell’s Palsy are much less common, but if they occur, need to be reported to your health care provider. None of these side effects are contagious.

It is important to note that reactions after the vaccine and the actual COVID-19 infection are significantly different. Vaccine reactions may involve some mild symptoms occurring in the first couple of days, coupled with the pain at the injection site, redness and swelling (from the vaccine), as noted above. By contrast, the COVID-19 infection reaction has a respiratory component, cough and nasal congestion, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, much more fever, and also a longer period of muscle pain, fatigue and headache.

Should I get the vaccine if I had a prior COVID positive test result?
The recommendation is to go ahead and get the vaccine. The Pfizer data included individuals that had recently had a positive test and also got the vaccine. There's a lot of theoretical and other evidence that suggests that the immunity from the vaccine may actually be a longer, more protective immunity than the variable immunity you can get after a natural infection. However, we do not want people who are actively sick getting the vaccine. But any recovered individual, whether it was a documented COVID or suspected COVID, should get the vaccine. If there are any questions, discuss them with a health care provider.
Can pregnant or lactating women get the vaccine?
St. Luke’s would follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendation, which recommends that it may be helpful for the pregnant patient to have a conversation with their OB or their family medical doctor. We will give a pregnant or lactating woman the vaccine if she chooses to get it, whether or not she has spoken with her OB or provider.
How much will it cost to be vaccinated?
The vaccine will be administered at no cost to the patient.

Although the vaccine itself is free, the federal government has created a way for health systems to charge and bill for the administration of the drugs.

Health systems will receive reimbursement from insurance plans and the federal government with no cost to patients.

FAQs: After Vaccination

Click each question below for its answer:

What should I expect after getting the COVID vaccine?

The CDC has published information on What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine and posts updates as more information becomes available.

How long will the vaccine be effective?
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide and how long it lasts. Participants in the phase 3 clinical trials will be studied for the next two years to find these answers.
What should I do if I have a reaction to the vaccine?

When you receive a vaccination in one of our clinics, you will have the option to be monitored for about 15 minutes and medical staff will use safety precautions and respond immediately if you have an initial reaction. If you have a delayed reaction, please contact your primary care provider or call 911.

Do I need to wear mask after I've been vaccinated?
Yes. Experts need to know more about the protection provided by the vaccine, like how long it lasts, before changes are made to public prevention recommendations. To stop the pandemic, everyone should keep wearing masks, washing hands often and social distancing.
Is it safe to visit at-risk loved ones after I've been vaccinated?
No. The vaccine is not 100% effective and your loved one and others will not likely have been immunized.

Once there is herd immunity after most Americans are immunized, we should be able to move closer to a back-to-normal state.
Can I donate blood and/or convalescent plasma after I receive the vaccine?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will affect when or if you are eligible to donate blood. View Red Cross guidelines