ALERT

Schedule your COVID-19 vaccination now! We are unable to accommodate walk-ins. Please do not call St. Luke's clinics directly about COVID vaccine scheduling. Unless you need to call for an emergency, please use myChart for questions and appointments. To ensure we're able to provide safe care in a safe environment for all patients, masks are required in all St. Luke's facilities, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Learn more.

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COVID Vaccine Information

vaccine

COVID Vaccine News and Information (updated 4/13/21)

All people 16+ can schedule vaccine appointments as of April 5. You can schedule your vaccine appointment directly through myChart or by calling 208-381-9500. If there are no available appointments, you can fill out a vaccine questionnaire to be contacted when appointments are available or check back.

If you don’t have a myChart account, you can create one online or by calling 208-381-9000. If you are unable to use technology or need interpretation services, please call 208-381-9500. You may also set up online myChart proxy access for family members or dependents and fill out a questionnaire for them.

We continue to follow the state’s recommendations. St. Luke’s is one of many providers giving COVID-19 vaccinations in Idaho. You can find a list of vaccine providers for your area on the Idaho COVID-19 Vaccination Information site.

Your Next Steps

If you are an adult 18+:

  1. Log into St. Luke’s myChart. (If you don’t have an account, you can create one online or by calling 208-381-9000.)
  2. Click on Schedule COVID Vaccine Appointment.
  3. Answer a few quick questions and then schedule your vaccine appointment.
You can also call 208-381-9500 to schedule an appointment. If there are no available appointments, you have the option of checking back or filling out a vaccine questionnaire to be contacted when appointments are available.


For minors 16-17 years old:
  • Minors cannot consent for a COVID vaccine. They must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to provide consent at the time of the appointment. Written or verbal consent will need to be provided by a parent or legal guardian, if not present at the time of the appointment.  
  • Teens 16-17 years old can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is available at St. Luke’s sites in Nampa, Meridian, Boise and Twin Falls.
  • Minors cannot schedule their own appointments in myChart. Parents or legal guardians with teen proxy access can schedule for the minor. To get teen proxy access, the teen will need to grant teen proxy access to their parent or legal guardian through their own MyChart account.
  • Parents can schedule without proxy access by calling 208-381-9500.
  • Minors can schedule their own vaccine appointment by calling 208-381-9500, however, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to provide consent at the time of the appointment, or provide written or verbal consent of a parent or legal guardian, if not present at the time of the appointment. 
  • How to schedule:
    1. Log into St. Luke’s myChart. (If a minor doesn’t have an account, they will need to get an activation code online or by calling 208-381-9000.)
    2. Click on Schedule COVID Vaccine Appointment.
    3. Answer a few quick questions and then schedule your vaccine appointment.
    4. Or call 208-381-9500.
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.



St. Luke's Pauses Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations

In alignment with CDC and FDA recommendations, we are pausing on offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CDC/FDA recommended the pause as they review six cases of a rare but severe type of blood clot (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) in women ages 18 to 48 who received the vaccine. As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of J&J have been administered.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday, April 14 to review the cases and determine their significance. The FDA will review the analysis as well.

St. Luke’s only administers J&J on Thursdays, when it’s available, at St. Luke’s Plaza 4 in Boise. We will offer Moderna to patients who are scheduled for this Thursday, April 15. Those who receive Moderna will need to follow up in 28 days with a booster. We have hundreds of open appointments in Boise and the Magic Valley for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It is important that people get vaccinated as soon as possible regardless of the vaccine brand.

In the six cases that have been reported, symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

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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 has been administering vaccine since Dec. 18, 2020. Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines are now available in Idaho.
How can I schedule a vaccination?
All people 16+ can schedule vaccine appointments as of April 5. You can schedule your vaccine appointment directly through myChart or by calling 208-381-9500. If there are no available appointments, you can fill out a vaccine questionnaire to be contacted when appointments are available or check back.

If you don’t have a myChart account, you can create one online or by calling 208-381-9000. If you are unable to use technology or need interpretation services, please call 208-381-9500. You may also set up online myChart proxy access for family members or dependents and fill out a questionnaire for them.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
St. Luke’s assigns specific vaccines to different sites in order to keep you safe and ensure you get the same vaccine if two doses are required. We do not have the ability at this time to let you choose which vaccine you get. You will be notified before you get vaccinated which one you are receiving.
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: St. Luke’s Internal Medicine – Park Boulevard, 1000 E. Park Blvd.  
  • Boise: St. Luke's Plaza (Plaza 4) - 800 E. Park Blvd.
  • Fruitland: St. Luke's Clinic – Family Medicine: Fruitland, 1210 NW 16th Street
  • McCall: St. Luke’s Clinic – Payette Lakes Family Medicine, 211 Forest St.  
  • Meridian: 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: Elmore Quick Care, in St. Luke’s Clinic-Elmore Specialties, 840 N. 4th East
  • Nampa: St. Luke’s Family Medicine, North Entrance of St. Luke’s Nampa, 9850 W. St. Luke’s St., Suite 290
  • Twin Falls: St. Luke’s Clinic – Physician Center, in St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, 775 Pole Line Road West, Suite 105 
  • Twin Falls: St. Luke's Surgery Center, 575 Pole Line Road W.
  • Wood River: St. Luke’s Clinic – Obstetrics and Gynecology, in St. Luke’s Wood River Physician Offices Annex, 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?

Pfizer and Moderna both require two doses. Pfizer is given 21 days apart, and Moderna, 28 days 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.

Janssen’s (Johnson & Johnson) is one dose.


What are the side effects for the vaccines?
Pfizer and Moderna: The most common side effect is injection site pain. Other side effects of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines 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. 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.

Johnson & Johnson: Pain at the injection site is most common. Other common reactions included headache, fatigue and myalgia. Most symptoms resolved in one to two days.

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.

Infrequently, people who have received dermal fillers may develop swelling at or near the filler injection site, usually face or lips, after receiving a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). It appears to be temporary and can resolve with medical treatment, including corticosteroid therapy. People who have received dermal fillers can be vaccinated without additional precautions but should contact their health care provider if they develop swelling afterward.

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.

What if I forget to bring my CDC vaccine card to my booster appointment?
If you forget to bring your CDC vaccine card to your booster appointment, an additional card will not be issued. You may access your medical records online through myChart for proof of vaccine or return to the administering clinic at a later date with your original card to have it filled out.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination and other vaccines at the same time?
The CDC recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be simultaneously administered with other vaccines. The vaccine should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of any other vaccine. However, if the benefit of vaccination outweighs the potential risks of co-administrations with other vaccines (such as in an exposure situation, measles outbreak, etc.) then a provider may choose to vaccinate.
Should I postpone a COVID-19 vaccination if I have an upcoming procedure?
While you do need to avoid other vaccines for 14 days before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you do not need to avoid procedures. When considering timing of vaccination, keep in mind that the goal is to get the booster as close to three weeks (Pfizer) or four weeks (Moderna) as possible. If you will be unable to get to the facility for the initial vaccine or booster appointment times, you should alter your procedure based on your initial vaccine date to ensure you can. Also, since there is a chance of not feeling well for up to three days after your vaccine or booster vaccine, please do not plan on a procedure during those few days.
Does COVID-19 vaccination affect TB testing?
If baseline TB screening is required, it can be done before the person receives the vaccine. The IGRA can be drawn any time prior to the COVID Vaccine or the TST can be placed and read (up to 72 hours after placement) before receiving the COVID Vaccine.

If the person has recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, the current CDC recommendations state the need to defer TST (TB skin test) or IGRA (TB blood test) until four weeks after completion of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. If the person is in that COVID-19 vaccine window, we recommend a healthcare screening to ensure that an individual does not have any symptoms of active (contagious) tuberculosis disease. This screening is provided by the Occupational Health clinics.

This health care screening does not rule out latent tuberculosis, which is when the disease is only in a dormant state and cannot be spread to others.  However, with this preliminary clearance, testing for latent TB can be deferred until the four-week post-COVID-19 booster waiting period has ended.  Once that person is past their COVID-19 vaccine window, they should proceed with the IGRA or TST, screening for latent TB.

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. 

Masks are still required at all St. Luke's facilities, regardless of vaccination status. 

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