GENERAL INFORMATION regarding the available COVID-19 vaccines is presented in the slides below. For more information visit the CDC's website. This page was last updated on June 29, 2022. Use the grey arrows to the right and left of the content below to scroll to the next page.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The vaccine works with your immune system to teach it how to recognize and fend off the virus that causes COVID-19, safeguarding you from getting sick with COVID-19. As your body recognizes and defends you against the infection after the vaccine, you avoid the possibility of suffering from severe illness, long-term health effects, or even death. Receiving the vaccine can be lifesaving, since COVID-19 can affect you and those around you differently.
Just how safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
- The available vaccines went through rigorous studies to ensure safety and efficacy. The vaccines do NOT contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine can NOT, and will NOT, make you sick with COVID-19.
- It takes the body a few weeks to build protection against the virus. This means that a person could get sick just before or just after getting vaccinated because the vaccine has not had enough time to teach the body to recognize and fend off the COVID-19 virus.
The vaccine is an important tool to stop the pandemic.
- Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. With the new variants, this is more important than ever.
- Once fully vaccinated, you can resume activities you did prior to the pandemic. However, to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19 variants, or possibly spreading it to others, please adhere to CDC protocol.
What to do after you receive your COVID-19 vaccine.
Sign up for v-safe. This will allow you to use your smartphone to tell the CDC about any side effects you experience after being vaccinated. You will also get reminders if you need a second vaccine dose.
When can I get my booster or 3rd dose?
- Currently in Yellowstone County, following recommendations from the CDC, booster doses of Pfizer are being given to individuals who have received their first two doses at least 5 months ago and are 5 years or older. Moderna boosters are being given to individuals who have received their first two doses at least 5 months ago and are 18 years or older.
- Booster doses of Johnson & Johnson are also be offered to anyone over the age of 18 who received their initial dose at least 2 months ago.
- Currently, third doses of Pfizer or Moderna are only being given to individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and are at least 28 days out from their second dose.
- A second booster dose of Moderna or Pfizer are being offered to individuals who received their initial booster dose at least 4 months ago and are: 50 years or older; 12-49 years old and immunocompromised; 18 years or older and received Johnson & Johnson for both their initial and first booster doses.
There are currently three approved vaccines in the U.S. Introductory information about each vaccine is presented below. Vaccine doses will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers like pharmacies and clinics may be able to charge administration fees for administering the shots. These fees can be reimbursed by providers through a patient's public or private insurance company. In the case of uninsured patients, fees can be reimbursed by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Provider Relief Fund.
- Requires 2 shots - 28 days apart - and 1 booster given at least 5 months after the second shot-given in the upper arm
- Determined to be 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection
- Available for those 6 months of age and up
- Requires 2 shots - 21 days apart - and 1 booster given at least 5 months after the second shot-given in the upper arm
- Determined to be >90% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection
- Available for those 6 months of age and up
- Now fully FDA approved for those 16 years of age and up
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen
- Pfizer and Moderna are now preferred over this vaccine due to safety concerns
- Requires 1 shot and 1 booster given at least 2 months after the initial dose- given in the upper arm
- Determined to be 66.3% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection
- Available for those 18 years of age and up
|Most Common Side Effects of the Vaccines
|In the arm where the shot was given
|Throughout the rest of the body
These side effects usually begin 2-3 days after vaccination and should go away after a few days.
COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in Yellowstone County and Montana
55% of the eligible population in Yellowstone County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
56% of the eligible population in Montana are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Statistics provided by the Montana DPPHS
Providers and Pharmacies with COVID-19 Vaccines
- RiverStone Health
- Billings Clinic Hospital
- St. Vincent Intermountain Healthcare Outpatient Pharmacy
- Albertsons-Osco Pharmacy
- Sam's Club
For more information about which vaccines are in stock and appointment information, please visit vaccines.gov.