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COVID-19 Resources and Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Job Openings: To be filled immediately

We are immediately staffing temporary positions to assist with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. If you know of friends or family members in the community who would be able to assist with taking calls, scheduling vaccines, check-in/check-out, wayfinding, and the like, please have them apply online for the Vaccine Administration Site Support position. There are multiple openings. The pay range for the position is $13.80-$20.70 per hour.

Please go to the job listing to apply for the position.


Ever wonder how Sky Lakes makes vaccination clinics happen? This article on vaccine clinic prep may answer those questions for you.

Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccine Eligibility

Eligibility For Klamath County Residents

March 31, 2021 -- Klamath County today received formal permission from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s office to start scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals 16 and older with qualifying underlying health conditions, frontline workers who are face-to-face with the public and their family members, and people living in multi-generational households (three generations or more).

Klamath County residents 18 and older with qualifying underlying health conditions and frontline workers who are face-to-face with the public as well as their families can now schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments for two Sky Lakes clinics this week.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown expanded eligibility to qualifying people 16 and older, however, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the younger group and Sky Lakes must wait for Pfizer allotments to announce appointment eligibility for residents between the ages of 16 and 18.

Governor Brown announced April 6, 2021 that all Oregonians age 16 and older will become eligible for vaccination on April 19, 2021.

*underlying health conditions that qualify are as follows:

  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic lung disease, COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • dementia and other neurological conditions
  • down syndrome
  • heart conditions
  • BMI of 25 or greater
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • current or former smoker
  • people who are immunocompromised from an organ transplant or HIV infection
  • liver disease
  • stroke or cerebrovascular disease that affects blood flow to the brain
  • substance use disorders

Common questions about vaccine clinics

Here are some of the commonly asked questions regarding vaccination clinics:

I know I become eligible in a week or so. Why can’t I schedule my vaccination now?

Vaccinations depend entirely on the limited number of doses we receive. You can call 1-833-606-4370 Wednesday mornings to learn appointment availability for the week.

What if my second dose is scheduled past four weeks?

Experts agree that you can receive your second dose anytime up to six weeks after your first dose without sacrificing efficacy.

Why do I need to call for an appointment?

Having an appointment means you won’t be waiting in line in hopes there will be a dose when it’s your turn. When you have an appointment, you are assured of having a dose with no or a very short wait. We chose using a toll-free number to a central scheduling location because it’s relatively easy for most patients to navigate. Communities elsewhere have used other options with varying degrees of success and levels of chaos.

Why am I put on hold for such a long time when I call for an appointment?

While we have several operators on duty to take calls for appointments, the volume of calls sometimes overruns their ability to answer immediately and causes delays as they take care of patients’ needs.

I am not in any of the currently eligible categories, when can I expect to get my vaccination?

There are more than 15,000 people in Klamath County over the age of 65. Klamath County Public Health typically gets fewer than 1,000 doses a week to serve them. Even if the number of doses increases to 1,300 per week as now planned by the state, it will take months to get through just that population before we can open vaccinations up to other populations. Please be patient and continue to wear a mask in public, observe physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings.

How do I know the vaccines are safe?

Before receiving federal government authorization, the vaccines currently used were tested on tens of thousands of people and determined to be safe and effective. Further, of millions of vaccinations given nationwide, there have been only a few isolated incidents of adverse reaction.

We need to get 85 percent of everyone vaccinated so we can have widespread community immunity and get things back to normal, so Sky Lakes continues to advocate for people to receive no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations.

How can I schedule an appointment?

You can Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccine appointment with our call center or through MyChart.

Vaccine Call Center Hours


Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Getting your COVID-19 Vaccine: what to expect

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is like getting any other vaccine.

There are some things you need to know to prepare yourself for you COVID vaccine.

Don't take painkillers before you get vaccinated to prepare for any side effects to the vaccine. The Infectious diseases Society of America says we don't know if taking painkillers might change how well the vaccine works. It is okay, however, to take painkillers after receiving the vaccine if the symptoms you are experiencing require pain alleviation. you should talk to your doctor before taking any over the counter pain relievers.

You will be asked to wait 15 minutes after receiving your dose. This is to ensure that you don't experience any reaction to the vaccine. Serious reactions to the vaccine are rare, but as a precaution you will need to hang out at the site you were vaccinated at for about 15 minutes.

You will get a card from your vaccine distributor, you need to hang on to this because you will need it with you when you get your second dose. If you are getting your second dose, don't forget to take your card with you.

To schedule an appointment for your second dose with Sky Lakes, please call the call center two weeks after your first dose. Please do not call Monday or Wednesday mornings to schedule your second dose.

Because your distributor plans for second doses based on the number of first doses they administer. Per the OHA you should get your second dose from the same location you got your first dose unless otherwise instructed y your vaccine provider. You second vaccine dose must be from the same manufacturer as your first does. You can not first get the Moderna vaccine and then get the Pfizer vaccine for your second dose.

The effectiveness of the three vaccines available in the county (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson&Johnson) are all comparable in effectiveness. Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses of the vaccine. Johnson&Johnson's vaccine requires only one dose. Regardless of which vaccine you get, you will be protected from severe COVID symptoms if you do contract the virus.

Whatever vaccine you’re offered, take it,”

-Dr. Grant Niskanen, vice president of medical affairs for Sky Lakes Medical Center

Does the COVID-19 vaccine have dangerous or unethical ingredients?

There are many rumors that the COVID-19 vaccine was made with fetal tissue or for the purpose of controlling the population.

The vaccines we have (Pfizer & Moderna) do not contain fetal cells. Neither vaccine uses fetal cells in production or development. However, so you have the full picture, both vaccines tested efficacy using fetal cells. The takeaway is that no fetal cells have ever touched or are part of the actual dose of vaccine you get. Notably, the Pope said the use of the vaccines does NOT condone abortion.

There is no vaccine "microchip" and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates, from The Gates Foundation, about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are no eggs or animal products in either vaccine. This new type of vaccine is made without needing to grow proteins in egg tissue, so those with egg allergies rejoice! The novel methodology to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allows it to be free from materials of animal origin and synthesized by an efficient, cell-free process without preservatives.

Are there severe side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Additionally, allergic reactions to the vaccines are rare. That said, we do ask that you stay at the site where you received your vaccine for atleast 15 minutes to monitor for any potential allergic reaction.

There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and non-life threatening and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

The early phase studies of the Pfizer vaccine show that it is safe; About 15% of people developed short lived symptoms at the site of the injection; 50% developed systemic reactions primarily headache, chills, fatigue or muscle pain or fever lasting for a day or two.

There is also no increased risk of miscarriage or infertility with the COVID-19 vaccines. Our best evidence for this comes from women who have had COVID. In a "natural" infection with COVID-19 immune response, your body produces the same immune cells as in a vaccine-provoked immune response; So we would expect to see infertility in women previously infected with COVID-19 if there was risk of that with the vaccine.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines; they are inactivated vaccines and not live vaccines.

Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​

If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe if it was rapidly developed and tested?

Many pharmaceutical companies invested significant resources into quickly developing a vaccine for COVID-19 because of the world-wide impact of the pandemic. The emergency situation warranted an emergency response but that does not mean that companies bypassed safety protocols or perform adequate testing.

To receive emergency use authorization, the biopharmaceutical manufacturer must have followed at least half of the study participants for at least two months after completing the vaccination series, and the vaccine must be proven safe and effective in that population. In addition to the safety review by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization has convened a panel of vaccine safety experts to independently evaluate the safety data from the clinical trial. Mayo Clinic vaccine experts also will review the available data. The safety of COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.

The vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTecH has been studied in approximately 43,000 people.

Should I get the COVID vaccine?

Circulating on social media is the claim that COVID-19's mortality rate is 1%-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely and is influenced by age, sex and underlying health condition.

Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

It's important to recognize that getting the vaccine is not just about survival from COVID-19. It's about preventing spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that can lead to long-term negative health effects. While no vaccine is 100% effective, they are far better than not getting a vaccine. The benefits certainly outweigh the risks in healthy people.

Not getting the vaccine to "save it for someone who needs it" sounds noble but might backfire. If you don’t get the vaccine when it becomes available to you, you might not get it for some time. Additionally, if the organizations responsible for distributing vaccines are not using their vaccine allotment could mean reduced future shipments, limiting the vaccines accessibility.

Stopping the pandemic and reopening businesses requires using all the tools available, including vaccination. Getting vaccinated helps you, but also helps patients, businesses, and schools.

Should I wait to get my vaccine?

As soon as you are eligible to receive the vaccine you should. If you choose to wait, you may end up waiting longer than you want to receive a dose.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to reach community and wide-spread immunity. In order to do this 3/4 of the population need to receive the vaccine. Get vaccinated for your family, your community, and health care workers.

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

The Mayo Clinic recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even if you’ve had COVID-19 previously. However, those that had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until about 90 days from diagnosis. People should not get vaccinated if in quarantine after exposure or if they have COVID-19 symptoms

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Oregon Health Authority’s distribution plan assures that populations that need the vaccine are getting it first. Skilled Nursing Facilities and public health departments have already received their own vaccine for distribution.

It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one.

CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.

Vaccine shipments are part of the Oregon Health Authority’s phased distribution. Sky Lakes staff and providers are included in Phase 1-A, while other essential workers and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness are in Phase 1-B. The general public will begin receiving vaccinations in Phase 2. Phase 2 vaccinations will be distributed by the Klamath County Public Health Department.

The Oregon Health Authority has not released information on when the vaccine will be available for Phase 2 vaccinations or guidance on a vaccination plan for Phase 2

Will the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Human cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after they have finished using the instructions. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.

mRNA vaccines are not new. We were able to make these new vaccines so rapidly because mRNA vaccines have been under development for many years for things like flu, zika, and rabies, and have also been researched for use in cancer treatments. We have not used this type of vaccine before because the tools used to fold proteins for widespread use were only made in the last few years, but this is likely how many vaccines will be made in the future.

Will the COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?

There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, the vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and the CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing will be important.

Vaccination reactions

As many have discovered, the mRNA vaccines developed to prevent COVID-19 have more reactions compared to previous vaccines.

Here is a breakdown of those reactions in the trial for the Moderna vaccine (results for the Pfizer vaccine were similar):

Injection site pain, redness, or swelling:

  • 84% with first injection compared to 20% saline placebo.
  • 89% with second injection compared to 19% placebo.

Lymphadenopathy (swollen or enlarged lymph nodes) in 21% for people younger than 65; 12% in 65 and older.

Systemic side effects:

  • 55% with first injection compared to 42% placebo.
  • 75% with second injection compared to 37% placebo.

Those systemic side effects included:

  • fatigue 69% vaccine, 36% placebo.
  • headache 63% vaccine, 37% placebo
  • myalgias (muscle pain) 60% vaccine, 20% placebo
  • arthralgias (joint pain) 45% vaccine, 17% placebo

Symptoms severe enough to prevent normal activity:

  • fatigue 7.7%
  • muscle pain 6.1%
  • headache 4.4%
  • joint pain 3.7%

Most symptoms lasted 2 to 3 days.

What do these reactions represent? It is your immune system being stimulated by the vaccine. The high efficacy (94-95% according to research data) of these vaccines is the result of this enhanced stimulation. Remember: it is to just one protein, not the 29 proteins found in the COVID-19 virus itself.

In addition, this immune response is more robust in younger people and women compared to older people and men.

Can I take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for these symptoms? Taking these medications may blunt the immune response to some degree, but if you are miserable it is up to you. The exception is pregnant women. If they have a fever, controlling it with Tylenol is recommended because of the danger of fever in a developing fetus.

This information is for reactions people may experience after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. For information on side effects of the vaccine see our section on side effects above.

Vaccine Ingredients

According to this article on COVID Vaccine Ingredients, the ingredients for the more commonly used COVID Vaccines are as follows:

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:

  • ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate).
  • 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide.
  • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine.
  • Cholesterol.
  • Potassium chloride.
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate.
  • Salt.
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate.
  • Sugar.

Moderna vaccine:

  • SM-102.
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG) 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol (DMG).
  • Cholesterol.
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine.
  • Tromethamine.
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride.
  • Acetic acid.
  • Sodium acetate.
  • Sugar.

Neither vaccine includes these ingredients

  • preservatives
  • mercury
  • formaldehyde
  • eggs
  • latex
  • antibiotics
  • live virus
  • microchips
  • fetal cells

For more information on the ingredients in the COVID-19 Vaccines, go to our Frequently asked Question about ingredients above.

Coronavirus resources

Masks Protect You and Others

Wearing masks helps limit the spread of disease and provide a safe environment for patients, visitors, providers and employees.

Face masks are an important tool in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Here's what you should know about the pros of masking up.

Washington Post editorial: Face masks are vital to stopping the spread of the virus. (PDF)

Masks and physical distancing can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting the disease, according to an extensive study published in The Lancet, a leading scientific journal. The report is among the first to lay out evidence specific to coronaviruses, rather than extrapolating from data on other respiratory viruses. Among the findings: The use of masks reduces the odds of infection to 3% from 17%.

COVID-19 Testing

The drive-up Sky Lakes COVID-19 Test Site outside the Sky Lakes Community Health Education Center is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays; closed weekends. The diagnostic (PCR) tests are encouraged for people who suspect they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or those who believe they have symptoms. Any person older than 2 may be tested without a physician's order. Sky Lakes will collect and bill health insurance, when available, and there should not be any out-of-pocket expense at this time, however, please check with your insurance provider as to how your plan will be treating the test.

Stay at Home

A Sky Lakes nurse reinforces the stay at home guidance.

Reopening Oregon

Details on restarting public life and business, prerequisites for a phased reopening.

Printable communication cards for People who are Deaf (PDF) and don't communicate verbally(PDF)

Sky Lakes Physician Answers COVID-19 Questions

Part II: Sky Lakes physician on variability of COVID-19 effects

Sky Lakes physician on coronavirus and being active.

Dr. Wendy Warren's thoughts on "Physical distancing is a responsibility we all bear."

Here to help

Even as we continue to fight COVID-19, Sky Lakes is still here to care for our community in every way, every day. As many people have delayed care during this public health crisis, we want to emphasize we are ready and able to serve you, just as we always have done and will continue to do.

Learn more about the Your Care Continues campaign launched by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

Safer and stronger, together

Safer and stronger, together includes COVID-19 handouts and other resources collected by the Healthy Klamath coalition.

The Klamath County Public Health provides up-to-date information regarding the respiratory disease.

Safe shopping

For many, a trip to the grocery store has become a source of stress. Try practicing these tips from AARP to keep yourself safe from coronavirus.

Open Klamath safely.

Diabetes and COVID-19

From Paul Stewart

Sky Lakes President and CEO, medical community leaders, ask people to help decrease COVID exposure in the community.

Read Mr. Stewart's remarks.

"We are taking strong actions so we can further 'flatten the curve' of this pandemic and slow the spread of COVID-19. Our best defense against a disastrous spread of this disease is isolating the chances of exposure. Among other things that means social distancing—a physical distance of at least 6 feet—and avoiding crowded spaces.

"Be calm and be prudent, but please take this situation very seriously. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented but not unexpected, and Sky Lakes will be ready."

Sky Lakes on Tuesday, March 17, tightened visitor restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus. Read more.

A story by the Washington Post explains why outbreaks like this coronavirus spread so quickly.


The Klamath County Public Health provides up-to-date information regarding the respiratory disease.

The current situation in Oregon, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

FAQs from federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the agency's current COVID-19 situation summary.

Learn more about the pandemic's status in Oregon.

Thank you, healthcare heroes! (printable PDF poster)

Oregon Department of Agriculture Resources for agricultural workers

Coronavirus and COVID-19 myths busted by the WHO.

Print and post the Stop the Spread of Germs poster (PDF).

Patient education: COVID-19 basics (PDF)

Sky Lakes visitation rules, flu testing site information.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) resources en Español:

Oregon Health Authority en Español

COVID-19 Videos en Español

For healthcare professionals