COVID-19 Q&A: Scheduling an appointment for vaccine and what to expect

Q: How can I schedule an appointment to get a vaccine?

A: Idahoans who are prioritized for vaccine right now include healthcare workers, residents and staff in long-term care facilities, first responders (including law enforcement officers and dispatchers), pre-K–12th grade teachers and staff, childcare staff, correctional and detention facility staff, behavioral health workers, and clergy who enter healthcare facilities to provide religious support to patients.

You can see an estimated timeline at

The local public health districts are managing vaccine administration at the local level, and at this point, vaccine administration has been scheduled and coordinated with the employers of those included in the current priority groups.

We expect to be able to start vaccinating those who are 65 and older starting Feb. 1. The local public health districts are establishing systems to help individuals identify vaccine clinics where they can schedule an appointment.

We have discussed in public how we have explored the functionality of a tool called PrepMod. However, we found it to be redundant with what is happening locally. So instead of this tool, we are enhancing our website to point to the local public health district websites and call centers where individuals can get find and schedule appointments for the vaccine clinics in their area. More to come on that soon. PrepMod remains an important scheduling and management tool for many vaccine providers across the state.

Contact your local public health district if you have questions, but please know that they may not have all the answers just yet. We’re working together to get you those answers as quickly as possible.

Q: What should I expect at my vaccine appointment?

A: After you receive your vaccination, you will receive a vaccination card that says which COVID-19 vaccine you were given as well as the date and location it was administered.

You should also receive a fact sheet with additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine you are getting. There are fact sheets for each COVID-19 vaccine with information about the risks and benefits of that particular vaccine.

Pfizer fact sheet

Moderna fact sheet

You will also be given information about v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

You should expect to stay at the vaccine site for 15-30 minutes after getting vaccinated to make sure you don’t have a reaction that needs medical attention.

Q: What are the side effects of the vaccine?

A: Most people do just fine after vaccination, but COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild to moderate reactions, including pain or swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, headaches, and mild to moderate fevers. These are normal signs the body is producing an immune response and typically clear up in a few days.

Q: If I’m exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated, do I still need to quarantine?

A: You are considered immune two weeks after you receive your 2nd dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to self-quarantine if you are exposed AND it has been at least 2 weeks since your second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. If you are exposed before this time, you need to self-quarantine.

Q: If I test positive for COVID-19 after I get vaccinated, do I still need to isolate?

A: You should isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 even after you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: If I get symptoms of COVID-19 after I get vaccinated, do I still need to get tested?

A: If you have not received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask after I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Continue to wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are sick. While scientists learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it is up to everyone, including vaccinated people, to continue to do all the other things we’ve been doing to help stop this pandemic: wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live in your home, wash your hands often, and stay home when you’re sick.

To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Idaho, please continue to:

  • Wear face coverings  
  • Keep at least six feet between you and others
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly


Stay up-to-date with the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19 at the following websites:

DHW also posts lots of information, including daily updates on the numbers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Sarah Leeds is the Idaho Immunization Program manager and the lead for Idaho’s vaccine distribution plans in the Division of Public Health in the Department of Health and Welfare.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at

8 thoughts on “COVID-19 Q&A: Scheduling an appointment for vaccine and what to expect

  1. Ruby Jurado

    I have underlining health issues I’m 63 years old. When can I get my vaccine? My husband is 65 years old when n where can he gets his vaccine?

  2. Christine and Steven Talbott

    My husband and I had pre-registered for the vaccine through PrepMod. I just wanted to remove our names from that list as we received our first vaccination yesterday through his doctor in Spokane.

    1. Sylvia Helton

      I am do I get a appointment for COVID vaccine..soo confusing..I keep missing any appointments that may be available..too confusing and nothing helpful

      1. idhwmedia

        We’re sorry to hear you are having such difficulty. Since Idaho is getting such a limited number of vaccine doses, it may be difficult to get an appointment this week, but we hope it will become easier in the weeks ahead. Please keep checking the website for your local public health district and the contact information for vaccine providers they are providing.

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