Northwest Human Services is closely following local, state, and national health authorities to stay up to date with information regarding COVID-19 in Marion and Polk Counties.
At NWHS, our main priorities continue to be:
- Ensuring our staff and patients have equitable access to the COVID-19 Vaccine
- Protecting staff who come into contact with potentially infected patients.
- Protecting at-risk patients from acquiring COVID-19 while receiving services.
- Separating those who may be positive for COVID-19 or flu while they’re onsite for testing.
We are committed to maintaining a sanitized and clean environment for our staff, patients, clients and visitors. In addition to our standard hygiene protocols, we will also provide hand sanitizing opportunities throughout all sites including our Clinics, Transitional Programs (HOAP & HOST), and Administration offices. Our leadership team is having ongoing discussions to ensure we adapt our practices as the COVID-19 situation in our area changes.
COVID-19 | Testing and Vaccine Info & FAQs
Covid-19 testing is available for established patients at our Total Health Community Clinic and West Salem Clinic. Appointment and pre-screening is required. Please call 503.378.7526 for more information. Please note that rapid tests are in limited supply and will be administered on a case by case basis.
During this public health emergency Northwest Human Services will not charge patients, insured or uninsured, for costs related to COVID-19 testing, evaluation, or treatment deemed necessary by a NWHS licensed independent provider. If you have received a NWHS bill for your co-pay or deductible related to COVID-19 testing and evaluation, please contact our billing office so we may address the issue.
Section 3202(b) of the CARES Act requires providers to publish the cash price of these services on our website. In accordance with this requirement, the cash price for these services is listed as:
•COVID-19 test performed by LabCorp: $100.00. •Evaluation and treatment visits in person or via telehealth by NWHS range from $38.00 to $394.00 depending on level of service.
Please discuss the requirements for testing with your healthcare Provider.
1.The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were developed so quickly. How do I know they’re safe?
It’s true! The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were developed very quickly, but this wasn’t because they cut corners. These vaccines were required to go through the same review and approval process that are required for other vaccines. Several factors allowed the vaccine to be developed quickly and safely.
Scientists were able to use existing knowledge and technology to identify vaccine candidates quickly. Once the vaccines were determined to be safe and effective in small studies, scientists were able to study the vaccine in larger groups of patients. These larger “phase 3” trials usually take a long time before we know the results. However, since there were so many volunteers and multiple study sites, they were able to get tens of thousands of participants enrolled to meet the study goals.
Since COVID-19 spreads easily and is present in a large percentage of our population, scientists were able to see the effectiveness of the vaccine in just a few months rather than years. Lastly, the government contributed money, which allowed drug manufacturers to start producing and storing the vaccine while they waited for the results of the clinical trials. This allowed for a quick rollout once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was able to review all of the data and approve the emergency use authorization (EUA).
2.Can the vaccine infect me with COVID-19?
The vaccine cannot infect you with COVID-19. In fact, this vaccine doesn’t contain any live virus or infection causing pieces of the virus. So how do they work?
The vaccine contains something called a novel messenger RNA (mRNA). After receiving the vaccine, the mRNA is absorbed by cells called macrophages. The mRNA teaches these cells to make spike proteins - just like the spikes that are on the outside of the COVID-19 virus. Our immune system then recognizes the spike proteins as not belonging to us. This starts the immune response that leads to eventual immunity. The body breaks down the mRNA shortly after it’s used, and the spike proteins that triggered the immune response are disposed of in the process. No part of the vaccine enters the center of the cell where our DNA is kept. About two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine our immune system knows what to do if it encounters the virus again.
3.What do we know about short term safety of the COVID-19 vaccines?
Overall short-term safety of these vaccines is good. Most of the side effects include mild pain or redness at the injection site. Flu like symptoms such as fever, chills, or aches are also common. While these side effects are inconvenient and sometimes uncomfortable, they’re a sign the vaccine is working. So it’s a good thing! Some patients have reported that these side effects are more noticeable after receiving the second dose.
The big question that everyone has is about the serious allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis, that have been reported in the news. Anaphylaxis is usually a very fast, but RARE reaction. Most people think of trouble breathing and swelling of the throat, but rashes and changes in blood pressure and heart rate often happen as well. It is thought that these patients are having a reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine called polyethylene glycol. While this can be scary, it’s important to understand that this is extremely uncommon. Anaphylaxis is seen in about 6 of 1,000,000 doses given for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and at an even lower rate for the Moderna vaccine (2 in 1,000,000). While this is more than what we see for other vaccines, like the flu shot, it is much less than the rate for penicillin, which is 1 in 5,000. This helps us to put the risk into perspective.
To make sure that patients are safe after receiving the vaccine, they are asked to wait for 15 or sometimes 30 minutes (for patients with history of severe reactions) after getting the vaccine. This helps to make sure healthcare professionals are there to provide the care needed if there is a severe reaction.
4.What do we know about the long-term safety of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Since these vaccines are still new, we don’t have long-term safety information. However, we do know that with other vaccines, most side effects occur within days or weeks and there are very few (if any) long-term side effects. At this time, we have no reason to believe that the COVID-19 vaccines would be any different. There are reporting systems in place, like Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), that collect information on side effects from vaccines and can help us identify any concerns.
Although the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are still being studied, we have already seen some of the long-term health issues that can arise from COVID-19 infections. While most people recover from a mild COVID-19 infection completely in a few weeks, they may have long-term symptoms. These can range from lingering fatigue, cough, and aches, to shortness of breath. Complications from more severe infections can have long lasting effects on the heart, lungs and brain.
5.Will the vaccine work on mutated forms of the virus?
The available vaccines have been shown to be very effective against the most common forms of the virus.
6.What about pregnant women? Is the vaccine safe for these patients?
The vaccine has been shown to be safe and is recommended for pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that pregnant women should be given the choice to be vaccinated if they fall into a qualified group. Patients with questions should talk to their healthcare provider about the risks of vaccine, the risks of contracting COVID-19 while pregnant, and their overall risk of exposure to the virus.
NWHS believes that the COVID-19 vaccines rolling out in our community and nationwide are both safe and effective, and that the benefit far outweighs the risk for the majority of folks. However, the decision to take advantage of the vaccine is certainly a personal choice. NWHS Pharmacist, Sara Jones, PharmD, took the time to address some of the most common concerns and questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. We hope that this information will be helpful in your decision making process!
NWHS is proud to offer the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. You can get your vaccine during a regularly scheduled appointment.
Please call 503.378.7526 for more information.
No Insurance or Payment Required | No SSN Required
Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine at NWHS
COVID-19 Testing & Treatment Fees at NWHS