5/13/2021 – Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers

doctor in white coat putting on a facemask

Requested actions

  • Build trust in COVID-19 vaccine. Recommend all patients 12 years or older get vaccinated. Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine now authorized for people 12 years or older.
  • Providers can now give COVID-19 vaccine simultaneous with or within any number of days of other vaccines.
  • Providers no longer need to use 95% of their COVID-19 vaccine within 7 days.

Build trust in COVID-19 vaccine

Studies show a healthcare provider’s strong endorsement is one of the most important factors in a patient’s decision to get vaccinated. COVID Collaborative analyzed poll data from UnidosUS and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to show building trust in vaccine safety and effectiveness is fundamental to improve confidence in the vaccine among Black and Latinx communities. Efforts to encourage vaccination should leverage voices from these communities and emphasize that we’re finding the vaccines to be very effective locally in preventing COVID-19 illness.  As vaccine supply increases and those most eager to get vaccine have received it, we need to focus on reaching people who may mistrust vaccines and healthcare. People deciding whether to get vaccine weigh all possible options to make informed and confident decisions. Help people feel confident the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Dos and don’ts when talking about vaccines


  • Seek to understand concerns and questions.
  • Acknowledge concerns and mistrust.
  • Correct misinformation.
  • Share personal stories and why you care about the vaccine.
  • Make a clear recommendation to get vaccinated.
  • Tailor your message to a person’s values, like how getting vaccinated helps protect them, their friends, and their family and put the restrictions of the pandemic behind us.
  • Address fears about side effects. Ask if they had any side effects with other vaccines. Prepare them that these side effects may be similar and may be more noticeable with vaccines that require a second dose.


  • Use scientific jargon.
  • Assume what concerns a person has. Do ask.
  • Only offer facts. This can be an emotional decision for many.
  • Dismiss concerns.
  • Show fearful imagery; it may increase fears of the vaccine rather than stoke fears of the virus.
Additional resources

To support you, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) created a provider toolkit with talking points, discussion guides, and other resources to help you have effective conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also visit DOH’s Vaccine FAQ to brush up on COVID-19 vaccine information and prepare to answer the most commonly asked patient questions. Recently, DOH hosted an Expert Panel with providers across Washington to discuss how they address concerns from patients who are on the fence about vaccine, tools and resources they recommend, and ways any provider can help encourage patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine using holistic, trauma-informed strategies.

Additional information

COVID-19 test processing

Labs report varying amounts of time to process COVID-19 tests. To support faster turnaround, we encourage providers to use in-state labs. The table below shows COVID-19 test processing times for in-state private labs.

FidaLab 24-48 hours 600
Kaiser 24 hours 600-700
LabCorp 48 hours Unknown
Northwest Pathology 24-48 hours 20,000
Quest 24-48 hours 600
UW Virology 24-48 hours 2,000-6,000
Atlas Genomic 16 hours 10,000

Patient education

Share the following materials with patients.

Additional resources