COVID-19 Vaccine Info

Gila River Health Care recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.

Eligibility Guidelines

GRIC and Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal enrolled members and their household members (regardless of tribal affiliation) and all federally recognized tribal members.

2023-2024 COVID-19 Shots Now Available By Walk In or By Appointment At Any Gila River Health Care Primary Care Department

Who should get the COVID-19 shot?

Anyone ages 6 months and older may receive the 2023 – 2024 COVID shot through Gila River Health Care.


The 2023-2024 COVID-19 shot will protect you and your family from the current circulating COVID-19 virus.


Vaccine for Ages 5 and above are Available as a walk-in or by appointment at any Gila River Health Care:

– Primary Care Department

– Pediatrics Department

– Community Mobile Outreach Clinic


For Ages 6 months to 4 years Available as walk in or by appointment in the Pediatrics Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does immunocompromised mean?

The immune system is responsible for protecting you against germs, bacteria, viruses, and other invaders that can make you sick. “Immunocompromised” means a person has a weakened immune system or may be taking medications or therapies that suppress their immune system and make them vulnerable to infections.


Why are people with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) especially vulnerable to COVID-19?

They may not have enough protection against COVID-19 after just 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the protection they do have from receiving the vaccine may decline over time.


If I am immunocompromised and may have encountered someone with COVID-19, what should I do?

Get tested immediately if you are having symptoms or someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19. If someone in your home has tested positive, isolate yourself from that individual. For COVID-19 exposures outside of the home, test 3-5 days after exposure. Timely detection of the COVID-19 virus is needed for appropriate treatment of patients with weakened immune systems.


Who is considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised?

    •  Those receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    •  If you received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    •  Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    •  Moderate or severe primary immunocompromising conditions  (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    •  Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    •  Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
Should immunocompromised people get an additional 3rd shot?
After getting your first and second COVID-19 shots, moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot (3rd shot).
Who should get the Booster Shot (4th shot)?
Immunocompromised people ages 12 and above, should get a booster shot (4th shot), 5 months after additional primary shot (3rd shot).
COVID-19 recommended schedule for people with moderate to severe immunocompromise:

IMPORTANT: Contact your primary care provider, Rheumatologist, organ transplant doctor or Oncologist/cancer doctor for any questions and to determine if you qualify for the 4th dose (sometimes referred to as a 2nd booster) of COVID-19 vaccine.


Clarification of Existing Recommendation for mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series:

    •  People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive:
            – Three (3) dose primary series
            – One (1) booster dose

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) support the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in all women over the age of 16 including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or actively trying to become pregnant.


How does the COVID-19 vaccine work? Pfizer and Moderna:
The messenger RNA vaccines do not contain a live virus or interact with genetic material DNA or enter the nucleus of a cell. The vaccine mimics how viruses work. The vaccine has the “recipe” for a small piece of the spike protein of the virus. This will cause the body to recognize it as foreign and lead to an immune response.
Why should I receive the vaccine while pregnant?
Pregnant individuals are at increased risk for severe illness and outcomes with COVID-19 infections. They are 3 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator and 2 times more likely to die if pregnant and infected with the COVID-19 virus. Additional health issues including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase the risk of severe illness.
Is there a live virus in the vaccine? Will it give me COVID?
No, no live virus in the vaccine and in turn will not give people COVID.
What side effects can I expect with the COVID-19 vaccine?
Because the vaccine works by activating our immune system, you may experience some side effects including pain and swelling at injection site, fever, body aches etc for several days. You may take acetaminophen/Tylenol for symptoms.
Will the vaccine induce a positive test?
No you will not have a + PCR test due to receiving the vaccine. Over time you will have + antibodies as a result of the vaccine, unable to tell if the antibodies are from the vaccine or previous infection.
May I receive the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Yes. The FDA issued the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and has maintained that the vaccine may be administered to pregnant and lactating patients if they chose. ACOG and SMFM both support administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to all women over the age of 16 including pregnant and breastfeeding individuals.
There is limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant.  The available data from the DART studies (Data from Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity-DART) are ongoing and do not demonstrate any contraindications. Because mRNA vaccines do not interact with genetic material DNA or enter the nucleus of the cell, it cannot alter human DNA.
Will getting the vaccine while pregnant cause any genetic problems for my baby?
No. The mRNA vaccine is not a live virus vaccine and does not enter the nucleus of a cell.  The vaccine cannot alter human DNA, as a result cannot cause any genetic changes. Because there are no safety data specific to mRNA vaccine use in pregnant or lactating individuals, the potential risk of receiving the vaccine is unknown. The available animal studies so far have not demonstrated any major safety issues. (Data from Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity-DART)
Can I breastfeed my baby if I get the vaccine?
Yes. There is no reason to believe that the vaccine can affect the safety of breastmilk. The vaccine does not contain a live virus so there is no risk of your breastmilk containing the virus. Your immune system will create antibodies that will pass into the breast milk and help to protect your baby from infection.
Who recommends the vaccine for pregnant individuals?
    •  ACOG (American college of Obstetrics and Gynecologists)
    •  SMFM (Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine)
Both of these national colleges recommend that the vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant and lactating individuals who meet criteria for the vaccination.
Should I receive the vaccine if I’ve previously been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Yes. The vaccine should be offered regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Should I receive the vaccine if I am actively trying to become pregnant?
Yes. You do not need to have a pregnancy test prior to receiving the vaccination. The vaccine is recommended for all women over 16 years of age who are pregnant, lactating or actively trying to become pregnant.  There are no trimester-specific vaccine considerations at this time.
1. CDC MMMR Update: Characteristics of Symptomatic Women of Reproductive Age with Laborato-ry-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status, United States, January 22-Octover 3, 2020. 11/6/2020/69 (44): 1641-1647.
2. ACOG Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19 Practice Advisory 12/13/20.
3. SMFM Statement: SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in Pregnancy 12/1/20.
4. SMFM Experts in High Risk Pregnancy Respond to the FDA’s Decision to Offer the Newly Approved COVID-19 Vaccine to Pregnant and Lactating People 12/11/20 org/media/2632/FDA_final.pdf
5. SMFM Provider Considerations for Engaging in COVID-19 Vaccination Consideration 12/15/20.  file:///U:/Downloads/Provider_Considerations_for_Engaging_in_COVID_Vaccination_Consider-ations_12-15-20_(final).pdf

COVID Vaccine Opportunities

You visit a GRHC Primary Care Department for vaccines.

Walk-in or schedule an appointment by calling (602) 528-1482

GRHC Public Health Nurses can provide homebound individuals vaccines.

Click here to contact Public Health Nursing for more information.

Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital

483 West Seed Farm Road

Sacaton, AZ 85147

Hours of Operation

Monday – Saturday:          8 am – 5 pm

Sunday:                                  Closed

Komatke Health Center

17487 South Health Care Drive

Laveen Village, AZ 85339

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday:          8 am – 5 pm

Saturday:                         Closed

Sunday:                            Closed

Hau'pal Health Center

3042 West Queen Creek Road

Chandler, AZ 85248

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday:          8 am – 5 pm

Saturday:                         Closed

Sunday:                            Closed

Ak-Chin Health Clinic

48203 West Farrell Road

Maricopa, AZ 85139

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday:          8 am – 4 pm

Saturday:                         Closed

Sunday:                            Closed