COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Last updated: June 17, 2021

With vaccines helping to slow the spread of the virus, MemorialCare is proud that, as a system, we’ve provided more than 158,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to our community.

We are currently offering the vaccine to all our MemorialCare patients, ages 12 and above.

If you are a MemorialCare Medical Group patient and are eligible for the vaccine, you should have already received a communication from us through myChart, text message, telephone call, or email to let you know how to schedule your vaccine appointment. If you did not hear from us and are still interested in receiving the vaccine, please call our MemorialCare Navigation Center at 877-MYMEMCARE (696-3622).

Required - Consent for Minors:
All patients between the ages 12-17 will need to have written consent from their legal guardian to receive their vaccination. When scheduling for those under 18, please make sure you schedule an appointment at one of our Pfizer clinics only. For consent forms (parental and third-party) and further information on vaccinating this population, please see our FAQ below.  

We appreciate being able to care for you and your safety is of high concern to us. Please continue to wear your mask, perform hand hygiene and stay at least 6 feet away from non-household contacts.

Sign up for myChart

Once you are notified that it is time to schedule your appointment, the fastest and easiest way to schedule will be through myChart. You can self-sign up online for an account here. Once in the portal, make sure your contact information is up-to-date. Those with existing myChart accounts who need to reset their password can find help here.

For our Greater Newport Physicians patients: 

There is an FAQ vaccine webpage on the GNP website. We recommend you visit it often for updates.

Track the progress of the vaccines at MemorialCare.

Q and A

Please see the most common questions and answers related to COVID-19 vaccines.

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Does MemorialCare have COVID-19 vaccine?

Through a contract with the state of California, Blue Shield of California oversees the vaccine allocation and distribution to the different health systems, pharmacies, supermarkets, and others who are administering the vaccine to individuals. MemorialCare remains in close communication with Blue Shield to ensure we receive a steady supply of vaccine. In general, we get a limited shipment of vaccine delivered to our hospitals and select vaccine clinics on a weekly basis, although it is not guaranteed that we will always get the vaccine supply or brand we request. 

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Which COVID-19 vaccines are available?

Currently, there are three vaccines approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Each is administered similar to a flu shot and given in the muscle of the upper arm:

The Pfizer and German partner BioNTech Vaccine was the first to receive EUA from the FDA on December 11, 2020.

  • 95% efficacy
  • Requires two doses, 21 days apart
  • Recommended for ages 12 and above (On May 10, 2021, the FDA expanded this vaccine's EUA from age 16 and above to now include adolescents 12-15 years of age.)
  • Must be stored in special low-temperature refrigeration (-80 degrees to -60 degrees Celsius / -112 degrees to -76 degrees Fahrenheit), making it more likely to be used at hospitals
  • Uses Messenger RNA (or mRNA) technology 

The Moderna (in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) Vaccine received EUA from the FDA on December 18, 2020. 

  • 94.5% efficacy
  • Requires two doses, 28 days apart
  • Recommended for ages 18 and above
  • Requires standard refrigeration (-25 degrees to -15 degrees Celsius / -13 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), making it possible to be used in smaller health clinics or local pharmacies 
  • Uses Messenger RNA (or mRNA) technology 

The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine (developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson) received EUA from the FDA on February 27, 2021.

  • The J&J trial determined that after 28 days of receiving the shot, the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID‐19 in all regions studied, 85% effective in preventing severe‐to‐critical COVID‐19 in all regions studied, and 72% effective in preventing moderate‐to‐severe COVID‐19 in the United States.*
  • Single-dose vaccine
  • Recommended for ages 18 and above
  • Can be stored at standard refrigeration temperatures for up to 3 months 
    (2.2 degrees to 7.8 degrees Celsius / 36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), making it possible to be used in smaller health clinics or local pharmacies 
  • Uses genetically engineered common cold virus at its base
  • Fetal cells aided in the development of this vaccine but are not present in the final product. Fetal cells were from laboratory-grown cell lines derived from a single 1985 aborted fetus cell.

* There has been a lot of misinformation circulating about the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine and its efficacy as compared to Pfizer's and Moderna's. Our clinical experts have studied this issue and advise that it’s not possible to accurately compare the effectiveness of the J&J vaccine against these other two vaccines. The vaccine developers of each designed their clinical trials to test for different outcomes. J&J’s trials tested whether one of its doses protected against moderate to severe COVID illness and the Pfizer and Moderna trials tested for symptomatic COVID infection. In addition, the J&J vaccine was tested in different geographic locations around the world and against the variants that have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested earlier in the pandemic, prior to the emergence of the new variants. In the end, all three vaccines do what they are designed to do—prevent severe complications, hospitalization and death due to the coronavirus.

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE:
On April 13, 2021, the CDC and FDA temporarily put a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Concerned about reports of rare blood clots that developed in six individuals
out of the almost seven million people who had already received this vaccinethese agencies paused its use to conduct a thorough safety review. After ten days, they concluded that while the J&J vaccine caused the blood clots, it was an extremely rare occurrence and therefore, the benefits of receiving this vaccine far outweigh the risks. On April 23rd, they lifted the pause and recommended resuming the use of this vaccine. See their report.

Immunity:

For Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines—Maximum immunity reached 5-6 weeks after both doses. In general, after a person receives the first dose of a vaccine, they will start to develop some immunity within 2-4 weeks, but this is not full or sufficient immunity to protect against disease. The vaccines require the second ‘booster’ dose to reach full 94.5% or 95% immunity which can take an additional one-two weeks after receiving the second dose. 

For the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine—Maximum immunity reached within four weeks (28 days). This vaccine's protection against moderate to severe disease starts about two weeks after a person gets vaccinated. By four weeks after the shot, data from the clinical trials showed there were no hospitalizations or deaths.

As for how long the immunity lasts for any of these three vaccines, this is still not fully known. At this point, we cannot say whether repeat vaccination, for instance on an annual basis, will be necessary.

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Do I have a choice as to which of the COVID-19 vaccines I can have?

When you are scheduling your vaccine appointment, in most cases you will find that clinics provide information on which vaccine brand they are administering. Simply choose a clinic with your preferred vaccine brand.

Remember that depending on your age, you may not have a choice of vaccine. For example, if you are age 12-17, you may only receive the Pfizer vaccine. But if you are age 18 and above, you are eligible for all three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. When scheduling an appointment through the MemorialCare myChart open scheduling feature, you will be asked your age so that you can be directed to a clinic administering the correct vaccine.

Which vaccine should I get?
The best vaccine is the one you have access to first. Each vaccine is virtually 100% effective in saving your life from COVID – and they will allow us to get back to the things we love and miss.

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Where can I get vaccinated by MemorialCare?

We have set up vaccine clinics in select MCMG health centers in Long Beach and Orange County.

For our MemorialCare Medical Group patients:
When a patient becomes eligible for the vaccine, we send them a notification on how to schedule their appointment. They can then choose a location, date and time to be vaccinated at one of our vaccine clinics.

A MemorialCare Medical Group (MCMG) patient is defined as an individual who has been treated at one of our facilities within the last 24 months. We follow the California Department of Public Health's vaccine eligibility guidelines which currently state anyone 12 years of age and above are eligible for the vaccine. MCMG patients who fit the criteria should have already received a communication from us through myChart, text message, telephone call or email to let them know how to schedule a vaccine appointment at one of our vaccine clinics. For patients who have not received a communication from us but are still interested in receiving the vaccine, please call our MemorialCare Navigation Center at 877-MYMEMCARE (696-3622).

For patients and for non-patients:
Anyone can schedule an appointment at select MemorialCare vaccine clinic locations through the state's website - My Turn.

Vaccine clinics outside of MemorialCare:
There are also a number of non-MemorialCare locations where one can get vaccinated. For more information, look for the question in this FAQ: "Are there additional sites outside of MemorialCare that are providing vaccinations?"

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What does a parent or legal guardian of a minor between the ages 12-17 need to know before the adolescent receives the Pfizer vaccine?

On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to include individuals 12 years of age and older. To learn more, see the FDA's Pfizer EUA Fact Sheet.  

Will parents be required to bring proof of the minor's age (birth certificate, etc.)? 
No, we are not requiring parents to bring birth certificates. 

Does an individual under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by an adult to get the COVID Vaccine?
Individuals under the age of 18 need a parent, legal guardian, or agent to give consent for the COVID Vaccine.  

  • For patients under the age of 16.  Individuals between the ages of 12 through 15 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or authorized agent when presenting for the vaccine. For more information of an agent, see below.
     
  • For patients between the ages of 16 through 17.  We encourage either a parent, legal guardian and/or authorized agent to accompany their child to all appointments.  

    Individuals between the ages of 16 - 17 years of age do NOT have to have their parent, legal guardian or authorized third-party agent present.  The parent or legal guardian must review the FDA's Pfizer EUA Fact Sheet.  The parent or legal guardian may sign the Covid-19 Vaccine Consent Form in advance and have their child bring it to the COVID Vaccine appointment. Staff will call the parent and/or legal guardian to confirm consent over the phone at the time the teenager presents for the COVID vaccine. 

Can a parent send an adult friend or family member (agent) to give consent for the Covid Vaccine?

  • A parent or legal guardian may authorize an adult (18 and older) to consent to the medical care of their child.  If the parent or legal guardian cannot accompany the minor, they can complete the Third-Party Consent Form to authorize a third-party agent (the agent) to accompany the minor and consent to the vaccination.
     
  • This person is often referred to as an agent and should be someone that the parent trusts.  The completed and signed Third-Party Consent Form must be brought to the vaccine appointment.  
     
  • The agent named in the Third-Party Consent Form can complete the Covid-19 Vaccine Consent Form on the parent’s behalf.  Minors presenting with third-party agent MUST bring the signed Third-Party Consent Form each time they present for a vaccine dose.

Prior to the minor receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, what forms must be completed?

  • For Parents or Legal Guardians:
    Please sign the COVID Vaccine Consent Form on behalf of your minor child. 
     
  • When Authorizing Third-Party Agent:
    If the parent or legal guardian cannot accompany the minor, they can complete the Third-Party Consent Form to authorize a third-party agent (the agent) to accompany the minor and consent to the vaccination. A third-party agent (example: aunt, grandma, neighbor) must be an adult of 18 years or older. 

    The completed and signed Third-Party Consent Form must be brought to the vaccine appointment.  The agent named in the Third-Party Consent Form can complete the Covid-19 Vaccine Consent Form on the parent’s behalf.  Minors presenting with third-party agent MUST bring the signed Third-Party Consent Form each time they present for a vaccine dose.

If a minor arrives for their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine without an adult, is it possible for the parent or legal guardian to provide verbal consent? 

  • For patients under the age of 16.  
    For patients under the age of 16, the parent, legal guardian and/or authorized agent must accompany the minor to the vaccine clinic to provide consent in person and support the child.  

    If the parent or legal guardian is sending an agent to consent on their behalf, the parent or legal guardian must complete the Third-Party Consent Form which authorizes another adult (18 or over) to accompany the minor to the clinic and consent to the vaccine. The signed Third-Party Consent Form must be brought to the clinic at the time of the vaccination.  While at the clinic, the agent will be able to sign the COVID Vaccination Consent Form on the parent and/or legal guardian’s behalf. 
     
  • For minors 16 and above.
    We encourage either a parent, legal guardian and/or authorized third-party agent accompany their child to all appointments.  

    Individuals between the ages of 16 - 17 years of age do NOT have to have their parent, legal guardian or authorized third-party agent present.  The parent or legal guardian must review the Pfizer EUA.  The parent or legal guardian may sign the Covid-19 Vaccine Consent Form in advance and have their child bring it to the COVID Vaccine appointment.  Staff will call the parent and/or legal guardian to confirm consent over the phone at the time the teenager presents for the COVID vaccine. 
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Are there additional sites outside of MemorialCare that are providing COVID-19 vaccinations?

If you prefer, you always have the option of seeking the COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere. Most cities and counties have set up vaccine stations, plus select pharmacy and supermarket sites (e.g. CVS, Albertsons, Rite Aid, Vons, Walgreens) offer the vaccine as well through the Federal supply system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
The CDC's website provides the following information for those seeking vaccine locations near to home. 

  • Search vaccines.gov for pharmacies and providers that offer the COVID vaccination and types of COVID-19 vaccines available along with a location’s website, phone number, hours of operation and instructions on how to take the next step to get vaccinated.
  • or text your ZIP code to 438829
  • or call 1-800-232-0233

Statewide Vaccination site:
All California residents can sign up through MyTurn to register for a vaccine appointment. You will receive updates about new appointments and locations. Scheduling appointments at some MemorialCare vaccine clinics are also now available through the state's MyTurn website.

Orange County residents:
Schedule your vaccine appointment by going to Othena.com.

Long Beach residents:
While the city is maintaining its VAXLB website to provide information, including links to pharmacy and supermarket vaccine locations, they are directing residents to the state's MyTurn site to register for an appointment.

Los Angeles residents:
Schedule your vaccine appointment through the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department's website

Pharmacies and Supermarkets:
Those interested in getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy or supermarket should check those individual businesses' websites. Go here to find out more about this Federal program. Plus, the GoodRx website, which collects vaccine inventory and appointments from sites across the country, is an additional resource to help one find out about locations in California.

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I have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. Why should I get vaccinated?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives and those of our loved ones. We all want to get back to a time when we can feel safe and protected so that we can return to doing the things we enjoy. The only way for that to happen is for the spread of this virus to be stopped. That point will occur when we achieve something called “herd immunity,” meaning enough people are immune that the virus is unlikely to be spread from one person to another because those people have immunity already. This typically occurs when 60-70% of the population has been vaccinated, but because of the increased infectivity of the COVID-19 variant most common in the U.S., this number is estimated to be 80%. 

We understand if you have concerns about getting vaccinated, especially since there is a lot of misinformation circulating about these new vaccines. To help answer some of those questions and address vaccine hesitancy concerns, you may want to visit our “Get the Shot” webpage. We encourage you to learn for yourself what medical experts have told us about these vaccines and, ultimately, make the right choice for you, your family and our community.

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Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Before any of the three COVID-19 vaccines received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they each underwent multiple phases of clinical trials. In late-stage trials, they were tested and monitored on tens of thousands of human volunteers. Additionally, it is important to understand that the technology for these vaccines was built on 20 years of research and science, using processes that have been developed and tested over many years. 

And since receiving EUA from the FDA, COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to millions of individuals worldwide. While these numbers will continue to rise, as of late May 2021, in the U.S. alone, more than a quarter-billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and almost 125 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. Widespread use of these vaccines has shown that they are safe, are effective at reducing severe illness and death (in the US, only 0.6%—or 6 out of every 1,000 people—have developed COVID-19 symptoms after having been vaccinated) and are helping to reduce the spread of the virus. This degree of protection is a remarkable achievement for any vaccine. 

Additionally, as exhibited during April's 10-day Johnson & Johnson vaccine “pause and resume" period, the federal agencies, along with the support of the health systems, have a system in place that allows for continuous reporting and monitoring of these COVID vaccines for all side effects and adverse events throughout their use. If determined unsafe, the FDA has the authority to ban the use of any of these vaccines.

Regarding the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine “Pause and Resume”:

On April 13, 2021, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they investigated reports of a small number of women in the U.S. who developed a rare and severe type of blood clot within the two weeks following receipt of this vaccine. Ten days later, on April 23rd, and after a thorough review, these agencies lifted the pause and announced that the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could resume. Read the CDC’s report.

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About the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I be concerned about the risk of blood clots? What are the symptoms to look for?

Following the CDC and FDA’s recent recommendation that the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine resume after what had been a 10-day pause for investigation, the CDC’s website concluded the following:

  • There is a plausible causal relationship between J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS). However, after reviewing all available safety data, CDC and FDA recommend use of this vaccine resume in the United States given that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks.
     
  • This adverse event is rare, occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.
     
  • For three weeks after receiving the vaccine, you should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of a blood clot with low platelets. These include:
  1. Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Chest pain
  4. Leg swelling
  5. Persistent abdominal pain
  6. Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site

If you have any concerns about your health, whether related to vaccination or otherwise, please contact your primary care physician immediately. Of course, if you feel you are having a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

For more information on this vaccine, visit the CDC’s J&J vaccine update webpage

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Should the reports of this side effect with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine cause concern about receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines?

No. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a completely different method of causing immunity to the COVID-19 virus than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The blood clotting problem reported in these few cases of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have not been reported in the tens of millions of people receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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What happens if one cannot get the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the recommended time frame?

The recommended interval between the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are:

  • Pfizer vaccine requires two doses given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Moderna vaccine requires two doses given 1 month (28 days) apart.

If you receive either of these vaccines, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

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Are there any possible side effects or concerns I should be aware of with any of the COVID-19 vaccines?

It is possible you may experience side effects after vaccination. This can be normal and is often a sign that your body is activating to protect you. For most people, the symptoms are typically mild and last only a day or two. Some people may feel one or more of the following after vaccination, though many don’t notice anything at all beyond a sore arm near the site of the shot:

  • Chills
  • Tired or fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Side effects are not something you should worry about unless you know you have a specific allergy to an ingredient in the medication (see the question: “Are there any groups of people who should or should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine?”) or have a history of severe allergies (called anaphylaxis) to another vaccine or injectable medication.

  • Allergic Reaction - All Vaccines
    People who have a history of anaphylaxis to another vaccine or injectable medication should be carefully monitored for 30 minutes if they choose to get the vaccine. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic overreaction of the body’s immune system, which can be life-threatening. Those concerned or who have been told by their healthcare provider to carry an EpiPen should speak with their physician before receiving the vaccine.
     
  • Rare Blood Clot - Johnson & Johnson Vaccine 
    After thoroughly investigating the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC and FDA concluded that there is a plausible causal relationship between this vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS) occurring primarily in women between the ages 18-49. However, due to its rarity (7 individuals per every 1 million vaccinated), the two agencies continue to recommend the use of this vaccine for all people, stating that the benefits outweigh the very small risk. For more information, look for the question: "About the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I be concerned about the risk of blood clots? What are the symptoms to look for?".  
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Are there any groups of people who should or should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Age Restrictions:
Currently, the vaccines are not recommended for all ages. While the Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for those below the age of 12, both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not recommended for those below age 18.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women:
Although pregnant and breastfeeding women did not take part in any vaccine clinical trials, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has issued a statement that pregnant and nursing women should not be excluded from receiving a vaccine. If a woman has concerns, it is advised they discuss the vaccine with their physician.

Mammograms and the vaccines:
The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccinations, stimulates your immune system. This can cause a temporary enlargement of lymph nodes near where the person was vaccinated. Those lymph nodes can sometimes be seen by the radiologist reading your mammogram and make it appear to be abnormal even when you are OK and there is no indication of cancer. Since enlarged lymph nodes can result in a “false positive” on your mammogram, you could get a request to return for further testing — a call-back — which can be unsettling.

Therefore, mammograms should be scheduled before your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or four to six weeks after the last dose. That way, there is time for your lymph nodes to return to their normal size. As with any testing recommended by your healthcare provider, women age 40 and above should not delay recommended mammographic screening.

Fetal cells and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
The Catholic Church has issued an ethics statement regarding the involvement of a cell line derived from a 1985 aborted fetus in the original development of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (noting that there is no fetal tissue or product in the vaccine itself). While some U.S. Catholic leaders have issued opinions opposed to use of the vaccine, a statement from the Vatican recognizes the greater good for use of the J&J vaccine to prevent disease and death and considers it morally acceptable.

Additionally, the local Diocese of Orange has addressed the issue of the vaccines in the following video:
Click here for English
Click here for Spanish subtitles

Those with allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients:
The following three vaccines do not contain eggs, preservatives or latex. The ingredients for each vaccine are listed below, but for more information on each vaccine along with individual vaccine fact sheets, please visit the CDC's vaccine webpage.

  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine ingredients:
    mRNA, lipids ((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, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine ingredients:
    Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.
  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine ingredients:
    Recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride.
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Should I get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?

Medical experts recommend that people who have had COVID-19 still get vaccinated. It isn’t clear yet how long immunity lasts after an actual infection and some people that are infected with COVID-19 don’t make a lot of something called neutralizing antibodies. These are antibodies that directly block the ability of the virus to enter your cells. The vaccines help you to develop a high level of those neutralizing antibodies and stimulate your body to remember this for later so that you should have immunity for even longer. There are cases where a person has had COVID-19 and recovered and later gets re-infected. Getting vaccinated will help prevent that.

If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, when should you get the vaccine? The risk of re-infection after having had COVID-19 is very low in the first 90 days, so you may choose to wait that long, although waiting is not necessary. Of course, people with current COVID-19 symptoms should wait until their acute illness has resolved before being vaccinated, which is about 10 days after the start of symptoms or a positive test.

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Once I am vaccinated, will I still need to follow precautionary measures?

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new masking recommendations on May 28, 2021, the state of California delayed adopting them until June 15, 2021, to align with the reopening of California's economy. 

Below is a brief overview of the state’s new masking recommendations. To view the full policy, visit the California Department of Public Health's websitePlease note, individual businesses are encouraged to set their own procedures for how to validate vaccination – for example, self-attest, show proof, or continue requiring all patrons to wear a mask.

>> FULLY VACCINATED individuals do not have to wear masks in most settings, such as grocery stores, gyms, bars, movies, places of worship, etc.

>> NON-VACCINATED or PARTIALLY VACCINATED individuals are required to wear a mask in indoor public settings and businesses, such as retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public. 

>> EVERYONE is required to wear a mask in the following settings, regardless of vaccination status:

  • On public transit such as airplanes, ships, buses, ride-shares, etc., and in transportation hubs such as airports, bus terminals, train stations, etc.
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
  • Healthcare settings, including long term care facilities*
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers
  • Mega-events (those with over 5,000) have a specific set of rules
  • In workplaces, employers are subject to Cal/OSHA guidelines and may have additional requirements.

*Per both the CDC and California Department of Public Health (CDPH), any change in masking does not apply to healthcare settings. Although there is accumulating evidence that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can reduce the risk of asymptomatic infection as well as “viral load,” it is clear that it is not to the same extent as symptomatic prevention. Thus, there remains a risk of unknowingly transmitting an infection to someone else who is susceptible. Since healthcare settings are more likely to contain immuno-incompetent or other high-risk populations, continuing to wear a mask in these settings will help protect patients who are most vulnerable.

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What are the California Department of Public Health’s prioritization guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has developed the state’s prioritization guidelines which outline the phases in which individuals and groups are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. MemorialCare is following the CDPH's guidelines which, from time to time, get revised. 

The CDPH’s Guidelines
Latest Update: May 12, 2021
Based on available supply, individuals described below are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.


Phase 1a

  • Persons at highest risk of direct exposure: Healthcare workers / Long-term care facility residents

Phase 1b  

  • Persons at risk through their work (essential workers): Food/Agriculture, Education/Childcare, and Emergency Services
  • Persons at risk due to age: 65+
  • Persons at risk due to health issues: Individuals age 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of one or more of the severe health conditions included here.
  • Beginning April 1, 2021: individuals age 50-64 years old will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Beginning April 15, 2021: every Californian age 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Beginning May 12, 2021: every Californian age 12 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

Achieving equity

  • This age-based framework will be coupled with a vaccine distribution and engagement approach that prioritizes disproportionately impacted communities, settings, and populations to ensure those eligible for vaccines within these communities are more likely to receive it. 
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What data is being collected regarding vaccinations?

All hospitals and healthcare providers who administer the COVID-19 vaccination doses are required to report this information to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) within 24 hours. In order to be able to do this, they must be registered with CAIR and have an immunization information system ID number.  Vaccine providers must also report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) any moderate and/or severe adverse events following a vaccination.

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Where can I find further information on COVID-19 and the vaccines?

For more information on COVID-19 and the vaccines, please visit the CDC website:
COVID-19
Vaccines

Sign Up for a myChart Account

Be prepared. If you do not already have a myChart account, create one today. Although you will be unable to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment until we notify you it is time, using myChart to schedule will be the fastest and easiest way. If you already have a myChart account, please make sure your contact information is current.

MemorialCare Vaccine Timeline

Track the progress of the vaccines at MemorialCare.

Vaccine Q&A: 12/16/20

MemorialCare’s Chief Medical Officer answers your COVID-19 vaccine questions.