Now that there are authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are some things you need to know about the new COVID-19 vaccines.
What is the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccine?
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Two of the vaccines are administered as two doses given 3–4 weeks apart. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people ages 18 and over and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people ages 16 and over. The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a single dose. More vaccines are in development.
When will the general public receive the vaccine?
Each county’s health department handles vaccine allocation and distribution. Please visit your county’s health department website for most up-to-date information. Below is information for several of the Hill Physicians counties.
|County||Current population being vaccinated||How to sign up||Additional information|
|Alameda||Age 16 and over who reside in Alameda County.||If you are in the current population being vaccinated, sign up here for the vaccine.|
Sign up here to receive vaccine updates.
Alameda County Residents can sign up here for drive-through vaccination appointments at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
Washington Township Medical Foundation Pfizer clinics for those 50 and over, 16–49 with certain high risk conditions and Workers in Education, Childcare, Emergency Services, Food & Agriculture, those who live or work in congregate living spaces, Transportation & Logistics in district area (Fremont, Newark, Union City, Sunol, portion of South Hayward):
1st Dose Pfizer Clinic Details:
- Where: Washington West — 2500 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA
- When: Mon – Fri starting at 10 a.m.
- How to make appointment: Call 510-248-8200 (call wait time may be long)
- Who qualifies: District residents or patients who have received care at Washington in the past 24 months
- Details: Appointments only/no walk-ins, patients will be scheduled for their second dose upon check out. Second vaccination will be at a drive-thru location 17–21 days after the first vaccination.
|Contra Costa||Age 16 and over who live or work in Contra Costa County.||Visit the Contra Costa Health Services Appointment Request or My Optum Serve websites.||Visit Contra Costa Health Services website. |
|El Dorado||Age 16 and over who live or work in El Dorado County.||Sign up here to receive vaccine updates.||Visit El Dorado County Department of Health and Human Services website.|
|Napa||Age 65 and over, Age 16–64 with certain high-risk health conditions, and workers in Emergency Services, Food & Agriculture, and Education & Childcare.||Fill out a Vaccine Interest Form.||Visit Napa County Department of Health and Human Services website.|
|Nevada||Age 50 and over, Age 16–49 with certain high-risk health conditions, and workers in certain sectors (i.e. education, first responders, Food & Agriculture) and Age 16 and over in public clinics.||Visit Nevada County Department of Health and Human Services website for vaccination schedule.||Visit Nevada County Department of Health and Human Services website.|
|Placer||Age 16 and over who live or work in Placer county.||Visit COVID Vaccine Clinics website.||Visit Placer County Public Health Division website.|
|Sacramento||Age 50 and over, Age 16–49 with certain high-risk health conditions, and workers in Education, Childcare, Emergency Services and Food & Agriculture.||Sign up for future vaccine clinic notifications here.|McClellan Park
Schedule an appointment online
. The drive-thru site is located in the parking lot adjacent to McClellan Park
Natomas High School
Make an appointment online
or call (916) 561-5253 on Mondays, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. to make an appointment. Drive-thru site located in the parking lot of Natomas High school
Cal Expo is administering vaccinations by appointment only. To find out more information about when you can schedule an appointment to get a vaccine click here
Eligible veterans may contact the VA for an appointment by logging into their My HealtheVet account
or by calling (800) 382-8387.
Oak Park Open Fridays from 11am-2pm, by appointment only, call to schedule an appointment at 916-349-6980.
Mercy Plaza Pharmacy Schedule an appointment here.
Turnure Medical Group (Urgent Care) Call to schedule an appointment at 916-624-3500
UC Davis Health
Anyone 16 and over (do not need to live or work in Sacramento County) is eligible. Visit UC Davis Health
for more information and to schedule an appointment.
|Visit the Sacramento County Public Health website.|
Starting March 1, 2021, Sacramento Regional Transit is offering free rides to vaccine appointments. Please visit SacRT for more information.
|San Francisco||Age 16 and over who live and work in San Francisco County.||Sign up here to receive vaccine updates. ||Visit City and County of San Francisco website.|
|San Joaquin||Age 16 and over who live or work in San Joaquin County.||Visit Adventist Health Lodi Memorial website to schedule an appointment.||Visit San Joaquin County website.|
|San Mateo||Age 16 and over who live or work in San Mateo County. Patients are urged to contact their healthcare provider first as supply is still limited in the county.||Sign up here to receive vaccine updates.|
|Visit San Mateo County Health website.|
|Santa Clara||Age 16 and over who live or work in Santa Clara County.||Visit Santa Clara County Health website for vaccine updates.||Visit Santa Clara County Health website.|
Veterans, Spouses and Caregivers of Veterans that are currently enrolled with the VA can sign up for Vaccines through the Palo Alto VA.
|Solano||Age 16 and over who reside or work in Solano County.||Fill out a Vaccine Interest Form.||Visit Solano County Department of Public Health website.|
|Stanislaus||Age 16 and over who work or reside in Stanislaus County.||Visit Stanislaus County Health Agency Services website for more information about vaccine clinics.||Visit Stanislaus County Health Agency Services website for more information.|
|Yolo||Age 16 and over who work or reside in Yolo County.||Fill out a Vaccine Interest Form.||Visit Yolo County Health Department website.|
In addition to local health departments, retail pharmacies are expected to start offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments soon. Please see below for links to COVID-19 vaccine information from several retail pharmacies:
|Retail Pharmacy||How to sign up|
|CVS||COVID-19 vaccine is now available in select locations. Please visit CVS website to check your eligibility.|
|Rite-Aid||Please visit Rite-Aid website for vaccine eligibility and appointment scheduling.|
|Safeway||Scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for eligible individuals in select locations. Please visit Safeway website for more information.|
|Walgreens||Vaccine may be available in select locations for eligible individuals. Please visit Walgreens website for eligibility check and appointment scheduling instructions.|
|Costco||Vaccine may be available in select locations for eligible individuals. Please visit Costco website for eligibility and appointment scheduling instructions.|
|Mercy Plaza Pharmacy||For Sacramento county resident meeting current tier requirements, schedule an appointment here.|Other distribution will occur in phases according to expert recommendations and availability of the vaccine.
- MyTurn: California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) site for COVID-19 vaccine availability by county and appointment scheduling.
- VaccinateCA: COVID-19 vaccine availability by California region with information updated daily.
Where can I get the vaccine once it becomes available?
Currently, many provider practices are not able to order and store the COVID-19 vaccine so you may not be able to get it at your doctor’s office. At this time, the best way to get your COVID-19 vaccine is through your county’s health department. Please visit your county’s local health department website for more information on vaccine availability and appointment scheduling. Please see above for links to each county's website.
How many doses are needed and why?
The Janssen COVID-19 vaccines only requires one shot. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines require two shots. For these two, the first shot starts building protection, but everyone must come back a few weeks later for the second one to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.
Is the vaccine safe to get?
COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from the clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks.
What are the possible side effects?
Patients may have mild side effects from the vaccine. Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or a fever after getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease.
Will I have to pay to get the vaccine?
No, there is no cost to get the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of insurance status. However, there are some COVID-19 scams where people have used telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to get patient information or to ask for payment. COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone.
If I get vaccinated, can I go back to life as normal?
Not right away. It will still be important for those who received the vaccine to continue to wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing prevent the spread of infection. As more people get the vaccine and become immune to the virus, it will eventually become possible to stop wearing masks and practice social distancing.
What about kids? Can they get the vaccine too?
Currently, one of the vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech) is approved for people ages 16 and older. As more clinical trials on kids come to completion, the vaccine is likely to be approved for additional age groups.
Where can I find out more information about the COVID vaccine?