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 older and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people ages 12 and older. The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a single dose and is approved for people ages 18 and older. More vaccines are in development.
When can I get the vaccine?
If you are 12 years of age or older you can get it now. 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 12 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
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
|Contra Costa||Age 12 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 12 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.|
Age 12 and over who live in Napa County.
|Fill out a Vaccine Interest Form.||Visit Napa County Department of Health and Human Services website.|
|Nevada||Age 12 and over who live or work in Nevada County.||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 12 and over who live or work in Placer county.||Visit COVID Vaccine Clinics website.||Visit Placer County Public Health Division website.|
|Sacramento||Age 12 and over who live or work in Sacramento County.||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 12 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 12 and over who live, work, or learn in San Francisco County.||Sign up here to receive vaccine updates. ||Visit City and County of San Francisco website.|
|San Joaquin||Age 12 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 12 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 12 and over who live, work or attend school 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Please see below for links to COVID-19 vaccine information from several retail pharmacies:
|Retail Pharmacy||How to sign up|
|CVS||Please visit CVS website to check your eligibility.|
|Rite-Aid||Please visit Rite-Aid website for vaccine eligibility and appointment scheduling.|
|Safeway||Please visit Safeway website for more information.|
|Walgreens||Please visit Walgreens website for eligibility check and appointment scheduling instructions.|
|Costco||Please visit Costco website for eligibility and appointment scheduling instructions.|
|Mercy Plaza Pharmacy||For Sacramento county residents, schedule an appointment here.|
- 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.
- Vaccines.gov: Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment.
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 or retail pharmacies. 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 vaccine 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.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. The vaccine teaches our immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body may take several weeks to build immunity after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine did not have enough time to build protection. You are considered “fully vaccinated” and therefore protected about 2 weeks after your last vaccine (after 2nd Moderna or Pfizer BioNTech vaccine or after 1st Janssen vaccine).
What are the possible side effects?
People may have mild side effects from the vaccine. Most 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, chills 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.
The risk of a rare blood clotting disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported following vaccination with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly all of those affected have been women ages 18 to 49 years old, with the condition happening at a rate of 7 for every 1 million vaccinated women in this age group. This condition is very rare, and the CDC and FDA have since recommended that the use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine resume effective because the benefits outweigh the risks.
Is the vaccine safe for my child?
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for children 12 years and older. As more clinical trials on kids come to completion, the vaccine is likely to be approved for additional age groups.
Studies including adolescents have shown the COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective under the most intensive safety monitoring. Like adults, your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities but should go away in a few days.
Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccines can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can still be infected and spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccinating your child can help protect your child, family, and community.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or considering becoming pregnant?
Yes, if you are pregnant, you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You may want to talk to your doctor to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy or fertility problems.
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.
You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or 2 weeks after your single dose of the Janssen vaccine.
Where can I find out more information about the COVID vaccine?