COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs
Update: COVID-19 vaccine is currently available at select Pharmacies: Check Vaccine Availability Here.
When will your Pharmacies have the vaccine?
Our Pharmacies are preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with prioritization guidelines as soon as they become available. It is expected that supplies will increase over time and eligible customers should be able to get vaccinated in 2021.
Who is eligible to get the vaccine and when can I get it?
Initial vaccine supplies will be limited. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is reviewing all data and holding public meetings to make recommendations on who should receive the vaccine while the vaccine supply is limited. The initial phase of the vaccination program will include healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. As information is changing rapidly, please continue to check back on availability. More information will be available at VaccineFinder.org soon.
Why can’t I get the vaccine now?
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) follows ethical principles to set these goals recommending which groups of people should receive the vaccine while supplies are limited:
- Decrease death and serious illness as much as possible
- Preserve functioning of society
- Reduce burden on groups already disproportionately impacted by the disease
- Increase chances of everyone enjoying health & well-being
Is the vaccine safe?
Clinical trials with tens of thousands of participants have been conducted on the COVID-19 vaccine(s) in accordance with rigorous standards set by the FDA. The FDA has reviewed the scientific data generated by these trials and determined that these vaccines are safe and effective. Additional monitoring systems are also in place to ensure the COVID-19 vaccines are as safe as possible including V-safe, which is a smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
How many shots are required?
The current immunizations work as a series of two injections administered 3-4 weeks apart. In the future, there may be a single-dose vaccine available if approved for use by the FDA.
Will I be immune once I receive the vaccine?
There is still much that is unknown about this virus. We won’t know how long immunity lasts until more data becomes available.
Are there any side effects?
Yes. Like with many vaccines, you may experience some side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are:
- Redness or tenderness where you received the shot
- Mild fever
Side effects should go away within a few days. If side effects are persistent or do not go away, contact your healthcare provider.
Will getting the vaccine actually give me COVID?
No. The vaccine will not transmit the COVID-19 virus and won’t cause you to test positive on a COVID-19 viral test. It is possible that you could test positive on some antibody tests as your body develops an immune response to the virus.
What are the age guidelines for the vaccine?
It varies. Guidelines for currently authorized vaccines are for either 16 or 18 years of age. Future vaccine guidelines could vary.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t get the vaccine?
Yes. You should not get the vaccine if you have a history of severe allergies or anaphylaxis from any component of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, or are pregnant or nursing, it is recommended that you work with your doctor to decide if it is safe for you to be vaccinated.
If I’ve already had the virus, do I need to get vaccinated?
Yes. People who have previously been sick with the COVID-19 virus may still benefit from getting vaccinated. Right now, experts don’t know how long you are protected from reinfection after recovering from COVID-19. See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/vacc-specific/covid-19/clinical-considerations.html for more information.
Do you accept all insurance plans?
Our Pharmacies accept most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medi-Cal.
How much does the vaccine cost?
Nothing, right now. There is no cost to you for getting the COVID-19 vaccine in our Pharmacies, whether you have insurance or not. However, if you do have insurance, your insurance company will be bill for the cost.
Can I stop wearing a mask after I’m vaccinated?
No. Covering your nose and mouth with a mask, frequent hand washing and social distancing must continue to help stop the pandemic. Experts need to understand more about the protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccines before deciding to change these recommended steps.
Is getting this vaccine similar to getting a flu shot? Will I need to get it every year?
We don’t know yet how COVID-19 vaccines will be administered in future years since we won’t know how long immunity lasts until there is more data.
What safety measures are your Pharmacies taking?
Our Pharmacies are following CDC guidelines as well as local and state safety regulations, including rigorous sanitation protocols. Safety measures include:
- Staggered appointment times
- One-on-one interactions
- Post- vaccination sanitization
- Wearing of masks and face shields
- Social distancing in waiting areas
At this time, we are unable to accept walk-in appointments for the COIVD-19 vaccine.
How are your Pharmacies maintaining cold temperature standards for the vaccines?
Our Pharmacies have storage facilities that meet or exceed vaccine manufacturer requirements. Vaccine storage temperature is confirmed and maintained through state-of-the-art Digital Data Loggers, a system that immediately alerts the Pharmacy Team of any temperature fluctuations and records and tracks all historical temperature data for auditing.