COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Updated: January 13, 2021

Q: Is Hoag going to be administering vaccinations?

A: Yes, Hoag been approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in the COVIDReadi program as a COVID Vaccine Provider.  

Q: Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination site via this link.

Q: When can I get vaccinated?

  • The vaccines will be provided in small quantities and prioritization follow CDC, CDPH, Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines.
  • In the initial stage, Hoag has vaccinated high-risk health workers and first responders. To date, Hoag has vaccinated more than 5,000 of our health care workers who are most at risk.
  • At this time, we anticipate that we will be able to offer the COVID vaccine to adults 65 and older in the coming weeks.
  • Vaccinations for the general public are anticipated to be widely available beginning in the summer.
  • Community vaccination details will be led by the public health agencies and shared as they become available.
  • The phased rollout is well-defined and available here to review.

Q: Why such a long wait?

A: Once a vaccine receives FDA EUA, it takes time to manufacture and distribute individual vaccine dosages, of which hundreds of millions are needed. The phased rollout, guided by the federal government, has been designed to administer the vaccine to populations considered to be the most at risk of contracting the virus first.

Q: If I have to wait until spring, won’t the pandemic have naturally died out by the time I can get it?

A: There is no way of predicting the course of this virus and if it will diminish or become even more widespread over the next several months. Vaccination is highly recommended to help protect you from contracting the virus in the future.

Q: Can I get COVID from the vaccine?

A: These vaccines do not contain any part of the coronavirus, so you cannot become infected with COVID-19 from the vaccination.

Q: How effective will the vaccine be?

A: The vaccines nearing approval have shown more than 90 percent efficacy.

Q: Will I have to get it again next year, like the yearly flu shot?

A: Only time will tell if the vaccine will protect us indefinitely or if an annual vaccination will be necessary. We’ll develop a better understanding over time, as we carefully monitor the vaccine rollout and virus transmission rates.

Q: I already had, and recovered from, COVID-19. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

A: Even those who have already had the virus should get vaccinated to augment their immunity. The protection from reinfection seems to depend upon how much of the virus a person has been exposed to. Because vaccines deliver a specific dose, we can reasonably predict the outcome.

Q: What will the vaccine’s side effects be?

A: Side effects may include normal immune response including mild to moderate symptoms that should resolve within a few days. Symptoms may include soreness/ redness/ swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, or fever that can last for a day or two.

Q: Is there anyone who shouldn’t be vaccinated? If so, who?

A: At this time, the vaccine is believed to be safe for all healthy adults, children over the age of 16 years and people with stable chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  We are awaiting final determination by the FDA.

Q: Can my kids get vaccinated too? Will it be the same vaccine as for adults, or will it be specially formulated for children?

A: Although it appears that the vaccine will be available in appropriate dosages/formulations for people of all ages, including infants, toddlers and older children, we are awaiting final determination by the FDA.

Q: How much will the vaccination cost? And will at least some of it be covered by my health insurance?

A: The federal government has announced that the initial round of vaccinations will be available to all Americans at no cost.

Q: I’ve heard some people talk about the benefits of ‘natural immunity.’ Is it better to be exposed to the coronavirus than to get the vaccine?

A: It is safer to get the vaccine than to seek out coronavirus infection. For one, it’s safer (both for you and for those with whom you come in contact). Also, vaccines for some pathogens induce better immunity than natural infection does. COVID-19 seems to fall into this category. Volunteers who received the Moderna shot, for example, had more antibodies in their blood than did people who had recovered from COVID-19.

Q: I have a special medical condition (obese, asthma, heart condition, compromised immune system); can I still get vaccinated? Are there special dangers or preparations I need to be aware of?

A:  Individuals with these types of medical conditions are considered high-risk for developing severe complications with COVID and should be vaccinated to help reduce their risk.  Please discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare professional.

Q: Why do I need to have a second dose?

A: The second shot is required to attain a high level of immunity.   It appears that immunity after the first dose is about 50%; however, after the second dose immunity is > 90%.

Q: I’ve already been vaccinated for the seasonal flu – won’t that cover me/do I really need the COVID vaccination?

A: The influenza vaccine is incredibly important to help keep people healthy and out of the hospitals during this time of heightened hospital usage. However, the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccines protect against two different diseases. It is important to get both vaccines in order to be protected against both severe illnesses.

Q: Where will it be administered – my arm?

A: Yes, the vaccine is injected into the muscle tissue of the upper arm, much like the flu vaccine.

Q: Is it as effective as the other vaccine that’s available?

A: Both of the vaccines being approved – one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna – have proven to be more than 90 percent effective.