COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Updated: November 19, 2021

Hoag is committed to supporting our patients and community with the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Everyone 5 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

Click here to view specific vaccine FAQs for children ages 5-11.

Q. How can I schedule an appointment?

A: You can check our vaccine appointment website at

Additional resources and information about vaccine appointments are below.

Q. What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?

  • Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your scheduled visit.
  • Bring your government-issued photo ID and insurance card.
  • Minors without a government-issued photo ID may bring a birth certificate.
  • Only one person may support you at your appointment.
  • If this is your second, third or booster dose, please bring your vaccine card.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by a legal guardian.
  • Do not take over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) before your vaccination; it can make the vaccine less effective.

Q: Where can I get a digital record of my COVID-19 vaccine?

A. Anyone vaccinated in the state of California may visit to obtain a link to a QR code and digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record.

Q: Do I need a booster shot/additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if I am fully vaccinated?

A. In accordance with FDA and CDC guidelines, Hoag is offering a third dose and booster dose to the following:

  • Immunocompromised patients are eligible for a third dose at least four weeks after their second dose.
  • Individuals who are 65 and older, as well as residents in long-term care setting should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • Individuals aged 50-64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine atleast 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • Individuals aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • Individuals aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

To schedule an appointment, visit

Q. I received my first dose through the County or State. Can I come to Hoag for my second dose?

A: Yes. Hoag is happy to provide your second dose for the correct manufacturer and within CDC recommended timeframes. COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable so please check for current vaccines being offered at Hoag.  Please bring your vaccine card or proof of first vaccine to your appointment.

Q: Is the vaccine safe?

  • These vaccines do not contain any part of the coronavirus, so you cannot become infected with COVID-19 from the vaccination.
  • COVID vaccines have undergone independent safety reviews at the study level, prior to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision and at the state level before making it available to those in the state of California.
  • The vaccines have been tested for safety and efficacy, just as they would in a standard process. 
  • All persons receiving the vaccine will be followed by the CDC for adverse reactions; that information is available to the public.
  • The Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA for individuals ages 16 and up. The Pfizer vaccine is still available to individuals ages 5-15, but is not fully approved by the FDA at this time.

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

A: Yes, 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: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine or other vaccine at the same time?

A: Yes, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines including the flu shot, may now be administered on the same day. If you have specific questions related to your personal health condition, please speak with your physician.

Q: What are possible side effects from the vaccine?

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. Do I have to continue wearing a mask after I get the vaccine?

A: Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, per the CDC. Please visit California’s COVID website for additional details.

Please note that anyone entering a health care facility including Hoag is still required to wear a face mask or cloth covering at all times regardless of vaccination status, per California Department of Public Health guidelines.

Q. Can I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or planning on getting pregnant? 

A: Please discuss this with your obstetrician or primary care provider.

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 5 years and people with stable chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Please discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine with your healthcare professional.

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: The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for individuals ages 5 and up.

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

A: The first two vaccines approved by the FDA require two doses. An initial vaccination and then a second shot either three or four weeks later. The Pfizer vaccine requires a booster 21 days later and the Moderna vaccine requires a second dose 28 days later. The different vaccine products are not interchangeable. The second dose must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose. Both doses are important to ensure full protection.

Q: Should I get the second dose if I have a severe allergic reaction?

A: If you have ever had a severe reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose of that specific vaccine. If you have had a severe reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

Q: How much will the vaccination cost?

A: The federal government is providing the COVID-19 vaccine so the vaccine itself is being provided to you at no charge.  If you have insurance, Hoag may bill your insurance for administration fees.  You will not be billed nor responsible for any fees that your insurance does not cover. 

Q. When will I be provided with the vaccination card?

A: On your first scheduled vaccination dose visit, you will be given a COVID-19 Vaccine Card with the brand of vaccine received, lot number, administration date, and location of vaccination event, stickered on the card. Please keep this card with you and bring it back with you for your second vaccination dose visit.

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.