COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Updated: April 13, 2021

Q: What is the latest news on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of April 13?

A: Hoag has not provided the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at any Hoag clinics. The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have paused the use of the vaccine out of an abundance of caution. To learn more, visit: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/joint-cdc-and-fda-statement-johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine.

Q: When can I get vaccinated?

Q. How can I schedule an appointment?

A: Hoag is committed to supporting our patients and community with the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. You can check our vaccine appointment website at www.hoag.org/covid-vaccine. The website will reflect appointments if/when we receive more vaccine supply for dose 1 vaccinations.

We encourage you to explore all available options for vaccine appointments, since Hoag appointments may not be readily available due to high demand and limited vaccine supply.

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

  • Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your scheduled visit.
  • Bring a printed copy or photo of your vaccination appointment confirmation.
  • Bring your government-issued photo ID.
  • Only one person may support you at your appointment.
  • Do not take over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) before your vaccination; it can make the vaccine less effective.

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

A: No. Individuals who received their first vaccine dose through the Othena system will automatically receive their second dose appointment confirmation through Othena. Individuals who received a first dose through a neighboring county or through a health system, employer, or other group will receive the second dose from the same source.

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. 
  • One of the reasons these COVID-19 vaccines can move through the clinical trial process so quickly is due to increased government funding. This has helped researchers proceed with multiple steps in the drug development and testing process at the same time, rather than slowly over time.
  • All persons receiving the vaccine will be followed by the CDC for adverse reactions; that information is available to the public.

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: 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: 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: Yes. We should all continue wearing face masks, practicing excellent hand hygiene and social distancing until enough vaccine is manufactured and distributed, until we know how long a vaccine will protect us, and until our community shows levels of minimal spread.

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. Available data on the safety and efficacy of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in pregnancy is very limited.

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

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.