Vaccine FAQ2021-10-27T12:44:03-07:00

As more Californians get vaccinated and variants circulate, we understand you may have questions and concerns about the safety, effectiveness and side effects that come with the vaccine.

We have put together a list of common questions from the community and responses that have been vetted by medical experts. Please feel free to share this document with your family, friends, neighbors and members of your community. Together, we can stop COVID-19 and keep California safe!

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What are the common side effects of vaccines?2022-01-10T20:53:00-08:00

· Mild fever
· Chills
· Feeling tired
· Headache
· Muscle and joint aches
· Pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given

How are vaccines developed?2021-07-10T23:40:35-07:00

Most vaccines have been in use for decades, with millions of people receiving them safely every year. As with all medicines, every vaccine must go through extensive and rigorous testing to ensure it is safe before it can be introduced in a country’s vaccine program

The vaccine was developed too fast. I do not trust that it’s safe.2021-07-10T23:41:06-07:00

These vaccines could be made fast and still be safe: There was a lot of research done on the kind of virus that causes COVID-19 before this virus showed up. Funding from the U.S. and world was spent to get many companies to work on this vaccine and to put all their scientists to work on it around the clock. While every step that must be followed to make a new vaccine and be sure it is safe was followed, some of the steps were done at the same time instead of one after another. It is like cooking several parts of a meal at once instead of cooking one course at a time. You get done sooner but it’s just as good.

Black and Latinx communities are being singled out to get the vaccine but it hasn’t really been proven to be safe.2021-07-10T23:41:45-07:00

There are certainly historical reasons for Black and Latinx communities to fear being singled out. The concern is justified because people of color and marginalized groups have, in the past, been coerced and subjugated to participating in drug trials and medical procedures without informed consent, patient protections, or ethical practices. That is not the case here. The two vaccines now available were tested on diverse populations. In fact, efforts were made to assure inclusion of Black and Latinx volunteers in proportions equal to their proportion in the population just to make sure there weren’t factors that would make a vaccine less effective or less safe in either of those groups. A big effort was made to include members of those groups, to assure that they would not be victims of medical neglect, which is the other side of the coin in regard to medical racism.

Will the vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?2021-07-10T23:42:13-07:00

No. You cannot get the disease from the vaccine, and the current vaccines do not include the virus in any form.

What is the difference between each brand of vaccine, which one is better?2021-07-10T23:42:40-07:00

Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine were shown to be about 95% effective in large-scale studies that included thousands of participants. Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. The J&J vaccine was shown to be almost 75% effective and requires one dose.

When will children get the vaccine?2021-07-10T23:43:01-07:00

Currently, 12-17 year-olds can get the vaccine. A vaccine for children younger than 12 is being tested in clinical trials and could be available by the fall.

Can the vaccines cause autism or other serious health problems?2021-07-10T23:46:04-07:00

No. Like other approved vaccines, scientists believe the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause disorders like autism or other problems.

Is there a microchip in the vaccine that can be used to track me?2021-07-10T23:46:41-07:00

No. This story seems to have spread on the Internet based on a Facebook post that said Bill Gates was planning to use a microchip to identify people who have been tested for COVID-19. Mr. Gates had commented on a research study that had nothing to do with COVID-19 and nothing to do with anything being implanted.

Can the genetic material in the virus change my genes?2021-07-10T23:47:10-07:00

No. The genetic material in these vaccines, called mRNA, tells your body to make a protein that kicks your immune system into action.

Will the vaccine affect my or my partner’s ability to have a baby?2021-07-10T23:47:39-07:00

No. There have been headlines and rumors in the media and on social media about the vaccine causing infertility for women. Health experts say that there is no evidence that receiving the vaccine causes infertility, affects DNA or egg cells.

Does the vaccine cost money?2021-07-10T23:47:59-07:00

No. COVID-19 vaccine will be given to LA county residents at no cost and regardless of immigration status. Your doctor or pharmacy may charge a fee for giving the vaccine, but it should be covered by public and private insurance companies. People without health insurance can get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.

I just received my first dose. How do I ensure I get my second dose?2021-07-10T23:48:29-07:00

When you get your first dose, you will receive a vaccine record card and from there you should be able to schedule your second appointment by calling 833-540-0473 or by scheduling it online on

How do I sign up to get a vaccine?2021-07-10T23:49:00-07:00

Visit this webpage: Once you are on the website, click on the button to make an appointment and follow the instructions to schedule your COVID-19 Vaccine appointment.

I want to get the vaccine. Where can I find transportation?2021-07-18T04:46:12-07:00

Visit this webpage: and follow instructions for a free Lyft promo code to get a ride to your appointment.

How can contracting COVID-19 affect sexual and reproductive health?2021-07-18T04:47:13-07:00

Men who had COVID-19 and recovered are coming to their doctors complaining about trouble getting and keeping erections. More research is needed, but preliminary studies suggest that erectile dysfunction is a symptom of “long COVID.” Getting the vaccine is the only way to protect yourself against getting COVID-19, even if you already got it before. Natural immunity doesn’t last forever. There are also rumors about the vaccine affecting women’s fertility. This is not true—experts believe the vaccine is safe for women of all ages, including pregnant women.

Will getting the vaccine affect my immigration status or immigration application?2021-07-31T05:03:58-07:00

No, The vaccine will not affect a person’s or family’s immigration status. All Californians regardless of immigration status are protected by the law to seek medical care with no fear of public charge consequences.

What are the best ways to protect myself from being infected by COVID-19?2022-01-10T20:50:21-08:00

· Get vaccinated
· Wear a mask
· Keep doors and windows open indoors for ventilation
· Maintain social distancing
· Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds

What are common side effects of vaccines?2022-01-10T21:19:31-08:00

· Soreness and/or swelling on site of injection
· Mild fever
· Chills
· Body ache
· Muscle ache
· Nausea

Will I get COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated?2021-10-11T11:15:51-07:00

You will be at lower risk of infection after getting your vaccine. However, if you do get infected, you will most likely have mild or no symptoms at all. More importantly, you will be protected from death and hospital admission.

I have recovered from COVID and have natural immunity. Why should I get the vaccine?2021-10-11T11:16:22-07:00

Natural immunity differs from one person and another. Studies have shown that vaccination after recovery from COVID can boost your natural immunity. Recent information is also showing that even if you had COVID last year, you may not be protected from the Delta variant.

Will the vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?2021-10-11T17:44:26-07:00

No, the vaccine does not give you COVID-19. None of the vaccines contain the live virus.

The vaccine was developed too fast. I do not trust that it’s safe.2021-10-11T17:44:55-07:00

The vaccines went through 3 phases of clinical trials, which were all overseen by the FDA and CDC. mRNA vaccines have also been around for over 10 years, so the science is not new.

Is it safe for Black and Latino communities to get the vaccine?2021-10-11T17:45:32-07:00

The three vaccines were tested on diverse populations, and include Black and Latino volunteers. The vaccine is effective and safe in those groups. A big effort was made to assure that Black and Latino people would not be victims of medical neglect and medical

Will getting the vaccine affect my immigration status or immigration application?2021-10-11T17:45:55-07:00

There is equal access to vaccines for undocumented immigrants. Receiving the vaccine will not affect your immigration status.

Can the vaccines cause autism or other serious health problems?2021-10-11T17:46:26-07:00

No. Like other approved vaccines, scientists believe the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause disorders like autism or other health problems.

I’m pregnant. Is it safe for me to take the vaccine?2021-10-11T17:46:56-07:00

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. You might want to talk to your healthcare provider to help you decide when to get vaccinated.

Will the vaccine affect my or my partner’s ability to have a baby?2021-10-11T17:47:27-07:00

No. There is no evidence that the vaccine interferes with pregnancy. In fact, women who were in the clinical trials were able to get pregnant after.

Does the vaccine cost money?2021-10-11T17:47:48-07:00

No. COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone.

When will children get the vaccine?2021-10-11T17:48:16-07:00

Currently, only 12 to 18 year-olds can get the vaccine. A vaccine for kids 12 and under is in clinical trials and could be available later in the fall.

What is the difference between each brand of vaccine, which one is better?2021-10-11T17:48:50-07:00

All three COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection. Chances of infection and transmission are much lower when you receive any of the vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose.

I just received my first dose. How do I ensure I get my second dose?2021-10-11T17:49:19-07:00

When you get your first dose, you will receive a vaccine record card and from there you should be able to schedule your second appointment by calling 833-540-0473, scheduling it online or with your doctor.

How do I sign up to get a vaccine?2021-10-11T17:56:21-07:00

Click here to Make an Appointment, then follow the instructions to
schedule your vaccine.

Is the booster shot safe?2022-01-10T20:15:48-08:00

Yes, the FDA and CDC closely monitored data before authorizing the booster. Clinical trials have shown that boosters can increase protection against COVID-19.

Who is eligible for boosters?2022-01-10T20:16:22-08:00

Boosters are recommended for everyone age 18 and older. Teens 12–17 years old may only get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.

What is the dosing of the booster?2022-01-10T20:16:55-08:00

Moderna’s booster is half of the original Moderna dose, making it 0.25ml. Pfizer’s booster is 0.3ml, and J&J’s booster is 0.5ml.

When can I get the booster?2022-01-10T20:18:20-08:00

If you originally received Pfizer for the first two doses, you can get the booster five months after your second dose.

If you received Moderna, you can get the booster six months after your second dose.

If you received J&J, you can get the booster two months after your original dose.

If I had COVID already while vaccinated, do I still need the booster?2022-01-10T20:18:46-08:00

Experts recommend that people who had a breakthrough infection should still get a booster as long as they are eligible.

Is the booster the same formula as the original doses?2022-01-10T20:19:22-08:00

Yes, the booster is the same formula.

Can I get a different brand of vaccine for my booster than my original two doses?2022-01-10T20:19:55-08:00

The CDC says mixing and matching is safe for the boosters. The CDC does not recommend mixing for the first two doses.

What are some side effects after the booster shot?2022-01-10T20:25:10-08:00

Some common side effects are:
· Pain at injection site
· Fatigue
· Headache
· Muscle pain
· Chills

Recipients of J&J’s booster also reported nausea.

Am I still considered fully vaccinated if I don’t get the booster?2022-01-10T20:21:07-08:00

Yes, you are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the two-shot series (Pfizer and Moderna), or two weeks after the J&J single shot.

Are the vaccines working if I need a booster?2022-01-10T20:21:36-08:00

Yes, vaccines are effective in preventing hospitalization and death. However, studies have shown that protection lessens over time. Boosters increase protection.

What is Omicron?2022-01-10T20:25:58-08:00

Omicron is a variant of the COVID-19 virus. It was first identified in South Africa in November 2021.

How contagious is Omicron?2022-01-10T20:26:37-08:00

Omicron is more transmissible (or contagious) than the Delta variant but may cause less serious illness.

Is the vaccine effective against Omicron?2022-01-10T20:27:34-08:00

Overall, yes. Pfizer has released a statement saying that the first two doses were less effective against the variant, but the booster shot neutralized Omicron in a lab test. By getting a third shot, also known as a “booster,” you are 75% less likely to get any COVID-related symptoms and you’ll be protected against severe illness that will land you in the hospital.

Where has Omicron spread?2022-01-10T20:28:06-08:00

Omicron has spread to every continent as of January 2022.

How bad is the Omicron variant?2022-01-10T20:28:43-08:00

Studies are still being done on this particular strain. So far, a small study suggests that Omicron may actually cause less severe illness than the Delta variant, but more research is being conducted. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect against any existing or new variants.

How do these variants form?2022-01-10T20:29:32-08:00

Variants occur when there is a change in the virus’s genes. Mutations in viruses are expected, like the flu. This is why it is recommended to get a new flu vaccine every year, and why the CDC and other health organizations are urging people to get booster or supplemental doses.

How should I protect myself and my family against Omicron and other variants?2022-01-10T20:31:10-08:00

If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated. Complete all doses of your vaccine. If you are already fully vaccinated but you haven’t gotten your additional dose (“booster”), get that shot to add another layer of protection. Click here to find a vaccine site near you.

How safe is the vaccine for children?2022-01-10T20:32:54-08:00

Vaccines are safe and effective. The FDA and CDC take vaccine safety seriously and continue to monitor the vaccine. Clinical data is carefully examined before authorizing the vaccine for certain age groups.

Is there a recommendation between vaccinating my child under 11 years of age or waiting a few months as a precaution to see what happens?2022-01-10T20:33:20-08:00

Experts say that it is best to get vaccinated as soon as possible because waiting can increase the child’s risk of infection from the virus.

How many doses will younger children get? What is the difference in dosage of the vaccine for children aged 5-11 to 12 years and older?2022-01-10T20:33:50-08:00

So far, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for children. They’ll receive two doses, 21 days apart. Children age 5-11 receive 1/3 of the dose that 12 years and older receive.

How many vaccines are there available for children?2022-01-10T20:34:15-08:00

Only Pfizer is approved by the FDA for emergency use in children aged 5-11.

Will children also need to get a booster?2022-01-10T20:34:48-08:00

For some immunocompromised children age 5-11 years old, the CDC now recommends getting a booster shot. Ask your child’s doctor for more information.

I heard the vaccine was made with fetal cells.2022-01-10T20:35:58-08:00

The vaccine does not contain any aborted fetal cells. Fetal cell lines, which were grown in laboratories, were used only in the research and development stage.

Do they use smaller needles with children?2022-01-10T20:36:20-08:00

Yes, pediatricians will use smaller needles to vaccinate children.

Can my child test positive for COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?2022-01-10T20:36:47-08:00

No, the vaccine does NOT contain the virus and cannot give you COVID-19.

Is it true this vaccine messes with girls’ menstrual cycles?2022-01-10T20:37:15-08:00

99.97% of women who received the vaccine reported no change in their menstrual cycle. Most common changes that women reported are delays, heavier than normal cycles, and tiredness and fatigue during their cycle.

Can this vaccine somehow affect my children’s future fertility?2022-01-10T20:37:55-08:00

No, there is no evidence that it can lead to loss of fertility. The CDC even recommends vaccination for those trying to get pregnant.

Can the vaccine stunt my child’s growth?2022-01-10T20:38:14-08:00

No, the vaccine does not alter DNA and therefore does not affect development.

I have heard that inflammation of the heart can be a potential side effect of the vaccine. Is it true it affects more boys than girls and what signs should we be aware of?2022-01-10T20:42:05-08:00

Risk of heart inflammation after the vaccine is extremely rare, affecting 1 in 40,000 people. According to the CDC, you are actually 16 times more likely to get myocarditis from COVID-19 infection as opposed to from the vaccine.

Can my child get Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the vaccine?2022-01-10T20:41:59-08:00

The likelihood of developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome after vaccination is extremely rare, chances are 100 in 12.8 million people.

My child was vaccinated recently, and he has no side effects. Does this mean he won’t have any side effects when he receives the second dose?2022-01-10T20:41:37-08:00

Everyone is different. Some children do not get any side effects for either shot, and many feel side effects after the second dose.

What are some of the side effects for children?2022-01-10T20:49:06-08:00

At the injection site:
· Pain
· Redness
· Swelling

Rest of body:
· Tiredness
· Headache
· Muscle pain
· Fever
· Chills
· Nausea

Have there been cases where a child had a serious reaction to the vaccine?2022-01-10T20:44:30-08:00

Serious allergic reactions are rare, but you and your child should wait 15-20 minutes for observation after receiving the dose in case treatment is needed.

My child has allergies and a heart condition. Should they take the vaccine?2022-01-10T20:45:03-08:00

Everyone aged 5 and up can now receive the vaccine. Discuss with your doctor if you have a heart condition, history of allergy or anaphylaxis before receiving the vaccine.

My child has asthma. Should they take the vaccine?2022-01-10T20:45:26-08:00

Yes, the CDC recommends people with asthma get vaccinated as soon as they can. People with asthma are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID.

My child had COVID. How long should I wait after to have them vaccinated?2022-01-10T20:45:53-08:00

Get them vaccinated as soon as possible once they have recovered. If they were treated with monoclonal antibodies, wait 90 days before getting your child vaccinated.

My child has Guillain-Barre syndrome. Is it safe for her to get vaccinated?2022-01-10T20:46:15-08:00

Yes, the vaccine is safe in patients previously diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

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