COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Can I get vaccinated for COVID-19 now?

Everyone who is 12 years or older is now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Adults 18 and older can get any of the three approved vaccines
  • Children 12 to 17 years old can only get the Pfizer vaccine
    • Children need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine
    • A parent or guardian should go with their child when they get the vaccine

 

Schedule an appointment or find walk-in locations

Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine? 

HPSM members pay no cost for the vaccine. 

Who do I call to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine? 

If you are eligible to get the vaccine now, you can find links to schedule an appointment online at HPSM's website. If you have any questions or need help making a vaccination appointment, call HPSM:

  • Medi-Cal/Healthworx HMO/ACE: 650-616-2133 or 1-800-750-4776 (toll free)                   
  • CareAdvantage: 650-616-2174 or 1-866-880-0606 (toll free)                                                                   
  • TTY: 1-800-735-2929 or dial 7-1-1

Can I get transportation to my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

HPSM Medi-Cal and CareAdvantage members can get a ride to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment at no cost.

How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine do I need? 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot. However, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each require two doses. The first helps the immune system recognize the virus. The second builds your immune response. You need both to get the best protection. 

When should I get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine? 

The timing between your first and second vaccine depends on which vaccine you received: 

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: get doses at least three weeks (21 days) apart
  • Moderna: get doses at least four weeks (28 days) apart

Where do I go to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Call the provider who gave you your first COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

Can the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. have the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects? 

You may have side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The side effects should go away within a few days. Common side effects are pain or swelling on the arm where you get the vaccine. You may also get a fever, chills, tiredness or headache. If you have any question or concerns, call your PCP or HPSM’s Nurse Advice Line

Can my child get vaccinated for COVID-19? 

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people who are 16 years or older. The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for 12 to 15 year-olds very soon. 

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or nursing?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that women who are pregnant or nursing can get vaccinated. If you are in a group that is eligible for vaccination, you may choose to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine has not been studied in pregnant and nursing women. However, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to pregnant women or breastfed infants. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, call your PCP or HPSM’s Nurse Advice Line

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have a underlying health issue? 

People with underlying health issues can get the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not had a severe or immediate allergic response to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. It is especially vital that people with certain underlying health issues (such as heart disease or diabetes) get the COVID-19 vaccine. That is because they are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, call your PCP or HPSM’s Nurse Advice Line.

If I have had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated? 

Yes. The CDC advises you get vaccinated since it is possible to get COVID-19 more than once. Also, COVID-19 can cause severe illness. 

After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask?

People who get vaccinated should continue following all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19. That means when you are around people outside of your household: 

  • Wear a mask
  • Stay at least six feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or hand sanitizer