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Vaccine

COVID-19 Hub

To schedule a vaccine appointment, call the AltaMed Vaccine Hotline: (888) 909-5232

If you have mild COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed, isolate at home and take over-the-counter cough/cold medication. Go to urgent care only if you have shortness of breath.

AltaMed patients with a MyAltaMed account can schedule an appointment through MyAltaMed. If you do not have an account, sign up today.

Latest News

The CDC has approved booster shots for children ages 5-11 who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine. Booster shots will be available 5 months after the primary vaccine series has been completed.

Learn More

 

Prevention & Vaccines


Available Vaccines

Available Vaccines

There are three available COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about which one is right for you.

After The Vaccine

After the Vaccine

After getting vaccinated, it’s normal to experience side effects. See what you should expect after each dose.

Booster Shots

Booster Shots & Third Doses

If you’re fully vaccinated, booster shots and third doses are recommended for extra protection. Here’s what to know.

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity and learning how to fight the vaccine. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Vaccines won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody-testing results.

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, people are advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others get severely ill and many even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, or are asymptomatic, meaning you have no symptoms, you can spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.

Common Vaccine Questions

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, people are advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster when eligible even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Yes. Vaccinated people could still carry and spread the virus therefore should continue to wear masks, practice frequent hand washing, and socially distance until a majority of the population is vaccinated.

Booster shots are available to any non-immunocompromised individual who is fully vaccinated (having already received two doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Second booster shots are available to individuals 50 years of age and older, or immunocompromised individuals 12 years of age and older.

1st Booster shot requirements:

  • You must have had the first two doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine

  • You must be 5 years and over if you received the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine

  • You must be 18 years and over if you received the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine

  • You must be 18 and older and wait at least two months if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

2nd booster shot requirements:

  • You must be 50 years of age and older, and wait at least four months after your first booster shot

  • You must be immunocompromised, 12 years of age and older, and wait at least four months after your first booster shot

Third doses are available to immunocompromised individuals who completed the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine series. The third dose is to help people get the same level of protection (or immunity) as people who are not immunocompromised. After you get the third dose, you can get a booster when you are eligible.

Third dose requirements:

  • You must have had the first two doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine

  • It has been 28 days since your last COVID-19 vaccine

  • You have one of the following conditions:

    • History of solid organ transplant

    • History of bone marrow or stem cell transplant

    • Current cancer or on chemotherapy

    • Untreated or uncontrolled HIV

    • Chronic steroid use for one month or more

    • Use of immune modulating therapies such as Rituximab

    • Kidney disease requiring dialysis

    • Presence of cirrhosis

    • Inherited or acquired immune deficiency syndromes (AIDS)

Click here for answers to other common vaccine questions.

Testing


Testing With AltaMed

Testing with AltaMed

Need to get tested? See how AltaMed makes it easy with clinics in your neighborhood.

Testing and Vaccine Requirements for Children

Testing and Vaccine Requirements for Children

School districts may require testing and/or vaccinations for your child. Learn how to make an appointment.

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Positive Tests and Exposure

Positive Tests and Exposure

If you or a family member tests positive for COVID-19, it is essential to follow the latest health and safety guidelines. Go to urgent care immediately if you experience shortness of breath.

What to Do

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate for at least 5 days, regardless of vaccination status. However, depending on your symptoms, isolation requirements may extend further.

Isolation requirements:

If you test positive for COVID-19 but you never develop symptoms, you must stay home until:

  • At least 5 days have passed from the day your initial positive test was taken and
    You have a negative viral COVID-19 test (preferably an antigen test) collected on day 5 or later

-OR-

  • You must stay home for 10 days after your initial positive test was taken. Do not retest at day 10. Day 0 is the day your positive test was taken. Day 1 is the first full day after your positive test was taken.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have developed symptoms, you must stay home until:

  • At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms first started and
    You have a negative viral COVID-19 test (antigen test) collected on day 5 or later and
    You have not had a fever for least 24 hours and
    Your symptoms are improving

-OR-

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first started (do not retest at day 10) and
    You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours and
    Your symptoms are improving

Click here for complete isolation instructions.

Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. If you still test positive on day 5 follow the 10-day duration recommendations above and don’t retest.

Regardless of when your isolation or quarantine ends, those with COVID-19 infection or exposure need to wear medical grade masks indoors and outdoors until 10 days have passed since initial infection or last exposure.

Per the Los Angeles County Health Officer, Quarantine procedures remain in affect for people who were exposed to COVID-19 and live or work in high-risk settings such as health care facilities, long-term care facilities, emergency shelters, prisons or jails, homeless shelters, or cooling and heating centers.

Quarantine requirements:

  • If you are a resident of a high-risk setting and a close contact of someone that tests positive for COVID-19 and who is not fully-vaccinated, AND you have not been infected with COVID-19 within the last 90 days:

    • Quarantine for at least 5 days after your last exposure. If you do not display symptoms and test negative on or after Day 5, you may end quarantine. If you are not able to test, end quarantine after Day 10.

    • Monitor your health for at least 10 continuous days.

    • Wear a mask when around others for 10 days after last contact with the person who test positive for COVID-19.

  • If you are an employee at a high-risk setting and a close contact of someone that tests positive for COVID-19 and are not fully-vaccinated, AND you have not been infected with COVID-19 within the last 90 days:

    • Avoid physically attending your place of work for at least 5 days after your last exposure. If you do not display symptoms and test negative on or after Day 5, you may return to work. If you are not able to test, return to work after Day 10.

    • Monitor you health for at least 10 continuous days. If any symptoms develop, get tested as soon as possible.

    • Wear a mask when around others for 10 days after last contact with the person who test positive for COVID-19. Get tested as soon as possible.

Click here for complete quarantine instructions.

You were exposed to someone who tested positive* for COVID-19 while they were infectious if:

  • You shared with same indoor airspace (house, waiting room, etc.) for a cumulative total of 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period while they were infectious.

    You had unprotected contact with body fluids and/or secretions from someone with COVID-19. For example, you were coughed or sneezed on, you shared a drinking cup or eating utensils, you kissed, or you provided care to them without wearing the right protective equipment.

If you were exposed:

  • Test

    • You should test immediately. If your test is negative, you should test again on day 5 after your last exposure.

    • If either test is positive, you must isolate immediately. Follow the instructions at ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation.

    • Regardless of vaccinated status, family members that are close contact should be tested immediately following knowledge of exposure and on day 3-5 after exposure.

  • Monitor your health

    • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 continuous days after your last exposure.

    • If you develop symptoms, you must isolate and test immediately.

    • If your test is positive, continue to isolate. Follow the instructions at ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation. Your isolation period begins the day that your symptoms start.

    • If your test is negative, you can leave home once you have completed your quarantine period and you have been fever-free for 24 hours.

  • Wear a mask

    • Wear a well-fitting mask while around others, indoors and outdoors for 10 days after your last exposure.

    • Adults should wear a well-fitting, medical grade mask (surgical or respirator).

    • Children should wear a well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.

Additional instructions and resources can be found here.

Regardless of when your isolation or quarantine ends, those with COVID-19 infection or exposure need to wear medical grade masks indoors and outdoors until 10 days have passed since initial infection or last exposure.

If you have mild COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed, isolate at home and take over-the-counter cough/cold medication. Go to urgent care only if you have shortness of breath.

Caring for Children

Follow schools’ recommendations regarding requirements for testing and return to work requirements.

In general, children that are unvaccinated that are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 10-14 days.

They should be tested immediately following knowledge of exposure and tested again on day 3-5 after exposure. Parents of exposed children do not need to quarantine unless the child becomes positive.

Vaccinated children do not need to quarantine but should be tested immediately following knowledge of exposure and tested again on day 3-5. Vaccinated children do not need to quarantine or isolate unless they become positive.

Follow schools’ recommendations regarding requirements for testing and return to work requirements. In general, children that are unvaccinated that are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 10-14 days. They should be tested immediately following knowledge of exposure and tested again on day 3-5 after exposure. Parents of exposed children do not need to quarantine unless the child becomes positive.

Vaccinated children do not need to quarantine but should be tested immediately following knowledge of exposure and tested again on day 3-5. Vaccinated children do not need to quarantine or isolate unless they become positive.

Yes, the CDC and American College of Gynecology has strongly recommended COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, after delivery and while breastfeeding. There is overwhelming data supporting that COVID-19 is extremely safe and improves outcomes in pregnant/post-partum women and the babies they are carrying.

Other Questions

Everyone should continue to follow local and state rules and regulations. In addition, everyone should comply with the practices of businesses that continue to require masks. This is particularly important in indoor settings where vaccinated and unvaccinated people may interact. 

Masks are required at all times by everyone visiting an AltaMed facility, even those who have been fully vaccinated.

If you are fully vaccinated — which means two weeks have passed since your second dose of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine or since your one dose of the Johnson Johnson vaccine — you have a low risk of contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to others. You can resume normal activities without wearing a mask, with some notable exceptions. For example, fully vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks in health care settings, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, public transportation, and airplanes. Additionally, vaccinated people should continue to follow local and state regulations, including individual business (such as retail stores and restaurants) and workplace requirements, which may differ from CDC guidance depending on local scenarios and transmission rates. LA County recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask indoors, especially in crowded settings.

While COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, no vaccine provides 100% immunity. Even with new and evolving guidance, fully vaccinated individuals may make the personal decision to continue to wear a mask based on their own risk assessment and preference. Those with certain medical conditions such as immunosuppression should consult their physicians regarding the continuation of maskwearing and other protective measures.

Continue to wear a mask and maintain social distance, particularly when indoors or in crowded outdoor settings. To protect your friends, family, and community, unvaccinated people age 2 and older should wear a well-fitted mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household. Unvaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors if they practice social distancing or when they are at small outdoor gatherings where all other guests are fully vaccinated. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks have passed since your second dose of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine or since your one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Visit the CDC website to learn more about these new variants.

It is normal for a virus to mutate and change over time. Sometimes these new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and stay. New variants and strains of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. So far, studies suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective in protecting you from these new variants. Scientists and doctors continue to study the effects. Continue physical distancing, wearing masks, practicing hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantining when exposed to COVID-19, is essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. The symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, or an abnormal heartbeat (fast, fluttering, or pounding). There have been some cases of males 16 and older getting myocarditis and pericarditis after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Most patients who received care quickly felt better.

The CDC still recommends the COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 years of age and older. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. The CDC now recommends increasing the time interval between doses 1 and 2 for mRNA vaccines especially for males 12-39 years old as it may decrease the small risk of myocarditis and pericarditis.

Guillain Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder that damages nerve cells and causes muscle weakness in some people who have received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Out of the 12.8 million people who have received the Janssen vaccine, there have only been 100 people suspected of getting Guillian Barry Syndrome.

Resources


Covid 19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Find additional information about COVID-19 for people who are pregnant, sexually active, or living with HIV.

Vaccine Resources

Vaccine Resources

Learn more about the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax), and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Covid 19 Omicron Variant

COVID-19 Omicron Variant

Omicron has become the dominant variant of COVID-19. Here’s what experts are saying.

Stay Healthy

For ideas and tips on how to eat, work, and play healthy during this time, visit our Health and Wellness articles.

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