Vaccine | Altamed

Hand in blue medical gloves holding small vial with label that says covid 19 vaccine faq

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.

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

More information on mask guidance. 

COVID-19 Testing at AltaMed

COVID-19 PCR testing is available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following locations:

AltaMed Medical and Dental Group – Anaheim
1325 N Anaheim Blvd #200
Anaheim, CA 92801

AltaMed Medical and Dental Group - South Gate
8627 Atlantic Ave.
South Gate, CA 90280

There is no cost to you and appointments are not required. Results delivered in 24 to 72 hours.

If you have insurance, you will be asked to provide ID, insurance information (Including AltaMed insurance) and an email address so that we can provide your results.

Patients without insurance will still be tested.

At-home tests may be used as proof of a negative test to return to work or school after observing the required isolation and quarantine guidance from the California Department of Health. Please note, results from the rapid at-home test cannot be used as proof of a negative test for international travel.

Make sure to place an order for your free at home COVID-19 test today. Visit to learn more or call us at (855) 970-0709.

Vaccine and Testing Requirements for Children

There has been an increase demand in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations now that children age five and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Patients may call (888) 909-5232 for an appointment to receive the vaccine at no-cost to you. Save time on the phone by registering or logging into your child's MyAltaMed account to schedule an appointment.

If your child needs a COVID-19 test, please refer to your school district’s website or resources to learn about their testing policies, times, and locations.

Los Angeles Unified School District
Long Beach Unified School District
Pasadena Unified School District

The Vaccine is Safe and Effective

In order to keep you and your family safe from getting COVID-19,  AltaMed recommends taking the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you. Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for many people, it can cause severe illness or death. 

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has worked closely with the pharmaceutical companies to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective for protecting adults.  

To help you make an informed decision, you can review the FDA fact sheet for caregivers and recipients for each vaccine:

For eligibility information and a comparison of all three vaccination options, click here.

After the Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. However, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.

What to Expect After the COVID-19 Vaccine

Sign up for V-Safe, the CDC after vaccination health checker. Use your smartphone to let the CDC know about any side effects you have after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll also get a reminder if you need a second vaccine dose. 

Get Started with V-Safe

Continue to practice physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Limit group gatherings, and restrict non-essential travel to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. Learn more about best practices and how to stay safe even after you receive your vaccine.

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Everyone with COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days. How long you have to isolate depends on whether you have symptoms and if you get a negative follow-up viral test on day five or later. If you test on day five or later, it is better to use an antigen test because NAAT/PCR tests can stay positive even after you are no longer infectious.

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 symptoms and test positive for COVID-19 or if your doctor thinks you have COVID-19, 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 at least 24 hours and

  • Your symptoms are improving


You must stay home until:

  • 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

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.

Note: If you have a condition that severely weakens your immune system or were severely ill in the hospital, isolate for a minimum of 20 days.

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 (antigen) test collected on day 5 or later


  • 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.

What if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

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

  • You were within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  • 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.

YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO QUARANTINE if you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and you have been boosted (if eligible). You must still follow the steps below.

  • Quarantine

    • Stay home and away from others, if you are under-vaccinated and un-boosted

    • You can end quarantine after day 5 if you have no symptoms and you have a negative diagnostic test that was collected on day 5 or later.

    • If you do not test, you can end quarantine on day 10 as long as you do not have symptoms.

  • 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

  • Monitor your health

    • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 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 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.
      See for more information

Should my children get vaccinated for COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and older.

Although COVID-19 in children is sometimes milder than in adults, some kids infected with the coronavirus can get severe lung infections, become very sick, and require hospitalization. Other children can get long lasting symptoms, called Long COVID, which may mean they might feel tired, have trouble concentrating, get headaches, or have trouble breathing when playing. Getting the vaccine can protect your child and help stop the virus from spreading to others, including grandparents who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Currently, Pfizer’s vaccine is the only approved COVID-19 vaccine for children. We encourage all families with eligible children to get them vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Who should get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The FDA has authorized a booster shot of all the current COVID-19 vaccines for some people who are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is defined as someone who has already received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

If you originally got the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine, you are eligible for a booster shot if:

  • It has been at least six months or more after completing your initial series
  • You are 18 years or older

If you originally got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are eligible for a booster shot if:

  • It has been at least two months or more after receiving your vaccine
  • You are 18 years or older

What is the difference between a third dose and a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are immunocompromised, you need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 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 if eligible.

If you are not immunocompromised, you can get a booster shot. For the Moderna vaccine, a booster shot is different dosage than a third dose.

Why do we need a third dose or booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are fully vaccinated, you are still protected from COVID-19. A third dose or booster shot helps you stay protected. Many common vaccines have booster shots. For example, a tetanus booster shot is recommended every 10 years.

The two-dose shots by Pfizer and Moderna, as well as the one-dose shot by Johnson & Johnson, offer very strong protection against serious illness and death. Researchers and health officials are monitoring COVID-19 vaccines to see how long the protection lasts among people who are vaccinated. Antibodies — one of the immune system’s layers of defense against COVID-19 — may decrease over time. This does not mean that the protection disappears, but it can mean that the protection is not as strong or that the body may take longer to fight off the infection. This is why it is important to get your booster shot.

Does the booster shot need to be of the same brand as the prior complete series?

No. As of October 21, 2021, the FDA has approved booster-eligible people to “mix and match.” This means that individuals are allowed to choose their preferred option for their booster vaccine, regardless of the brand of their original complete series. So even though the first and second shot for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must match, the booster shot can be any of the three vaccines.

How easily does Omicron spread?

The Omicron variant is highly contagious and spreads more easily than the original virus that causes COVID-19. Omicron is also more contagious than the Delta variant and is rapidly becoming the predominant variant in the US. People with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they’re vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

Will Omicron cause severe disease?

Omicron infections can cause severe disease and death similarly compared to infections by the Delta variant among those who are unvaccinated. It is important to remember that any coronavirus infection can be life threatening especially in people with underlying medical conditions. The best way to prevent the spread of this new variant or any other variant is to get vaccinated, get a booster shot if you are eligible, and follow the health department hygiene guidelines including mask usage indoors.

Do current COVID-19 tests detect the Omicron variant?

Currently available PCR and antigen tests should detect this variant.

Are the vaccines effective against this variant?

Studies are underway to answer this question. Some breakthrough infections could occur in fully vaccinated people. According to the CDC, current vaccines and booster shots can protect someone against severe disease, hospitalizations, and death if infected with the Omicron variant.

Is it safe to get other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. The CDC states that additional vaccines (including childhood immunizations and the flu vaccines) may be given the same day or within 14 days of the COVID-19 vaccine.

How do I report if I have a problem or bad reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects these data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns of occurrence.

Learn about the difference between a vaccine side effect and an adverse event. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority. Health care providers will be required to report certain adverse events following vaccination to VAERS. Health care providers also have to adhere to any revised safety reporting requirements according to FDA’s conditions of authorized use throughout the duration of any Emergency Use Authorization; these requirements would be posted on the FDA’s website.

CDC is also implementing a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When you receive your vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will receive regular text messages directing you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Are vaccines safe during pregnancy and during peripartum period, while still breastfeeding child?

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.

What if my child becomes positive for COVID-19?

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

Children that become positive for COVID-19 need to isolate at home until 10 days have elapsed from the start of symptoms or their positive test AND they need to be fever free for 24 hours without meds AND have symptoms improved. Children do not need a test of cure.

Any family members in close contact (less than six feet for 15 minutes or more AND 48 hours before or during the time of symptoms or positive test) to a COVID-19 positive person will need to quarantine for 10-14 days unless they are fully vaccinated. 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.

Will a high-dose flu vaccine be available this year and when will it be available?

The high dose flu vaccine should be offered to people 65 and older. The high dose flu vaccine will be delivered along with the regular flu vaccine at the beginning of September and can be offered right away to our seniors.

Stay Healthy

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

Grow Healthy With AltaMed

We want to be there for you and your family in good times and days like these when you may need a little extra support.

Let our team of bilingual enrollment specialists help you explore options that work best for you and your family, including low- or no-cost health insurance programs.

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