COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Patients
Who should get the vaccine?
CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older, who is eligible, should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the virus. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. (See below for additional information regarding vaccines for children and teens ages 6 months – 17 years.)
Vaccine appointments are available at locations throughout San Diego County for those needing their primary series. Individuals without access to a computer or someone to assist them can call the California Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255. Operators are available who speak English and Spanish, and can access a third-party translator for more than 250 additional languages.
Children (ages 6 months - 11 years)
How can I schedule my child/children for the COVID vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for children ages 6 months – 11 years in the MyScripps patient portal. Vaccines are by appointment only. You can also visit http://www.vaccines.gov to find alternative locations offering COVID-19 pediatric vaccines.
Scripps is only offering the Moderna vaccine for patients ages 6 months – 4 years. For this age group, the Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series (versus three doses) and has a higher rate of effectiveness.
If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to sign up for a MyScripps proxy account if you are the parent or guardian of a minor. This will allow you to schedule a vaccine appointment for your child. Log in to your MyScripps account, go to request access to a minor and submit a form for each child you’d like access to. You may also set up proxy access in person at any Scripps facility.
What type of vaccine will my child receive?
Children get an appropriately smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than do teens and adults. These doses are delivered by smaller needles and stored in smaller vials.
Scripps is only offering the Moderna vaccine to patients ages 6 months - 4 years. For this age group, the Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series (versus three doses) and has a higher efficacy rate.
Visit the CDC website for specific details about the COVID-19 primary vaccination series for children and teens.
Will the pediatric vaccines take place in my doctor’s office or a vaccine clinic?
Pediatric COVID vaccines clinics take place at various Scripps locations throughout San Diego County. Appointments are required and may be booked through the MyScripps patient portal.
Patients are requested to stay for 15 minutes after the vaccine dose is given to monitor for any adverse reactions. Clinicians will be on site at each vaccine clinic to respond to patients’ needs.
Pediatric COVID vaccines are not administered in individual physician offices at this time. For specifics on availability and locations, visit MyScripps.
How many doses of the vaccine does my child need?
The number of doses and the type of vaccine vary based on age. Visit the CDC website for specific details about the COVID-19 primary vaccination series for children and teens.
What if my child is moderately or severely immunocompromised?
For information on an additional primary dose for children who have a weakened immune system, visit COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised.
What about boosters for children and teens?
See the section on “Booster/additional doses for patients” below for information about boosters for children and teens.
Can I get my child a second dose at Scripps if they got their first dose elsewhere?
Yes. Please bring proof of their first vaccine.
Do children have to be an active patient at Scripps and/or have an active primary care physician or pediatrician in order to schedule a vaccine appt via MyScripps?
They do not have to be active or have a primary care physician or pediatrician, but they must have a chart at Scripps and their parent/caregiver needs to have proxy access to their MyScripps account.
Booster/additional doses for patients
Who should receive a booster dose?
Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They are recommended for most people.
Use the CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to determine when or if you (or your child) can get one or more COVID-19 boosters.
Can I schedule a COVID-19 booster?
Booster clinics are also offered at select Scripps HealthExpress locations throughout San Diego County. An appointment is required to receive a booster dose.
To schedule an appointment, go to the MyScripps “Schedule an Appointment” menu option, select “COVID-19 Vaccination” and follow the prompts – to view all available appointment slots be sure to select “All Locations” and “All Providers.” Learn how to set up a MyScripps account if you don’t have one already. Booster doses can also be scheduled at alternative locations through vaccines.gov.
What type of booster does Scripps offer?
Per the CDC's recommendations, Scripps offers a bivalent booster for patients 5-11 years of age. Boosters for children ages 6 months to 5 years are not yet available at Scripps.
Scripps offers bivalent vaccine boosters for patients 12 years of age and older, which combine the companies’ original vaccine with one that specifically targets the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Pfizer's updated vaccine is a 30-microgram dose authorized for people 12 and older. Moderna's is a 50-microgram dose authorized for those 18 and older.
These updated bivalent shots are only approved for use as a booster, not for someone’s primary series of vaccinations. Scripps no longer administers the previously approved monovalent COVID vaccines for individuals ages 12 and older. If you need the primary series of the monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, visit vaccines.gov to schedule an appointment near you.
Digital vaccine record
How can I get a digital COVID-19 vaccine record?
Your digital COVID-19 vaccine record is an electronic vaccination record available in your MyScripps patient portal. The information in your digital vaccine record is the same information from your paper vaccine card, including name, date of birth, vaccine date(s) and the type of vaccine received. The digital record also includes a QR code that, when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader, will display to the reader your complete vaccine record for COVID-19.
Patients who received their vaccine at a Scripps facility can generate a digital record QR code through MyScripps. Vaccines administered at other locations, including the Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station, may not be available in MyScripps. If you did not receive your vaccine at a Scripps location and don’t see it in MyScripps, you can generate a QR code through the State of California.
How can I update my medical record?
If you received one or both of your COVID-19 vaccine doses outside of a Scripps Health facility (including the Del Mar Fairgrounds), we may have already received vaccine records from other vaccination locations in California and automatically updated your medical records. If not, you can update your COVID vaccine history through your MyScripps account once you have received both doses. Log into MyScripps and go to My Record > COVID-19. From there you can click to pull in your vaccine history from outside of Scripps, or upload an image of your vaccine card.
Safety and effectiveness
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective.
It is important to know that COVID-19 vaccination can’t cause COVID-19. The goal of the vaccines is to teach our immune systems how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website.
Why get vaccinated if there are still breakthrough cases?
There have been “breakthrough” COVID cases among the vaccinated population. But, the majority of hospitalizations and ICU cases are non-vaccinated patients. There are also very few COVID cases among the vaccinated that result in death, so vaccines continue to offer significant protection.
How does the vaccine work?
COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. So, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
Sometimes, after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
Will I test positive for COVID-19 if I get a vaccine?
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.
Is the vaccine safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby.
Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing and the data suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
If I had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?
People are advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. This is due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible.
If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC suggests getting vaccinated as soon as you are no longer acutely sick and out of isolation.
I recently got treatment for COVID. Can I still get the vaccine?
If you recently received an oral antiviral, monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19, the CDC has stated that there is no need to delay getting your vaccine.
If I have had the flu shot, shingles or another vaccine, can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you can receive the COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines without regard to timing.
I take an anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication, can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you are on an anticoagulant medication, you can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine. When you receive the vaccine, please let staff know so that you can receive a little extra monitoring.
Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines contain egg or preservatives?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by the FDA contains egg, preservatives (thimerosal or other mercury preservatives) or latex.
I’ve had an allergy to a previous vaccine. Can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Maybe. Consult with your physician to determine if it is appropriate or if you need a referral.
How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
The federal government will cover the cost of the vaccine itself. Your insurance may be billed for the cost to administer the vaccine to you. However, there is no out-of-pocket cost to you.