Last update: 2021-07-29
The County of San Diego is currently vaccinating individuals 12 and older. Individuals between age 12 and 18 may receive the Pfizer vaccine only. You do not need to contact your doctor before your appointment unless you have a specific medical question.
How to get your COVID-19 vaccine.
1. Schedule an appointment at a county vaccination site through MyTurn or call 2-1-1 for help scheduling.
2. Walk in to any no-appointment San Diego County vaccine location.
3. Walk in to one of the Sharp locations offering vaccinations:
- Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
752 Medical Center Court, Suite 105
Chula Vista, CA 91911
Monday through Friday: 10 am to 2 pm
- Sharp Coronado Community Pharmacy
230 Prospect Place, Suite 110
Coronado, CA 92118
Monday through Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Sharp Grossmont Hospital Care Clinic
8851 Center Drive, Suite 600
La Mesa, CA 91942
Monday through Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
4. Make an appointment at a participating pharmacy:
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
Getting the vaccine.
- Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Which COVID-19 vaccines is Sharp offering?
- How much will the vaccine cost?
- How do I schedule my second dose?
Who should get the vaccine.
- Why should I get the vaccine?
- Should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
- Do I still need the vaccine if I had a positive antibody test?
- Can I get the shot if I'm sick?
- Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to have a baby?
- Can I get the vaccine if I am immunosuppressed?
- Why should my child be vaccinated?
- Which vaccine will my child receive?
- What happens if someone younger than 12 shows up for a vaccine appointment?
- Does a parent or legal guardian need to be present with a minor?
- Is the vaccine safe?
- Is the vaccine safe for children?
- Is the dose for kids ages 12 to 15 the same dose given to adults?
- Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
- Will getting the vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19?
- What's in the vaccine?
- What is the difference among the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines?
- Are there side effects?
- What should I do if I have a reaction to the vaccine?
- What should I do if I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
- Can the vaccine affect fertility or my teens' menstrual cycles?
How the vaccine works.
- How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
- Is the vaccine effective?
- How were the vaccines developed so fast?
- What is the difference between an EUA and full FDA approval for a vaccine?
Other vaccine-related questions.
- How will the COVID-19 vaccination record be added to my medical record?
- How do I replace my lost vaccination card?
- I am fully vaccinated for COVID-19. What am I able to do now?
- Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines?
- I need to get a TB test. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine before or after?
- How long will immunity last after I am vaccinated?
- When can younger children be vaccinated?
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The County of San Diego is currently vaccinating individuals 12 years and older. Individuals between age 12 and 18 may receive the Pfizer vaccine only. You do not need to contact your doctor before your appointment unless you have a specific medical question. We recommend making an appointment at a County of San Diego vaccination station.
Which COVID-19 vaccines is Sharp offering?
Sharp is providing Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Available type depends on supply, and we ask that you take the vaccine offered at your appointment. All three vaccines have shown to be highly effective against death and hospitalization due to COVID-19.
How much will the vaccine cost?
The federal government has paid for the cost of the vaccine doses. While your insurance may be billed for certain costs to give the shot to you, you will not have out-of-pocket costs associated with getting the vaccine.
How do I schedule my second dose?
Your second dose appointment should be scheduled if you made an appointment through MyTurn. This will be 3 weeks after your first dose for Pfizer and 4 weeks after your first dose for Moderna. If you received your first dose somewhere else, you can either schedule a Second Dose Only appointment through MyTurn or walk in to any of our vaccination clinics.
Why should I get the vaccine?
Experts believe that at least 70% of people need immunity to the virus before the pandemic will end.
The COVID-19 vaccines prevent disease and death. The vaccines also prevent the lasting effects of the disease and work well against variants, especially those that are more contagious and severe than earlier versions of the virus.
New research shows that antibodies from the vaccine offer better protection against variants than those acquired from an infection, so even people who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated.
Should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
Yes. Since repeat infection is possible, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 should get vaccinated. Once you have recovered and are no longer contagious to others (which is a minimum of 10 days after infection), you can be vaccinated. If you received monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days since these treatments may interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Do I still need the vaccine if I had a positive antibody test?
Yes. A positive antibody test indicates that you have already been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Since repeat infection is possible, people who have received a positive antibody test should get vaccinated.
Can I get the shot if I'm sick?
You should not get the shot if you are currently sick with COVID-19 or any other illness, or if you have had symptoms in the past 14 days. Wait until you are well.
Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to have a baby?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both state that pregnant or breastfeeding may be vaccinated, but please contact your provider if you have questions.
There is currently no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems, including the development of the placenta. Additionally, researchers have confirmed that sperm count and quality are not affected by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to have a baby in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I get the vaccine if I am immunosuppressed?
If you are immunosuppressed or currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, speak with your provider to determine whether you should receive the vaccine at this time.
Why should my child be vaccinated?
While only a small percentage of children have become seriously ill or died due to COVID-19 complications, it is not unheard of, and we can't be certain how having COVID-19 or potential new variants of the coronavirus might affect children in the future. What's more, children can spread the virus to others. Vaccinating a large percentage of children ages 12 to 15 will help us get closer to reaching herd immunity and protect those at high risk of serious illness.
Which vaccine will my child receive?
Children ages 12 to 17 will receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include this age group. The COVID-19 vaccines created by drugmakers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have not yet been approved for people under age 18.
What happens if someone younger than 12 shows up for a vaccine appointment?
The county is only vaccinating individuals 12 and older. You will need to present a valid ID at registration and will be turned away if you are not 12.
Does a parent or legal guardian need to be present with a minor?
A parent or legal guardian is required to sign a waiver for anyone under 18 at the first appointment. If a parent or legal guardian is unable to accompany a minor, they can give verbal consent over the phone or complete an electronic consent form at the time of the appointment. Adult supervision is required for both appointments.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. Typical vaccine trials include 21,750 participants on average. COVID-19 vaccine trials have included 30,000 to 60,000 participants. These clinical trials have shown both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines to be safe with no serious side effects.
The COVID-19 vaccines are not the first mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines have been developed for flu, rabies, CMV (cytomegalovirus) and Zika viruses.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
The vaccine is safe and effective. The CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and Pfizer report that the vaccine is extremely safe for individuals ages 12 and above. More than 153 million people have already received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and serious side effects are extremely rare. Additionally, the vaccine demonstrated "100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" during the U.S. Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial. Of the 2,260 adolescents who participated in the trial, no or only mild side effects after vaccination were reported.
Is the dose for kids ages 12 to 15 the same dose given to adults?
Children ages 12 to 15 will receive the same dose of the Pfizer vaccine that individuals age 16 and up receive. According to the FDA, the vaccine's 2 doses, administered 3 weeks apart, offer known and potential benefits in people age 12 and older, and these benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of contracting COVID-19.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not contain any virus. You cannot get COVID-19 from these vaccines.
Will getting the vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19?
The vaccine will not cause you to test positive on viral tests for COVID-19, such as PCR tests or antigen tests. If you receive a positive viral test for COVID-19 after receiving the shot, follow your health care provider's guidance for isolating and additional testing.
It is likely the vaccine will cause you to test positive for COVID-19 antibody tests (also called serology tests) because the vaccine helps build the antibodies these tests detect.
What's in the vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine does not contain preservatives. In addition to the vaccine, inactive ingredients include: lipid ALC-0159, lipid ALC-0315, potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride (table salt), sodium phosphate and sucrose (sugar). The lipid molecules protect and transport the vaccine. Other ingredients are stabilizers.
The Moderna vaccine does not contain preservatives. Inactive ingredients in the Moderna vaccine include lipids (SM-102; 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG]; cholesterol; and 1,2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), as well as stabilizers tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not contain eggs, preservatives or latex. It includes the following ingredients: recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride.
The inactive ingredients in these vaccines are commonly found in a variety of vaccines and treatments.
You should not get the vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Download these PDFs to learn more about the vaccine, its ingredients and side effects:
- Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers - Pfizer Vaccine
- Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers - Moderna Vaccine
- Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers - Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
What is the difference among the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines?
Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. They both use lipid molecules to move the vaccine into the cell, but each company uses different lipids. In part due to the lipid ingredient choice, the Pfizer vaccine requires a colder temperature for storage. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. It uses a modified version of a different, harmless virus to deliver instructions to cells to create antibodies. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose.
Are there side effects?
Most people getting the shot will experience side effects. Clinical trial participants reported mild or moderate side effects including fever, soreness at the injection site, body aches, and headaches. Symptoms like these are common when getting any vaccine. They indicate the body's immune system is preparing to work against the virus if needed. Trial participants reported the symptoms were generally more significant after the second shot but went away quickly. You may want to plan for a day or two of rest after getting your shots, if possible.
What should I do if I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
Adverse reactions to the vaccine have been very rare. If you received the vaccine within the last 3 to 4 weeks and develop any of the following symptoms, you should contact your health care provider and seek immediate medical treatment.
- Severe headache
- New neurologic symptoms
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Leg swelling
- Tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)
- New or easy bruising
What should I do if I have a reaction to the vaccine?
Side effects may include injection site pain similar to a tetanus shot. Some recipients have reported one or two days of fatigue, muscle pain and flu-like symptoms. Most people can manage side effects with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If you cannot manage the side effects with these medications, or you want to speak with a health care provider, we suggest that you contact your primary care physician. You can also schedule a virtual urgent care visit to speak with a doctor from the comfort of home.
Can the vaccine affect fertility or my teens' menstrual cycles?
There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that unfounded claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility have been scientifically disproven and recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people who may consider future pregnancy. While some vaccinated adults have reported changes in their period after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the information is only anecdotal and the changes have not been directly linked to vaccination.
How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA. The mRNA does not mix with or alter DNA because it never enters the cell nucleus, where the DNA is located. Instead, it works within the fluid of the cells, called cytoplasm.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works within the cell nucleus using a harmless adenovirus to teach our bodies to develop natural protection against the coronavirus. However, it cannot change DNA because a necessary enzyme, called integrase, is not present.
Once the vaccines help your body develop immunity, their components break down and are eliminated, leaving antibodies behind.
Is the vaccine effective?
Yes. Clinical trials of these two vaccines have shown them to be highly effective at preventing serious disease from COVID-19. Pfizer's vaccine was shown to be 95% effective and Moderna's vaccine was shown to be 94.5% effective.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, three or four weeks apart. Full effectiveness occurs about a week after the second dose.
How were the vaccines developed so fast?
Normally, vaccines go through a series of development phases one at a time due to the costs involved.
The government provided funding for COVID-19 vaccine development. This removed financial risk for vaccine companies, so they were able to develop, study and manufacture vaccines all at once rather than waiting for results before moving to the next step.
Steps were not skipped during the development of these vaccines, and they have undergone the same rigorous reviews for safety and effectiveness that every vaccine must pass.
What is the difference between an EUA and full FDA approval for a vaccine?
A vaccine developer can apply for EUA status with 2 months of safety data. Full approval requires 6 months of safety data. The FDA is encouraging companies that receive an EUA to apply for full approval as soon as possible.
How will the COVID-19 vaccination record be added to my medical record?
If you were vaccinated in a Sharp Rees-Stealy clinic, your medical record was updated at the time of your vaccination. Sharp is working with the San Diego Immunization Registry (SDIR) to import Sharp patient's vaccination records from the county vaccination sites.
How do I replace my lost vaccination card?
If you lost your COVID-19 vaccination card, you may request proof of vaccination through the San Diego Immunization Registry by filling out the SDIR form. For more information, please contact SDIR at 619-692-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a known issue with some users receiving denials through the state's digital record system after entering their name, birthdate, email or cell phone number connected to their vaccination records. SDIR is working with the County of San Diego to resolve the issue. We recommend trying again in a few days to access your digital record.
I am fully vaccinated for COVID-19. What am I able to do now?
According to the CDC, in non-health care settings, fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the U.S. for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the U.S.
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines?
You may receive the COVID-19 vaccines with other regularly scheduled vaccinations. If you receive multiple vaccines at the same time, they will be given in different arms.
I need to get a TB test. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine before or after?
Per CDC guidelines, you should wait at least four weeks after your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get a TB test. This ensures accurate testing.
How long will immunity last after I am vaccinated?
We don't know yet. A recent study found very good continued protection with the Pfizer vaccine after 120 days. Studies to measure the length of immunity are ongoing for all vaccines approved for emergency use.
When can younger children be vaccinated?
Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccine makers began vaccine trials in younger children that will eventually include babies as young as 6 months old. Some results from those trials are expected by the end of summer, and Pfizer states it hopes to receive authorization for vaccination of younger children by late 2021.