We are following state and county guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination, including phases for vaccine distribution. The County of San Diego is currently vaccinating individuals in all tiers of Phase 1A and people 75 and older.
Latest update on Sharp's COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
We have begun vaccinations for Sharp Health Plan members and patients of Sharp Rees-Stealy, SharpCare and Sharp Community medical groups who are age 75 and older. The number of doses we can administer each week is based on the vaccine supply we receive from the County of San Diego.
We will send your vaccination invitation through FollowMyHealth®, text or phone call. Please keep our phone lines free for other medical needs.
County of San Diego vaccination appointments.
We are also administering vaccines at the County of San Diego's community clinics. Make your vaccination appointment.
Read more vaccine frequently asked questions.
Getting the vaccine
- When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Can I join a waitlist for the COVID-19 vaccine?
- How is Sharp notifying patients?
- Why should I get the vaccine?
- What is being done to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine?
- Which COVID-19 vaccines is Sharp offering?
- How much will the vaccine cost?
- Should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
- Can I get the shot if I'm sick?
- How long will immunity last after I am vaccinated?
- Will getting the vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19?
- Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Should I get the vaccine if I am immunosuppressed?
- What can I do while I wait for my vaccine?
- Once I get the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask or comply with other precautions?
- When will things get "back to normal"?
- Is the vaccine safe?
- Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
- What's in the vaccine?
- What is the difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?
- Are there side effects?
How the vaccine works
- How do the first 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?
When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We are following state and county guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination, including following phases for vaccine distribution. The County of San Diego is currently vaccinating individuals in all tiers of Phase 1A and people 75 and older.
We will begin vaccinations Jan. 22 for Sharp Health Plan members and patients of Sharp Rees-Stealy, SharpCare and Sharp Community medical groups who are age 75 and older. The number of doses we are able to administer each week is based on the vaccine supply we receive from the County of San Diego.
Patients will receive their vaccination invitation through FollowMyHealth®, text or phone call. Please keep our phone lines free for other medical needs. Timing for phases will depend on many factors including availability of vaccine. Additional phases will be defined at a later date.
Can I join a waitlist for the COVID-19 vaccine?
While we are unable to manage a waitlist, it is critically important for you to get the vaccine when it is your turn in order to help bring an end to the pandemic.
We are distributing the vaccine we receive to designated tiers as quickly and safely as possible. You can help by reserving our phone lines for medical needs and watching for information from your health care providers, who will let you know when the vaccine is available to you.
How is Sharp notifying patients?
Watch for communications from your health care providers, who will let you know when vaccine is available.
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 vaccine will prevent disease and death, and help people get back to work and school. It will also prevent the lasting effects of the disease, including long-term fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, chest pain, difficulty thinking and concentrating ("brain fog"), depression, muscle pain, headache and fever. People recovering from COVID-19 have also reported problems with their heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, teeth and nervous system.
What is being done to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine?
Equity considerations are being incorporated into each distribution phase. For example, it is especially important for underserved populations that health care workers be vaccinated early. Should health care delivery be impacted by widespread disease, these populations will be disproportionately affected.
Which COVID-19 vaccines is Sharp offering?
Sharp has received Pfizer's and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines and is currently providing it to high-risk health care workers and patients in long-term care facilities at Sharp. Sharp is awaiting notification from the State of California and County of San Diego about when we will receive additional vaccine.
How much will the vaccine cost?
It is anticipated that the federal government will cover the cost of the vaccine itself. However, your insurance may be billed for certain costs to give the shot to you, or you may need to pay those out of pocket. These details are still being determined.
Should I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
Yes. It is unknown how long immunity lasts after a person has had COVID-19. It is believed the vaccine provides immune protection that lasts longer, so even people who have tested positive for COVID-19 should get the shot.
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.
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 will monitor participants for two years to determine the length of immunity.
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.
Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both state you may be vaccinated, but please contact your provider if you have questions.
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.
What can I do while I wait for my vaccine?
Learn about the vaccines as they become available, and share information from trusted sources including the CDC and San Diego County health officials with others who may have questions or concerns. It is critically important that everyone get the vaccine when it is available in order to help bring the pandemic to an end.
Continue to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, keep your distance from those outside your household, and wash your hands frequently. Maintain your overall wellness with a healthy diet and exercise, and manage any chronic conditions you may have. Sharp offers virtual visits if you have a health concern that is not life-threatening. Visit sharp.com/getcare for more information. And of course, never put off care if you have symptoms that could indicate something serious.
Be sure to watch for updates from your health care providers as they will inform you about when the vaccine is available. Visit sharp.com/coronavirus for continued updates.
Once I get the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask or comply with other precautions?
Yes, you need to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands. It is possible that you may spread COVID-19 even after being vaccinated.
When will things get "back to normal"?
The process of manufacturing and distributing the vaccines will take many months.
It is also important to know that while the vaccine has been shown effective in preventing illness, it is unclear whether people who receive the vaccine can still transmit the virus to others. It is very important to continue the safety measures we have all come to know: watch your distance, wear a face covering and wash your hands.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
What is the difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?
Both 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, Pfizer's vaccine requires a colder temperature for storage.
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.
How do the first COVID-19 vaccines work?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work using messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA. The vaccines use this genetic material to make a small piece of the "spike protein" which the coronavirus uses to attach to cells. That primes the immune system to recognize the spike protein when it sees it again, so it can spring into action quickly and defend against the virus.
The mRNA does not stay in your body. It is temporary and does not mix into your genetic code.
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.
Last update: 2021-01-23