Vaccine FAQ

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State, County roll out new websites for up-to-date vaccine information

The State and County have new websites up to help with questions and updates about vaccine distribution. 

For information from El Dorado County, click here

Would you like to know if you're eligible for the vaccine or sign up for notifications when you are? Head to the State's new vaccine website.


Updated Vaccine Distribution FAQ from El Dorado County


If I am over 65 with no underlying health conditions what do I need to do to get vaccinated?

Please contact your primary care doctor first.

Until we receive additional vaccines from the State, we cannot schedule more appointments. We are currently booked through mid-February at both County Public Health offices and Safeway pharmacies. After that point, we plan to hold some 65+ only and 75+ only drive-thru clinics as we receive shipments from the State. Please check this website for information as it becomes available: 

When am I eligible to get a vaccine?

The chart that is listed on our Vaccine Clinic and Vaccine Information web pages provides eligibility information. 

I’m eligible, why can’t I make an appointment?

Being eligible does not equate to being able to make an appointment to get a shot; appointments become available only if we have received sufficient vaccine from the State.

There's no vaccine available so when should I get my second dose?

While you shouldn't get your second shot before 21 days after your first Pfizer dose or 28 days after your Moderna dose, the CDC now says you can wait up to 6 weeks between doses.

I’m a senior without internet and need help signing up for an appointment

If you have no internet access or don’t have access to a computer, please ask a trusted family member or friend for assistance first. If you still require assistance, the County is providing the following option for help to those 75 and older:

Dial (530) 295-4101 where you can leave a message with your contact information and staff will call you to walk you through the process. You will need your medical ID card information on hand.

I’m a senior with internet/a computer and need help signing up for an appointment

Each of the County’s six libraries has staff available to assist you with registering for an appointment to receive a vaccine. If no vaccine appointments are available, staff will still walk you through the process and instruct you on how to check for upcoming appointments. Office days and hours vary by location, so please consult this web page for Library location and hours of operation.

I signed up for a notification to get a vaccine; when will I get my shot?

The County briefly provided a service to be alerted to “surplus” vaccine. We suspended that service after more than 22,000 signed up. The State has only provided 19,875 vaccines in total to date, all of which are earmarked for appointments already done and those scheduled through mid-February. We are working our way through the list as appointments become available, depending on vaccines received from the State, and we are planning 65+ and 75+ drive-thru clinics in mid-February. Please check this website as that time approaches.

The State announced an upcoming service to register for both notifications of when you become eligible to receive a vaccine and when an appointment is available near you. It is in the pilot stage and we are awaiting details about when it will become available statewide.

The County has established a web page where you can sign up for an eligibility alert when your Phase/tier comes up, but it’s not the same as being able to make an appointment; that’s dependent on the State providing us with vaccine

General Information about the vaccine (Per El Dorado County)

El Dorado County is receiving 975 doses of the Pfizer brand vaccine on or about December 17, 2020, and 2200 doses of the Moderna brand vaccine on or about December 22, 2020. 

The state has prioritized vaccination rollout into phases; the first, phase 1A, is sub-prioritized into tiers: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Allocation-Guidelines-for-COVID-19-Vaccine-During-Phase-1A-Recommendations.aspx

Working with a multi-agency coordination group, the first allotment of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to El Dorado County has been allocated to frontline health care workers at both hospitals in the county (Marshall Medical in Placerville and Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe), Emergency Medical Services first responders, as well as long term care facility and correctional staff due to their congregate environments. 

Long term care facilities are participating in a federal program to receive vaccinations for their additional staff and residents that will follow shortly behind the county allocation and from a different supply and distribution chain.

More Frequently Asked Vaccine Questions

Q: What El Dorado County facilities are receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: The County is following State guidelines in developing its COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan. It is a phased and tiered approach.

Phase 1a includes people at risk of exposure through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings. As such, Barton Health and Marshall Medical will receive the first allocation of  Pfizer vaccine.  

The first tier within Phase 1a includes the following groups:

  • Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals
  • Also, in concordance with ACIP, residents in these settings
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers

We are solely focused on the first tier at this time.

 Q: When are they receiving their doses?

A: Barton will receive its allotment on approximately Dec. 17thor December 18th.  Marshall will receive its allotment on Sunday, December 20th, by courier.

Q: How many doses will each facility receive?

A: Barton will receive 510 doses; Marshall will receive 390.

Q: Who will be vaccinated first?

A: Phase 1a only includes health care workers and employees at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and similar long-term care settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals. The majority of our County's skilled nursing and long-term care facilities are under a federal program to receive doses. See information about this program here.

Q: When will fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel be vaccinated?

A: They will receive the Moderna vaccine, tentatively scheduled for the week of December 21st.

Q: When will our Community Health Center workers be vaccinated?

A: They will receive the Moderna vaccine, tentatively scheduled for the week of December 21st?

Q: When will Phase 1a be completed?

A: It is hard to predict, but we are hopeful that everyone in Phase 1a by the end of January 2021.

Q: When will vaccines be available for essential workers, teachers, and the general public?

A: It is hard to predict when these categories of people will receive the vaccine, but we are hopeful all El Dorado County residents who wish to be vaccinated will have the opportunity by Spring 2021.

Q: Will I still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

A: Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, staying at least six feet away from others, and not gathering with people you don't live with.  Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC's recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. We need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before we change recommendations on mask use.

Q: How many vaccine doses are needed to be fully effective?

A: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be fully effective. The manufactured doses should not be interchanged, i.e., if your first dose is from Pfizer, the second needs to be from Pfizer. The second dose should be administered three weeks after the first dose.

Q: Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

A: Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, however, flu vaccination has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care and public health resources. Coinfection has been shown to dramatically increase the mortality rate by up to 43%.

Q: What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Among the 36,000+ people who have received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine through phase 3 clinical trials (Pfizer and Moderna), no serious safety concerns have been reported. Some participants reported transient side effects including sore arm, fever, muscle pain, and fatigue that resolved in 24 hours. Older adults reported fewer and milder side effects. In a small percentage of cases, these side effects were severe — defined as preventing daily activities. 

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

A: None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms that are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity, including fever. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

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.

Q: If I've recovered from COVID-19, do I still need to get a vaccine?

A: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. We won't know how long immunity produced by a vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

For more information:

State of California- covid19.ca.gov

El Dorado County- https://www.edcgov.us/Government/hhsa/Pages/EDCCOVID-19.aspx