COVID-19 Vaccine

What You Need to Know


Last updated: 9/1/22 at 2:19 p.m.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccines are crucial tools in the fight against deadly infectious diseases. When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you, we strongly encourage that you receive it.

How to Schedule an Appointment

You can book your appointment via California’s statewide system, My Turn.

How to Access Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card
from Keck Medicine of USC

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COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 primary series vaccines for all people 6 months of age and older, as well as booster shots for eligible people 5 years of age and older.

Vaccine recommendations are based on several factors, including age, the type of vaccine initially received and time between doses. For the most up-to-date vaccine and booster recommendations from the CDC, click here.

The CDC also has specific COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations for people who are moderately to severely immunosuppressed. For this patient population, Keck Medicine recommends that patients speak with their specialist physician about all vaccine-related concerns.

Many local pharmacies offer booster doses. You can visit the My Turn website to find a location convenient for you. Additionally, Keck Medicine, in partnership with USC Pharmacies, is offering booster doses at our USC Medical Plaza Pharmacy.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Location and Hours

USC Medical Plaza Pharmacy

1510 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
No appointment needed; walk-ins accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

In clinical trials for vaccines produced by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, participants did not experience any life-threatening events that were attributed to the vaccine. A risk of a rare condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. TTS is a serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelet counts. This problem is rare, and most reports were in women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of any age, this problem is even more rare.

No. COVID-19 vaccines are part of the most intensive vaccine safety monitoring effort in U.S. history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of clinical trial participants in order to meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).

On Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in individuals age 16 and older. The vaccine now will be marketed as Comirnaty.

On Oct. 29, 2021, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age.

Over 346 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S. as of Aug. 2, 2021, since they were authorized for emergency use by FDA. The vaccines will continue to undergo safety monitoring that includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and multiple COVID-19 mutations are circulating around the world. Some variations appear to spread more easily or make it resistant to treatments or vaccines. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.

Experts don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. Keck Medicine will continue to monitor data as it becomes available.

Yes. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild and infectious for a shorter period. However, if you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others. People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated. As new COVID-19 variants begin to circulate, it continues to be important to follow state and local guidelines to minimize the spread. These guidelines can include masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 in case of exposure.

Keck Medicine continues to require that everyone wear masks while inside a Keck Medicine facility or near facility entrances to better protect our patients and employees.

All patients and visitors, regardless of COVID-19 positive or negative status, vaccine status, or previous COVID-19 positive status, are required to wear a mask at all times within our facilities and in our patient rooms. This mandate applies to clinic locations and inpatient units.

When a patient is admitted to one of our facilities, even after testing negative for COVID-19, we will require them to wear a
mask while clinical staff are present in their room.

However, state and local guidelines are constantly being updated to reflect the current infection rate in the community.

Fully vaccinated people also might choose to wear a mask regardless of the community infection rate, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.

You can book your appointment via California’s statewide system, My Turn.

Some physical side effects are normal after receiving the vaccine. People may experience inflammation at the injection site, fever, headaches, muscle pain and body aches. These symptoms are more frequent after the second dose. The symptoms typically resolve within 1-2 days. Learn more about vaccine side effects.

People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you should not get that vaccine. You can find the ingredients and more information on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

People with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications — such as allergies to food, pets, venom, environments or latex — may still get vaccinated.

People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have a milder allergy to vaccines (without anaphylaxis) — may also still get vaccinated.

Yes. The CDC strongly recommends that pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19, after new safety data showed that there is no increased risk of miscarriage among those who were immunized during the first 20 weeks of gestation. Previous studies showed it was safe to receive the vaccine later during pregnancy as well as it having no effect on fertility. Organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also encourage vaccination, saying pregnant people are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection, as well as at risk for complications that include preterm birth.

View more frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy.

Current evidence shows that people whose immune systems are compromised may be more at risk for severe COVID-19. The most recent COVID-19 vaccine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that people who are immunocompromised may receive the vaccine if they do not have any contraindications to vaccination. People who are immunocompromised should speak to their doctor about the risks and benefits of vaccination, including the potential for a decreased response to the vaccine.

While the most recent COVID-19 vaccine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not directly address people with cancer, they state that people who are immunocompromised (such as people undergoing cancer treatment) may receive the vaccine if they do not have any contraindications to vaccination. If you are receiving cancer treatment, you should review the risks and benefits of vaccination — including the potential for a decreased response to the COVID-19 vaccine — with your doctor.

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