Coronavirus Vaccine | Keck Medicine of USC

Coronavirus Vaccine2021-02-26T16:50:38-08:00

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.

Vaccine Rollout at Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine is working diligently to coordinate the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to our patients, in adherence with supply availability and guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine supply remains limited — we ask for your patience as we work with county and state officials to secure supply and ensure everyone who is eligible can be vaccinated as soon as possible.

As of March 1, those eligible for vaccination include:

  • People 65 or older
  • People ages 16 to 64 who work in health care, education and childcare, emergency services or food and agriculture

You will be asked to provide proof of age or other eligibility. For employment-based eligibility status, please bring proof of employment, such as an ID badge or pay stub.

Once invited, appointments for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. You must have an appointment to receive a vaccination.

To reduce crowding on the day of your appointment, please arrive no more than 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. If you arrive more than 30 minutes before your appointment time, you will be asked to wait in your vehicle.

If you are eligible for vaccination, please call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) to schedule your appointment, while appointments are available.

COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall

Thursday, March 4 at 5 p.m.
Facebook Live: @KeckMedUSC
Join Keck Medicine of USC experts, Gregory L. Taylor II, MD, medical director of the Keck Signature Care program, and Felipe Osorno, executive administrator, continuum of care operations and value improvement, as they address concerns about COVID-19 vaccine safety, side effects, efficacy and more.
Submit Your Questions

Phased Distribution

Keck Medicine is following guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for phased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

While we strive to be your preferred provider, vaccinations are also available directly from LAC DPH. If you are a resident of Los Angeles County and are 65 and older, you can register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through LAC DPH online or by phone at (833) 540-0473.

  • Green circles indicate groups that have been and/or are eligible to get the vaccine
  • Red squares indicate groups that are currently not eligible to get the vaccine

Phase 1a

  • Health care workers
  • Skilled nursing facility health care workers and residents

  • EMTs and paramedics

  • Long-term care facility health care workers and residents

  • Special needs group living health care staff

  • Dialysis and infusion centers

  • Laboratory workers

  • Dental and oral health clinic health care workers

  • Pharmacy staff

  • COVID-19 testing staff

Phase 1b

we are here

  • People 65 years of age and older

  • Education and childcare

  • Emergency services

  • Food and agriculture

Phase 1c

  • People 50-64 years of age
  • People 16-64 years of age with high-risk medical conditions

  • Other essential workers

Phase 2

  • People 16-64 years of age without high-risk medical conditions

Explore the Full Distribution

CDC Recommendations
LAC DPH Recommendations

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. Keck Medicine will continue to monitor data as it becomes available.

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and multiple COVID-19 mutations are circulating around the world. New variants, such as those recently identified in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa, appear to spread more easily. Scientists are working to learn more about whether these mutations are changing the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yes. In clinical trials, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were highly effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19, but more studies need to be conducted to determine vaccine efficacy in real-world conditions.
Clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. show that they are highly effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. After getting vaccinated with the second dose, however, it can take a few weeks for the body to build maximum immunity to the coronavirus. While your body is building its defenses, it is possible to contract the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC recommends that you continue to follow safety measures, including wearing a mask, washing your hands and maintaining physical distance, after you have been vaccinated.
Keck Medicine is following the recommendations of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for phased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first group of people to receive the vaccine includes health care workers, first responders and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Distribution is currently underway and is prioritized for people with the greatest need.
The following groups should delay receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at this time:

  • Those allergic to specific ingredients in the vaccines (most notably polyethylene glycol)
  • Those who have had acute COVID-19 infection in the last 90 days
  • Those who received monoclonal antibody for COVID-19 in the last 90 days
  • Those who have received any other vaccination in the last 14 days

People who have had past anaphylactic reactions to vaccines or injection medications should talk with their primary care physician before receiving the vaccination. If they choose to receive it, they will be monitored for 30 minutes after receipt.

Keck Medicine is following recommendations from both the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are being rolled out in phases, beginning with groups of people who are at higher risk for COVID-19.

Currently, Keck Medicine is vaccinating health care workers and we have begun inviting our most vulnerable patients 65 or older to be vaccinated in a very restricted phased approach.

Because vaccine supply remains limited — we ask for your patience as we work with county and state officials to secure supply and ensure everyone who is eligible can be vaccinated as soon as possible. To help us coordinate vaccine distribution, we recommend that our patients enroll in our myUSCchart patient portal.

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.

At this time, we do not have data about children and this vaccine. Some of the vaccines are currently running trials for children, but we do not have the results of that data yet.

Some physical side effects are normal after receiving the vaccine. People may experience local site inflammation, fever, headaches, muscle pain and body aches. These symptoms are more frequent after the second dose. The symptoms typically resolve within 1-2 days.
To help us ensure that our eligible patients receive the latest information about vaccine distribution, we recommend enrolling in our myUSCchart patient portal.
Because vaccine supplies remain limited, we have begun inviting our most vulnerable patients 65 or older to be vaccinated in a very restricted phased approach. Once invited, appointments for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need more information, please call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).
A text message confirming your scheduled appointment(s) will be sent to your phone. You can also use the myUSCchart patient portal to view your future appointments and add them to your calendar.
No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA-based — essentially a code that tells the body to make protein that will generate an immune response. That protein alone is not the virus, so it won’t trigger a positive test result.
It’s important in some diseases, like COVID-19, to prime the body to get an optimal immune response. The first dose primes the immune system — prepares the body to respond appropriately to the next dose and form antibodies. That first dose helps ensure a robust immune response that will get coded into the memory cells in the body. These are the cells we will rely on when we see COVID-19 the next time around.
As of right now, we understand that the vaccine produces a robust immune response for at least 3 months; however, as time goes by, we will learn more.
No. Currently, Keck Medicine only offers the Pfizer vaccine.

Yes, people should still wear masks, even after receiving the vaccine. Until we learn more about the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue wearing a mask, washing hands often and staying at least 6 feet away from others.

In adherence with guidelines from the CDC, all people age 2 and older should wear a face mask while out in a public setting and/or among people who do not live in their household. When wearing a face mask, it should be close-fitted and cover your nose and mouth. Currently, the CDC recommends that N-95 respirators and other medical-grade masks be reserved for use by health care professionals. To learn more about face masks, click here.

According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines, such as those produced by Pfizer and Moderna, are unlikely to pose a risk to people who are pregnant or to a breastfeeding infant. mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and do not interact with genetic material DNA. Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you have concerns, talk to your primary care doctor to weigh the risks and benefits of the vaccine versus COVID-19 infection.

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.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no clear evidence that the vaccine causes Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes weakness or paralysis of facial muscles. If you have a history of Bell’s palsy, talk to your primary care doctor to discuss your options. Keck Medicine will continue to monitor data in this area.

Transplant recipients are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Talk to your primary care doctor or specialist to weigh the risks and benefits of the vaccine versus COVID-19 infection.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a cold-chain distribution system to transport and store them. Keck Medicine has developed these systems, including securing 6 specialty freezers for this purpose.

Employees will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at Keck Medicine locations. They will be able to make an appointment to receive both doses of the vaccine.

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