Vaccine Distribution – Key Facts
Sonoma County’s role in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines is logistics and outreach: making sure vaccines are distributed equitably and efficiently to where they are most needed now that there is plenty of vaccine supply and less demand. Hospitals, health care systems, community clinics, pharmacies and community groups are administering vaccines in compliance with federal, state and county requirements. The County of Sonoma has submitted plans (PDF) to the California Department of Public Health with local vaccine distribution plans.
Now that there are three authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are things you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccination program and COVID-19 vaccines.
- The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19
Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot might be needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
- There was initially a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply has increased and vaccine doses are now widely available
Many clinics are offering walk-in services and you can find several options for vaccinations on our Vaccine Clinics page.
- After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection
The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.
- Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
- The first COVID-19 vaccines were being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other vaccines are still being developed and tested. On Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older. On Jan. 31, 2022, the FDA granted full approval for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine also known as Spikevax.
Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.
If more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
- COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic
It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least six feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.
- Boosters and third shots
Everyone 16 and older should get a booster as soon as they are eligible, but particularly people over 50 or those with significant underlying health conditions. Get one if:
- 5 months have passed since your second dose of Moderna (18+)
- 5 months have passed since your second dose of Pfizer (12+)
- 2 months have passed since your Johnson & Johnson dose (18+)
Third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for certain immunocompromised patients. Learn more on our vaccine distribution page.