As we approach the one year mark since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on how much our communities and lives have changed because of it. We are aware of how difficult the past year has been for patients and the communities we serve.The COVID-19 vaccines offer a promising light to the end of the tunnel of this pandemic and we’re honored to be part of that effort.
Many Dignity Health Medical Groups are currently administering COVID-19 vaccines to our established patients based on federal, state, and county health department guidelines and our supply of vaccine. We are committed to distributing vaccines equitably and quickly in accordance with guidelines from health agencies. We hope to be able to offer the vaccine to as many of all our patients as soon as possible within those guidelines. We expect this to be possible as the vaccine supply increases.
How Can Patients Get the Vaccine?
As more supply of the vaccine becomes available, more groups will be eligible to receive it. We will be updating all Dignity Health Medical Group websites frequently so check your local medical group's website for updates on when vaccines will be available, and who they will be available to in your area. You can find your local Dignity Health Medical Group website by clicking here.
For more information about when the COVID-19 vaccines will be available, and how vaccines are being prioritized, view these vaccination tiers by CDPH.
“In accordance with federal and state guidance we offered the vaccine first to health care workers and now we are prepared to start vaccinating Dignity Health Medical Group patients," said Robert Quinn, MD, SVP Physician Operations, West Division, CommonSpirit Health and CEO of Dignity Health Medical Foundation. "Dignity Health Medical Groups are preparing to act as quickly as possible to provide vaccinations to our patients that meet the eligibility criteria as determined by the local health department guidance."
Our Commitment to Equitable Vaccine Distribution
We are committed to distributing vaccines equitably and quickly in accordance with guidelines from health agencies. Our goal is to invite all of our patients as soon as possible to be vaccinated. But since vaccines are limited for now, invitations are only to individuals in the qualifying categories. As soon as more supplies are made available to us, we will add more appointment times and expand availability. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Why Get the Vaccine?
Vaccinating against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect from getting the virus. Along with practicing CDC safety measures, getting the vaccine will help slow the spread of the coronavirus in our communities.
Experts have found that some patients experience long-term effects of COVID-19 that impact quality of life. Long-term symptoms can include ongoing respiratory, cardiac, and cognitive issues, in patients who had both mild and severe cases of COVID-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have 95% and 94% efficacy rates, respectively.
It is possible to contract and infect others with COVID-19 even if you don’t experience any symptoms of the virus. It’s important to get the vaccine so that you don’t unknowingly infect a vulnerable person around you.
How Is the Vaccine is Administered?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses per recipient, administered three to four weeks apart. It is important to follow-up on receiving the second dose of the vaccines for it to be fully effective.
After the last dose is administered, it takes a few weeks to be fully protected by the vaccine. Because of this, it is important to continue to practice CDC guidelines between vaccine doses as well as shortly after your last dose. Together, we can stop the spread of this virus.
Safety Is Our Top Priority
The safety of our patients, staff, and communities has always been our top priority. It is important to know that Dignity Health Medical Groups will only administer vaccines that are recommended by the FDA and proven safe and effective. Both COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials with a diverse group of individuals to make sure they meet safety standards. There were no significant safety concerns identified.
Common side-effects of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines include, soreness in the arm, aches, fatigue and fever. Read more about the components and possible side effects of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It is recommended that people with allergies to components of the vaccine not vaccinate.
Learn more about COVID-19 myths and facts.
Stay Vigilant to Slow to Spread
While the vaccine will offer protection to the vaccinated person, you can still spread the virus to others. Now and after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is as important as ever to continue to follow CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19: wash your hands frequently, always wear a face covering in public, and maintain physical distancing.
We will keep the community updated about our ability to administer a vaccine when that becomes an option. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, Frequently Asked Questions are available on the CDC website and FDA website.