COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Information
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COVID-19 Testing

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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Urgent Care & COVID-19

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How We Are Keeping You Safe

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine Distribution Plan

Sansum Clinic’s limited vaccine supply is managed by the state, and our distribution plan is under the specific direction of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. We ask for your patience as we work to secure more supply and ensure everyone who is eligible is vaccinated as soon as possible.

Date updated: 4-6-2021

Who is currently eligible for a vaccine at Sansum Clinic?

  • Individuals age 50 years and older
  • Expanding to ages 16 years and older on April 15
  • Residents in the following sectors: Health Care, Education, Childcare, Emergency Services, Food and Agricultural, and Public Transit
  • People ages 16-49 with high-risk medical conditions, as outlined by the Santa Barbara Public Health Department

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. For health condition eligibility, you can send a MyChart message or call your provider to request a letter.

Sansum Clinic offers vaccines by appointments only. Walk-up appointments are not available.

If you have a future vaccine appointment scheduled with Sansum Clinic and you receive the vaccine somewhere else, please cancel your appointment at Sansum Clinic so we can offer that time slot to another eligible patient.  

NOTE: As of April 6, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is providing COVID-19 vaccinations to any resident age 16 and over at Public Health Vaccination Clinics, for which appointment information can be found here: https://publichealthsbc.org/phd-vaccination-clinics/. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for people age 16-17. Sansum Clinic will likely not be able to vaccinate people ages 16-17, because we are only receiving Moderna and Johnson & Johnson at this time. Sansum Clinic is part of the statewide My Turn program, so we will begin to schedule those age 18+ beginning April 15.

Check your eligibility and schedule an appointment

Find out if you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and book your appointment via California’s statewide system, My Turn.

Go to My Turn →
  • While we strive to be your preferred provider, signing up with My Turn will allow eligible patients to get an appointment at Sansum Clinic or one of the other local vaccine providers as soon as appointments are available.
  • Vaccine supply is limited and appointments fill quickly. New appointments are released weekly, please keep trying if you do not find an appointment right away.
  • If you are not eligible yet, register with MyTurn to be notified when you are eligible to schedule an appointment.

If you do not have an email address or mobile phone to receive notifications, call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 (M-F 8am-8pm, Sa-Su 8am-5pm).

If you previously signed up for our Sansum Clinic Wait List, we also encourage you to sign up for My Turn. Even if you are already on our Waitlist, My Turn will notify you when an appointment is available at any healthcare facility that is administering vaccine, including Sansum Clinic. This will help you receive a vaccine as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many patients are calling with the questions below. Please review this information and if you have any additional questions, send a MyChart message to your primary care provider.

Stay Up-To-Date

How can I get the most up-to-date information?

  • Register with My Turn at https://myturn.ca.gov. When you are eligible, it will notify you of appointments at any healthcare facility that is administering vaccine, including Sansum Clinic.  
  • All Sansum Clinic COVID-19 information can be found at https://covid19.sansumclinic.org/.
  • Text #COVID to (805) 681-7500 for the latest information on vaccines, COVID-19 testing, and exposure risk or visit https://covid19.sansumclinic.org/.
  • We update our recorded information hotline regularly. Call (805) 681-1790, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also available in Spanish.
  • To ensure you receive our periodic COVID-19 email updates from the Sansum Clinic CEO, please make sure you are signed up for MyChart, so we have your email address.

General Information

What COVID-19 vaccines are available at Sansum Clinic?

Sansum Clinic is currently administering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines.

If you have a vaccine appointment at Sansum Clinic, it is not possible to choose which vaccine you will receive. Due to the low supply, we often cannot determine which COVID-19 vaccine will be available at the time of your initial dose appointment.

What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get COVID-19, you could spread the disease to family, friends and others around you. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without your having to become sick with COVID-19. 

All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 and may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The authorized vaccines increase the body’s immune response by making antibodies. These antibodies block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from injecting itself into human cells, thereby preventing it from reproducing and making you sick.

Will the vaccine work against new COVID-19 variants?

There are a few SARS-CoV-2 variants that are circulating in different areas around the globe. Research is underway to see how effective the currently authorized vaccines are against these variants, however researchers do believe the vaccines will likely offer some protection against these variants. It is possible that in order to keep pace with the new variants, additional booster doses of modified vaccine may be necessary.

Can the vaccines cause COVID-19? 

No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine be co-administered with other vaccines?

The CDC recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after receiving any other vaccine. If the COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.

How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?

We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice. Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity.

Safety and Side Effects

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

The FDA has confidently said that the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are safe, and has authorized them for emergency use. People who receive the vaccine will be monitored to check for safety, and participants in the original clinical trials will be followed for two years.

The currently approved COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet efficacy and safety standards. Many people were recruited to participate in these trials to see how the vaccine offers protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions.

Was the vaccine made too quickly?

No, the vaccines were not made too quickly. Given the importance of stopping the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine experts focused their time on developing safe and effective vaccines by using pre-existing vaccine models that have been studied for years.

Each vaccine was developed and tested following the same rules as other medications and vaccines that have been approved for use, such as antibiotics and the flu shot.

What are the potential side effects to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

All of the authorized vaccines work by helping your body produce antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that help fight infections from viruses, bacteria and other germs. Mild symptoms are common as when the body produces antibodies, and are not a sign of infection.

The most common side effects reported 24-48 hours after the vaccine, include:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Mild fever

Drink plenty of fluids to reduce discomfort from the above symptoms. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, apply a clean cool wet cloth over the area and try to use or exercise your arm. You can also take over the counter medications for pain, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil). If you are unsure if you can safely take an over the counter medication, check with your healthcare provider. Side effects are generally mild and go away after a day or two. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they are likely to be more pronounced after the second shot.

As with any vaccine, there is a low chance of allergic reaction. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, please talk to your doctor about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

When to call the doctor —> in most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

We encourage all patients to enroll in the CDC’s V-Safe program, which will send you a text for six days to see how you are feeling after getting the vaccine, then once a week for six weeks. The program will also send you a reminder text about your second dose. Visit https://vsafe.cdc.gov/ for more information

If I have side effects after receiving the vaccine, am I contagious to those around me?

You are not contagious if you develop side effects from the authorized COVID-19 vaccines. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. After you receive the vaccine, you should continue to follow all safety measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and hand washing.

I had a reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses. Should I get a second dose?

If you experienced mild side effects (pain or swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, fatigue or headache within 24-48 hours of vaccination), you should get a second dose.

However, if you have had anaphylactic reaction to the first dose of vaccine, you should not get the second dose. Please talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

We encourage all patients to enroll in the CDC’s V-Safe program, which will send you a text for six days to see how you are feeling after getting the vaccine, then once a week for six weeks. Visit https://vsafe.cdc.gov/ for more information.

Who Should Get the Vaccine?

Is there anyone who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine?

You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, or if you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine.

You can find the ingredients and fact sheets for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines here.

If you have an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, don’t get the second dose.Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about receiving the vaccine.

You must be 16 years of age and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 years of age and older to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe for those with compromised immune systems?

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. If you are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system, you should speak with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of vaccination, including the potential for a decreased response to the vaccine.

If I am of child-bearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding, is it safe for me to get the vaccine?

Taking into account both the risks and benefits of our patients receiving one of the two vaccines, based on our current knowledge, Sansum OB/GYN department supports the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Society for maternal Fetal medicine (SMFM), and American Society for Reproductive Medicine(ASRM), that all patients planning to conceive, currently pregnant or who are lactating have access to the vaccine. We recommend that you discuss your personal situation, including vaccine availability and your risk of COVID-19, directly with your OB/GYN provider so that they can help you make the best decision for you.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have a history of severe allergic reactions?

If you have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications, you may still get a COVID-19 vaccine, and you should be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine (compared to the standard 15 minutes for someone without a history of allergic reaction). If you’ve had an immediate allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable medications, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve ever had an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not getting that specific vaccine. Also, people who are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. PEG is an ingredient in some other vaccines and multiple FDA approved medications including bowel preparations, like Miralax. You can find the ingredients and fact sheets for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines here.

If you have an immediate allergic/anaphylactic reaction after getting the first dose of aCOVID-19 vaccine, don’t get the second dose. This guidance pertains to both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. If you experience an immediate allergic reaction to either vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either manufacturer’s vaccine.

If I have already had COVID-19, do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have already recovered. We recommend that you delay getting vaccinated for 90 days after most recent positive test result. There is a concern that you may have a stronger reaction to the vaccine if you get vaccinated soon after having COVID-19, because your immune system is likely already “primed” as a result of the natural infection, and adding vaccine on top of that could result in a more vigorous immune response (e.g., potentially more side effects). Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection due to the natural immunity that you likely now have as a result of making antibodies to the virus on your own.

Can I get the vaccine if I am currently ill/infected with COVID-19?

Vaccination of persons with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation.

This recommendation applies to persons who develop SARS-CoV-2 infection before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who develop SARS-CoV-2 infection after the first dose but before receipt of the second dose.

If I received monoclonal antibody therapy or convalescent plasma as treatment for COVID-19 illness, do I need to wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. If you recently received monoclonal antibody therapy or convalescent plasma to treat a COVID-19 infection, you should defer your vaccination for at least 90 days from when you last received that treatment.

Can children receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for people 16 and older and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older. Before a vaccine can be offered to children under 16, clinical trials must be run in different age groups to test its safety and effectiveness. Some of the vaccines are currently running trials for children, but we do not have the results yet.

Vaccine Availability and Scheduling

Can I select which vaccine to receive at Sansum Clinic?

If you have a vaccine appointment at Sansum Clinic, it is not possible to choose which vaccine you will receive. Due to the low supply, we often cannot determine which COVID-19 vaccine will be available at the time of your initial dose appointment.

Will I be billed for the vaccine?

The vaccine itself is provided for free but we will bill insurance for vaccine administration, in accordance with guidelines from Medicare and most other insurance carriers. Patients will not be held responsible for any administration fees or co-pays not covered by their insurance

Can I get a vaccination if I just show up without an appointment?

We do not accept walk-ins at our vaccine clinics. If you show up for a vaccination without an appointment and you are eligible, you will be asked to schedule your appointment through MyTurn.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination when I come for my next appointment?

While our goal is to eventually be able to provide in-office vaccinations in conjunction with other appointments, we are currently only offering COVID-19 vaccinations during our designated vaccination clinic hours which require appointments to be booked through My Turn.

If I received the first vaccine dose somewhere else, can I receive my second dose at Sansum Clinic?

In order to ensure patient safety and to provide continuity of care, it is Sansum Clinic’s policy that patients receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the same healthcare provider. If a patient received a first dose elsewhere, Sansum Clinic is not able to administer the second dose.

I signed up for Sansum Clinic’s waitlist. Will I be able to get a vaccine at Sansum Clinic or how will the transition to MyTurn impact those on the waitlist?

We’ve sent text messages to patients who are 65+ and on our waitlist, telling them to sign up for My Turn as that will be the quickest way to receive a vaccine appointment.

To receive the vaccine as soon as possible, we recommend that you register with My Turn at https://myturn.ca.gov. When you are registered with My Turn, you will be notified when there is an appointments available at any healthcare facility that is administering vaccine, including Sansum Clinic.  

After Your Vaccination

Do I still need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people in other settings, like when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.

Additional recommendations can be found on the CDC website.

Will I test positive for COVID-19 after I receive a vaccination?

You will not test positive for a COVID-19 on viral testing (e.g., PCR or antigen tests) after you receive the vaccine. However, as your body develops immunity and antibodies to COVID-19, you may test positive on COVID-19 antibody tests.

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COVID-19 Testing

Photo of washing hands

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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Urgent Care & COVID-19

Group of medical personnel.

How We Are Keeping You Safe