Coronavirus Benefit Information

Last updated: 06/11/21

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to Californians 12 and older. The supply of the vaccines is such that everyone should be able to get one—and we encourage you to do so. While many vaccination sites still require appointments, there are locations that accept walk-ins, too. Here we provide answers to some of those questions, based on the information we have now.

We will continue to update this page about the COVID-19 vaccine as more information becomes available. In the meantime, please contact your doctor with any specific questions regarding your health.

For general COVID-19 information and answers to frequently asked questions click here.

Q: Where can I get the vaccine?

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine at the location most convenient for you. This may be your pharmacy, doctor’s office or a location sponsored by your local public health department. All Californians 12 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Check myturn.ca.gov to find a location that is convenient for you-- or call MyTurn at 1-833-422-4255.

If you are a Veteran, your local Veterans Administration may also be offering the COVID vaccine –. Spouses and caregivers can also get the vaccine through the VA. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System offers an information and appointment hotline at 310-268-4900.

Q: Will SCAN cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine will be covered at no cost to you; you will not have to pay for the vaccine itself or any fees (such as an administration fee) for receiving the vaccine.

Q: Can I use my SCAN transportation benefit to get to my vaccine appointment?

Yes, as long as you have rides left in your benefit, you can use SCAN transportation for a ride to and/or from your vaccine appointment. Remember, these are only rides and the driver cannot wait for you or accompany you, so if you will need assistance at your appointment, it’s best to have a family member, friend or neighbor take you.

Q: What information do I need to bring to my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

If you book your appointment online, the site should tell you what information to bring. If not, we recommend you bring some form of photo ID (like a driver’s license) and your Original Medicare card (the card is red, white and blue). 

If you do not have your Medicare card, SCAN is not allowed to give your Medicare number out over the phone to you or to the pharmacy or other location that may be asking for it. You can find your number online, but you will need to create an account on the Medicare website: mymedicare.gov.

Also, it might be helpful for you to know:

  • The vaccine will be given to you free of charge. You do not need to pay anything to get a vaccine; this includes any fees (like an administration fee) for receiving the vaccine.
  • You’ll need to wear a face mask to your appointment.
  • The vaccine will be given in your upper arm, so a short-sleeve shirt will work best.
  • You will be monitored for 15-30 minutes after your vaccination for side effects.
  • Remember to schedule your 2nddose of the vaccine (if a 2nd dose is needed).

Q: Is there a way for me to get preferred or early access to the vaccine? (Fraud alert!)

The vaccines will be given based on your risk factor, and there will be no cost for the vaccine. You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine and you cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine. If anyone offers this to you, it is a fraud. Medicare has released information about this fraud risk and is warning people not to share any personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails with guarantees of access to the vaccine for a cost. Click here to report a fraud: reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/

Q: How many doses of the vaccine will I need?

This depends on the vaccine you first receive. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each require two doses. The two doses must be of the same vaccine and from the same manufacturer, so be sure to get your second dose from the same place you receive your first dose. The recommended timeframe for the 2nd dose of Pfizer is 21 days after the first dose; for the Moderna vaccine it’s 28 days later.

The Janssen vaccine (also called the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) is a single-dose vaccine, so you will not need a 2nd dose.

Q: What if I cannot receive my 2nd dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine on time?

If you are not able to receive your 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine at 21 days after your first dose or 2nd dose of Moderna vaccine at 28 days, you may receive your second dose up to 6 weeks (42) days after your first dose. Beyond that, try to schedule your 2nd dose as soon as possible. You do not need to start over and you do not need a third dose.

Q: Will I get a reminder when my second dose is due?

Yes, when you get your first dose, you should be given a COVID-19 vaccination record card noting when your second dose is due if you received a vaccine that requires a 2nd dose.

And, after you receive your first dose—before you leave—make an appointment for your second dose if you received the Pfizer (21 days later) or Moderna (28 days later) vaccine. Then add the date and time to your calendar.

If you receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are done after one dose.

Q: What should I do if I did not receive or have lost my vaccination card?

If you didn’t receive or have lost your vaccination card and do not have a copy, please contact the site where you received your vaccine to ask if they can provide you a new card. If you cannot contact the site, please call 1-800-578-7889 or email CAIRHelpdesk@cdph.ca.gov. If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you can access your vaccination information using those tools. If you still need a second shot, keep your appointment as scheduled. Don’t have a second-dose appointment? Go to the place you got your first shot if possible. If not, go to any location offering the vaccine—they may be able to look up your information. But know that you do need to get the same manufacturer’s vaccine for your second dose as your first (Pfizer or Moderna).

Q: Does the COVID-19 vaccine have side effects?

While some people feel nothing, others may experience some side effects after receiving the vaccine. This can range from discomfort at the shot site to mild flu symptoms that can last up to three or four days.

If you’ve gotten the Shingrix vaccine for shingles, the process will be familiar to you. As with Shingrix, your COVID-19 vaccine might also require two doses and may cause some discomfort for a few days after the first and/or second dose.

Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

SCAN relies on trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The United States’ vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. The (FDA) has announced publicly that it would not approve a COVID-19 vaccine unless it meets the standards for quality, safety, and efficacy that any other vaccine would need to meet.

Q: Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve recently had other vaccines?

Yes, you can. You can now receive COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines regardless of timing—even on the same day. . If you have questions about the COVID-19 or other vaccines, please contact your healthcare provider.

Q: Do I need to get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19? What if I received treatment for COVID?

It is possible to get COVID-19 again, so experts recommend everyone gets the vaccine, even if you’ve already had COVID-19. The recommendation is to wait 90 days after having COVID to get the vaccine—unless you are told otherwise by your healthcare provider, or wish to be immunized sooner. The same timing applies if you’ve received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID. This is because the treatments may make the vaccine less effective if received before the 90-day wait period.