Updated March 1, 2021
We are contacting our patients to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. This is being done by group. Consistent with state and county guidelines, we are currently vaccinating John Muir Health patients who are in the 75+ age group and patients in the 65 - 74 age group. If you are in one of the age groups we are currently vaccinating, depending on the information in your medical record, we will be contacting you via MyChart message, email, text message or phone call. You may contact your doctor's office if you would like to update your contact information or add additional methods of contact. We also encourage you to sign up for a MyChart account by visiting our MyChart sign up information page.
Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. The most efficient way to do this is for us to contact our patients as we have appointment slots available. We understand that many people would like to be vaccinated and want to make sure we know of their interest. However, we do not have a registry, registration system, or wait list for patients who want to receive the vaccine. We are using our patient medical records to create the lists of patients to invite to schedule a vaccine appointment. We understand that it can be hard to wait, and we appreciate your patience.
To ensure we can contact you quickly when it’s your turn to receive a vaccine, we encourage you to sign up for a MyChart account by visiting our MyChart sign up information page. You may also contact your doctor’s office to update your contact information or add additional methods of contact.
The number of available appointments is determined by the amount of vaccine doses the County can allocate to us, which may fluctuate. The County is actively working with us to ensure that we have enough supplies to offer the vaccine to our patients. We are only opening enough appointment slots to accommodate the number of vaccines we have available.
Our vaccine clinics are operating 12 hours per day, five days per week. Based on the vaccine supply allocated to us by the County, we are currently able to provide 3,000 vaccination appointments per week. We expect to increase to 6,000 appointments per week by mid-February, based on the vaccine supply we expect to receive.
Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Contacting and scheduling each person individually helps us to do this, so we are not able to accommodate requests for specific dates or times for patients who live in the same household. We understand that having separate appointments for people in the same household may be inconvenient, and, for that, we apologize. We appreciate your patience.
We are working to vaccinate as many patients as we can, as quickly as we can. In order to achieve this, we are not able to accommodate requests for specific dates or times for individuals based on other commitments, including upcoming medical procedures. We understand that this may be inconvenient, and, for that, we apologize. We appreciate your patience.
The current COVID-19 vaccines must be stored at cold temperatures and are only usable for a certain amount of time after they have been removed from a freezer. Our goal is to give every single dose that is prepared for each day and not waste any doses. This means we must make sure that we schedule the same number of appointments as we have vaccine doses prepared for each day. To achieve this, vaccinations are being given by appointment only. This is the best way to ensure we are using every dose we have available and can vaccinate as many people as possible.
We understand and appreciate that many people have vaccine questions. We respectfully request that you do not call or message your doctor’s office with vaccine-related questions, as your doctor and their staff are working to care for patients. Additionally, your doctor is not able to help schedule vaccine appointments. Vaccinations are being given by appointment only, in vaccine clinics we have set up for this purpose. We are not giving vaccines in our physician offices.
We want to make sure that we are answering your vaccine questions. We update our website with the latest information that we have as soon as we have it – often multiple times per week. If you have a question that we haven’t answered on our website, please contact us and we will add the information to our website.
Please schedule a vaccine appointment with only one vaccine clinic for both your first and second doses. We want to make sure all our appointment slots are filled, and that people are able to keep their appointment. This helps vaccine clinics to vaccinate as many people as possible in the community and not waste any vaccine doses. Please remember that it is important to get your second dose from the same location where you get your first dose.
We understand how frustrating scheduling your second dose can be as the vaccine supply continues to fluctuate. At John Muir Health, the second vaccine dose is built into the allocation of vaccine we receive for patients who received their first dose from us, and we schedule our patients' second vaccine appointment while they are at their first appointment. This means that we don't have any additional vaccine supplies available and are not able to provide a second dose to people who did not receive their first vaccine dose from John Muir Health.
There are various locations in Contra Costa County and Alameda County to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to look into these options if you need a second vaccine dose.
At this time, we are committed to vaccinating our patients. If you have been seen at John Muir Health in the past year, we consider you to be eligible to receive a vaccine from us, when your group becomes eligible. We are using our electronic medical record system to develop the list of patients to contact as they are eligible to receive the vaccine. If you are not an active John Muir Health patient, we encourage you to look into other options to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. In addition to whichever health system you are affiliated with, there are various locations in Contra Costa County and Alameda County where you may be able to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is recommended to be given 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine is recommended to be given 24 days apart. The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There are currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.
For more information on clinical considerations for the COVID-19 vaccines, please see the CDC website.
Yes, the recommendation is that some screenings are best to schedule around your COVID-19 vaccination:
Mammograms: The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommends that patients schedule their mammograms around their COVID-19 vaccination. This is because a potential side effect of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is lymph node swelling in the armpit, which can appear within two-to-four days following the shot and last up to 10 days. Vaccines of all types can result in temporary swelling of the lymph nodes, which may be a sign that the body is making antibodies in response as intended. However, it could cause anxiety if such swelling is detected during a mammogram. To minimize anxiety, when it doesn't unduly delay care, SBI recommends scheduling screening mammograms prior to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or 4-6 weeks following the second vaccine dose.
We greatly appreciate your patience as we continue to care for our community while also offering the vaccine to our patients based on state and county guidelines and the doses allocated to us. We are heartened by the great interest in receiving the vaccine as it is the most effective way to end the pandemic.