Covid 19
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

VACCINES

 

What vaccines are available?

Currently, 3 vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID 19 under a process called Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which is used to streamline vaccines during emergencies like pandemics:

  1. Pfizer-BioNTech (12+) and has been fully approved by FDA for 16+.

  2. Moderna (18+)

  3. Johnson & Johnson (18+)

How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be given?

The currently authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 require 2 shots to get the most protection.

  • Pfizer doses should be given 3 weeks apart from the 1st shot  (21 days)

  • Moderna doses should be given 1 month apart from the 1st shot  (28 days)

  • Johnson & Johnson dose is given once. 

 

What if I cannot receive the second dose of the COVID vaccine at the 3 week interval for Pfizer, or the 4 week interval for Moderna? 

It’s recommended to get the second dose as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose.

 

There is currently limited data on the efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. 

 

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

All vaccines have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines started in March of 2020 and we are receiving more and more information about the long-term effects of these vaccines as time goes on. The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to meet rigorous safety criteria and be effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. 

Where can I get a vaccine? 

They are available at provider offices and pharmacies:

 

Sutter Health 

      Monday- Saturday 9am-6pm; Walk-ins Only (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen) ​

 

Local Pharmacies Offering Vaccines (updated on August 6, 2021)


The most updated calendar of pop-up clinics is at: www.covid19.dnco.org/vaccinecalendar


 

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. 

You need to wait until you recover fully before you get a vaccine.

If you get the vaccine soon after you have recovered, you may experience more side effects than you might if you wait 90 days until after you recover. Recovering from COVID-19 will most likely give you the same amount of protection as a vaccine for a short period of time. 


 

Can I get a “booster” shot yet?

If you have received both doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), it has been at least 28 days since your last dose, and you are immunocompromised, then you are eligible to receive your third dose of vaccine. This dose is not a "booster" shot but a full additional dose of the vaccine. You can get a third shot at any of the vaccination sites in Del Norte. Booster shots for the general population are still under review. 

TESTING

Where can I test? 

Through most doctor offices, free testing sites, and pharmacies: 

 

Sutter - Behind the Hospital - Mon-Sat - 9:00-6:00

 

Testing is available through Optum Serve 8:00-4:00:

  • Tuesday - Smith River - Old Ray’s Building 

  • Wednesday - Klamath - Holiday Inn Express

  • Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat - Crescent City - Kid Town

 

Pharmacies - CVS and Walgreens

 

What if I use a home test? 

If you decide to use an over-the-counter antigen test (e.g. BinaxNOW, Ellume, or Pixel), and test positive, please schedule an appointment to get a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible and isolate until you receive those

results before calling Public Health to report yourself as a positive COVID-19 case. 

 

Should I retest after being positive? 

Del Norte County uses a non-test strategy to release confirmed COVID-19 cases from isolation. It usually takes a person 10 days from when they first get sick to no longer be infectious as long as they are no longer showing symptoms. Some workplaces may require negative tests in order to resume work. 


A person who was positive for COVID-19 can still turn up positive on a test after they've recovered. This is because the virus is still shedding genetic material that shows up on a test, but this does not necessarily mean they are still infectious. 


The CDC comments, "The best available evidence suggests that most persons recovered from illness with detectable viral RNA (either persistent or recurrent) are likely no longer infectious, but conclusive evidence is not currently available. Prolonged viral shedding has been demonstrated without direct correlation with replication-competent virus. Although persons may produce PCR-positive specimens for up to 6 weeks, it remains unknown whether these PCR-positive samples represent the presence of infectious virus. Such persons should consult with their healthcare provider; strategies to address this might include additional PCR testing. When a test-based strategy is not feasible or desired, consider consultation with local infectious disease experts about discontinuing home isolation for patients who might have prolonged viral shedding, including those who are immunocompromised."

 

How do I get the results from my test? 

  • Sutter or behind the hospital: Check MyChart to see your results there.

  • CVS: They should have received an email from CVS

  • Walgreens: They should have received an email or a call from Walgreens.

  • OptumServe: They should have received an email from OptumServe

  • Primary Care Provider: Their provider office should notify them.

CASE INVESTIGATION & CONTACT TRACING

I’m a contact to a positive case and haven’t been contacted yet. 

The county is currently undergoing a surge of positive cases that has overwhelmed public health staff, so we are unable to reach out to contacts to positive cases and provide them with any support. Find out what you should do at this time. 

I tested positive and haven’t been contacted yet. 

The county is currently undergoing a surge of positive cases that has overwhelmed public health staff, so it may take some time for Public Health to reach you. You may receive a text from our contact tracing staff requesting information. Please fill out the survey if you can and are willing to help us better reach out. Find out what to do while you wait.

 

I need a clearance letter. How do I get one? 

Public Health staff has to reach out to you to assess your situation before issuing a clearance letter. We understand that there are many people waiting to be contacted and Public Health is prioritizing cases at this time, so you may not get a clearance letter in a timely manner. 

 

You may receive a text from our contact tracing staff requesting information. Please fill out the survey if you can and are willing and you may get a clearance letter sooner. 

MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY

 

Where can I get monoclonal antibody therapy?

Patients may self-refer. Appointments will be scheduled the same day or

the following day and will be offered Monday thru Saturday 8am-6pm at

the Sutter Coast Medical Office Building located behind the hospital at:

 

780 E. Washington Blvd., Crescent City, CA 95531

Call to make an appointment: 707-464-8954

What is monoclonal antibody therapy?

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses.

Some early evidence suggests that mAb treatment can reduce the amount of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) in a person's system. This amount is known as viral load. Having a lower viral load means you may have milder symptoms thereby decreasing the likelihood of you being hospitalized.

Who is eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy? 

Patients must meet three of the following criteria:

❐ 1 - Positive SARS-CoV-2 test result

❐ 2 – Post Exposure Prophylaxis to people exposed to a SARS-CoV-2

Infected individual or who are at high risk of exposure to an infected person:

❐ 3 - SpO2>93% on Room Air

❐ 4 - Symptoms that started within the last ten days

❐ 5 - At least one of the following risk factors for severe disease:

❐ Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 25

❐ Chronic kidney disease

❐ Diabetes mellitus

❐ Immunosuppressive disease

❐ Receiving immunosuppressive treatment

❐ Age ≥ 65 years of age

❐ Age ≥ 55 years of age AND one of the following:

❐ Cardiovascular disease, OR

❐ Hypertension, OR

❐ COPD/other chronic respiratory disease

 

How long after mAb therapy should I wait before getting the vaccine?

People who have received a monoclonal antibody infusion for COVID-19 should not be vaccinated within 90 days of their infusion.