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January 25, 2021

When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

by Zara Jethani

*** February 2, 2021 update from our affiliate Providence***

Updates in recommended groups (age 65 and over) 

You may have heard that the state recently prioritized vaccine eligibility to include those over the age of 65. These eligibility guidelines are now consistent across all counties. With increased vaccine allocation for these groups, Providence hospitals are currently organizing patient vaccine clinics in collaboration with the counties. Check out the website often for the most current information about patient vaccine clinics and how to register at

Where can those 65 and over receive their vaccine today? 

Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura and Riverside Counties are currently vaccinating those age 65 and over at vaccine super sites, including locations within Disneyland and Dodger Stadium. We encourage eligible patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine where it is most convenient and readily available to you (vaccine super sites and retail pharmacies included).  

The most up-to-date information for your county’s vaccination locations can be found at the public health websites below: 

You can also find the latest information including additional resources on the Providence website, 

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COVID-19 is due to a coronavirus called SARS-Co V-2 that causes respiratory illness and can affect other organs.

Currently two vaccines are available that may help prevent COVID-19. Neither of them is FDA- approved as of this writing. However, they have both been authorized for emergency use by the FDA (Emergency Use Authorization EUA).

Please note that the PNI office will NOT be a vaccine distribution site.

Vaccine information

Vaccine availability

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines is limited and it is being offered to different groups of people at different times. As enough vaccine becomes available, it will be offered to everyone.

There are estimated time frames for each phase of the vaccines roll out. The phases overlap so, for example, a person in Phase 1A may get their second dose of vaccine at the same time as a person in Phase 1B gets their first dose.

Different states and counties have different estimated times so check your local government public health website. The following information is for Los Angeles County.

Phase 1A
Health care workers
Mid December 2020 – Late February 2021

Phase 1B
Persons 65 years and older; those at risk through certain work sectors; homeless
Early February – Late March 2021

Phase 1C
Persons 50-64 years old; People 16-49 years of age and have an underlying health condition or disability; those at risk through certain work sectors
March – Early May 2021

Phase 2 (proposed)
Persons 16-49 years old without high-risk medical conditions
Mid May – Early June 2021

Detailed vaccination information

Safety and efficacy

As mentioned previously, both available vaccines are not approved and as such carry some risks.

Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine include:

Injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, feeling unwell, and swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

Side effects that have been reported with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Injection site reactions: pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection, swelling (hardness), and redness
  • General side effects: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting, and fever

In ongoing trials, the vaccines have been shown to prevent COVID-19 following 2 doses given 3 weeks apart for Pfizer and 1 month apart for Moderna. The duration of protection is unknown.

Can you get the vaccine if you have an underlying condition?

You should ask your doctor if it is safe to get the vaccine, in the following cases:

  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

What to expect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine at Providence Saint John's Health Center
PNI staff member receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

When you become eligible, Pacific Neuroscience Institute recommends that you receive a COVID-19 vaccination as long as you are cleared by your specialist. The CDC website states the following on what to expect.

  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

General accounts from our providers who have already received the first and second doses suggest that the first dose may result in slight soreness and potentially mild side effects, while the second dose tends to cause a more potent side effect profile.

The CDC concludes by saying, “It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.” ​

Your safety is our top priority, please see what we are doing to protect your health and ours.

About the Author

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani

Zara is the marketing director at Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing. In addition, she is a graphic designer with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare, education and entertainment industries.

Last updated: February 4th, 2021