The COVID-19 vaccination roll out is an evolving situation. We will update this FAQ, as needed. Thank you for your patience as RCMS partners with Mendocino County Public Health and Coast Life Support District to roll out the vaccine in our community.
When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out in Phases and Tiers per order of the State and County Health Department. RCMS is following State and County Public Health guidelines for the vaccine. RCMS is currently immunizing individuals 18 and up with the Moderna vaccine and ages 12 and up with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
RCMS is coordinating the vaccine rollout by asking community members willing to take the vaccine to complete the survey. Here is the link to the survey:
RCMS will contact persons from the survey list when vaccines are available and match with your specific tier. It is okay for someone else to register you online if you do not email access; please note that THAT person will be receiving your invitation, so they will need to communicate the invitation to you.
Please do NOT go on and register twice in the hopes of getting a call sooner. We are constantly reviewing the lists, and invite persons based on their Tier.
Paper version is also available for download here (for the printable version in Spanish, click here). If you fill in a paper copy, this can be dropped at the RCMS clinic.
Who can get the vaccine?
RCMS is offering the vaccines to people living in our service area. This includes residents in southern Mendocino County and northern Sonoma County, generally the area from Irish Beach in the north to Timber Cove in the south. The Moderna vaccine is available for ages 18 and up and the Pfizer-Bio-NTech vaccine is available for ages 12 and up.
I am fully vaccinated, can I return to normal activities?
On March 8, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.
The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and additional scientific evidence becomes available.
The complete information is available here:
Do I have to be an RCMS patient to get the vaccine?
No. You do not have to be a patient of RCMS.
How do I get on the RCMS vaccine interest list?
Please fill out the RCMS survey form at this link:
Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
If you come to a mass vaccination clinic, the COVID-19 vaccine is provided for free. RCMS will have a donation box available at the mass vaccine clinics if individuals would like to make a donation to help offset costs.
In certain cases, RCMS providers may decide to do in-clinic or house call vaccinations depending on a patient's medical condition such as comorbidities and/or advanced age who would benefit from closer medical supervision during vaccination. An in-clinic or house call will incur a nurse or provider charge billed to a patient’s insurance – like any other clinic visits.
What COVID-19 vaccine will RCMS offer?
Currently there are three vaccines approved for distribution in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J/Janssen. RCMS receives it vaccine supply from County Public Health and/or the State and does not have control over what vaccine it receives.
Who will be giving the vaccines?
Vaccines are administered by RCMS RNs, PAs, NPs, MDs, Medical Assistants, and volunteer RNs, MDs, PAs, NPs, Paramedics, and EMTs. They have all been trained in vaccine administration.
Does the vaccine require multiple doses?
It depends on the vaccine that you receive. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines requires two doses given at least 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccines requires two doses given at least 28 days apart. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is a single dose.
Do I need both vaccine doses?
Currently the public health guideline is that you need to receive both vaccine doses (for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is a single dose.
If I get the first vaccine dose, do I automatically get the second at the same location?
Yes. If you get the first vaccine at RCMS you will also get your second vaccine at RCMS.
Can I get the vaccine at either the Gualala clinic or Point Arena clinic?
All COVID-19 vaccines will be given at our Gualala clinic or at scheduled mass vaccine events.
If I was invited to a mass vaccine clinic, do I need to bring a printed copy of my invitation?
We will have a list of the individuals that were invited, but you can bring a printed copy if you like. You will need to bring a photo ID with your name.
I qualify for the vaccine but have not received an invitation to the mass vaccine clinic.
RCMS is sending out invitations to individuals to participate in vaccine clinics. These invitations are going out via email. Invitations are based upon an individual qualifying for a specific Phase and Tier. Please understand that there may be more people who qualify for the Phase and Tier than we have doses for this first vaccine clinic. You may qualify and not receive an invitation this round. You would remain on the list for upcoming vaccine clinics.
Will the vaccine clinics be closely monitoring to honor social distancing?
Yes. The vaccine clinics will be set up to reflect social distancing recommendations. Individuals coming to the clinic should wear a mask.
Will there be more mass vaccine clinics?
RCMS is coordinating with the County to host additional mass vaccine clinics in the future. If we continue to get regular vaccine supplies and there is still adequate community interest, we will host these events.
Will I get a vaccine certificate if I get vaccinated?
Currently, the CDC provides cards with each vaccine. Anyone getting vaccinated will get this card, along with the date they need to get their second dose.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine make you sick with COVID-19?
No. According to the CDC, none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
What are typical side effects to the vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:
· Pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given
· Muscle pain
· Joint pain
You will be monitored for a minimum of 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. Individuals who have a history of anaphylaxis will be monitored for 30 minutes. Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have a history of severe allergic reactions?
According to Mayo Clinic, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications, you may still get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a history of anaphylaxis, you should be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.
If you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable medications, ask your health care provider if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends not getting that specific vaccine.
If I already had COVID-19 and recovered should I still get vaccinated?
Yes. According to the CDC, due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.
Do I still need to wear a mask and socially distance after I receive the vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
How will I be notified for my second dose?
RCMS will contact you via email or phone to schedule your second dose. We anticipate you will have 48-72 hours notice. Please do not contact the clinic to schedule a second dose appointment.
CDC COVID-19 FAQ: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vaccine/art-20484859