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Cedars-Sinai Blog

COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Patients

A COVID-19 vaccine at Cedars-Sinai

Updated Feb 22, 2021

While the recent emergence of new strains of the coronavirus and vaccine supply shortages are an ongoing concern, there is some good news on the COVID-19 front this week: New cases are down to pre-Thanksgiving levels across California, and our healthcare system is under less pressure than it was just two weeks ago. Here's what you need to know this week.

Vaccine shortage continues

Los Angeles County received no new doses last week, and we are still not accepting first-round appointments until new supplies arrive. While the shortage of vaccine is still severe, there is encouraging news on the horizon: Last week, the federal government purchased additional doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The administration is now projecting a significant increase in the rate of vaccinations. Cedars-Sinai teams are in place to resume real-time distribution as soon as new vaccine arrives.

California expands vaccine eligibility to individuals 16 to 64 with certain medical conditions

As you may know, California has announced that starting next month people aged 16 to 64 with certain high-risk medical conditions will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Los Angeles County has not yet adopted the state guidelines, and neither L.A. County nor the state have decided what documentation will be required. We are in constant contact with the county and will notify our patients as soon as we have more information. As a helpful reminder, your health information is always available on your My CS-Link™ account.

Your health is always our first priority, and we do not want you to wait to be vaccinated any longer than necessary. If you can book a vaccine appointment at one of the county's vaccine sites, we encourage you to do so. You can find more information about the county's vaccination program here and schedule an appointment here

As always, your My CS-Link account is the fastest, most reliable way to receive up-to-date information about the vaccination process and will help to streamline appointments. Continue to check the COVID-19 section of our website (we update it frequently) and, if you haven't already, please take a moment to install the Cedars-Sinai app from the Apple App Store or Google Play


Past updates

Updated Feb 10, 2021

As the U.S. enters its 12th month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our patients and the community at large. While Angelenos continue to follow county and state guidelines and COVID-19 hospitalizations are gradually declining, new coronavirus strains are appearing. Here’s what you should know.

Understanding new strains

Patients are expressing concerns about new strains of the coronavirus. There is encouraging data: SARS-CoV-2 is not evolving as quickly as other viruses, and while some of the new strains may spread more easily, there is no peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that they are more dangerous than the original virus.

Current findings indicate that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective against many of the new strains. However, there is still more to be learned. For example, researchers in South Africa have found that one of the newer strains appears to be resistant to the AstraZeneca vaccine. In this blog post, Eric Vail, MD, and Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, discuss a unique strain of the virus, recently discovered by Cedars-Sinai researchers, which may be responsible for as much as one-third of new cases in Southern California.

Vaccine limited to second doses for high-risk patients 65 years and older this week

With the vaccine supply remaining extraordinarily tight throughout the county, we've been alerting our patients that no new appointments are currently being accepted. Visits are limited to those high-risk individuals 65 and older who already have an appointment with us to receive their second dose. 

Your health is always our first priority, and we do not want you to wait to be vaccinated any longer than necessary. If you can book a vaccine appointment at one of the county's vaccine sites, we encourage you to do so. You can find more information about the county's vaccination program here and schedule an appointment here

As always, your My CS-Link™ account is the fastest, most reliable way to receive up-to-date information about the vaccination process and will help to streamline appointments. Continue to check the COVID-19 section of our website (we update it frequently) and, if you haven't already, please take a moment to install the Cedars-Sinai app from the Apple App Store or Google Play

Updated Jan. 26, 2021

Like other hospitals across Southern California, we continue to receive very limited doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As county officials work to create a more predictable model for vaccine shipments, our highest priority is to vaccinate our patients whose age and health status make them the most vulnerable to the virus. 

To guide this effort, we deployed a COVID-19 risk factor algorithm based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations—along with a social determinant vulnerability assessment. This algorithm eliminates bias and provides equitable deployment of the limited vaccine supply we have to those most in need. 

However, because we have insufficient vaccine supply, we have been required to randomize patient selection even within the highest risk groups. 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR PATIENTS:

  • Please do not come to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center without an appointment. This disrupts our processes, diverts resources and jeopardizes the safety and security of our caregivers and our patients.
  • Please do not email or call your doctor's office asking to be "placed on the list." Our physicians have no ability to influence our processes and are busy caring for other sick patients. 
  • For patients who do receive an invitation to set up an appointment: Failure to comply with our protocols or any forceful demands to vaccinate others who have not received an invitation could result in forfeiture of their place in line to receive the vaccine. 
  • We will continue this process until all of our patients 65 and older have been vaccinated, but this regrettably could take months depending on supply. 

Your health is always our first priority, and we do not want you to wait to be vaccinated any longer than necessary. If you can book a vaccine appointment at one of the county's vaccine sites, we encourage you to do so. You can find more information about the county's vaccination program here and schedule an appointment here

Update: Jan. 22, 2021

As you may have read, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has directed that COVID-19 vaccine may be made available to residents 65 and older. To reach as many people as possible, the county has opened several vaccination sites in the region. Vaccine supply has been limited across the state—and that is particularly true in Los Angeles County. As a result, Cedars-Sinai and other hospitals have not yet received sufficient vaccine supply from the county to broaden our vaccination efforts to everyone eligible. 

Your health is always our first priority, and we do not want you to wait to be vaccinated any longer than necessary. If you can book a vaccine appointment at one of the county's vaccine sites, we encourage you to do so. You can find more information about the county's vaccination program here and schedule an appointment here.

As the county sends us more doses, we will make appointments available through My CS-Link™ to our patients. We will continue that process until all of our patients 65 and older have been vaccinated, which regrettably could take months depending on supply. 

Your My CS-Link account is the fastest, most reliable way to receive up-to-date information about the vaccination process and will help to streamline appointments. Continue to check our website (we update it frequently) and, if you haven't already, please take a moment to install the Cedars-Sinai app from the Apple App Store or Google Play

Update: Jan. 18, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced he is opening vaccine administration to residents 65 and older. While this is welcome news for Cedars-Sinai patients, we are awaiting definitive guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on when and how to implement the governor’s directive. Decisions about vaccine administration are determined by Los Angeles County and we are in daily communication with our colleagues at the county’s Department of Public Health. 

At present, we don’t know exactly when we will be able to offer vaccines to our patients. We do want you to know, with complete confidence, that when we are authorized to proceed, we will notify our patients immediately. We also want to remind you that your My CS-Link™ account is the fastest, most reliable way to receive up-to-date information about the vaccination process and will help to streamline appointments when scheduling becomes available.

We hope you will continue to check our website (we update it frequently) and, if you haven’t already,  please take a moment to install the Cedars-Sinai app from the Apple App Store or Google Play

Cedars-Sinai is here for you, and we are committed to your health and safety.