COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
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Cedars-Sinai Blog

COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Patients

A COVID-19 vaccine at Cedars-Sinai

Updated April 14, 2021

About the Johnson & Johnson Vaccination Interruption

The FDA and CDC on Tuesday recommended that healthcare providers across the U.S. pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reported cases of a severe type of blood clot appeared in individuals who received the vaccine. As a result of this guidance, Cedars-Sinai has temporarily halted use of the J&J vaccine. 

The FDA and CDC note that adverse events related to the J&J vaccine appear to be extremely rare: Just the six reported events out of more than 6.8 million doses administered in the U.S.As of today, these rare adverse events noted by the FDA and CDC have not been reported with the J&J or Pfizer vaccines at Cedars-Sinai

Those who have received the J&J vaccine in the last three weeks should look for any symptoms of the specific blood clot reported by the FDA and CDC, including severe headaches, abdominal or leg pain, and shortness of breath. Those who develop these symptoms should contact their medical provider.

COVID-19 vaccine safety remains a top priority for Cedars-Sinai, and we take any reports of health concerns very seriously. We are continually monitoring the health of our patients and staff who receive COVID-19 vaccines though Cedars-Sinai and follow FDA and CDC guidance on vaccine administration. We continue to encourage our patients and staff who are eligible for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to get vaccinated.

If you were scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Cedars-Sinai: Your appointment will be rescheduled. You’ll receive an invitation to book a new appointment as soon as one becomes available.

You can learn more about new developments regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on the CDC’s website. We will continue to update this page as we learn more from federal and local health agencies.

As always, stay safe and continue to follow county and state guidelines: Wear a mask (or two), wash your hands thoroughly and often, and keep your distance from others—whether vaccinated or not.


Past updates

Updated April 2, 2021

Vaccination is one of the most important tools against the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new strains. As of March 31, 2021, Los Angeles County had administered over 4.6 million doses of the vaccines, and the rollout is expanding quickly to reach new populations. While Cedars-Sinai is still experiencing a shortage of doses, the state expects to have enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians by summer 2021. 

Here's what you need to know this week.

Vaccine eligibility expands

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in California expanded to all individuals 50 and older starting April 1. Eligibility will expand to include anyone 16 and older beginning April 15. We will reach out to our patients as soon as we receive further direction from public health officials.

Maintaining pandemic safety protocols

Please also note that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, all Cedars-Sinai patients and visitors must continue to maintain pandemic safety protocols in healthcare settings, regardless of whether or not they have been fully vaccinated.

As always, stay safe and continue to follow county and state guidelines: Wear a mask (or two), wash your hands thoroughly and often, and keep your distance from others—whether vaccinated or not.


Updated March 19, 2021

Vaccination is one of the most important tools against the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new strains. 23% of all Californians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the rollout is expanding to reach new populations. While Cedars-Sinai is still experiencing a shortage of doses, the state expects to have enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians by summer 2021. 

Here's what you need to know this week.

State expands vaccination eligibility to individuals ages 16–64 with high-risk medical conditions 
Effective March 15, 2021, the state has expanded COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to include people ages 16–64 who have certain high-risk medical conditions or physical and behavioral disabilities. Resources for scheduling appointments include My Turn and Vaccine Finder. When you have scheduled your appointment, fill out this self-attestation form (PDF) and bring it with you to your appointment.

Scheduling appointments through My CS-Link
Cedars-Sinai continues to receive a limited supply of vaccine, but we are hopeful that new and more efficient methods of distribution in L.A. County will increase our capacity. Our patients who are invited to schedule through My CS-Link™ may do so as instructed, and those who are due to receive their second dose should keep their appointments as scheduled.

Maintaining pandemic safety protocols
Please also note that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, all Cedars-Sinai patients and visitors must continue to maintain pandemic safety protocols in healthcare settings, regardless of whether or not they have been fully vaccinated.

As always, stay safe and continue to follow county and state guidelines: Wear a mask (or two), wash your hands thoroughly and often, and keep your distance from others—whether vaccinated or not.


As new cases of COVID-19 keep falling and California's vaccine rollout expands, the state is about to reach its goal of vaccinating 2 million individuals in disadvantaged areas, and nearly 11 million people in total. We are elated to reach this milestone on the same week we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. There are many reasons to be optimistic, and Cedars-Sinai is proud to be part of the light at the end of the tunnel. Here's what you need to know this week.

Vaccinations continue for patients 65+

Los Angeles expanded eligibility for vaccinations to several new groups, including teachers and workers in education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services. Vaccinations continue for residents 65 and older, healthcare workers, certain essential frontline workers, and residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities.

At Cedars-Sinai, we have reached out to our patients who are 65 and older and were treated at Cedars-Sinai anytime from January 2019 forward. When shipments of vaccine arrive, our teams remain committed to ensuring that new appointments are immediately available to those eligible patients and that vaccinations are administered without delay.

As always, we are encouraging eligible individuals to get vaccinated wherever they can; Los Angeles County's My Turn website has been a helpful resource for determining eligibility and scheduling appointments.


Updated March 4, 2021

Vaccine rollout is picking up speed. California is accelerating vaccinations for education and childcare workers, dedicating 10% of vaccines to K-12 school staff and childcare workers starting March 1. As of March 3, 9.6 million doses have been administered in California. Here's what you need to know this week.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine granted emergency use authorization

Vaccine rollout is picking up speed. California is accelerating vaccinations for education and childcare workers, dedicating 10% of vaccines to K-12 school staff and childcare workers starting March 1. As of March 3, 9.6 million doses have been administered in California. Here's what you need to know this week.

L.A. Unified School District opens new vaccination site for staff

LAUSD announced the opening of a major COVID-19 vaccination site for its employees as part of the district’s plan for the safe reopening of schools. Cedars-Sinai is developing healthcare protocols for the site and training the nursing staff who will administer the vaccinations. (We are not providing vaccine doses to that site.)

Current CDC protocols continue to require two doses of vaccine

Although there were reports that the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may potentially be sufficient in some cases, CDC guidelines have not changed and individuals should follow through with receiving their second dose (the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are a two-dose protocol). As with all aspects surrounding COVID-19 vaccination, we will alert our patients if there is any change in the dosage guidelines.

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 March 1, 2021

While the recent emergence of new strains of the coronavirus and vaccine supply shortages are still a concern, there is more good news on the COVID-19 front this week: The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson's vaccine after studies showed the shot strongly protects against severe illness and may reduce the spread of the virus. Here's what you need to know this week.

Vaccine supplies remain severely limited

Again this week, the overall vaccine supply in Los Angeles County is extremely low. Although we do not control how many doses we are allocated, the systems we have in place at Cedars-Sinai ensure that when new shipments arrive, we immediately distribute the vaccine to our patients in a safe and equitable manner.

For Angelenos who want to know if they and their loved ones are eligible to receive the vaccine, the county has launched a new website called My Turn. When it is an individual's turn to get vaccinated, the site allows them to schedule a vaccination appointment at a county site.

CDC protocols unchanged: Two doses of vaccine are essential

There are reports that the first dose of the vaccine may potentially be sufficient, however this is still under review. At present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines haven't changed, and we continue to administer two doses of the vaccine.

Individuals cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine

Some of our patients have asked if there is any risk of getting COVID-19 from the vaccine—the answer is no. Because the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines do not contain any live virus, they cannot cause COVID-19. Instead, the vaccine provides the cellular information the body needs to build antibodies that will fight the virus. You can read more in this brief overview.

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 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

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.