COVID Vaccine

This page discusses the COVID vaccine at our Oakland site.

For COVID vaccine information at our San Jose (South Bay) site, click here.

Congratulations on taking the first step towards getting vaccinated against COVID-19! We are currently offering the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as a free service to the community. We are no longer offering COVID vaccinations by appointment. Please come to our open-air, walk-up vaccination site every Thursday & Friday between 1pm – 4pm. We are also offering free transportation to and from our vaccine site for those who need it! To request a ride, e-mail patientservices@rootsclinic.org.

More questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can get the vaccine at Roots?

Anyone 12 and up who lives or works in Alameda County can get vaccinated at our Oakland site. If you are under 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany you and sign the consent form, or be available by phone to provide verbal consent.

Where is it?

9925 International Blvd. Oakland 94603 in the parking lot.

How long will it take?

You will be asked to fill out and sign a consent form prior to being vaccinated. After receiving the vaccine, you will need to stay close by for observation for:

  • 30 minutes if you have a history of severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis
  • 15 minutes for everyone else.
What do I need to bring?

If this is your second dose, please bring your vaccination card with you so that we can update it.

Is Roots offering the third dose for immunocompromised people?
Yes. We are offering the third dose for immunocompromised people.  The CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and who have received the mRNA vaccine (Moderna of Pfizer) should get a third dose of the same vaccine at least one month after their second dose. People who qualify as being moderately or severely immunocompromised include people who have:
  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If you have one of these conditions or believe you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, talk to your primary care provider about whether getting a third dose is appropriate for you. See here for more information about the third dose for immunocompromised people.

After Receiving the Vaccine

How long does it take the vaccine to work?

The vaccine will be at its full effectiveness 2 weeks after your final dose.

Will I have to get vaccinated again in the future?

We are still learning how long the vaccine will last. So far we have the data to show that it is effective for most people at least six months, and it is likely to be effective for longer. For updates on vaccine effectiveness, you can check this CDC webpage for the most up-to-date information.

In August 2021, the CDC recommended that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and who have received the mRNA vaccine (Moderna of Pfizer) should get a third dose of the same vaccine at least one month after their second dose. People who qualify as being moderately or severely immunocompromised include people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If you have one of these conditions or believe you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, talk to your primary care provider about whether getting a third dose is appropriate for you. See here for more information about the third dose for immunocompromised people.

Will I ever need to take a Covid test again?

Like with most vaccines, it is still possible to get COVID once you are fully vaccinated, although the chances are much smaller. If you get COVID-like symptoms after being vaccinated, especially loss of taste or smell or respiratory symptoms, it is a good idea to get tested again so that you can be aware and take steps to protect others who are not yet vaccinated.

How can I help health officials learn more about the COVID and vaccine?

After you get the vaccine, please sign up for V-Safe. This is a national program that helps health officials catch any vaccine problems early. You can sign up at: https://vsafe.cdc.gov/en/. After you register, you will receive brief surveys about how you are feeling for a couple weeks after you receive each dose. You can opt out of the surveys at any time.

Deciding to get the vaccine

Is the vaccine safe?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.“

As of 6/24/2021, 379 million people are fully vaccinated against COVID in the United States.

What vaccines are available?

Currently Roots has the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Below are Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) fact sheets from the FDA that give more detail about these vaccines. They include who should and should not get the vaccine, vaccine ingredients, risks and benefits, and possible side effects. It is recommended that you read or have this document explained to you before you receive the vaccine to make sure that you are making an informed choice:

How do the different vaccines compare?
*Here is a table comparing different features of the three available vaccines.
Vaccine Moderna Pfizer Johnson & Johnson
Vaccine type mRNA                          mRNA viral vector
Dose schedule 2 doses, 4 weeks apart 2 doses, 3 weeks apart 1 dose
Administration Injection in the deltoid (shoulder) muscle
Age requirement 18+ 12+ 18+
Effective against illness from COVID-19 94% 95% 72%
Effectiveness against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 100%
Effective across gender and race Yes
Common side effects (injection site) Pain, redness, swelling
Common side effects (systemic) Tiredness, Headache, Muscle pain, Chills, Fever, Nausea
How do I decide which vaccine is best for me?

All of the vaccines mentioned above are safe and approved by the FDA for emergency use. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved for people aged 12 and up. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose, so people who would have difficulty keeping an appointment to receive their second dose on time may prefer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Each of the vaccines have different ingredients; if you have allergies to foods or substances, read the ingredient list in the EUA fact sheet to make sure that you are not allergic to any of its ingredients. While the vaccines do show different effectiveness rates against illness (catching COVID) from the different trials, it is important to understand that effectiveness against catching COVID is not as important as effectiveness from causing severe illness, hospitalization, or death. All three available vaccines have been proven 100% effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID. Therefore, the best choice is any of the vaccines that you are eligible for!

What does the vaccine cost?

Roots currently receives our COVID vaccines from the government for free, so there is no charge for the vaccine itself. If you are a Roots patient and we have your insurance on file, we may bill your insurance for the administrative costs of giving you the vaccine.

Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant?

If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting the vaccine during pregnancy protects you from severe illness from COVID-19, and pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, you may discuss them with your healthcare provider, but that is not required for vaccination.

How long do I need to wait to get other (non-COVID) vaccines?

We recommend you do not get any other vaccines for two weeks before and two weeks after the COVID-19 vaccine.

If I got my first dose already, can I get my second dose at Roots?

Yes! Please bring your vaccination card so we can update it.

*Note these are not head-to-head comparisons as trials were done at different times, different parts of the world, and at times when different variants were present.

Are there any dietary considerations for the vaccine?

At this time there are no special considerations for this. There are no foods or beverages that cause the vaccine to be more or less effective. Many people who have gotten the vaccine say that drinking plenty of water helps with reducing side effects.

Is it safe to get the COVID vaccine even though I take medications?

It is safe to get the vaccine with most all medications. However, if you are taking medications that suppress the immune system, talk to your doctor about when would be best for you to get the vaccine.

Will the COVID test come back positive due to vaccination?

The viral (PCR) tests that tell whether you have a current infection will not turn positive because of the vaccine. However, the vaccine does cause your body to make antibodies, which is your immune system’s way of being ready to fight the virus if you ever come in contact with it. Therefore, if you take an antibody test it will come back positive.

Do you still have questions about the timing or safety of the vaccine or about whether you should get the vaccine in your specific situation? If so, please reach out to your primary care provider, or request a nurse call-back for questions about the vaccine at admin@rootsclinic.org

Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself, your household and your community!

admin@rootsclinic.orgCOVID Vaccine