COVID-19 Vaccine

If you are a patient at Desert Ridge Family Physicians, and have already received a COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere, please fill out this form so we can update your medical record.  COVID-19 Vaccine Form

Arizona’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out

At this time, there are four COVID vaccines available at most local pharmacies.   The dosing schedule to complete the primary series is as follows:

  • Pfizer mRNA vaccine: 2 dose series for ages 6 months and older
  • Moderna mRNA vaccine: 2 dose series for 6 months and older
  • J&J viral vector vaccine: 1 dose for ages 18 and older
  • Novavax: 2 dose series for ages 12 and older

Maricopa County keeps a calendar and list of vaccine providers and locations:

The COVID vaccines are effective at reducing your risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19 infection.

  • Unvaccinated seniors (those 65+) are 50-times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are vaccinated.
  • Those under 65 who are unvaccinated are 4-times more likely to get infected and 23-times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection
  • Those who are boosted are 21 times less likely to die from COVID than those who are unvaccinated

Updated, Bivalent COVID Boosters

Each year, as the Flu virus mutates, the Flu vaccine is updated to match the season’s circulating strains.  The COVID vaccine has too been updated.  These updated booster doses are now available.

There are two formulations currently available:

  • Pfizer – Approved for ages 5 and older
  • Moderna – Approved for ages 6 and older
  • It is recommended that everyone 5 years and older receive a bivalent mRNA booster once 2 months have past since receipt of last COVID vaccine dose (booster or primary series)
  • The bivalent formulation may not be used as a primary series.
  • DRFP does not have any inventory of the original, monovalent COVID vaccines. If you have not completed your primary series, we recommend you do so at one of the local pharmacies
  • Currently, DRFP has limited inventory of Moderna’a bivalent booster . Patients may schedule a nurse visit or may receive the booster during an office visit with their PCP


What is the difference between a booster shot and an additional dose?2022-04-04T11:13:44-07:00
  • It is recommended that people ages 12 and older, who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, complete a 3 doses series of an mRNA vaccine . This additional dose (the 3rd dose) is necessary because their immune systems are compromised and may not mount adequate protection from 2 doses.  The additional dose is considered to be part of their primary series.


  • A “booster dose” is a supplemental vaccine dose given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series was adequate but is likely to have decreased over time. it is not unexpected that even those who have healthy immune systems would benefit from a booster dose (just like we all need Tetanus boosters, Meningitis booster, Chicken Pox booster (Shingles shot) and a Pneumonia booster (at 65yo))
Who does DRFP recommend get an updated, bivalent booster?2022-10-27T10:28:44-07:00

Everyone 5 years and older

Does my booster have to be same vaccine as my primary series?2022-03-24T10:13:04-07:00
  • DRFP does recommend that you get a booster dose of the same vaccine as you received for your primary series.  However, if you received the J&J vaccine and do not have a contraindication to receiving a mRNA vaccine, it is recommended you receive one of the mRNA vaccines as your booster dose.  The FDA does allow for mixing.
  • Both mRNA boosters raise the immune response to an effective level
    • As an example, if you received PFIZER 1st , we know that you tolerated it and you already know how you will feel after, therefore it is preferred you get the PFIZER booster
  • For those who initially received the J&J vaccine, it is recommended to receive one of the mRNA vaccines as a booster
When should I get an updated booster dose?2022-10-25T15:48:16-07:00
  • Anytime, once 2 months have passed since receipt of a COVID vaccine.  Note, you must complete your primary series before you are eligible to get a booster dose.
Should I expect side effects after I get the booster?2021-11-04T18:02:50-07:00

You can expect the same side effects you experienced after getting your 2nd dose

Will I have to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine clinic?2022-10-25T15:49:59-07:00

We do not have any COVID vaccine-only clinics scheduled.  Current DRFP patients may receive the updated booster at either a nurse-only visit or during an office visit with their PCP.  Please call to get scheduled.

Will DRFP be offering Pfizer vaccine?2021-11-04T18:08:37-07:00

Not at this time.

Where can I get a Pfizer vaccine (booster or primary series)?2021-11-04T18:07:15-07:00
  • Maricopa County maintains a vaccine finder map and calendar on their website
If I received my 1st and 2nd Moderna vaccine doses somewhere else, may I get my booster dose at the DRFP vaccine clinic?2021-11-04T18:09:51-07:00


If I haven’t yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, can I get my 1st (or 2nd) dose during a DRFP COVID vaccine clinic?2022-10-25T15:51:06-07:00

Currently, we do not have any inventory of the primary series vaccines.  These are available at most local pharmacies.

I am immunocompromised and qualified for and received a 3rd dose of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine. Do I need a booster?2022-04-04T11:08:46-07:00

Yes.  You may receive a booster dose once 4 months have passed since your received your 3rd dose of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine


Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?2021-11-04T18:25:11-07:00

Most major pharmacies carry the vaccines. Please check with the specific location to determine which manufacturer’s vaccines they offer.

Maricopa County keeps a calendar and list of providers and locations:

Please be aware that the Pfizer pediatric vaccine for kids ages 5-11 is only offered at select locations.   Make sure to specifically search for Pfizer (5-11), to find locations which offer the vaccine for kids 5-11.

Which of the vaccine options is best?2022-03-24T10:14:06-07:00

The two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are preferred over the J&J vaccine for those people who do not have a contraindication to the mRNA vaccines.

Who should NOT get a COVID-19 Vaccine?2021-01-13T19:26:10-07:00

Persons with a history of severe allergic reaction to mRNA vaccines or a component of mRNA vaccines including polysorbate and polyethyline glycol should not get an mRNA vaccine.  Those with a history of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to injectibles or other vaccines should discuss the vaccination with their doctor.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?2021-03-22T12:19:53-07:00

In the U.S., all vaccines must pass FDA safety standards in order to gain approval for use. This infographic illustrates phases a vaccine must go through before it is approved for use.

Data from the large clinical trials demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of these three vaccines outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID 19 .  All three vaccine trials are ongoing and the CDC and FDA continue to monitor and review both safety as well as efficacy data.

What about allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines?2021-03-22T12:20:59-07:00
  • The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reports that the event rate of anaphylaxis after receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is roughly 11 cases per 1 million doses; and 2.5 cases per 1 million doses after receipt of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. During the Janssen trial, one participant developed a non-anaphylactic allergic reaction after receipt of the vaccine which resolved.
  • Currently, the CDC says people with allergies to certain foods, insects, latex and other common allergens can have get any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Those with a history of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to injectables or other vaccines should discuss the vaccination with their doctor.
  • However, any person who had an immediate allergic reaction to their first dose of either vaccine or who have a history of anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients of any of the vaccines, should not receive these vaccines.
Are there any side effects to the COVID-19 vaccines?2021-01-20T18:49:39-07:00

Vaccine side effects are expected,  temporary (lasting less than 48 hours) and mild to moderate.

  • Vaccine side effects include injection site soreness and/or swelling, fatigue, headache, body aches, and/or fever.  These symptoms indicate your immune system has recognized the vaccine and has begun to build immunity.
  • Symptoms such as sore throat, congestion, cough, loss of taste/smell or shortness of breath are NOT vaccine related side effects.  If you develop symptoms such as these, please schedule a telehealth visit with your PCP for further evaluation.
Will the side effects impact my daily routines?2021-01-13T19:28:10-07:00

Because of the potential of mild side effects, you may want to receive your vaccine at a time when you can take it easy that day and the day following, if necessary.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines a single dose or series?2022-04-04T11:18:19-07:00
  • The primary series for those with health immune systems:
    • Pfizer is a two dose series, spaced at least 21 days apart
    • Moderna is a two dose series, spaced at least 28 days apart
    • J&J is a single dose

    The primary series for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised is a 3 dose series:

    • Pfizer is a 3 dose series. 21 days between dose 1 and dose 2; and 28 days between dose 2 and dose 3
    • Moderna is a 3 dose series. 28 days between each dose
Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I recently tested positive for COVID, or am in quarantine due to exposure to COVID?2021-01-13T19:32:40-07:00

You should wait until the infection has resolved and you have met the criteria to discontinue isolation or quarantine.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma?2022-03-24T10:27:53-07:00

It is no longer recommended to wait 90 after receipt of monoclonal antibodies.  You may receive a COVID vaccine at any time once you have met the criteria to discontinue isolation or quarantine.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other immunizations? (flu shot, Shingrix, etc)2021-07-28T18:05:35-07:00


Can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine if I am pregnant or nursing?2021-11-04T18:17:37-07:00

Data has shown that COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications and even death.  “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the two leading organizations representing specialists in obstetric care, recommend that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. The organizations’ recommendations in support of vaccination during pregnancy reflect evidence demonstrating the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from tens of thousands of reporting individuals.”

Will an antibody blood test tell me if I am immune or if the vaccine worked?2021-01-13T19:39:47-07:00

No.  Our immune system will produce hundreds of antibodies to both the vaccine as well as the virus if infected.  We do not yet know if the presence of antibodies indicates immunity nor if they do, what amount (titer) is required to be protective.

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I already had COVID?2021-01-13T19:40:38-07:00

Yes.  It is unclear how long persons are protected from re-infection after natural infection.  So far, data suggests that vaccine mediated immunity is more robust than immunity conferred through natural infection.

Does a COVID-19 vaccine cost me anything?2021-01-13T19:43:23-07:00

The vaccine itself is being paid for by the government.  Organizations administering the vaccine will bill a small administrative fee to your insurance company to help cover the costs incurred to staff, store and administer the vaccine.  There is no out of pocket cost to you.

Do I still need to wear a mask and social distance after I have been vaccinated against COVID-19?2021-01-28T11:44:29-07:00

Yes. Although the likelihood is low, it is still possible to become infected with COVID-19 despite vaccination.  Further we do not yet know how much protection the vaccines confer against the variant strains now circulating.  In addition, we do not yet know if COVID-19 vaccination will have any effect on preventing transmission.  It may be possible to pick up the virus and transmit it despite being vaccinated.

Do I need to quarantine if I have close contact to a person with COVID-19, even if I have been vaccinated?2021-07-28T18:09:18-07:00

(July 27, 2021)  Vaccinated persons who have had close contact (exposure) with someone who is actively infected with COVID-19:

  1.  Monitor for symptoms.  If you develop any symptoms, isolate at home and reach out to your PCP for further guidance and testing options
  2.  If you do not have any symptoms, be cautious when outside your home – distance from others and be sure to wear a mask – for at least 10 days after exposure.  In addition, please get tested 3-5 days after exposure
Do I need to be tested for COVID-19 if I develop respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, congestion etc) even though I have been vaccinated?2021-01-28T11:44:08-07:00

Yes.  Although the likelihood is low, it is still possible to become infected with COVID-19 despite vaccination.  Further we do not yet know how much protection the vaccines confer against the variant strains now circulating.

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