COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) and the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) are working to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to employees and incarcerated individuals in alignment with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines. Vaccination administration started on December 22, 2020 at California Health Care Facility (CHCF) and has since expanded statewide. It is our intent to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all CDCR and CCHCS employees and incarcerated individuals.

To view statewide numbers, view the CDCR/CCHCS COVID-19 Update page.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized by FDA have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials for their ability to protect us from COVID-19.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized by the FDA and have been carefully evaluated in several rounds of clinical trials. The CDC is also tracking any adverse reactions patients may have.

How is COVID-19 vaccine distribution determined?

We are administering vaccines following state and federal guidelines. Vaccine distribution is available for all incarcerated persons who request it.

How many doses of the vaccine do I need?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be effective. It is important to come back and receive the second dose for the vaccine to be effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?

As of now, no, but it is strongly encouraged as an additional layer of protection for yourself and everyone around you.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need the vaccine?

Yes. People are advised to get the vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. Re-infection is possible, as are severe health risks associated with COVID-19.

Will everyone still be required to practice COVID-19 protocols after being vaccinated?

Yes. Getting vaccinated is just one of many steps we can take to protect against COVID-19. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks, regular testing and social distancing, help reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.