COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccines are the most effective tool we have to help slow the spread of COVID-19, protect one another, and to help us come back together as soon as possible. Additionally, it was recently announced that all students enrolled for Fall 2021 will be required to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to live in the residential halls or attend in-person classes. It’s #OurTurnToreros to get vaccinated against COVID-19! 

Even after you are fully vaccinated, it is important and mandatory in most spaces (including campus), to continue wearing face coverings, socially distancing, and taking all of the necessary prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

There are many places to get a COVID-19 vaccine and at this time the appointment-making process can feel a bit overwhelming. 

  • The Student Health Center is working to vaccinate students living on-campus and in the San Diego region as quickly as possible. Please watch for communication from the SHC and know that you can get a vaccine elsewhere as well.
  • If you have a primary care provider other than the SHC, you can contact them to see about vaccine availability.
  • You can visit, which is California specific, or, a national vaccine appointment locating database. Each database pulls vaccine appointment availability of local pharmacies, clinics, and other vaccine sites. 
  • San Diego County Covid Vaccine Sites 
  • The Student Health Center has compiled a helpful list of vaccination locations here.

Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get?

The best vaccine option is the first one you can get! The earlier you start the process of protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, the better for all. If you are 17 or younger, the Pfizer vaccine is the only option for you at this time.

For more information about the currently available vaccines:

Before, During, and After Vaccination

Before Getting Vaccinated:

  •  Take it easy the night before to ensure potential symptoms are not a result of other unrelated activities.
  • Anticipate COVID-19 vaccines may cause minor side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling fatigued, or mild fever.
  •  Do not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen in anticipation of potentially having side effects from the vaccine.
  • Taking these medications for the purpose of preventing post-vaccination symptoms is not currently recommended.

During Your Vaccination Appointment:

  • A COVID-19 vaccination card will be given to you with: 
  • The type of vaccine you received. 
  • The date you received it. 
  • Where you received it. 
  • You will also receive a fact sheet that tells you more about the COVID-19 vaccine you were offered and received. 
  • You will be advised to register for V-SAFE for: 
  • Personalized health check-ins, 
  • Reminds you to get your second dose, 
  • Quickly tells the CDC if you have any side effects, and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • You will be monitored for allergic reactions on-site for at least 15 or 30 minutes. 

After Being Vaccinated:

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. 

  • COVID-19 vaccines are most effective 2 weeks following your last dose. 
  • The Pfizer™ and Moderna™ COVID-19 vaccines require two shots for them to work best. 
  • The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine requires only one shot. This vaccine is currently paused.
  • Continue to wash your hands. 
  • Continue to watch your distance. 
  • Continue to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. 

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. Until we know more continue taking precautions such as:

  • Wearing a face covering, 
  • Staying at least 6 feet apart from others, 
  • avoiding crowds or gatherings
  • Maximize good ventilation and airflow and avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
  • You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact the SHC, get tested, and stay home and away from others until cleared by the SHC. 
  • Continue with routine/surveillance testing as required of students in residential areas and having on-campus classes. 
  • You will still need to follow prevention guidance at USD.

What’s new if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting with roommates and a roommate has COVID-19, contact the SHC because you may still need to stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • Generally, you can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

a) 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
b) 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
*** If it has been less than 2 weeks since your 1-dose shot, or if you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated. 


Additional Information and Community Resources

Human Rights Campaign: COVID-19 and the LGBTQ Community (link)

San Diego County COVID-19 Vaccine Resources and Links (link)