Vaccine Info for the General Public

Merced County Department of Public Health is committed to providing the public with current information on the COVID vaccine. 

This page provides emerging information and may change rapidly as mass vaccination plans are underway. Please check this page often for updates. 

The Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is working closely with local healthcare providers to ensure that the vaccine is administered to those currently eligible. That includes high-risk residents and members of the healthcare workforce. MCDPH will continue to work closely with local healthcare providers and pharmacists to distribute the vaccine as it becomes widely available. This website will be updated as more information is available. Your provider can also advise when the vaccine may be available to you. Please note, there is not a wait list to sign up for vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccine

We understand that some people may be concerned about being vaccinated once the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine is available in the United States. While these vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures, remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. For information about COVID-19 vaccine safety, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety webpage.  

Below is a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what we currently know. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Benefits 

  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 
  • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine  

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. 
  • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). 
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Experts do not know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.


  • The CDC is using a new smartphone tool called v-safe (visit v-safe website) to provide personalized check-ins after you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting vaccinated. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. You will also get reminders when it’s time to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Your participation in CDC’s v-safe makes a difference — it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe.

    To learn more about registering for the tool after receiving the vaccine, visit the CDC’s website on v-safe.

Stopping the Pandemic 

  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce exposure to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan 

  • In California, the vaccines will be distributed and administered as soon as they are available. The vaccine will provided in phases, starting with healthcare workers and long-term care residents in accordance with the CDPH Allocation Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine. Workers in essential and critical industries will follow in the next phase and the general public will be in the final phase.
  • The importance of vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities: Based on recommendations made by medical and public health experts, residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) will be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Because residents of LTCF are at greater risk for infection and severe illness due to the communal nature of these facilities and the populations they serve (typically older adults with underlying health conditions), it has been determined that COVID-19 vaccination of residents in LTCFs would help save lives. Visit the CDC’s page on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination of residents in long-term care facilities for more information.
  • For more information and updates on the allocation of vaccines in California, visit the State of California’s COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.
  • For Frequently Asked Questions for COVID-19 Vaccination, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs webpage.
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