On August 23, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine continues to be available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 12-15 years of age and under EUA for Moderna for individuals 18 years of age and older.* The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will now be known as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee).
The FDA has not yet authorized emergency use of a COVID-19 supplemental (booster) vaccine for the general public. The FDA has authorized an additional-dose COVID-19 vaccine only for those who are immunocompromised, and the CDC has defined criteria for who fits in that category. Read more on who is eligible for an additional-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
*EUAs can be used by the FDA during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective in preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease, provided that the FDA determines that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product. FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety, and effectiveness of medical products.
The CDC recommends a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and also recommends a booster dose for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings—this includes frontline healthcare workers, teachers, grocery workers, and those in homeless shelters or prisons. See above for a full list of individuals that are approved by the CDC for a third Pfizer vaccine.
We encourage those who fit the criteria, and would like to receive a third shot, to talk with their healthcare provider to see if an additional dose is appropriate for them.
For a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 vaccine doses for people whose immune systems are compromised, visit the California Department of Public Health FAQ page.
MyChart, Montage Health's online health record, now has a new feature. MyChart users who received a COVID-19 vaccination from a Montage Health provider, can now provide full proof of vaccination with the state-approved QR code, or as a printable pdf. Patients of Montage Health can access MyChart to visit your MyChart account and click on your COVID-19 vaccination record to get started.
Additionally, the California Department of Public Health has created a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Portal from which anyone who received their COVID-19 vaccination in California can request a digital copy of their vaccine record.
The digital COVID-19 vaccine record is an electronic record that is generated from the data stored in the California immunization registry. It includes the same information as your paper CDC vaccine card: your name, date of birth, vaccination dates, and details about the vaccine you received. It also includes a QR code that, when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader, displays the same information as your paper CDC vaccine card and also confirms that your vaccine record is an official record of the state of California.
The digital vaccine record serves as valid proof of your vaccination status and can be used instead of your paper vaccine card. The QR code can be stored on your mobile phone by screenshotting it and saving it to your camera roll. It can also be printed from your computer.
The digital vaccine record requires a mobile phone number and/or an email address to be associated with your record in the California immunization database in order for it to be delivered to you. If you were vaccinated in California and have trouble obtaining your digital vaccine record, it may be because your record does not include a mobile phone number or email address.
If you received your vaccination from Montage Health, you can request that this information be added to your record in the California immunization database by emailing email@example.com. To ensure your record is updated accurately, please include the following details:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Mobile phone number
- Email address (your personal email, not your work email)
Upon receipt of your request, we will update your record within one business day and notify you when the update has been completed. It typically takes 24 hours for the change to take effect in the state system, so please wait at least one day before attempting to retrieve your digital vaccine record after you have received confirmation that your record has been updated.