14:40 PM

Keck Medicine of USC shares new vaccine recommendations

Dear Valued Patient,

I have several important vaccination updates to share that are of vital interest to the health of you and your loved ones.

Patients with weakened immune systems are now eligible to receive a third shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

Those who are immunosuppressed are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness and are therefore eligible to receive an additional dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, people who fall into this category include those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

We recommend that patients have a discussion with their physician before getting the third dose to make sure it’s appropriate for them.

For this patient population, many local pharmacies now offer this additional vaccine. Keck Medicine of USC will also be offering third shots of the Pfizer vaccine in the lower level of the Norris Healthcare Center (HC3) beginning September 1 from 7:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. Appointments are not necessary; feel free to walk in.

You must bring either paper or electronic proof of vaccination (with dates) and will be asked to complete a self-attestation of eligibility form that you meet CDC guidelines for immunosuppressed people.

New vaccine recommendation for pregnant and breastfeeding women

The CDC recommends that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or might become pregnant in the future get the COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19 compared with those who are not pregnant. Additionally, COVID-19 may put women at an increased risk of preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with pregnant women without COVID-19. The data suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your health care provider.

Booster shots might be coming this fall

The Biden administration has announced its plans to offer booster shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for the remainder of the population in the coming month(s). We will update you on this development once there are further announcements from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the CDC.

Keck Medicine of USC offers you an easy way to access your vaccine card

If you received your vaccine at Keck Medical Center of USC or Keck Medicine of USC in Pasadena, you can access your vaccine card through our patient portal, MyUSCchart, either online or through the mobile app.

Simply log onto your account either on your phone or computer and click on 1) “Health Record,” 2) “COVID-19” and 3) “View Vaccine Verification” to view your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. You can then either print out the card or store it digitally on your phone. (Tip: On your smartphone, you can take a screenshot of your vaccine card and save it to your favorite photos for easy access.)

As an alternative, and if you received the vaccine elsewhere, you can also access and store your digital vaccination record through the CDPH Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record website.

Due to a recent state order, all visitors to health care facilities must show proof of full vaccination or documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within 72 hours of the visit for unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated visitors.

To learn what proof of vaccination we accept at Keck Medical Center, please click here.

Where to get COVID-19 testing

With the delta variant remaining active in our community, COVID-19 testing is more important than ever for anyone who has been exposed to the virus or is experiencing symptoms. To find the nearest COVID-19 testing site near you, please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.

Another option is to ask your Keck Medicine primary care physician or specialist to order a test, and then be tested at our Health Sciences Campus.

We will continue you to update you on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Thank you for entrusting Keck Medicine with your care.


Rod Hanners
Interim CEO
Keck Medicine of USC