Health Alerts: Coronavirus
So that we can prioritize patients with serious illness or injury, please do not visit our emergency room or urgent care centers for COVID-19 testing or mild symptoms. For return-to-school tests, check your district’s guidelines, use over-the-counter rapid antigen tests if possible, or visit coronavirus-sd.com for testing locations.
Scheduling Vaccinations at Rady Children’s
Following the FDA’s authorization, the CDC is advising a booster shot for children 5 through 11 years old at least five months after completion of a primary series with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
On May 17, 2022, the FDA authorized a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years old at least five months after completion of a primary series with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Rady Children’s is scheduling second booster appointments for adults 50 & older and for immunocompromised children 12 & up. Schedule 4 months following first booster.
Following the FDA’s regulatory action, the CDC is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.
Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
On March 29, 2022, the FDA authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for people age 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals.
For those without MyChart, please use this link to sign up children and family members:
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: 8001 Frost Street, Dining Rooms A, B and C next to the cafeteria (Map it)
- Please bring an ID and insurance card.
- Paid parking is available in the Frost Street lot or Visitor North Garage.
Fifteen minutes of on-site observation is required after vaccination.
Rady Children’s is scheduling booster appointments for children 12 and older.
The CDC has approved the Pfizer booster for 12- to 15-year olds.
The CDC now also recommends 12- to 17-year olds (those 16 and older became eligible for boosters Dec. 9.) receive a booster dose five months after completing their initial vaccination series, instead of the previous interval of six months.
For moderate to severely immunocompromised children 5 to 11, the agency recommends a third dose 28 days after the second shot.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one authorized for use among people under the age of 18.
On Jan. 3, 2022, the FDA authorized expanding booster eligibility to adolescents ages 12 to 15 and allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.
Rady Children’s is scheduling vaccine appointments for children 5 and older.
The CDC has given final approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency usage in children 5 to 11 years old.
On Oct. 29, 2021, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age. Learn more from the California Health Alert Network.
VACCINE EXEMPTION NOTICE
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego recommends that all those eligible receive vaccines that prevent serious illnesses. Vaccines protect both individuals and communities. Safety, efficacy and the recommended dosing schedules have been rigorously studied and continually monitored. This recommendation applies to standard childhood and adult vaccines as well as the COVID-19 vaccines.
If your child has had a documented anaphylactic or severe reaction to a particular vaccine in the past, we recommend that your child be evaluated by an Allergy/Immunology specialist. In general, physicians at Rady Children’s do not provide vaccination exemptions.
Booster Shots for Immunocompromised Populations
On August 12, 2021, the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people with weakened immune systems. For community members who meet the immunocompromised criteria, we are giving booster shots in the vaccine clinic. (See hours and location below).
The CDC has given final approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency usage in adolescents 12 to 15 years old.
On May 10, 2021, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.
Update: Two visitors are now allowed at the patient’s bedside and in the outpatient clinics. (Effective 3/25/21)
- Vaccine Clinic Social Story
- Face Masks for Children During COVID-19
- Mask Mythbusters: Common Questions about Kids & Face Masks
CDC Okays Co-administration
The CDC has changed its recommendation that individuals should not get another vaccination within two weeks of a COVID-19 shot.
Now the CDC says it is fine to give more than one vaccine at a time.
COVID Collaborative for Children
Learn how to get tested at Rady Children’s for COVID-19.
Rady Children’s Hospital Crisis Care Guidelines
Rady Children’s has a longstanding covenant with our community, to restore, sustain and enhance the health and well-being of children and families providing safe, high-quality care to every patient.
Currently, we are in the midst of a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases. As a children’s hospital, we have so far felt the impacts less than our adult hospital partners, who are strained by staffing and supply shortages. We are providing support to these facilities where we can and working closely with hospitals in San Diego County and across the state in hopes we can avoid a true crisis situation.
Given the potential that resources may become inadequate to meet the needs of all patients in California, state government has developed Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines. These guidelines are based on best practices from across the country and guided by ethical principles and a commitment to equity, with the goal of providing the best possible outcome for the largest number of people impacted.
Across health care, the state, the country and the world, we are in this together.
Escondido Urgent Care Now Open
Learn about our Urgent Care Centers.
San Diego County Schools COVID-19 Town Hall for Families
Brought to you by the County of San Diego, the San Diego Office of Education and Rady Children’s in order to keep our kids, our schools and our community safe and healthy. (See Video Table of Contents.)
Questions about COVID-19?
Pediatric Nurse Advice Line: 858-966-8399
Monday-Friday, 8-5 p.m.
Video (Telemedicine) Visits Are Available! Learn more.
In-Person Visits: Preparation for Your In-Person Visit with Rady Children’s Specialists
Visitors and patients coming to the Hospital or clinics need to wear their own face coverings, as our supplies of donated masks to hand out are limited. Please wear the face coverings you are required to wear when you are out in the community.
Your child may be asked to wear a mask while checking in at the Hospital or going to a clinic. See Flier.
Centralized COVID-19 Medical Equipment Initiative Launches Today across San Diego County:
To donate needed supplies and equipment, call 800-258-0007 or email DonateCOVID19@rchsd.org.
New walk-in Orthopedic Injury Clinic open during COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Urgent Care Centers at the following locations:
– Murrieta (effective Thursday, March 26)
– La Mesa (effective Monday, March 30
Sites will reopen as needed. Our other urgent care locations in Mid-City, Oceanside, Escondido and Chula Vista are open with usual hours. For round-the-clock pediatric urgent care, we also offer the emergency department on the main campus in San Diego as well as board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialists at Rancho Springs Medical Center in the emergency department.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
As cases of the novel coronavirus increase in San Diego County, we understand you may have questions about your child’s health and how to access care. This webpage contains important details on what to do if your child is sick, the best way to contact us regarding receiving care, COVID-19 testing, health tips and more.
Clinics will continue to see patients in person with urgent and time-sensitive needs. For routine follow-up care, many clinics are offering video visits or telephone consults when office visits are not an option. To protect our patients and families, and minimize community spread of the COVID -19 virus, we are limiting the number of people who are on the Hospital campus or at the satellite locations.
**If you or your child is exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms – cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea – please contact your primary care doctor to seek advice on how and where to receive care.**
Please do not go to the emergency department or urgent care for minor respiratory illnesses or fevers. Rady Children’s is following the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and San Diego County, to ensure we are prepared and equipped to provide emergency services to our community.
Rady Children’s is committed to meeting the health care needs of all children in our community, and our physicians are working hard to ensure that we are consistent in providing both preventative and routine care, as well as care for those with urgent and time-sensitive needs. During this time, however, you may experience scheduling modifications. You may be offered a video visit or a phone consult in place of a face-to-face visit for routine follow-up care.
It is important to check your child’s doctor’s website before coming in. If you do not find necessary information, please call the provider’s office to help direct your child to the most appropriate care without compromising your or your child’s health, and the health of other patients and our staff.
VIDEO and PHONE VISITS
We recommend that, whenever possible, you have a video or phone visit rather than coming in to a clinic. These visits are convenient and safe, and are available at many primary care and some specialty care offices. You may be offered to option to change your in clinic visit to a telemedicine visit or phone visit. Learn more about video visits.
FAMILY MEMBERS ACCOMPANYING PATIENTS TO APPOINTMENTS
The only approved visitors to our clinics are Partners in Care. Anyone entering a Rady Children’s facility, regardless of vaccination status, must always wear an approved facial covering. Those wearing gaiters, bandanas, single-layer cloth masks or masks with exhalation valves will be provided a standard facial covering. Learn more.
The Hospital has updated its visitation policy to keep families and staff safe. Learn more.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. (Watch the video below on how to clean your hands.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your entire mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Practice social distancing: Stay six feet away from others and avoid large gatherings. This is particularly important for patients with chronic medical conditions or are immunocompromised.
- Store a two-week supply of food and beverages, including food for family pets.
- Ensure you have a two-week supply of prescribed and routine medications on hand. If you need refills, contact your pharmacy.
- Plan ways to care for those who are at greater risk for serious complications, and determine who will take care of sick family members.
Our goal is to continue providing quality care and service to our patients and families, while ensuring we are protecting everyone from exposure to COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time.
Video: How to Clean Your Hands
IN THE NEWS
- Type 1 Diabetes Diagnoses Spiked During the Pandemic, MedPage Today, features Jane Kim, M.D. (01/24/22)
- Omicron is a ‘Different Beast’ in Kids, but it Doesn’t Seem More Dangerous, Disease Experts Say, Business Insider, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (01/20/22)
- Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Reduces Risk of MIS-C in Children by 91 Percent, Healthline, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (01/18/22)
- Area Hospitals Innovate to Offset Workforce Shortages Compounded by COVID, San Diego Business Journal, features Ben Metcalf (01/17/22)
- Three Big COVID Misconceptions People Still Have, According to Infectious Disease Experts, CNBC, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (01/14/22)
- County Issues Alert as San Diego Emergency Rooms Overflow, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (12/29/21)
- Nearly 7,500 Kids Vaccinated in San Diego County Six Days After Federal Approval, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Jaime Friedman, M.D. (11/10/21)
- Confused about COVID Boosters? Here’s a Quick, Painless User’s Guide for You,The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (11/05/21)
- Can You Get a COVID-19 Booster in San Diego?, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (9/24/21)
- Q&A: What’s Going on with COVID Booster Shots? A San Diego Expert Explains, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (9/15/21)
- UCSD, Rady Children’s Research Shows How COVID Virus Infects Brain Cells, Times of San Diego, features Joseph Gleeson, M.D. (7/16/21)
- Eight Chest Pain Cases Among Adolescent Boys Detected After COVID Vaccination in San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (6/18/21)
- San Diego Hospitals Aren’t Requiring Workers to be Vaccinated for COVID-19, Times of San Diego, features Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (6/11/21)
- San Diego Children Step Up to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Nicholas Holmes, M.D., M.B.A., senior vice president and chief operating officer (5/13/21)
- Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Expands to San Diego Children Starting Thursday, 10news, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (5/12/21)
- San Diego Schools Offer COVID Vaccine Clinics to Get Teenage Students Vaccinated,The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (5/08/21)
- FDA and CDC Give OK to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine After Pause, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (4/23/21)
- Yes, the Coronavirus Mutates. No, that Doesn’t Spell Doom for Vaccines, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (3/6/21)
- Gorillas Fully Recovered from COVID-19, Back on Display at Zoo’s Safari Park, Times of San Diego, mentions Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (2/15/21)
- Students’ Mental Health Deteriorating During Pandemic, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Sandy Mueller, senior director of Behavioral Health Services (2/1/21)
- What to Know About Allergic Reactions to the Vaccines, kusi.com, features Stephanie Leonard, M.D. (1/27/21)
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park Gorillas Close to Full Recovery from COVID-19, The San Diego Union-Tribune, mentions Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (1/25/21)
- First San Diegans Get Moderna Vaccine, with Scientists Urging Caution, Not Panic, Over New COVID Strain, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Holmes, M.D., and Caitlin Breen, M.D. (12/22/20)
- NIH Funds Eight Studies to Uncover Risk Factors for COVID-19-related Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, nih.gov, features Jane Burns, M.D. (12/21/20)
- They Risk Their Lives Cleaning Hospitals. Now, They Are Getting Vaccinated, Los Angeles Times, features Rosalvina Baez and Jesse Gonzalez (12/19/20)
- Q&A: An FDA Panel Endorses Moderna’s COVID Vaccine, The San Diego Union Tribune, mentions Mark Sawyer, M.D. (12/18/20)
- Rady Children’s Hospital, Naval Medical Center San Diego First to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features John Bradley, M.D., and Pharmacist Manager Ron D’Ulisse (12/15/20)
- San Diego’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Set to Begin in Days, with Demand Exceeding Supply, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (12/11/20)
- Commentary: I’m a Doctor in San Diego. Smoking and Vaping Put Youth at Risk for COVID-19, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Jeanne Huang, M.D., M.P.H. (11/25/20)
- Two from San Diego Named to Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Panel, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (10/19/20)
- What if a Student Has COVID-19? Here’s What Schools Will Do, The San Diego Union-Tribune, mentions Rady Children’s Hospital- San Diego (10/03/20)
- In-Depth: When Will San Diego Playgrounds Reopen?, 10news.com, features infectious disease specialist Mark Sawyer, M.D. and psychologist Brent Crandal (9/18/20)
- Are Schools Reopening Safely? Experts Recommend Measures Beyond State Guidelines, The San Diego-Union Tribune (8/22/20)
- What Can Oliver Tell Us About COVID-19 and Kids? The San Diego Union-Tribune (8/16/20)
- Study Shows Surge in Coronavirus Cases Among Children, nbcsandiego.com, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (8/11/20)
- Fact-checking COVID Claims Made on County Supervisor’s Podcast, The San Diego Union- Tribune, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (7/29/20)
- San Diego Continues to See a Spike in Coronavirus Cases, kusi.com, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (6/30/20)
- Before Schools Reopen, Parents Urged to Catch Up on Kids’ Missed Vaccinations, National Geographic, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (6/10/20)
- As Day Cares Reopen, Parents Face Difficult Decisions, KPBS, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (5/29/20)
- The Hunt to Understand COVID-19’s Connection to Kawasaki Disease, time.com, features Jane Burns, M.D. (5/27/20)
- Rady Re-Evaluating Recent Kawasaki Cases for New Pediatric Illness Tied to Coronavirus, kpbs.com, features Jane Burns, M.D. (5/15/20)
- Infectious Diseases Specialist Mark Sawyer, M.D., Answers Questions About the Effectiveness of Face Coverings in Preventing the Spread of COVID-19, KUSI-TV (4/24/20)
- How to Properly And Safely Cover Your Face During Coronavirus Outbreak, kpbs.org, features Joelle Donofrio-Ödmann, D.O. (4/7/20)
- Rady’s Infectious Disease Doctor On Why Coronavirus Doesn’t Hit Children As Hard, kpbs.org, features Mark Sawyer, M.D. (4/3/20)
- Flu Numbers Show Power of Social Distancing Even as COVID Claims Five More Lives, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features John Bradley, M.D. (4/1/20)
- Evaluating COVID-19 Information
- COVID-19 Articles– KidsHealth
- Coronavirus PDF Book for Kids (English)
- Coronavirus PDF Book for Kids (Other Language Options)
- Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19
- What is the Coronavirus? (Printable book)
- How Teachers Can Talk to Children About Coronavirus Disease (Preschool-high school)
- How to Talk to Your Child About Coronavirus Disease: 8 Tips to Help Comfort and Protect Children
- Rady Children’s Mental Health Resources
- Help Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19
- How to Protect Yourself and Others
- Social Distancing
- Face Mask Do’s and Dont’s
- Back-to-College Tips: Protect Yourself from COVID-19
- What You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Pets
- What Your Test Results Mean
- 10 Things You Can Do to Manage Your COVID-19 Symptoms at Home
Important Alert about Chloroquine Phosphate
Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a health care provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death. Clinicians and public health officials should discourage the public from misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums). Clinicians should advise patients and the public that chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a health care provider as prescribed medications.
The entire Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Advisory is available at the link below:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Status
The World Health Organization has officially declared a pandemic (worldwide spread of a new disease) for the novel coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19.
As the outbreak expands, the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 will increase. Those living with or caring for persons with COVID-19, as well as travelers from certain international locations, are at an elevated risk of exposure.
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. To date, illness in children appears to be milder than in adults.
Patients with conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or weakened immune systems are felt to be at higher risk. Public health agencies are recommending that people at higher risk of severe illness should self-quarantine.
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. The great majority of infected people will recover on their own.
COVID-19 Web Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- How COVID-19 Spreads (CDC)
- Symptoms (CDC)
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)
- County of San Diego
- 2-1-1 Website
If you have general questions about coronavirus disease, you can call 211 to speak to someone.
For the latest information on positive cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County and the state of California, visit the links below.
Preparation at Rady Children’s
Rady Children’s has a comprehensive plan in place that addresses how we respond to an infectious outbreak like the coronavirus.
Here are some ways that Rady Children’s is taking action:
- We have a core team of experts who plan for infectious outbreaks and work in close collaboration with our San Diego County partners in public health.
- We quickly identify patients who may be infected and then immediately isolate them from other patients and families.
- Staff wear the correct personal protective gear and follow established practices, including excellent hand hygiene.
- We participate in calls with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and communicate directly with our local health department on any potential pediatric cases.
We are confident in our plan to take care of coronavirus patients as we have with other recent outbreaks of measles, mumps, pertussis and H1N1.