Presented by YOUR Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers

SOUTH LOS ANGELES – While mask and vaccination mandates have been lifted or modified, Black and Brown communities are still experiencing some of the highest rates of COVID, combined with the lowest rates of full vaccination.  Questions abound and the Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers is providing this Frequently Asked Questions document to help answer questions that are still being raised in our community.  The information provided are guides, based on data resources from the Black Community Vaccine Toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Ad Council, the COVID Collaborative and the CDC.  As always, the best approach is to talk with your doctor.  If you don’t have one, Southside Coalition clinics can help you by calling (213) 221-2463.

  1. I have not gotten COVID yet, why should I get vaccinated now?

Getting immunized against COVID-19 keeps most people from getting sick. Even in a rare case where one does catch the virus, the vaccine will likely prevent you from becoming seriously ill. Protecting yourself also protects the people around you who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or those who can’t get vaccinated — infants, or people with weakened immune systems from such things as cancer or even diabetes.

  1. How do I know if I have COVID or a cold/flu?

People infected by the coronavirus may not have any symptoms, or their symptoms can be mild, seemingly like those of a common cold. While these differences may appear mild, there is increasing concern about the long haul (long-term) effects from COVID, no matter the severity.  To see if someone has been infected with the coronavirus, doctors can do a test that looks for a piece of the virus in the respiratory tract. Doctors also can check for a past infection by doing a blood test that looks for antibodies. People can take a home test for COVID-19 by picking up a test from many pharmacies.

  1. How concerned should I be about the latest variant?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing, and new variants of the virus continue to occur. Fortunately, the vaccine and boosters have shown to be most effective in preventing serious illness from all the variants our country has seen to date.  It comes down to being vaccinated and boosted, when the booster becomes available for people of your age and continuing to be vigilant in following good health measures (thorough hand washing, wearing masks in crowded spaces; particularly when indoors). Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic. There have been more breakthrough cases with these new variants than the original virus, but vaccines and boosters are still effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization from the BA1.2 variant. Additionally, people who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk and more likely to transmit the virus to others.

  1. I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to get tested for COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you’re fully vaccinated, you should get tested for COVID-19. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate away from other while awaiting test results and clinical evaluation. It is important to get a COVID-19 test, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines. You should get tested if you are in close contact to someone with COVID-19 and if you have traveled internationally or to areas in the US where COVID-19 is spreading quickly. This is especially important if you or someone you are meeting or live with is at higher risk for severe COVID-19.[1]

  1. What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?

Your child should stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested. It is very important that your child not attend school in-person when he or she has symptoms so that they don’t spread illness to fellow students, teachers or staff.

  1. There’s a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 online. What should I do?

The first step to addressing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines in your community is learning more about it, including where it starts and when, why, and how it is spreading and evolving. Learn more at To make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine or a booster at a clinic, call (213) 221- 2463. For more information, visit Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers’ website at

Southside Coalition clinics have been at the forefront of helping Black and Brown community members get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and protecting themselves and their families from severe illness that can impact overall health and the ability to work. Southside Coalition member clinics have provided COVID-19 vaccines and testing since both became available, which is especially convenient for community members who may need to get tested regularly to go to their places of work.

With clinics throughout South Los Angeles, Inglewood, Compton and more, the Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers provides comprehensive healthcare services that are focused on strengthening access to primary and preventive care, health promotion and health education primary and preventive care, health promotion, and health education.

Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers, established in 2004, is now a network of eight Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), representing more than 50 community- and school-based health clinics serving the South Los Angeles region (Los Angeles County Service Planning Area 6). 

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The Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers is a non-profit organization established to sustain, coordinate, and improve health care access and delivery to the impoverished and vulnerable community members of South Los Angeles.