Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccines are now widely available. In many cases, you do not need an appointment. Ninety percent of people in the United States live within five miles of a COVID-19 vaccine location.
Learn how to find a COVID-19 vaccine so you can get it as soon as you can.
At Your Vaccination Appointment
The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
- Before you arrive, contact the site where you will be vaccinated or review your appointment confirmation email for details about what identification you may need to bring to your vaccination appointment.
- When you get a vaccine, you and your healthcare provider will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines. Learn more about protecting yourself when going to get your COVID-19 vaccine.
- You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you receive. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. Learn more about different COVID-19 vaccines.
- After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
- Ask your vaccination provider about getting started with v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Parents and guardians can enroll adolescents (ages 12 and older) or dependents in v-safe and complete health check-ins on their behalf after COVID-19 vaccination. Register or sign into v-safe. Learn more about v-safe.
play circle light iconWatch Video: Use v-safe to tell CDC how you’re feeling after COVID-19 vaccination [00:00:34]
You should get a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. Keep your vaccination card in case you need it for future use. Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy.
If you do not receive a COVID-19 vaccination card at your appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
Learn about what to do if you’ve lost your vaccination card.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine with Other Vaccines
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit. You no longer need to wait 14 days between vaccinations. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. Learn more about the timing of other vaccines.
If You Need a Second Shot
If you receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you will need 2 shots to be fully protected. COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get the same product (or brand) for your second shot. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
If you receive the viral vector COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine, you will only need 1 shot.
Learn more about getting your second shot.
What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
- You may experience common side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get helpful tips on how to reduce any pain or discomfort.
- It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
Learn more about possible side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.