Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine
Updated Sept. 12, 2023

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations have been updated as of September 12. The content on this page is no longer current and will be updated to align with the new recommendations. Learn more.

Everyone 6 Months and Older Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination has many benefits and is an important tool to help protect you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You

To find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you: Search, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.

Scheduling Vaccination Appointments

Most vaccination providers schedule appointments online.

with computer

To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit a vaccine provider’s online scheduling services. If you have a question about scheduling your appointment contact the vaccination provider directly.

  • To verify, reschedule, or cancel a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, contact the location that set up your appointment.
  • You can get your vaccines at different locations.

CDC cannot schedule, verify, reschedule, or cancel a vaccination appointment.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after having COVID-19

Even if you or your child have had COVID-19, you should still get yourself or your child vaccinated.

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after having COVID-19 provides added protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated after their recovery.
  • If you were given monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while sick with COVID-19 you do not need to wait to get vaccinated.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Before the Vaccination

If you do not regularly take over-the-counter medications, you should not take them before you get a COVID-19 vaccination.

It is not known how over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, might affect how well the vaccine works. You may be able to take these types of medications to reduce fever or pain after you get your vaccine to relieve any pain or discomfort resulting from possible side effects.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine with your routine medical procedures and screenings

You can combine most procedures, screenings, and vaccinations at the same appointment when you get your COVID-19 vaccination. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.

Children, teens, and adults may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same time.

Preparing children and teens for vaccination

If you are getting your child or teen vaccinated learn how you can support them and talk to them about what to expect. The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to that of getting routine vaccines.

Requesting accommodations at COVID-19 vaccination sites

If you have allergies related to vaccines

Talk to your doctor if you:

  • have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose to learn if you should get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and you should not get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • are allergic to polysorbate and you should not get Novavax.
  • are allergic to other types of vaccines or injectable medications for other diseases.
  • If you had an immediate allergic reaction (a reaction that started within 4 hours of getting vaccinated) to a COVID-19 vaccine, but the reaction was not considered severe by a medical professional, you can receive another dose of the same vaccine under certain conditions. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist for more care or advice.
  • If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, you should discuss this with your doctor to determine which COVID-19 vaccine is best for you.

If you have allergies not related to vaccines

You should get vaccinated if you have allergies that are not related to vaccines or injectable medications such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies. People with a history of allergies to medications taken by mouth or a family history of severe allergic reactions can also get vaccinated.

At the Vaccination Site

  • You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the COVID-19 vaccine you or your child received. Each approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of that vaccine.
  • There is no charge for your COVID-19 vaccine. Your COVID-19 vaccine is free. COVID-19 vaccines are paid for with taxpayer dollars and are given free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. If anyone asks you to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s a scam.

After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

closeup of black woman's arm with bandaid

Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine can vary from person to person. Some people experience a little discomfort and can continue to go about their day. Others have side effects that affect their ability to do daily activities. Side effects generally go away in a few days and tend to be mild, temporary, like those experienced after routine vaccinations. Even if you don’t experience any side effects, your body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Call a doctor or healthcare provider about a side effect if:

  • Redness or tenderness where the shot was given gets worse after 24 hours
  • Side effects are worrying or do not seem to be going away after a few days
  • After leaving a vaccination provider site, if you think you or your child might be having a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

Adverse events (serious health problems) after COVID-19 vaccination are rare
Adverse events cause long-term health problems. They usually happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine. Side effects and adverse events can be reported in Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card

Keep your CDC COVID-19 vaccination card for proof of vaccination. Consider taking a picture of your card after each of your COVID-19 vaccination appointments as a backup copy.

a CDC COVID-19  vaccination card
  • Bring your card to your appointment whenever you get a dose so that your provider can fill in information about your shot.
  • If your vaccine card is full, your vaccine provider can give you another card.
  • If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 vaccination card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got your first shot to find out how you can get a vaccination card. You can also contact your state health department to get a copy of your vaccination record.
  • Some vaccination providers and health departments may offer you access to a QR code or digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card in addition to giving you a physical CDC COVID-19 vaccination card. Contact your vaccination provider or local health department to learn if a digital copy of your card is available to you.
  • If you were vaccinated abroad there are ways you can update your U.S. vaccination record.
  • To report suspicious activity involving fake CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards, please visit Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Scams or call 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

For Healthcare Workers

Healthcare professionals registered in Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) can access vaccination certificates in VAMS.

Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
  • When do you need to schedule any additional dose(s)?
  • Do you or your child need to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine?
  • Can you get a different vaccine product for any additional COVID-19 vaccine doses?

Stay Up to Date