Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine
NOTICE: CDC now recommends that certain people are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, including those who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. Get more information and read CDC’s media statement.
Find a Vaccine
Vaccines are now widely available. In many cases, you do not need an 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.
- 90% of people in the United States live within 5 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
- 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 approved and 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]
At your first vaccination appointment, you should get a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.
- Keep your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card for future use. Consider taking a picture of your card after your vaccination appointment as a backup copy.
- If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
- Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card with you to your next appointment if you need another shot of COVID-19 vaccine so your provider can fill in the information about your shot.
Learn more about getting your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card.
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine with Other Vaccines
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. 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 get the most protection from your initial vaccination. 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.
People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.
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
It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. Most people 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.