COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults
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.
The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step in helping to prevent getting sick from COVID-19.
Tips on How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
- Contact your state or local health department for more information.
- Ask a family member or friend to help with scheduling an appointment.
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center if they provide vaccines.
What You Should Know about Vaccines
- You can help protect yourself and the people around you by getting vaccinated.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
- Depending on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you get, you might need a second shot 3 or 4 weeks after your first shot.
- The vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
You May Have Side Effects from the Vaccine
Some people have side effects after getting vaccinated. Common side effects include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling where you get your shot
- Muscle pain
These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. Learn more about what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
Booster Shots and Additional Doses
A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their initial vaccine series and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Certain groups of people, including older adults, are eligible to get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing their initial vaccination series. Learn more about who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
An additional dose is administered when a person may not have built the same level of immunity to their initial vaccine series as someone who is not immunocompromised. CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose at least 28 days after completing their initial vaccine series. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.
Vaccination Card and Booster Shots
At your first vaccination appointment, you should have received a vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the dates you received it, and where you received it. Bring this vaccination card to your booster dose vaccination appointment.
The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the U.S., regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.