COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults
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. Everyone ages 18 years and older who is fully vaccinated is eligible for a booster. Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
An additional primary 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. Currently, moderately to severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who completed their Moderna vaccine primary series should plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. For people ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primary series, they should also plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot.
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.